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Culberson County Courthouse

Culberson County Courthouse

Before Culberson County Court House was built, the Cox building (now belonging to the Clark family) was a temporary place for the County Officers. They each had a little nook in the building for their offices, except the law offices were upstairs. At that time the building faced the railroad tracks and the stairways were on the outside. The Court House was built in 1912. E.R. Churchill was the Architect and W.T. Malone the Superintendent and C.F. Toolen was the stone mason. This building was constructed of native red stone, cut out of a hill in a quarry about five miles northwest of Van Horn. These rocks were hauled to Van Horn in wagons. The cost of the Court House was $75,000. On March, 11, 1912 Mr. Churchill submitted floor plans for the building, which took two years of construction time. The first floor housed the various offices and the second floor the courtroom, judges chambers, jury rooms and law offices. The balcony served as a place to call the court to order, as well as a spot for relaxation during a social event, and to watch for the chief interest in town—the afternoon passenger train. The building had the appearance, because of the material and outside decoration, as having come from Italy, England or Spain, showing elements of Renaissance origin. The columns of the portico were hand-carved from sandstone, as well as the other decorations. A historial marker was placed on the building in 1962. On July 31, 1964 a monument in memory of Col. David B. Culberson was unveiled. Dr. Rex Strickland of El Paso, Texas was the speaker for this occasion.

In July of 1965 the Commissioners Court received a bid from B.J. Elliott of Kermit, Texas to raze, dismantle to the ground, and clear the lot within 12 months for a fee of $1,000 plus the salvage material of the Court House. He was to reserve the Corner Stone, Historical Medallion, Historical Monument and the old jail building, which is used for storage. This building is to go to the Historical society, which hopes in time to make it a museum and also a park on the land where the Court House stood. The Historical Society pleaded for the Court House to stand, and be used for a museum and other community purposes, but the Commissioners Court saw fit to tear it down and build a new building. In November of 1964 the new Court House had open house. It is just a short distance north of the site of the old Court House.


31° 2' 23.496" N, 104° 49' 50.772" W