Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cooke CountyPop and I went to the rededication ceremony for our Cooke County courthouse in Gainesville yesterday. The building was built just about 100 years ago, and it just went through a total restoration over the past couple years. I care because I spend quite a bit of time there doing research. I wouldn't have to spend as much time there if they were up to date and had everything on computers, but maybe now they can start getting to that point. I also care because I have gotten to know many of the folks who work in the courthouse - judges, attorneys, clerks, commissioners, etc. Plus I just can't resist the history. I like this one:
Cooke County's first County Judge in 1849, Robert Wheelock, jug of whiskey in hand, mounted his horse and shouted, "All who want the courthouse over here, follow me and have a drink!" Evidently at least two of his Commissioners must have followed him because a decision was made on a site for the County's first courthouse. Amid rumors that this was possibly an illegal meeting as it may not have been posted properly, a walking quorum had established the site of the original and succeeding courthouses.
The story goes that the first courthouse was really just a small shed, and someone's bull broke into it and destroyed it. There was a 2nd courthouse which burned down, taking with it the records of my great-great grandparents. The third courthouse also burned down in 1909, so the one we're using now is the 4th courthouse. May it stand for another 100 years.

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