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Karnes City in Karnes County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Karnes County Courthouse

 
 
Karnes County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, August 11, 2018
1. Karnes County Courthouse Marker
Inscription.  In 1854 Karnes County erected its first courthouse in the county seat of Helena, an important stage stop between San Antonio and Goliad. The original courthouse was destroyed in a storm about 1865 and a new stone courthouse was built in Helena in 1873.

In the 1880s the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad was planning a route from San Antonio to the coast. The citizens of Helena did not donate land or raise enough cash for the railroad. At this time, W.G. Butler donated land west of Helena through what is now Karnes City. As a result, the railroad bypassed Helena as it built a line through Karnes County in 1886-87. By 1893 the railroad town of Karnes City, established here in 1891, had surpassed Helena in population and political clout. Karnes City was chosen as the new county seat on December 21, 1893.

Karnes County officials let bids for a new courthouse and jail on January 4, 1894. They received bids from prominent Texas courthouse designers, Alfred Giles and J. Riely Gordon, but awarded the courthouse contract to John Cormack, who also built courthouses in Concho, Somervell and Uvalde counties. Cormack died before finishing
Karnes County Courthouse and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, August 11, 2018
2. Karnes County Courthouse and Marker
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the structure and his business associate J.A. Austin completed the job. The courthouse was dedicated on October 25, 1894, and completed on May 29,1895. The three-story brick courthouse with rusticated stone trim featured Second Empire and Richardsonian Romanesque elements with projected mansard towers, cylindrical corner towers and a central clock tower. Alterations beginning in the 1920s resulted in two additions on the west side, removal of the original clock tower and the conical roofs of the corner turrets, stucco applied over the brick and blocking off the south entrance. Construction beginning in 2011 and completed in 2018 restored the courthouse to its original (1894) appearance.
 
Erected 2010 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 2902.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical date for this entry is January 4, 1894.
 
Location. 28° 53.118′ N, 97° 54.081′ W. Marker is in Karnes City, Texas, in Karnes County. Marker is at the intersection of North Panna Maria Avenue (Business State Highway 123) and West Calvert Avenue (Business U.S. 181), on the right when traveling south on North Panna Maria Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 N Panna Maria Ave, Karnes City TX 78118, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Karnes County (a few steps from this marker);
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Karnes City (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Joseph's School (approx. 5 miles away); Immaculate Conception Church (approx. 5 miles away); Town of Panna Maria (approx. 5 miles away); First Store in Panna Maria (approx. 5 miles away); Panna Maria, Texas (approx. 5 miles away); Pilarczyk Store (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Karnes City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 13, 2018, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 13, 2018, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Aug. 2, 2021