Real

This was our one hundred-sixty-fourth Courthouse in Texas to visit. That means we are at 64.6% of our goal with 35.4% left to go.

Leakey was the county seat of Edwards County from 1883 to 1891 when a vote moved the seat to Rocksprings. Real County, named for businessman and State Senator Julius Real, was organized from parts of Edwards, Kerr and Bandera counties in April 1913. Leakey was named the county seat and a temporary building was erected on the square. Controversy over the site of the county seat continued for several years, so Judge D. D. Thompson began planning for a permanent courthouse upon his election in 1917. Voters approved bonds to finance a permanent structure. The bonds were financed through Hanover National Bank of New York.

Architect H. A. Reuter designed the 1918 courthouse, and the firm of McCreary and Schott served as contractors. According to oral history, a local builder known as “Scotty” Archibald made a significant contribution, as well. E. F. Vanderbilt was construction superintendent.

Using native limestone quarried from Tucker Hollow near the site, workers erected Reuter’s vision of a Classical Revival edifice with a fortress-like fa├žade. The rusticated limestone bands were laid in regular courses with quicklime bonding to create the building’s texture and solid feel. A stone pediment with simple cornice topped by a standing seam metal roof contributes to the building’s character. Renovations and additions made in 1978 transformed the original doors into large central windows with flat arch and transoms. The fine structure retains its original flavor and distinctive features and remains the center of Real County government.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 2000