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Leon County Courthouse

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1886, William Johnson; 2007 rehabilitated, Sinclair and Wright Architects. 130 St. Mary’s St.

Centerville was established as the county seat in 1850, but its fate was sealed as a small town after the railroad bypassed it in 1872. The courthouse was built on the foundations of the previous building that burned in 1885. Although stylistically up-to-date with Italianate features, the small, two-story, center-hall structure recalls pre–Civil War courthouse types, with first-floor offices along the hallway and the courtroom occupying most of the second floor. The simple rectangular plan with a hipped roof is five bays wide and four bays deep; each bay is articulated by a shallow brick pilaster that rises to the corbeled brick cornice. Two stuccoed pinnacle-like features on each side of the roof are chimneys. The courthouse was rehabilitated in 2007 with funding from the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.

Leon County Jail (1918), now the Leon County Heritage Society Museum, stands on the same block just east of the courthouse. It replaced an 1894 building still standing behind it. The newer jail is a square, red brick structure with two crenellated, corner towers. The Southern Structural Steel Company of San Antonio, the principal competitor in the region with the Pauly Jail Building Company, built the jail and provided the interior cells as a turn-key project.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.



Gerald Moorhead et al., "Leon County Courthouse", [Centerville, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 77-77.

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