Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hillsboro in Hill County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Courthouse History

(Hill County, Texas)

 
 
Courthouse History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
1. Courthouse History Marker
Inscription. (East Face)
Hill County was organized on May 14, 1853. The courthouse square is near the geographic center of the county and has been the site for five courthouse buildings. The present building was completed in 1890. McShane Bell Factory of Baltimore, MD was commissioned to cast the bell, which weighed 1,525 pounds. The clock was constructed by E. Howard Watch and Clock Company of Boston, MA. Both were added to the tower in 1891. This bell marked the hours for 102 years until its supports were consumed by fire on January 1, 1993.

(North Face)
The Fire

On January 1, 1993 at 6: 35 p.m. the first alarm was sounded that there was a fire at the Hill County Courthouse. Hillsboro firefighters quickly responded to find a third floor office engulfed in flames. Within minutes flames spread to the bell tower. County citizens gathered around the square while others watched on television, as the 70- foot tower collapsed in flames. The next morning the rim of the bell was visible through the ceiling of the first floor hallway. Fifteen Hill County fire departments along with firefighters from other counties, battled the flames throughout the night. The official cause of the fire was electrical.

(West Face)
The Restoration

   Talk of restoring
The Fire image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
2. The Fire
the 1890 structure started before the final hot spots were extinguished. Architects with the Texas Historical Commission ruled the building was restorable and on January 11, 1993 the Hill County Historical Commission called a county-wide meeting to organize the restoration effort. Local fund raising projects, including two concerts on the square by Hill County native Willie Nelson and grants contributed to the restoration. The project was also aided by insurance proceeds, Texas Department of Transportation ISTEA funds and Certificates of Obligation issued by the county. Architexas of Dallas was engaged to oversee the restoration with Bryan Construction Company and R.J. King Construction as contractors. The restored building was dedicated April 24, 1999 with Texas Governor George W. Bush as keynote speaker.

(South Face)
Elected Officials At The Time Of The Fire / Restoration
County Judges
Tommy Walker   Andrea Holt   Kenneth Davis
Precinct Commissioners
M.L. (Bud) Raulston #1   J.K. Lane #3         Kenneth Reid #2
Bobbie Brustrom #3   Mildred Brustrom #3   John Erwin #4
Hill County Historical Commission
Architects
Architexas of Dallas - Craig Melde - Larry Irsik - Gary Skotnicki
Contractors
Bryan Construction Company    R.J. King Construction
Donor
George G. and Alva Hudson Smith
The Restoration image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
3. The Restoration
Foundation Board of Directors
Betty R. Dohoney   D'ette F. Cowan   Bob R. Moon
Andrein L. Smith    John B. Tuggle

 
Location. 32° 0.662′ N, 97° 7.85′ W. Marker is in Hillsboro, Texas, in Hill County. Marker is on West Elm Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located between North Waco Street and North Covington Street,Courthouse South lawn. Marker is in this post office area: Hillsboro TX 76645, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Old Lexington Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Hill County Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Hill County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Bond's Alley (within shouting distance of this marker); Hill County (within shouting distance of this marker); Pioneer Bank Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Hillsboro Post Office Building (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); City of Hillsboro (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hillsboro.
 
Regarding Courthouse History.
(ISTEA)-Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act

Architexas - Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation, Inc.
 
Also see . . .
Elected Officials At The Time Of The Fire / Restoration image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
4. Elected Officials At The Time Of The Fire / Restoration
 Hill County Courthouse;Texas Escapes Online Magazine. Famed architect W. C. Dodson designed this edifice, which was a conglomerate of Second Empire, Classical Revival, and Italianate features. Kind of a Texas hodge-podge. (Submitted on January 11, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Courthouse History Marker, East and North faces image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
5. Courthouse History Marker, East and North faces
Courthouse History Marker West and South faces image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
6. Courthouse History Marker West and South faces
Courthouse History Bell, as mentioned image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
7. Courthouse History Bell, as mentioned
McShane Bell Foundry of Baltimore, MD 1891
This bell marked the hours for 102 years until its supports were consumed by fire on January 1, 1993
Courthouse History Marker (L) and Bell Tower, as mentioned image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
8. Courthouse History Marker (L) and Bell Tower, as mentioned
Courthouse Bell Tower and Confederate Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 14, 2012
9. Courthouse Bell Tower and Confederate Memorial
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 280 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 29, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 30, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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