“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brackettville in Kinney County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Kinney County Courthouse

Kinney County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By William F Haenn, May 18, 2012
1. Kinney County Courthouse Marker
Inscription. Human inhabitation of Kinney County began thousands of years ago. Spanish expeditions through the area began in 1535 and continued throughout subsequent centuries. An attempt at establishing a Franciscan mission in 1775 failed, as did settlement by Dr. John Charles Beales in 1834. Despite the hardships found in the area, Kinney County was carved out of Bexar County in 1850, two years before the U.S. Army opened Fort Clark as a frontier outpost. That same year, in 1852, local inhabitants established the Brackett settlement, named for Oscar B. Brackett who set up a stage stop, freight office and dry goods store to service the stage line from San Antonio to El Paso.

Named for early settler and adventurer Henry Lawrence Kinney, Kinney County did not formally organize for 21 years; officials first met in Brackett's home in 1873. Brackettville, as the town had come to be called, was chosen as the county seat. Subsequent meetings were held in the Kartes and Co. building until 1879, when the county's first courthouse was built. The county used the 1879 building, which later housed a post office and Masonic lodge, until 1911. That year, the county first occupied this courthouse, designed by L.L. Thurmon and Co. of Dallas. Falls City Construction Co. of Louisville, Kentucky, served as General Contractor.

The Kinney County
Kinney County Courthouse and Marker view from Ann Street image. Click for full size.
By William F Haenn, June 10, 2012
2. Kinney County Courthouse and Marker view from Ann Street
Courthouse exhibits Beaux Arts Classicism. Detailing seen on the central bell tower is repeated on the octagonal corner towers and columned entryways. Buff brick is accented with D'Hanis red brick banding and corner quoins. The Seth Thomas clock in the bell tower completes the building, which, after some alterations, still demonstrates the massing, style and design selected by the early county commissioners.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2003

Erected 2003 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13189.)
Location. 29° 18.693′ N, 100° 25.033′ W. Marker is in Brackettville, Texas, in Kinney County. Marker is at the intersection of South Ann Street (Farm to Market Road 674) and James Street, on the left when traveling north on South Ann Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brackettville TX 78832, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Clark, CSA (a few steps from this marker); Las Moras Masonic Lodge Building (a few steps from this marker); Kinney County Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Partrick Building (about 400 feet away, measured
Kinney County Courthouse, front elevation facing James Street image. Click for full size.
By William F Haenn, June 10, 2012
3. Kinney County Courthouse, front elevation facing James Street
in a direct line); Catholic Church (about 700 feet away); Filippone Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Montalvo House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Military Roads in Texas (approx. ľ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Brackettville.
Regarding Kinney County Courthouse. Exactly 31 years after the acceptance of the 1879 courthouse the Commissionerís Court met on March 8th, 1910 for the purpose of considering the construction of a new courthouse. The next day the Commissioners ordered an election to allow the citizens of the county to vote on the proposal. The special election was held on June 6th 1910 and needless to say the people voted in favor of building a new courthouse.

Design No.52 was adopted and the architectural firm of L.L. Thurmon & Co. of Dallas, Texas was authorized to make drawings, details and specifications for the new courthouse. Thurmonís other county courthouses include Jeff Davis (1911), Mason (1909-1910), Floyd (1911), and Franklin (1912). Kinney County courthouse shares elements with these other courthouses, particularly the domed cupola housing the 1910 Seth Thomas clock. With this courthouse however,
Kinney County Courthouse under construction image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Kinney County Judge Tim Ward, circa 1910
4. Kinney County Courthouse under construction
Thurmon branched into a different style and plan altogether. Rather than the Classical Revival, he employed Beaux Arts Classicism, using classical elements in non-traditional ways. The octagonal bays flanking the main entranced are a deviation of the Beaux Arts style, making this courthouseís style uniquely its own.

On July 7th, 1910 the bid of the Falls City Construction Company was accepted for the construction cost of $44,500. As the courthouse neared completion, the Commissionerís Court, on February 13th, 1911, accepted a bid of $1,950 for interior furniture from the Art Metal Construction Co. The original benches from that purchase are still in use. The courthouse passed its acceptance inspection by the Commissioners on Tuesday, March 22nd, 1911. The note for the construction of the courthouse was paid in full 14 years later, on January 11th, 1925.

The courthouse can also lay claim to playing a significant role in the development of many of the communityís religious and civic organizations. Brackettvilleís United Methodist Church was formed in the district courtroom on September 12th, 1916, as was the First Baptist Church in 1921, and the Church of Christ in 1941. The Catholic congregation also held services in the district courtroom in 1933. Over time the district courtroom was also the meeting place of the Brackettville American Legion Post, the Brackettville
Kinney County Courthouse nearing completion. image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Kinney County Historical Commission, March 1911
5. Kinney County Courthouse nearing completion.
Lions Club, and the Kinney County 4-H Club.

The Kinney County Courthouse has been, and always shall be a symbol of community strength and pride.
Categories. Notable Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William F Haenn of Fort Clark (Brackettville), Texas. This page has been viewed 399 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William F Haenn of Fort Clark (Brackettville), Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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