Palo Pinto

This was our thirty-eighth Courthouse in Texas to visit. That means we are at 15% of our goal with 85% left to go.

Palo Pinto County was created in 1856 and named for a creek south of here that was perhaps named by Spanish explorers of the Brazos River Valley. The county seat of 320 acres was surveyed at its geographical center and was originally named Golconda.

A court session in 1857 called for the first courthouse to be built of wood frame construction, with two doors and three windows. The contract was awarded to a bid of $300. Shortly after, in 1859, the town name was changed to Palo Pinto.

In 1882, just after the Texas Legislature allowed counties to issue bonds for new courthouses, a large sandstone structure was built. It cost $35,000 and exhibited Second Empire styling with a central clock tower. A two-story sandstone annex was added in 1906 and connected to the courthouse by an iron bridge. Sandstone for the buildings was quarried south of the city.

In 1940 these buildings were demolished, and a new courthouse was erected by Work Projects Administration workers. The reinforced-concrete structure featured subtle classical detail and was clad with some of the sandstone from the old buildings. It was completed in 1942 at a cost of $250,000.