The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 426
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
from which they are taken. It must be remembered that there are
scarcely a half dozen counties in the State having good jails and court
houses, and the excuse for this is constantly given that the counties
are too weak in population and wealth.
In spite of his objections, Governor Davis approved the bill
on May 9g, 1873, but events proved his point to be well taken."6
Organization of the new county proceeded under the direc-
tion of several commissioners named in the legislative act: J. B.
McCown, James B. Stephenson, William Maxwell, O. E. Taylor,
W. J. Rainwater, and J. C. Greer. They fixed the boundaries of
five justice precincts. Governor Davis ordered the first election
for county officials to be held on August 16, 1873. This resulted
in the creation of a county court, sworn in on August 30, 1873,
composed of J. H. Adams, Henry Stafford, Thomas S. Pinckney,
J. U. Bishop, and Dennis Starkes, the justices of precincts one to
At the end of September, 1873, the county court designated a
hotel, the Texas House, as the courthouse. In November, land
was purchased for one thousand dollars for a permanent court-
house and jail. The first board of school directors and a board of
medical examiners were also appointed in the early sessions of
With Hempstead finally the county seat of the new county, a
traveling man gave this description of it:
Hempstead ... contains a population of over one thousand, to
which accessions are being slowly made. It boasts six church edifices,
to which one for the Baptist denomination is to be added. Its social,
56Journal of the Thirteenth Texas Legislature (Austin, 1873), 16, 172, 191, 218,
360, 405, 420, 600-602, 684, 816-817, 894-895, 1094, 1098. The writer owes this infor-
mation to an abstract of the Journal furnished by the Texas State Archives to the
Honorable John C. Winfree, County Judge, Waller County, Texas.
57Information obtained from the Honorable John C. Winfree, County Judge,
Waller County, Texas. Acts of the 13th Legislature, Chapter XXXVIII, An Act
Creating Waller County, and Chapter LXVIII, providing for the election of August,
1873, are referred to in Judge Winfree's manuscript, but no other bibliographical
data are furnished.
The school directors named on September 29, 1873 were: P. S. Clark, Reubin
Morris, E. McPhearson, Fulton Groce, and Robert Weston, precincts one to five,
The medical examiners: Doctors A. A. Allen, R. C. Watson, J. L. Cunningham,
W. W. Urban, and D. L. Darden.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/530/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.