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

Willacy County Courthouse

 
 
Willacy County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 17, 2018
1. Willacy County Courthouse Marker
Inscription.  

Several years after Willacy County formed in 1911, a courthouse was built by San Antonio Architect Henry T. Phelps in Sarita. Despite the elegant new courthouse, Sarita remained a remote, inaccessible location to many Willacy County residents.

In 1921, the 37th Legislature created the present-day Willacy County with Raymondville designated as the county seat. Early county meetings were held in the Raymondville State Bank Building, arranging for the use of a jail cage borrowed from the King Ranch. That year, the commissioners entered into an agreement with Henry T. Phelps, designer of the first Willacy County Courthouse in Sarita, for the design of the new courthouse and jail.

Phelps’ design for the new courthouse had a traditional, cross-axial plan with three floors and a basement. Entrances were provided on the four sides of the building at the ends of the crossed corridors. The first floor, accessed by monumental exterior stairs, contained the county courtroom and offices of the county judge and other officials. The second floor housed the district courtroom, jury, grand jury, consultation and witness rooms,
Willacy County Courthouse Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 17, 2018
2. Willacy County Courthouse Marker (tall view)
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as well as other offices. The jail was on the third floor and contained a cell room and sleeping quarters for the juries.

The historic courthouse exterior is understated with brick trimmed with cast stone ornament. Completed in 1923 by the Walker Construction Company, the courthouse became the focus of civic activities and pride among residents, hosting festivals, meetings, and community events in addition to county business and numerous high-profile cases. The courthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 2016
 
Erected 2017 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18553.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Architecture. A significant historical year for this entry is 1911.
 
Location. 26° 28.92′ N, 97° 47.227′ W. Marker is in Raymondville, Texas, in Willacy County. Marker is on West Hidalgo Avenue (State Highway 186) west of North 4th Street, on the right when traveling west. The marker is located beside the diagonal sidewalk, near the southeast corner of the Willacy County Courthouse grounds. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 523 W Hidalgo Ave, Raymondville TX 78580, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Willacy County (a few steps from this marker); Alejandro G. Trevino
Willacy County Courthouse Marker (<i>wide view; Willacy County Courthouse in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 17, 2018
3. Willacy County Courthouse Marker (wide view; Willacy County Courthouse in background)
(a few steps from this marker); Willacy County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Raymondville State Bank (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Santa Maria de Yciar, San Esteban, Espiritu Santu (about 700 feet away).
 
Regarding Willacy County Courthouse. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (2016), National Register of Historic Places (2017)
 
Also see . . .
1. Courthouse to receive marker. (from Raymondville Chronicle, September 6, 2017) A project to restore the long-closed Willacy County courthouse is moving forward, but stopping the growth of mold must come first. County Judge Aurelio “Keter” Guerra said. When the historic courthouse is eventually renovated, the offices and courtrooms in the former jail building will still be used by county departments. A historic marker must be attached to the old courthouse and a ceremony to designate it as a historic building must take place before work under the grant can begin, Guerra said. That will take place in a few weeks, he said. Once it is designated a historic building, all work done to the building must be done to the standards of the Texas Historical Commission. (Submitted on May 18, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Willacy County Courthouses. The current Willacy County Courthouse was built in 1922 after Raymondville
Willacy County Courthouse 1922 Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, May 8, 2020
4. Willacy County Courthouse 1922 Cornerstone
became the county seat in 1921. The Classic Revival style building is a grand three-story brick structure with limestone details, a heavy limestone cornice and paired monumental Ionic columns flank the main entries. The building is a Historic Texas Courthouse. Willacy County's first courthouse was built in 1917 in Sarita. When Kenedy County was organized in 1921, Sarita and the courthouse became part of Kenedy county. (Submitted on May 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Willacy County Courthouse (<i>front view - from West Hildago Avenue</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 17, 2018
5. Willacy County Courthouse (front view - from West Hildago Avenue)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 18, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 18, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   4. submitted on January 1, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio.   5. submitted on May 18, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 18, 2021