Traveling exhibit boasts county history

The four-panel exhibit can be seen in the lobby of the Freestone County courthouse through the month of December.
Photo by April Walker

A traveling “museum” has been installed in the lobby of the Freestone County courthouse for visitors to enjoy for the month of December featuring photos from days past of Fairfield, Teague, Wortham, and Streetman. Freestone County Historical Museum Curator Patty Pratt and Board President Linda Mullen created the four-panel exhibit, showing the history of the county since its inception in 1851.

Over the years, the county has had five jails and four courthouses – the first of which was built in 1851 and described as an “old shanty.” There is a short history and photos of each courthouse in the exhibit, as well as a cost estimate of the construction.

The subsequent courthouses were built in 1854 and 1891, and the current courthouse in 1919-1921. The second courthouse was budgeted at $7,830, but ended up over budget at $8,330.

“What’s interesting is a feud between two communities delayed the construction of number three,” said Pratt.

Pratt said both Wortham and Teague wanted to be the county seat, but lost to Fairfield. W.R. Kaufman was architect of the current courthouse and the building was constructed in the classical revival style.

In 1852, commissioner’s reportedly ordered the construction of the first jail in Fairfield “for the use and benefit of the county.” The building was described as

 

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