Hill County Courthouse

Completion date: 1890
County seat:
Second Empire
W. C. Dodson

    Why was the Hill County courthouse the site of a Willie Nelson concert in 1993?  Like many Other residents, Country-music Legend Willie Nelson was deeply Saddened when the courthouse suffered severe damage from a fire probably caused by faulty wiring on January 1, 1993.  The courthouse received statewide attention because television images of the collapsing clock tower and charred remains horrified Texans across the state.  Nelson was so moved by the destruction that he held a benefit concert called "Blaze to Glory" on the courthouse lawn.  Audience members enjoyed Nelson classics and a spectacular light show. 

The Hill County courthouse was built in 1890 and designed by Wesley Clark Dodson. This building is made of rusticated limestone. It includes four identical, five-bay facades with elegant columns.  Its symmetrical structure, central pavilion and mansard or steep vertical roof make it a Second Empire structure. The Hill County courthouse is an important attraction to the area's leading industry, tourism. 

The 1993 fire placed the courthouse on "Texas's 10 Most Endangered Historical Places" list.  The courthouse has under gone a complete restoration, which included restoring the overall structures, clock tower, stonework, roof, windows, doors, floors, drainage system, railings and exterior lighting.  Preventing future courthouse fires is one of several reasons to preserve Texas' courthouses.

Back to Main Page

Copyright 2000 Mercer County Intranet
Last modified: 02/10/2004