The third Hopkins County Courthouse, built in 1882, was destroyed on Feb. 11, 1894 by a fire that also burned the jail and several nearby structures. Plans were soon made for a new court building to be erected on this corner rather than in the middle of the block where the first edifice stood. The site is unusual because most Texas courthouses are located in the center of the public square, not facing it. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
The new structure was designed by James Riely Gordon (1864-1937), popular courthouse architect from San Antonio, and constructed by the Dallas firm of Sonnefield and Emmins. Austin architect A. O. Watson was hired to inspect the work. He admired the plans but suggested bracing to strengthen the stonework. The building was completed on Aug. 22, 1895, at a final cost of $75,000. A clock for the tower was requested by some citizens, but county commissioners refused to provide funds for it.
Made of red granite with contrasting sandstone trim, the Hopkins County Courthouse is a fine example of the massive Richardsonian Romanesque style which Gordon often used. The quarter-circular porches at the northwest and southwest corners mark entrances to the three-story edifice.