Historic Shelby County Courthouse named one of state's "Most Stunning"

Sept. edition of Texas Highways features 10 Texas county courthouses

These 10 County Courthouses Show off the Beauty and History of Small-Town TexasExplore some of Texas’ most stunning county courthouses, from north to south and east to west

From the September 2018 edition of Texas Highways

Story by Matt Joyce // Photography by Jeff Wilson

Texas' Historic County Courthouses

shine with grandiosity and ambition. Often politically controversial because of their expense, courthouse projects in the 19th and early 20th centuries lasted years as counties selected architects and builders, quarried and imported materials, then painstakingly assembled the larger-than-life landmarks in the middle of town. It’s not hard to imagine a farmer stopping by a courthouse construction site to take in the scene, scratching his head at the columns, parapets, and towers rising from the prairie.

Shelby County Courthouse

Center, 1885

The petite Shelby County Courthouse resembles something from an Old World fairy tale, a look attributed to Irish builder John Joseph Emmett Gibson, who was inspired by the castles of his homeland. Local history holds that in 1866, boosters of Center held an unpublicized election to move the county seat to their town from nearby Shelbyville, then absconded with the county records under cover of darkness.

For a link to the magazine story, click here:


For a photo gallery of the 1885 courthouse, please click below:


The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935