Description: Photograph of W. C. Stephenson. In 1908 W.C. (Bill) Stephenson settled in Beeville, and moved his family here from Buffalo, New York. In 1912 Stephenson and fellow architect, F.W. Heldenfels designed the present courthouse. Stephenson also sculpted Lady Justice, who stands atop the clock dome of the courthouse. Unlike most representations of Justice, this lady reigns from her top-of-the-dome perch, not with a blindfold, but with her eyes open. Stevenson called his Lady Justice an “enlightened justice” a representation of what Justice should be. He thought the lady should have both eyes open to see who might be trying the tip the scales of justice one way or other. She has the mandate of the law (“scroll of records”) hanging on a staff in her left hand and the torch of knowledge in her right. She is made of zinc and covered with a coating that resembles copper. Since Stephenson gave permission to make copies of his work, there may be other “Stephenson Justices” scattered throughout the country. In 1925, Mr. Albert Praeger made plans to turn the second story of the Praeger hardware store into apartments; they would be the first downtown apartments in Beeville. W.C. Stephenson was the architect for the apartments and several Beeville homes.
Item Type: Photograph