Gillespie County (Fredericksburg)
Year Built: 1939
Architect: Edward Stein
The Gillespie County Courthouse is located in Fredericksburg, Texas, about 65 miles northwest of San Antonio. I have handled numerous cases in Gillespie County, and currently have an active docket there. I am also regular counsel for landowners and businesses in Gillespie County.
Built in the Moderne style, the Gillespie County Courthouse was completed in July 1939. There is a plaque just inside the front door that attributes the construction to the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works.
Construction began on the courthouse in September 1938 after an election in August approved the issuance of bonds for the project. The federal government would contribute $65,450 to the construction of the building; this represented approximately 45% of the cost of the building.
Note: The Old Gillespie County Courthouse, designed by Alfred Giles, now serves as a library. It was built in 1882 and is situated directly next to (west of) the current, 1939, courthouse.
The first known residents of Gillespie County were the Tonkawa Indians. By the nineteenth century, Comanches and Kiowas had also moved into the area. The future county was first settled by Europeans in 1846, when John O. Meusebach led a group of 120 Germans sponsored by the Adelsverein to the site of Fredericksburg, which became one in a series of German communities between the Texas coast and the Fisher-Miller Land Grant, originally the immigrants’ ultimate destination.
Gillespie County originally included areas that today are parts of Blanco, Burnet, Llano, and Mason counties. It underwent the first of five boundary changes in 1858, when the legislature formed Mason and Blanco counties, changed the Llano County boundary and established the present northern and eastern boundaries of Gillespie County. The last change came in 1883, when the county’s boundaries were redefined and its present limits set.