Hill County Courthouse
The Hill County courthouse in Hillsboro, Texas, sits in the middle of town in its own block surrounded by other buildings in the "courthouse square." The 1890 elaborate Second Empire style courthouse was designed by architect, Wesley Clark Dodson. It is built of limestone and contains a metal clock tower.
The courthouse was pretty much destroyed by fire in 1993. Residents and local businesses wanted to save the courthouse from the wrecking ball. A rebuilding-restoration project began and it would involve then Governor George W. Bush. The governor got the State of Texas behind the project by signing the Texas Historical Commission's legislation establishing the Texas Historical Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP).
The Hill County courthouse was rebuilt and restored in 1999. It became the first of 70 completely restored courthouses in the State of Texas since 1999. These courthouses are state and national treasures in which the local citizens take immense pride. The program is funded by the Texas legislature every other year.
In 2011, I began a project of photographing all the county courthouses of Texas. That's 254. It took four years and approximately 42,000 miles. The photographs of the exterior and interior of all the courthouses were given to the Texas Historical Commission so that they would have photographic record of all the courthouses.
I remember this courthouse like it was yesterday. As I would photographing the interior, I was approached by a gentleman who asked me what I was doing. I introduced myself and he said that he was the local district judge, would I like a personal tour of the courthouse. An hour later and after a cup of coffee with him we parted ways. During my courthouse project I met many people in and around courthouses. They all take pride in their own little piece of Texas.
20130930HillCountyCourthouseRAW7517hillsborotexashill county courthousetexas historic courthouse preservation programthccpState of Texasgeorge w. bushtexas historical commissionSecond Empirewesley clark dodson