This was our eighty-first Courthouse in Texas to visit. That means we are at 31.9% of our goal with 68.1% left to go.
The Trinity County and Sabine Pass Land and Railway Company laid out the new town of Groveton in 1881, when the I&GN Railroad came through the area. The following year, Trinity County voters chose it as their seat of government. The company constructed a temporary courthouse for the county, and the fram structure, located at what is now Main at First streets, served the county until 1884. That year, the government moved into a brick building at this site. The construction was not solid, though, and by the early 1900s, county commissioners were concerned for the safety of county records. They hired W.A. Norris to build a records vault exactly like the one L.S. Green had designed for Polk County. They paid Green for the use of his plans, and the county moved its records to the building in 1908.
In late 1913, the county commissioners hired C.H. Page and Bros. of Austin to design a new courts building that would incorporate the 1908 records vault. Accepted in July the next year, the structure was rectilinear in plan, stretching to connect almost seamlessly to the records vault built on the east side of the courthouse square. Classical Revival features include a full-height portico with paired Tuscan columns, as well as brick parapet, denticulation, corbelled window surrounds and stepped wings.
Today, the courthouse remains a center of county life. The site of parades, rallies and festivals, the structure is a symbol of justice and a unified citizenry. Within its walls, births, marriages and deaths are recorded, and fates are decided. It remains a link to the promise the future held for early-20th century residents of Trinity County, and to the efforts and dedication of those who have since worked to preserve the county’s heritage.