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P.O. Box 505         Coldspring, Texas 77331          Hours: 10-4 Thurs-Saturday           936-653-2009
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The San Jacinto County Courthouse
Transcribed from the March 29, 1984 issue of the San Jacinto News Times by Patricia Hummell

Editor's Note:  When a town moves from one location to another, it is usually a gradual process.  But in the case of Coldspring, the move was a deliberate endeavor in which existing buildings were literally moved to a new place.  It occurred for the most part within a year's time during and following the rebuilding of the courthouse after the original structure burned in 1915.  This is the story of that move as seen through the pages of Old San Jacinto News Times.

     It just seemed like a good time to start over.
     The members of the San Jacinto County Commissioners Court didn't know what to do or say.  County Judge William McMurrey had gathered the group in his store at Cold Springs.  (It was officially Coldspring but nobody called it that.)
     Judge McMurrey and commissioners John Hayman, J.W. Modisett, W.R. Everitt and J.M Harrell had little to say at first, somewhat overcome with the fact that their courthouse and several buildings in town were now ashes.  It was April 12, 1915 and the court was meeting for the first time since the disastrous fire two weeks earlier.  After a few moments of this initial shock, the members of the court got down to their routine business and the un-routine business of deciding what to do.
     They weren't quite ready to talk about building a new courthouse, but already the town was crawling with contractors from all over the state to enter their bids.
     It was an uncertain world at that time, and Cold Springs was a backwoods community that could use a progressive push.  As it turned out, the fire was to be an impetus for a new progressive movement the commissioners never dreamed of.
     Although a good part of the town had been destroyed, people went on with their activities pretty much as before.  During that week there had been a big weekend fish fry on the San Jacinto River, the telephone company was dickering to rent a side room of the local restaurant for a central office, San Jacinto Mercantile had just finished a new gallery and one Frank Hogue had just returned from a fishing trip only to get into a baseball game and catch a fast pitch in the face.
     The residents of San Jacinto probably found it ironic that the route for the Alaska Highway had been selected while they were still bogged down in rutted mud roads.  Readers of the local paper were following a serial entitled "The Exploits of Elaine."
     And when the roads allowed it, they might have gone to Cleveland's Anderson Brothers that week to buy a 50 lb. can of lard on special and look over the new wagons and cultivators and Studebaker.  A few people in Cold Springs had automobiles, but it was still a novelty.  They could cap off their trip by attending the picture show there.
     As everywhere, residents worried that the U.S. would become involved in the growing European War and a Mexican named Panco Villa was making noise even closer to home.  The people of Cold Springs of 1915 were concerned with the rising cost of living, loose morals, the need for prohibition, the cotton market, good roads and church and school activities.
     Apparently, residents of Cold Springs had not been very happy with their location.  They began talking up the idea of erecting a new courthouse "out of this gully and sand bed" with the hope that businesses and homes would follow.  By the following month, the idea was well entrenched.
     The grand jury, whose function was to inspect the county facilities and businesses, suggested the county erect as soon as possible "a suitable court house" in the town of Cold Springs, but of a different location form the one recently burned.
     They suggested the county find a level site on higher ground not too far from the jail. 
     Within a few days, the commissioners got to work on it.  At the expense of several contractors, they took a tour of the state to look at buildings recently completed.  The local editor of the San Jacinto Times, Kirk Glover, editorialized that their forthcoming decision on the location would be 'the most critical hour for the turning point of both our town and the entire county."
 

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