Fannin County, Texas

Courthouse Dedication

​​The following article was published in Dallas Morning News, June 6, 1889.


Bonham's Courthouse.


The City Wore Her Best Robes and

Wore Them Well, Too.


Dedication of the Temple Of Justice

All of Fifteen Thousand Persons Present - Imposing Ceremonies.

A Rare Pleasure Lost by Col. Colberson Being Called Home.


Bonham, Tex., June 5. - Bonham wore her best robes today, and wore them well, it being the date of the dedication of her new temple of justice, erected at a cost of 485,000, out of native stone quarried within a few miles of the city.  It has the distinction of being one of the largest and most imposing structures in the state, 15,000,000 pounds of stone or 160,000 cubic feet, 170,000 brick and 400 barrels of lime being used in its construction.  That the county is proud of it is evidenced by the attendance of about 15,000 people.  Excursion trains came from the east and west, and horsemen from all points of the compass.  Triumphant arches in cedar and bunting, with the United States coat of arms and glittering stars, stood at each corner of the square to welcome the citizens of this great county.


The procession formed as follows at Fannin college and marched to the courthouse, where the dedication ceremonies took place:


Masonic lodges, royal arch chapters, knights templar, grand officers, granges, knights of labor and farmers' alliances, Paris light guards, Fannin guards and city officers in carriages.


The procession was headed by the Bonham cornet band.


Arriving at the courthouse, upon a platform in full view of the thousands of patriotic Texans, the impressive dedicatory ceremonies were gone through with.  The building was delivered by Architect Jack Cormack and received by Most Worshipful Grant Master Martin.  The invocation was by Grant Chaplain Potts.  The unveiling of the temple was as impressive as it was beautiful.  A picked choir under the supervision of Miss Sallie Joe Carleton furnished the music.


The ceremonies having been completed Deputy Grant Master Williams stepped to the front and introduced Capt. T. J. Brown of Sherman, grand orator.


Capt. Brown's effort was one of the best of his life, and at times he touched upon the valorous deeds of Fannin, Bonham, Bowie and Crockett, his tongue was attuned to the magic thrill of eloquence and the most touching thoughts were clothed in the most beautiful language.  Occasionally he would drop an imprecation upon the brutality of the Mexicans at Goliad and the Alamo, and the emphaticness of his expressions seemed like the flash of the lightning of justice.


Having touched upon the source of the name of Fannin and of Bonham, he then reviewed the history of the county and denominated her the mother of twenty-five counties, embracing Grayson, Hunt, Colin, Cooke, Denton, Wise, Clay, Montague and others now prominent in the sisterhood of Texas.  After contrasting the past with the present in a most masterly manner, he closed with a merited compliment to all womankind, impressing them with the fact that they are the architects and builders of the minds and the matter that shape the destinies of nations.


The choir sang "All Hail," after which the grand lodge reformed and marched to the lodgeroom.


Ex-Gov. Throckmorton addressed the people at the Wilson grove after this.  He is very popular here and was listened to with marked interest.


Col. Culberson was called home at noon by a telegram that his wife was very dangerously ill.  Disappointment at his inability to be present is heard upon every side.


Especial mention is deserved by the knights templar for their splendid appearance and the magnificent dinner set in Preston hall.


The press was remembered all round, for which the mangers will accept the thanks of the reporters.


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The Fannin County Courthouse was dedicated on June 5, 1889.


Programme image courtesy the Fannin County Museum of History:


Text - Programme:  All the orders will meet at their respective lodge rooms and march from there to Fannin College Grounds, at 10 o'clock where a procession will be formed which will march to the Court House where Constantine Lodge will dedicate the Court House at 11 a.m.  The procession will then be reformed and march to the picnic grounds and join in a general basket picnic, to which all are requested to bring well filled baskets and united in making the day a happy and memorable one for all.  After the picnic the programme will be arrange by a committee composed of delegates from the different orders represented.


Committee of Arrangement.  J. M. Bennett, T. P. Baker, E. W. Perminter, A. J. Clendenen, O. W. McLennan, R. E. Martin, C. H. Harwell.  The invited orders are requested to appoint committees to confer with out committee.

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