Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 204 of 1,110
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HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY.
tectural work, can only give an incomplete
description of this magnificent building, but
suffice it to say that it is the finest courthouse
in the South, and one of the finest in the
Union, and not only reflects credit on Dallas
county and her citizens, but also on the entire
State, and is a monument to the industry
and enterprise of her people.
THE PRESENT COURTHOUSE, ERECTED 1891-'92.
THE FIRST JAIL.
In the early settlement of the county, there
being but few people here, crime was almost
unknown among the pioneers; but there is
no country in which it is altogether wanting,
and the necessity for a place for the safe
keeping of those who were charged with
offenses against the laws of the State soon
became apparent. To that end, on the 9th
day of December, 1850, the county court let
the contract for the building of a jail to one
James Chapman. The following is a full
description of it as taken from the minutes
of the court:
"Tile foundation to be of cedar posts three
feet long, set on end and buried even with
the surface of the earth and placed against
each other so as to form a wall; the outside
wall to be hewn to the thickness of eight
inches and edged down to a joint sixteen feet
square and nine feet high between the floors;
a sill to rest on said posts (inside of the outside
wall), for the floor to rest on; the floor
to be of oak timber ten inches thick and
fitted to a joint; the inside wall to rest on
the floor and to be made of the sale material,
and in like manner as the outside wall,
and placed eight inches from the outside wall,
and the space between to be filled with liewn
timber eight inches thick, set upon end; the
upper floor to be made of oak timber ten
inches square and closely fitted together; the
roof to be of good shingles well nailed on,
and the gable ends weather-boarded up with
well.shaved boards or plank; with one door
to be cut out three and one-half feet wide
and five feet high, cased up with oak casing
six inches thick and two feet wide, and put
on with large iron spikes; with two shutters,
one to open inside and the other outside,
both to be made of oak plank two inches
thick, and two thicknesses of said plank, one
across the other, fastened together with
wrought rivets, and a ten-penny nail driven
in every inch square on each side of each
shutter, to be hung on such hinges and
secured by such locks as will be approved by
said commissioners; to have one window ten
by sixteen inches cased up with slab iron
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/204/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.