County Seat: Sherman
County Population: 115,933
(Texas Almanac 2006-2007)
The Grayson County Courthouse was erected in 1936 in a Moderne style as designed by Voelcker and Dixon. The concrete and limestone structure cost about $306,000 to build; a $410,000 addition was completed in 1963.
The county was created and organized in 1846 with a population of 500.
Historian June Rayfield Welch chronicles the day the first courthouse was raised: “In July of 1847 a barbecue was held – with a barrel of whiskey and two fiddlers – as a $232 courthouse was completed,” wrote Welch in “The Texas Courthouse Revisited.”
“Because water and wood were scarce there, Sherman was soon moved to the present site,” Welch continued. “T.J. Shannon, with six yoke of oxen, dragged a tree through the brush and briars to clear a road to Sherman.”
The county’s other courthouses are surrounded by equally interesting details, as recorded by Welch:
- In 1848, court convened under a pecan tree, which also served as a post office. An old coat was hung from one of the branches, and letters were deposited in the pockets to be picked up by travelers and carried to the intended recipients.
- In 1858, one of the early county courthouses was torn down in order to settle a bet over whether or not a gray goose was nesting under the floor.
- The county’s first brick courthouse, built in 1859, was also used for plays, shows, preaching and dancing. Three inches of sawdust on the floor helped reduce wear and tear.
- In 1930, a lynch mob burned the county courthouse. The structure was replaced with the final temple of justice, which stands today.
Additional Grayson County history can be found on the county’s comprehensive Web site, http://www.co.grayson.tx.us.
The site displays a special page titled “Beliefs of Grayson County.” The following is an excerpt.
As elected officials in Grayson County, Texas, it is our goal that Grayson County be viewed as the county with the best quality of life in the state of Texas. We believe this can be accomplished by giving the highest quality of basic services with the lowest possible tax rate. We believe this will occur through acceptance of responsibility and bi-partisan cooperation.
Grayson County government will function within the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States of America and the laws of the great State of Texas.
We believe that the taxpayers, voters, and all residents, regardless of sex, race, creed, or party affiliation will be treated as a customer. We must understand the requirements of our law-abiding customers, obtain their feedback, and be responsive to their needs. All decisions must be driven by their needs.
To read the remainder of this document, go to http://www.co.grayson.tx.us/Special/Beliefs.htm *
Gene E. Short