Austin County Courthouse

Austin County Courthouse

1st Courthouse

Building Completion Date: 1848
County Seat: Bellville
Present Status: Gone
General Contractor: Benjamin L. Cheek
Building Materials/Description: One story, wood frame, built on a lot that was 31 1/2 feet wide by 60 feet deep (Lot 4, Block F), accepted August 26, 1848, first meeting September 21, 1848, county records had previously been stored in San Felipe.

2nd Courthouse

Building Completion Date: 1850
County Seat: Bellville
Present Status: Gone
General Contractor: Sam Shelburne
Building Materials/Description: One story, wood frame, central courtroom with two offices on each side and shed roofed porch. Salamander Fire Proof safe purchase for this building authorized May 17, 1854. November 19, 1855 it was authorized that the building be sold (to be moved) at auction.

3rd Courthouse

Building Completion Date: 1855
County Seat: Bellville
Present Status: Gone demolished 1887. Some iron portions reportedly salvaged and reused on other buildings.
General Contractor: Philip M. Cuny
Building Materials/Description: Built to plans and specifications “on file” with county as of May 17, 1854, $14,790, to be built to the rear and to the west of 1850 courthouse but December 27, 1854 decided to move existing courthouse to one side to make room for new the one, two story, brick, courtroom and jury on second to be reached via a pair of exterior stairs and county offices on the first floor, “12 columns outside of and in connection with the building”, foundation to be “18inches beneath the surface of the earth and 3 feet wide and to be laid upon good post oak lumber 6 inches in thickness”, completed Novenber 20, 1855, 1875 description mentions “an iron portico from which the oyez of time were sounded” on the east side, $2950 addition made and $560 Mosler safe installed in 1877, $150 iron veranda added 1880, architect Eugene Heiner of Houston recorded as observing that the building was “liable to fall at almost any moment” on September 3, 1884

4th Courthouse

Building Completion Date: 1887
County Seat: Bellville
Present Status: Gone. Burned 1960
Architect: Eugene Thomas Heiner
Architectural: Style Second Empire
General Contractor: Henry Kane (Gonzales, Texas)
Building Materials/Description: Cost to build: $37,500. Accepted March 25, 1887, three story, crossing hallway plan, w/ long axis along east-west corridor, courtroom stretched all the way across the second floor running north and south, clock tower, clock purchased by subscription in 1886.

5th Courthouse

Building Completion Date: 1960
County Seat: Bellville
Present Status: Existing. Active.
Architect: Wyatt C. Hedrick
Architectural Style: Moderne
Building Materials/Description: Concrete. Cost to build: $511,000