BRIEF HISTORY OF SHELBY COUNTY COURTHOUSE AND JAIL



June 5, 1882

REWARD FOR THE ARREST OF COURT HOUSE BURNERS:  Ordered that a reward of $1,000 be and is hereby offered by Shelby county for the arrest and conviction of the party or parties who burned the Court House of said County.

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    Whereas the inventories of taxable properties for the year 1881 in precincts 1, 2, 3 and 6 were destroyed by fire on June 1, 1882 it is therefore ordered that J. B. Beck, Assessor, be and he is hereby authorized to employ assistants to re-assess said precincts at a price not exceeding $2.00 per day to each man employed, the accounts for such service to be examined by said Beck and when approved by the Court a draft on the County Treasurer is ordered to be issued for the amount approved in favor of said J. B. Beck.

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Thursday, November 16, 1882

ORDER TO BUILD:  Ordered that a Court House be built of the following dimensions to wit:  50x40 feet, brick, two stories high, to have five rooms below and two above besides the District Court room, to be covered with slate.  One hall 8 feet wide running clear through and one hall 10 feet wide running half way through on the lower floor.  Floor to be of planks, doors and sash and shutters to be of wood, 4 chimneys and 8 fireplaces.

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Monday, August 13, 1883

    Whereas A. W. Brown, Sheriff, Shelby County, has built and prepared for the use of County a Temporary Court House and Sheriff's office now being occupied and has been since the beginning of the last, the March, term of District County.
    It is ordered by the court that the sum of $5.50 per month be and is hereby allowed and Brown to be paid out of the Common? County Fund of Shelby County and the clerk ordered to draw his warrant on County Treasurer for same quarters beginning on January 1, 1883 and first quarter paid to 30th March, 1883.  1st Qu 83 pd. 2nd ??? 8/17/83.  3 pd 11/12/83. 4 - April 29/84.

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Wednesday, November 14, 1883

NEW COURT HOUSE FOR SHELBY COUNTY:
After Mature consideration by the Court it is ordered by the Court that the plan Number 3 as furnished and presented to the Court by Mr. J. J. E. Gibson be and the same is hereby adopted and agreed upon by the Court.  And it is hereby agreed by the Court to proceed to the immediate erection and completion of the same in accordance with said plan and O. R. Hooper is hereby empowered to call upon and contract with J. J. E. Gibson, architect, for plans and specification for same Court House.  And it is further ordered by the Court that the sum of $20,000 of the amounted mentioned in the previous order be the same court house and said County Judge be and is hereby ordered to open Bonds as the building progresses and cash requires.  Said court house to be built on the center of the Public Square in the Town of Center.

JAIL COMMITTEE:
It is ordered by the Court that O. R. Hooper, E. S. Hicks, J. A. Lucky, W. P. Wilson, A. W. Brown and J. J. E. Gibson be and they are hereby appointed as a committee and are requested to proceed at once to submit to the commissioners' Court of Shelby County a plan and location for the erection of a Jail in the Town of Center, Shelby County, Texas.  And to be prepared to make a report on same by the 7th day of December, 1883.  It is desired by the same Court to build a house about the same size of the County Clerk's office, two stories high, of the best improved materials.

BONDS. SCHOOL FUND INVESTMENT BONDS $33,000.00
It is ordered by the Court that County Judge O. R. Hooper be and he is hereby required to invest the sum of Thirty-Three Thousand Dollars of the school fund of Shelby County or so much thereof as may be necessary for the erection of a a court house, Clerk's office and Jail for the use of the County of Shelby in Bonds of Shelby County which said bonds are to bear interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum from date of issuance until paid.  Said Bonds to run for the term of fifteen years unless sooner called in by the County Court.  $3,900.00 of the foregoing amount to be invested to pay expenses on perfecting title and securing the school lands in Hunt County belonging to Shelby County.  And the said Judge is hereby ordered to proceed immediately to issue said Bonds for the purpose aforesaid.

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January 1, 1884
JAIL COMMITTEE vs REPORT:
Now comes O. R. Hooper, R. L. Parker, et al, committee appointed by the Court to draft a plan and select a location for the erection of a Jail in the Town of Center and present their report as to their action.  The report is received after being changed so as to read as follows: To be located on the ground now occupied by the Old Jail or nearly so and to be built of brick.  Two stories high 22 x 30 feet.  First story to be 10 feet high and second same.   The vestibule to front eastward.  Building situated North and South the long way.  Iron cells to be placed in the South and overhead and Sheriff's and Tax Collector's offices in the lower story.  There shall be a cross wall 8 feet from the North and inside with one door in the center of the wall.  In the Northeast corner a cell 8 x 9 feet above and below.  Stairway up to the prison to be in the Northwest corner.  And said committee are discharged with thanks of the Court.

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April 7, 1884
SEALED BIDS
It is ordered by the Court that the following be entered and taken as a supplement to printed specifications heretofore entered to wit:  Sealed bids for the Court House and Jail to be built in the Town of Center, Shelby County, Texas, will no be considered unless accompanied with a forfeit of $500 in case the bidder fail to make such bond as is described below, said bond must be signed by the bidder or bidders and four or more good and sufficient sureties solvent for an amount equal to the bid so made.  Said bond to have attached to it the affidavit of the Tax Collector of the County, District or Parish where said surety resides that the tax lists of said sureties show that they are owners of real estate to an amount equal to amount of said bond over and above their homesteads and a joint affidavit of all sureties taken before same Clerk of a Court of records given under his hand and seal that the list referred to by the Tax Collector is unencumbered by debt for purchase money mortgage debt of due taxes or any other encumbrance of same.  Payments to be made as follows, to wit: 1/7 when the first floor joist are laid.  1/7 when the second floor joists are laid.  1/7 when the roof is on.  1/7 when the house is ready for plastering. and 3/7 when the house is completed.

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 April 8, 1884
COURT HOUSE CONTRACT vs BUILDING CONTRACTOR
Whereas the time having arrived for opening and comparing the bids to erect the Court House and Jail for Shelby County in the Town of Center, Texas in compliance with former advertisement and the County Commissioners Court for Shelby County having convened for that purpose on the 7th day of April, 1884 did proceed to receive bids and after opening and comparing same it appeared that the bid of J. J. E. Gibson (which is $26, 725) was considered the lowest and best bid for the work to be done on said Court House.  It is ordered, adjudged and decreed that the contract to erect said Court House be and is hereby awarded to the said J. J. E. Gibson at and for the sum of $26,725 to be paid by Shelby County and the Court hereby binds Shelby County for and in Consideration of the erection of said building as a foresaid to payments the said contract $26,725 payments to be made as the work progresses as follows: (see above) the balance being 3/7 when the building is completed and delivered to said county for occupancy.  And in consideration of the said amount to be paid  to said Gibson, he is required and agrees to superintend the building of the Jail in Center without other or further charges against Shelby County for his services as such superintendent.   And it is further ordered by the Court and agreed by the said Gibson, contractor as aforesaid, that the sum above mentioned is awarded by the Court and accepted by said Gibson as full pay for all plans and specification for both Jail and Court House furnished by said Gibson.

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August 13, 1885
J. M. Lucky is ordered to sell or make arrangements for removing the old jail and all its debris from the public square.
NEW JAIL completed and turned over to county. $1,622.50 paid to Hull and Barnes for Bonds on jail.


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