Built in 1875 in term of County Judge James W. Smith. Former state officials on committees for site and building included Governor E.M. Pease, Secretary of State C.S. West, Attorney General N.G. Shelley, Treasurer James H. Raymond and Legislator George Hancock.
In era when Texas was gaining world renown, home of outstanding courts, able judges, brilliant bar. One tenant of its fortress-style jail was author William Sidney Porter (O. Henry), after his return to Austin in 1897 to be with his dying wife and face trial on embezzlement charges.
In 1931, the county accepted a block of land in exchange for cancellation of its 99-year lease on this site. Courthouse towers and jail were removed. State offices moved in - Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission, Department of Education, Banking Department.
In public competition for a name, "Walton Building" was chosen, for Fishermen's Patron Izaak Walton (1593-1683) and for W.M. M. "Buck" Walton (1832-1915), Adjutant General in Terrell's Confederate brigade, Attorney General of Texas, famed for a colorful law career.
The massive 3-story Victorian limestone structure with impressive carved entrance was razed in 1964.