Details for Wharton County Courthouse

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507014041


Marker Number 14041
Atlas Number 5507014041
Marker Title Wharton County Courthouse
Index Entry Wharton County Courthouse
Address 100 E Milam St
City Wharton
County Wharton
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 781648
UTM Northing 3245652
Subject Codes French Second Empire (architectural style); Italianate; courthouses
Marker Year 2007
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark Yes
Marker Location 100 E. Milam St.
Private Property No
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text The Texas legislature created Wharton County in 1846, incorporating part of Stephen F. Austin's original land grant from Mexico. The William Kincheloe family donated land on the east bank of the Colorado River for a courthouse square, and the home of first county treasurer Daniel Kincheloe served as a temporary courthouse. A framed building (1848) and two-story brick building (1852) served as courthouses on Monterey Square until the county considered a new edifice in the 1880s. Judge W.J. Croom favored a new building, while A.H. "Shanghai" Pierce and G.C. Duncan led several landowners in signing a petition and filing injunctions to stop the county from proceeding. In 1888, the commissioners court ordered plans from Houston architect Eugene T. Heiner for a courthouse and jail. Heiner, a founding member of the Texas State Association of Architects in 1886, also designed Judge Croom's home (1895), Wharton Public School (1899), and other public, commercial and residential buildings in Texas. Litigation delayed construction on the courthouse until November 1888. Completed in August 1889, it featured Second Empire and Italianate styling, including a mansard roof decorated with pediments, truncated roofs, limestone detailing, arched windows, corner quoins, and a tall central clock tower. The salmon-colored brick came from Colorado River clay deposits. Major alterations by architects J.W. Dahnert (1935) and Wyatt C. Hedrick (1949) resulted in new wings and entries, removal of features, and stucco exterior finish in the Moderne style. The altered structure served the county until the 21st century, when a unique and far-reaching preservation effort resulted in its full restoration. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2007

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