County Seat: Burnet * County Population: 40,286
Completed in 1937, the Burnet County Courthouse boasts a Moderne style as designed by Willis Environmental Engineering. The building is fashioned from local pink granite, the same kind used in the state capitol. The county added an annex in 1974.
Burnet County’s first temple of justice was likely a one-story, frame log cabin complete with jail room, an office and a courtroom. The building, which stood on the southwestern corner of the present square, was presumed burned by cattle thieves seeking to destroy brand records.
The Legislature authorized Burnet County to issue courthouse bonds which led to a two-story, white limestone structure completed in 1875 for $13,400.
In her book “The Texas Courthouse Revisited,” June Rayfield Welch recalls the words of one editor who lamented that the criminals occupied the nicest building in town: “It seems a pity, but as long as men are licensed to sell and drink whiskey, nothing else can be expected.”
The county was created from Bell, Travis and Williamson counties in 1852 and was organized in 1854.
Candidates in the first election were evaluated primarily on where they believed the county seat should be situated. Hamilton, located beside Fort Croghan, was a favorite site, as was Oat Meal Creek. A gentleman by the name of Pete Kerr donated 100 acres in favor of Hamilton, which settled the matter. However, postal officials objected, as the county already housed a town named Hamilton. The Legislature eventually changed the name of the county capitol to Burnet.
Both the county and its seat honor David G. Burnet, the first provisional president of the Republic of Texas.
Known as the Jewel of the Highland Lakes, Burnet presents not only natural beauty