THE CrTY OF HOUSTON, TEXAs 53
Fannin street corner. They answered very well for
the court needs of that day, but the city and county
soon outgrew them and it became necessary to provide
better and more commodious quarters. The
city having constructed the old market house and
provided quite a commodious city lock-up or calaboose,
the county solved the jail problem by making
a contract with the city whereby the county was allowed
to make use of the city prison as a county jail.
The old log courthouse was still used, however, until
1850, when it was torn down and the first brick
courthouse was erected. The building was placed
almost in the center of the block, but a little to the
Congress side. It was a two-story brick building,
cost $15,000, and was regarded as the finest building
in the country by the early Houstonians.
Owing to poor material, faulty construction or
some other cause, this first courthouse did not stand
long. Its walls cracked so badly and it showed such
evidence of decay that nine years after its erection
it was condemned and torn down to make way for
a second brick building.
The second brick courthouse was erected in 1859.
This was a much larger and more expensive building
than its predecessor. It was placed on the north
side of the square, fronting Congress avenue. It
was really a three-story building for it had a large
basement, which was used for offices by some of the
county official The other county officials were
located on the seond floor, while the third floor was
used entirely for court purposes, there being two
Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed March 2, 2015.