County Seat: Paducah * County Population: 1,505 (2010 Census)
The Cottle County Courthouse was built in 1930 in a Moderne style complete with Art Deco and Classical details as designed by the firm of Voelcker & Dixon.
The Texas Legislature created Cottle County in 1876 and named the county in honor of George Washington Cottle, who died defending the Alamo 40 years earlier.
Stage routes connected early ranches, including the OX, SMS, and Matador, to established towns in other counties. In late 1891 settlers petitioned for the county to be organized, and an election in January 1892 formalized Cottle County’s boundaries.
A geographically central site was selected as county seat and named for Paducah, Kentucky, hometown of settler Richard Potts. County business was conducted in existing homes until a permanent courthouse, a small, one-story frame building, was finished in May 1892. The inaugural county capitol was replaced in November 1894 with a two-story, brick building with a prominent bell tower designed by J. A. White.
The Cottle County economy flourished, and in April 1929 the Cottle County Commissioners Court awarded a contract for a new courthouse to architect C. H. Leinbach. Four days later the order was rescinded, and the citizens voted on $150,000 in courthouse bonds; the measure failed outside Paducah but passed in the city and carried overall. The county gave a new contract to the Wichita Falls firm of Voelcker & Dixon, who had designed 11 courthouses across Texas.
In the fall of 1929, work began on the four-story, brick and terra cotta building that looms over the square. Stepped blocks project from a central mass, with carved eagles, stylized figures of justice and liberty, and inscriptions above each of the four entries. The unusual design, which has drawn comparison to an Egyptian temple, makes it one of the most distinctive public buildings in the region.
Paducah is often referred to as the Crossroads of America; U.S. Highway 70 and U.S. Highway 83 intersect, connecting the borders of the United States.
The area’s rugged ranch terrain has lured visitors from across the Lone Star State. The Matador Wildlife Management Area (MWMA) is comprised of 28,183 acres and is located in the central Rolling Plains of Cottle County. The area provides many public-use opportunities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, camping, horseback riding, nature study, and photography. The MWMA lies in one of the largest and most diverse ecological areas in the state and is home to approximately 62 species of mammals. The area has become a hunter’s haven and offers public hunting for species including dove, quail, mule and white-tailed deer, feral hog, and wild turkey throughout the year.
Finally, special events include the Annual Cottle County Livestock Show, the Old Settler’s Rodeo and Reunion, the Relay for Life, a Memorial Day program, a Fourth of July celebration, the Ms. Cottle County contest, an Annual Homecoming celebration, the Tri-Annual All-School Reunion, a Hunter Appreciation event, Trunk or Treat festivities, and Christmas in Paducah.