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Center in Shelby County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

John Joseph Emmett Gibson

(November 4, 1849 - September 14, 1831)

 
 
John Joseph Emmett Gibson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 25, 2014
1. John Joseph Emmett Gibson Marker
Inscription. John Joseph Emmett (J.J.E.) Gibson was born in Dublin, Ireland. Because of an illness, he was left behind with an aunt when his family immigrated to the United States about 1851. Gibson reportedly studied architecture in Dublin, and finally joined his family in St. Louis when he was about sixteen. There he likely learned the brickmaking trade from his father and brothers. Eventually drawn to New Orleans and then to Texas, Gibson married Elizabeth Twomey in Panola County in 1875. They settled in Center in Shelby County, where he opened a brick factory and worked as an architect and master mason.

The Shelby County Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1882. Two years later, J.J.E. Gibson's bid of $26,725 was accepted for design and construction of a new courthouse and jail. He chose a style and decorative elements that allowed him to demonstrate his skill as a brickmaker and mason. Construction proceeded well until winter, when Gibson requested a suspension in the work schedule during cold weather. Against Gibson's advice, the county commissioners court required that he continue pouring masonry, and during a blue norther the extremely cold conditions caused an entire wall to crack. When the court refused to approve funds for repairs, Gibson spent $2700 of his own money to rebuild the wall. He petitioned the county commissioners
John Joseph Emmett Gibson Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 25, 2014
2. John Joseph Emmett Gibson Marker (tall view)
court for reimbursement for many years, and although he had support from local citizens, he was never repaid.

The Shelby County Commissioners Court formally accepted the new courthouse, "the Irish castle on the square," on February 12, 1886. Upon his death in September 1931, Gibson was buried 11 miles north of Center in the city cemetery in Tenaha, Texas.
 
Erected 1999 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12191.)
 
Location. 31° 47.713′ N, 94° 10.897′ W. Marker is in Center, Texas, in Shelby County. Marker is on Nacogdoches Street south of Shelbyville Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located on the west side of the Shelby County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 124 Austin Street, Center TX 75935, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Shelby County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Shelby County (within shouting distance of this marker); C.S.A. Texas Muster (within shouting distance of this marker); Poultry Pioneers Plaza (approx. one mile away); Martin McCoy Middleton
Marker detail: (<i>memorial detail at bottom</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 25, 2014
3. Marker detail: (memorial detail at bottom)
(approx. one mile away); Malcolm S. Weaver (approx. one mile away); Martin Weaver (approx. one mile away); John O. Moosberg (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Center.
 
Regarding John Joseph Emmett Gibson. Shelby County Courthouse (1885) is on National Register of Historic Places
 
Also see . . .
1. Shelby County History.
A new courthouse, modeled on an Irish castle, was designed by the architect John Joseph Emmett Gibson, an Irish immigrant. It was completed in 1885 and was recognized in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. (Submitted on December 4, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Historic Shelby County Jail.
The Historic Shelby County Jail was designed and buit in 1884 by Irish born architect John Joseph Emmett Gibson. It was one of the first of two brick buildings built in Center, possibly even in Shelby County. It is the epitome of an 1880′s small-town Texas county jail. It compliments the Historic Shelby County Courthouse, also design and built by J.J.E. Gibson. It is now the home of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. (Submitted on December 4, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
John Joseph Emmett Gibson Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 25, 2014
4. John Joseph Emmett Gibson Marker (wide view)
 

3. Historical Sites in Center, Texas.
With stately towers, a cupola, and hidden stairwells, it is an architectural masterpiece. It also has the distinction of being one of the only Texas courthouses modeled after an Irish castle. J.J.E. Gibson, an Irish architect, not only designed the new brick courthouse, but also made the bricks when the commissioners' court awarded him the contract in 1883. (Submitted on December 4, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Shelby County Courthouse (1885) - built by John Joseph Emmett Gibson image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 25, 2014
5. Shelby County Courthouse (1885) - built by John Joseph Emmett Gibson
Shelby County Jail (1884) - also built by John Joseph Emmett Gibson image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 25, 2014
6. Shelby County Jail (1884) - also built by John Joseph Emmett Gibson
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 4, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 4, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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