Ector County Courthouse (Odessa)


Year Built: 1964

Architect: Peters and Fields

The Ector County Courthouse is located in Odessa, Texas.

From the historic marker:

Seat of justice for Ector, created out of Tom Green County in 1887 and organized in 1891. The 1891 courthouse was frame, the remodelled town sanitarium, moved to the present square. Its first floor had rooms for the sheriff, court clerks and Odessa school, while the county and district courtroom was upstairs. As the only public building in town, it provided space for dances. socials and church services. Picnics and baptizings were held at the windmill and tank on the northwest corner of the square. As townsite restriction banned the sale of liquor, Odessa was usually quiet. However, fights broke out when settlers rushed to the courthouse to file claims on public lands. In 1904 a 2-story red stone courthouse was built just east of the early one. On the lawn in 1906 the Christian church was organized. At that time Odessa ha 400 people and little hope for growth, because of drouths and their effects on cattle raising. After oil discoveries of 1926 stimulated Ector’s development, a 3-story cement building was erected in 1938. The fourth structure was dedicated April 12, 1964, by Governor John Connally.

This is another of my least favorite courthouses. It is a massive edifice that takes up a city block, and has a somewhat harsh appearance.  The current courthouse location may be converted into green space for Odessa residents in the not too distant future.

In March 2024, it was announced that a new County Courthouse will be built if Ector County residents approve a bond election slated for 2025. A prior election for this purpose was unsuccessful. “

According to Ector County Judge Dustin Fawcett: “We’re talking about this new facility that may be a joint courthouse and city hall. The first of its kind in the nation. We have the courthouse, city government and county government in the same building where you walk to the first floor of that building. If you want to pay for your water for the city, get your birth certificate from the county clerk.”