Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

August 29, 2011

COLUMN: Courthouse captures county pride

— “Life is lived forward, but understood backward” (author unknown). After reading the letter to the editor published Sunday, Aug. 21, by a Mr. Bill Bush advocating the destruction of the Parker County Courthouse, this quote came to mind. His reasoning, as outlined in his writing, is to solve the traffic congestion problem around the square.

When I received my first text early Sunday morning with the words “you better get a newspaper,” I couldn’t imagine what sparked the sense of urgency I read into that text. Soon, Facebook was sizzling with comments about the man who wanted to tear down the beloved courthouse.

When I read the letter, admittedly, I was speechless. How could anyone want to destroy the most treasured asset in all of Parker County? His reasoning is not sound to say the least. Before I address the solution to the problem, I believe it is most important to remind our county of the significance of the “Crown Jewel” most of us love and respect.

As noted in the opening quote, protecting our heritage is part and parcel of building our future. What we were yesterday defines who we are today and what we will become tomorrow. Protecting our heritage and moving to the future begins with protecting the one historical asset that belongs to everyone. The one piece of history that enables those whose families have lived here for generations, and for the family who just moved here, to embrace moments in time that shaped Parker County.

The original courthouse was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1858. That building was lost to fire in 1874, and in 1884, the third courthouse burned to the ground. A contract was let in June 1884 to rebuild, yet again, and the current courthouse was completed in 1886.

Many changes occurred in the building over the years to accommodate growth. In 2003, a restoration was completed. That restoration provides an accurate look into the past when one walks the halls or step into one of the most impressive courtrooms ever designed. Today, the courthouse is a functional facility serving the needs of the taxpayers. My staff and I provide tours regularly including groups of students, scouts, Sunday school classes and family reunions. One of us will be happy to share the experience with you.

As for a solution to the traffic problem that prompted Mr. Bush to write his letter? I don’t know how long he has lived in Parker County, but in 2008, voters approved a transportation bond for multiple projects around the county. The cornerstone of that bond was the Western Loop, now called Ric Williamson Memorial Highway. Construction is underway, and the target date for completion is in 2014. Barring any unforeseen issues with the Federal Highway Administration, we should reach our goal. When that day arrives, much of the traffic will naturally divert away from the square. Hopefully, we will see downtown businesses continue to thrive and empty buildings begin a new lease-on-life with tenants who understand the uniqueness of what is offered.

Destroying the Parker County Courthouse might seem like a logical solution to someone who fails to reflect on our past as defining who we are today. Mr. Bush suggests correctly that we should all strive to keep things “small town friendly.” Some of that is lost with growth, unfortunately. Gone are the good old days when the courthouse was the absolute “center of attention” for community events. One thing has not changed, however. We still look at that grand building with pride and say “There she is. That’s my courthouse. Best one in Texas.”

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    American Profile Magazine pictured Big Tex in its feature about state fairs with the appropriate caption: “Big Tex towers over visitors to the Texas State Fair.” The article also wrote about the many famous wooden roller coasters including the “Classic” wood roller coaster.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: I have been corrected

    I was complaining about President Obama making promises that he has not kept, such as taxes will not go up one dime or health care will go down about $2,500 per year for a family of four. He said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He said he would have an immigration plan in place. What he really meant was that if Congress would allow it, we would have open borders.

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks

    Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas. 

    July 27, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools

    For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.”  In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus

    The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.

    July 26, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN