A Short History of the Planing and Construction of Honey Grove's City Hall
From the Honey Grove Signal-Citizen, December 18, 1998
On November 5. 1885 Mayor J. P. Gilmer called a meeting of Honey Grove city council "To take measures to provide for an efficient calaboose for the use of the city of Honey Grove. " Alderman D. E. Taylor moved that we build a calaboose, motion carried. Alderman present were D. E. Taylor, L. E. Page. W. Underwood. J. M. Season. W. E. Stephens, J. E. Ford, V. D. Woweth. and J. A. Smith. A committee was formed and a site was choaen after looking at several lots that were available. On February 1, 1886 the calaboose committee reported they had secured a lot known as the Hale Lot and had paid $250.00 cash for same and recommended “that steps be taken to erect a calaboose and city hall at an early date." Alderman Stephens thought a hall and calaboose, 20x40 feet two stories high could be built at a cost of $2,000.00. Attorney Owen said in order to raise the means, if the council wished, could borrow money and give a note, the Mayor and clerk's signature would make it valid. The committee report was adopted and it was to continue to inquire as to “the least means of devising ways and means to erect a building as early as possible." A council meeting held August 9, 1886, J. U. Owens reported that the Fannin County Commissioners Court had promised to assist in building the proposed city hall and jail and would require a study of plans and specifications and they would want an interest in the building. A committee was appointed to present the plans to the commissioners court on September 6, 1886. The commissioners court offered only $500.00 towards the building program and they wanted one fourth interest in the building. The committee recommended that the offer be ignored and “we raise the money independent of the county." The council rejected the county’s offer and a committee was appointed to raise and borrow money for building a city hall and jail. D. E. Taylor. W. E. Stephens, and I. K. Page comprised the committee and reported to the council on November 1, 1886 that they had been offered a two story rock house on a 29x66 foot lot for $5,000.00 and could pay it off at 10% interest and take all the time necessary. Nothing was done except for meeting and reports. Two more men were added to the city hall and jail committee and the city attorney was instructed to draw an ordinance authorizing the hall and jail committee to borrow for the purpose of building a city hall and jail. It went through three readings and failed to pass. In the following months many offers of financing were presented and finally on October 29, 1888 bids were submitted and a con-
tract to building the city hall where it stands today. On October 19, 1889, almost three years later the city council met and accepted the finished building. The Honey Grove City Hall and Prison Building is the only original civic building still standing in Fannin County. I personally feel this building is part of the heart of our city and should be treated as such. This historical material is available at the Bertha Voyer Library.
Respectfully, Dr. Kermit Keeley
In 1885, ten years after the town of Honey Grove was incorporated, Mayor J. P. Gilmer brought to the attention of the City Council the need for a city hall and jail building. This structure was completed four years later. It is Fannin County's only original civic building that is still standing.
The minutes of the City Council meetings during the years 1885-1889 are full of the deliberations concerning the construction of the City Hall, including the matters of lot selection, financing, selection of a builder, and selection of material. A piece of property secured by the City Hall and Jail Committee in 1886 later was thought to be too small to serve Honey Grove's future needs, and this site was selected in 1888. The Fannin County Commissioners Court offered $500 in financial aid, but when the commissioners requested a 25 percent interest in the building, the City Council voted to reject their offer.
W. N. Allen was awarded the construction contract in October 1888. Stone for the building was secured from the Floyd Quarry, an early Honey Grove industry. Bad weather delayed the completion of the new city hall and jail until October 1889. It has since continued to serve as the seat of government in Honey Grove.
Location: Hickory and 6th Street, Honey Grove