John Joseph Emmett Gibson

John Joseph Emmett Gibson (HM23IT)

Location: Center, TX 75935 Shelby County
Country: United States of America

N 31° 47.713', W 94° 10.897'

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(November 4, 1849 - September 14, 1831)

John Joseph Emmett (J.J.E.) Gibson was born in Dublin, Ireland. Because of an illness, he was left behind with an aunt when his family immigrated to the United States about 1851. Gibson reportedly studied architecture in Dublin, and finally joined his family in St. Louis when he was about sixteen. There he likely learned the brickmaking trade from his father and brothers. Eventually drawn to New Orleans and then to Texas, Gibson married Elizabeth Twomey in Panola County in 1875. They settled in Center in Shelby County, where he opened a brick factory and worked as an architect and master mason.

The Shelby County Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1882. Two years later, J.J.E. Gibson's bid of $26,725 was accepted for design and construction of a new courthouse and jail. He chose a style and decorative elements that allowed him to demonstrate his skill as a brickmaker and mason. Construction proceeded well until winter, when Gibson requested a suspension in the work schedule during cold weather. Against Gibson's advice, the county commissioners court required that he continue pouring masonry, and during a blue norther the extremely cold conditions caused an entire wall to crack. When the court refused to approve funds for repairs, Gibson spent $2700 of his own money to rebuild the wall. He petitioned the county commissioners
court for reimbursement for many years, and although he had support from local citizens, he was never repaid.

The Shelby County Commissioners Court formally accepted the new courthouse, "the Irish castle on the square," on February 12, 1886. Upon his death in September 1931, Gibson was buried 11 miles north of Center in the city cemetery in Tenaha, Texas.
Details
HM NumberHM23IT
Tags
Year Placed1999
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 at 1:04pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15J E 388139 N 6481654
Decimal Degrees31.79521667, -94.18161667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 47.713', W 94° 10.897'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 47' 42.7800" N, 94° 10' 53.8200" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)936, 409
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1885 Nacogdoches St, Center TX 75935, US
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