Description: In 1885, Palestine, like most of the country, was in the midst of a depression, complicated by a series of railroad strikes, so there was little new construction. However, Anderson County had to have a new courthouse because the old one was literally falling down. And they were determined to have the finest and most up-to-date building that could be constructed. The Architect that was hired was William C. Dodson of Waco and building commenced in June of 1885 after demolition was completed on the old building. It was completed in May 1886 at a cost of $40,000 and was indeed impressive looking with it's tall three story dome and clocktower. The life of the building was cut short when a couple of incendiaries set fire to it on the night of January 6, 1913, in order to destroy evidence against one of them. The plan failed because the actual court records were housed in fireproof rooms, which were not damaged.
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