Inventory of records of Stephens County housed in the Stephens County Courthouse in Breckenridge, Texas. Begins with an introduction and explanation of the roles of various county government offices. Describes the records of the County Clerk, District Clerk, County Attorney, Justice of the Peace, Tax Assessor-Collector, Sheriff, Treasurer, Auditor, and School Superintendent. Also provides an index.
Photograph of an alley scene in Breckenridge, Texas. There is a green dumpster to the far left of the photograph. Next to it is a white sign with black lettering that says "One Way Do Not Enter." A car drives through the alley. A fire escape can be seen on the third building in the background.
Photograph of a monument to Camp Breckenridge. It says: "Camp Breckenridge C. S. A. Established near this site 1862. Part Confederate Frontier defense line from Red River to Rio Grande occupied by company of Texas frontier regiment. Posts were day's horseback ride apart and area patrolled regularly. Duties included curbing Indian raids, rounding up draft evaders and renegades. Confederates were poorly fed, clothed and lacked horses, ammunition. They shared few of the glories of the war, but at the cost of the lives of not a few of them. These men gave a measure of protection to a vast frontier area. A memorium to the Texans who served the confederacy. Erected by the State of Texas 1963." There is a small rendering of a Confederate flag at the bottom of the monument.
Photograph of a historic plaque in Breckenridge, Texas. It reads: "Stephens County Courthouse. This ornate doorway was main entrance of the three-story red sandstone courthouse built here in 1883. Carved into these columns are the names of Architect J. E. Flanders, County Judge E. L. Walker, and three of the four commissioners. The fourth was omitted because he objected to the cost of the construction. A large cistern at the rear of the building provided water for the town. When the oil boom of the 1920s attracted more people to this area, and the old structure was replaced by a larger courthouse in 1926, this portal was left as a reminder of the county's pioneer heritage. (1975)"
Photograph of a historic plaque in Breckenridge, Texas. It reads: "Walter Prescott Webb's Formative Years. Noted historian Walter Prescott Webb (1888-1963) came with his family to Stephens County at the age of four. Over the next seventeen years, Webb received an education in frontier life that formed the basis of his intellectual development and his theories on the role of the Great Plains in American history. Webb's father, Casner, was a rural schoolteacher and farmer. As he moved to different teaching assignments, the family moved with him. W. P. Webb thus was exposed to the physical geographical variety within the county that was so important to his western thesis. His neighbors were prime sources of frontier lore. Although Webb's public school experiences were infrequent, it was during these formative years in Stephens County that he developed his love of books and his desire to attend college. Also during this time, Webb was contacted by William Hinds of New York, who was to become his benefactor and a great source of encouragement for the young scholar. In 1906 Walter P. Webb received his teaching certificate and spent the next three years as a rural educator. In 1909, at the age of 21, Webb left his home in Stephens County to pursue his college education at the University of Texas in Austin. (1985)"
Photograph of a Civil War memorial in Breckenridge, Texas. It reads: "Texas Civil War Frontier Defense (1861 - 1865). Texas made an all-out effort for the Confederacy after voting over 3 to 1 for secession. 90,000 troops, noted for mobility and heroic daring, fought on every battlefront. An important source of supply and gateway to foreign trade thru Mexico, Texas was the storehouse of the south. Camp Breckenridge and other posts on this line were backed by patrols of state rangers, organized militia, and citizens posses scouting from nearby "family forts". This was part of a 2000 mile frontier and coastline successfully defended by Texans."
Stephens County Courthouse. Stephens County's first courthouse, erected in 1872, was a small pine building with desks for county officials lining the walls. In 1883, a new three-story red stone courthouse with a tower replaced the original structure. Discover of oil in Breckenridge in the 1920s resulted in a dramatic increase in population that led to the need for a larger courthouse and jail. Voters approved a bond in June 1924 to build a new courthouse and architect David S. Castle of Abilene designed the building constructed in 1926. Although not occupied until December 1926, a grand dedication ceremony was held here on July 4, 1926. The porch and sandstone entryway from teh 1883 courthouse were retained and are located at the southeast end of the square. During the depression of the 1930s, the courthouse became a financial burden and was refinanced. The last payment was made in 1962, thirty-six years after its completion. The four-story Stephens County Courthouse is a fine local example of the classical revival style and features limestone construction, arched entry doors and monumental primary entry stairs rising to triple arched entry doors, with ten columns above. (1997).
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