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

Courts Under the Oaks

 
 
Courts Under the Oaks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, November 20, 2021
1. Courts Under the Oaks Marker
Inscription.  Henderson County was established in 1846, the year after Texas was annexed by the United States. In 1850, after previous reductions in the county's original size, the present boundaries were set by the Texas Legislature. The restructuring resulted in the need for a new county seat, and the Legislature appointed a commissioners court to select possible sites and to conduct an election that would determine the permanent seat of government. The voters chose the property of Matthew Cartwright, a prominent East Texas landowner, for the townsite of Athens. In Samuel Huffer's survey for the new county seat, this site was set aside as the public square.

Before a courthouse was constructed here, early county and district court sessions were conducted on the Square under a large shady oak tree. The first district court term, held in October 1850, was presided over by Judge Oran M. Roberts, later a Texas Supreme Court Justice and governor of the state. Cases he heard included charges of murder, larceny, gambling, defaulting jurors and assault and battery.

Begun before the development of Athens, the Courts Under the Oaks reflected the
Courts Under the Oaks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, November 20, 2021
2. Courts Under the Oaks Marker
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democratic goals and ideals of the pioneer settlers of Henderson County.
 
Erected 1982 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 10350.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Law Enforcement. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1850.
 
Location. 32° 12.303′ N, 95° 51.267′ W. Marker is in Athens, Texas, in Henderson County. Marker is on East Tyler Street (State Highway 31), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 East Tyler Street, Athens TX 75751, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Henderson County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Faulk-Gauntt Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jess Sweeten (about 600 feet away); 1925 Henderson County Jail (about 700 feet away); The Athens Review (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dulcinea Ann Holland Thompson Avriett (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sid Williams Richardson (approx. 0.4 miles away); Joseph Thomas La Rue (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 25, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 25, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas.

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Dec. 7, 2021