Morris County Court­house built to be prac­ti­cal

Vote in Gazette’s Court­house Chal­lenge

Texarkana Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

(ED­I­TOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in­stall­ment in the Court­house Chal­lenge se­ries. From now un­til Dec. 20, you can vote on the best look­ing court­house in the re­gion on­line at This Chal­lenge is not pay­wall pro­tected. Sub­scribers and non­sub­scribers can go to the polling page and vote.)

Ded­i­cated in June 1973, the Morris County Court­house in Dainger­field, Texas, is a mod­ern brick-and-con­crete build­ing that fol­lowed the county’s orig­i­nal 1882 court­house, now used for of­fice space.

The court­house is a prac­ti­cal build­ing that serves its pur­poses well, said Sherry Ray, sec­re­tary to the county judge.

The ar­chi­tec­tural firm Pierce, Pace and As­so­ciates de­signed the build­ing, one of four Texas county court­houses it de­signed be­tween 1964 and 1973, ac­cord­ing to 254tex­as­court­ . The oth­ers are in Bay­lor, Cul­ber­son and Zavala coun­ties.

The court­house orig­i­nally had a flat roof. A pitched roof and gables were later added, pre­sum­ably to im­prove drainage.

It houses the of­fices of the county clerk, trea­surer, au­di­tor, tax as­ses­sor/col­lec­tor, dis­trict clerk, dis­trict at­tor­ney, county judge and com­mis­sion­ers court.

Also in the build­ing are a dis­trict

court, Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety driver’s li­cense of­fice, a vet­er­ans’ ser­vices of­fice and adult and ju­ve­nile pro­ba­tion of­fices.

Morris County was de­marked from Ti­tus County on March 13, 1875, and prob­a­bly named for Wil­liam W. Morris, a 19th-cen­tury dis­trict judge and state leg­is­la­tor from the area, ac­cord­ing to the Hand­book of Texas On­line. The county was or­ga­nized on May 12, 1875, with Dainger­field as the county seat.

With a sur­face area of 164,000 acres, Morris County is one of the small­est coun­ties in the state. The cen­sus counted 13,200 peo­ple liv­ing in Morris County in 1990, 13,048 in 2000 and 12,743 in


The Morris County Court­house is at 500 Broad­nax St. in Dainger­field.

(ED­I­TOR’S NOTE: The Texarkana Gazette and will present one court­house a day (14 in all) un­til Dec. 18. At our web­site you can vote on the best look­ing court­house. There you will find a di­rect link in one of the main dis­play win­dows, or you can click on any of the re­lated court­house sto­ries for links to the Chal­lenge. You will also find links to the polling site from our Face­book page, and some of you may find links through Break­ing News or Up­dates we send out through email.

The sys­tem that man­ages the Chal­lenge will ac­cept one vote per com­puter or mo­bile de­vice. The top three vote-get­ters, in re­verse or­der, will be fea­tured in ar­ti­cles from Dec. 28 to Dec. 30. A week be­fore this an­nounce­ment, three other court­houses will be fea­tured, no­table build­ings that are ei­ther out­side this re­gion or are no longer ac­tive county seats. These are not part of the Court­house Chal­lenge, but we think you will find them in­ter­est­ing. All the court­houses in the Chal­lenge can be seen at the on­line polling site.)

Staff photo by Hunt Mercier

Morris County Court­house was built in 1973 by Pierce, Pace and As­so­ciates. The orig­i­nal court­house that was built in 1882 was pur­chased by lo­cal law firm Nix, Patterson and Roach to be re­done for their of­fices.

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