Hood County Texas and Granbury History
Hood County History
Hood County was formed in November 1866 by an act of the Texas Legislature. The county was named after Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood of the Confederate Army. The county seat of Hood County was named in honor of Confederate general Hiram Bronson Granbury.
The town of Granbury was established on land donated by influential county residents Thomas Lambert and J. F. and J. Nutt. The donated land was not at the center of the county, as was specified by the law, and this caused a great controversy. Eventually residents of the southern portion of Hood County petitioned the legislature to created a new county, and as a result in 1875 Somervell County was established from about 200 square miles of land previously part of Hood County.
The former Acton Masonic Lodge Hall, pictured above, was constructed in 1866. It's located near the entrance to the Acton Cemetery. This cemetery contains the smallest state park in Texas and has graves dating back to 1855.
The historic Hood County courthouse in Granbury was constructed in 1890-91 from a design provided by Waco architect W. C. Dodson. The three-story limestone structure reflects the then popular French Second Empire architectural style.
The Hood County Courthouse is very similar to other courthouses built by Dodson in the 1880's. The county courthouses of Lampasas, Parker, and Hill counties all share a common and progressively refined architectural theme. All four of these buildings feature a second-story district courtroom with two story high ceiling and wood framed clock tower with ornate tin trim. Except for the courthouse at Lampasas, which was the earliest constructed of the four, they also feature a mansard-roof treatment.
The courthouse is constructed of limestone and the use of ornate stone carving is evident. Unlike most Texas county courthouses of this era, the building has only three entrances on the first floor. In spite of the fact that the north side of the town square has some of the most prominent buildings, there's no north entrance to the courthouse.
The exterior of the Hood County Courthouse was restored in 2000, and it makes a grand center piece for what is an absolutely wonderful old town square.
Granbury Town Square
According to the National Register of Historic Places, the Granbury town square is one of the most complete nineteenth century courthouse squares in Texas. The W. C. Dodson designed Second Empire style courthouse and the surrounding late nineteenth century commercial buildings provide a certain architectural unity to the town square. A few structures on the square were built in the early twentieth century, but they generally conform to the architectural norm of the rest of the town square.
The Granbury town square is significant enough to merit a National Register designation as the Hood County Courthouse Historic District.
Mary Lou Watkins was instrumental in early preservation efforts that resulted in the historic square being recognized by the Texas Historical Commission. Today, a statue on the town square celebrates her spirit and efforts.
Information and images for this page were provided by Sam Fenstermacher. Contact him with your questions and comments. All images and text on this page Copyright © 2008 Sam Fenstermacher. All rights reserved.
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Acton Historic Site near Granbury in Acton Texas honors Elizabeth Crockett, wife of frontiersman and Tennessee Legislator David Crockett who died in battle at the Alamo.