Duval County Commissioners approve building courthouse

Courthouse approved by commissioners court on June 25, 1879. It burned down very suspiciously in 1914.
Duval County Commissioners voted on June 25, 1879 to build a courthouse for the recently organized county. Organizational matters continued to occupy county commissioners during their June regular session.

The commissioners, who had been renting from Manuel Ancira since the 1876 organization of the county, appropriated $3,700 for a new courthouse. The court referred the matter to its building committee, composed County Judge James Luby, P. A. Mattasson and William Hubbard. H. Heldenfels had developed plans and specifications and the building committee was authorized to enter into a contract with Heldenfels after reviewing the plans.

The matter of county roads was also on the court’s agenda. Commissioners appointed road juries to review the various roads in the county. On the jury for the San Diego to Concepcion road were John Dix, F. C. Gravis, Francisco Bazan, Rafael Salinas and E. N. Gray. Looking over the San Diego to Piedras Pintas road were William Hubbard, Isidro Benavides, Rufus Glover, H. Maas and E. H. Caldwell. The court charged Dix, Benavides, Hubbard, Santos Balderas and A. J. Ayers with the San Diego to Laredo road inquiry.

The Piedras Pintas to Borjas road jury included Hubbard, Benavides, Glover, Maas and Caldwell. The Piedras Pintas to Concepcion road jury included Rafael Saenz, Florencio Salinas, Maximo Perez, Jesus Maria Palacios and Salinas. Vicente Vera, Patricio Salinas, Cornelio Serna, L. Bodet and Maximiliano Lopez oversaw another road from Peidras Pintas to Barroneña. The road jury for the Piedras Pintas to La Rosita road included Jose Maria Vela, Juan Saenz, F. R. Knight, Jose Vaello and George Copp.

Finally, the jury for the road from Borjas to Los Angeles, by way of Barroneña, consisted of Manuel B. Vela, Charles Roach, Bodet, Ayers and Caldwell.

In another road related matter, the commissioners appointed Theodore Lamberton as Road Overseer for Precinct 1. He replaced E. C. Perez who had turned down the appointment.

The court also approved a number of warrants related to the county’s continued organization process. They agreed to pay County Surveyor A. W. French $39.75 for copies of land records he obtained from the Land Office. Commissioners also okayed payment of $33.19 to Nueces County for tax assessing services for the years 1873-74 and $44.25 for feeding and guarding prisoners. Left pending were charges from Nueces County for copies of court records and transcripts.

The court also paid former sheriff John Humphries for costs he incurred in feeding prisoners Juan Gonzales, Martin Trejo, Claudio Huitron, Desiderio Arredondo and Jose Casana. They also paid Tiburcio de los Santos $4 for digging a grave.

In personnel matters, the commissioners court accepted the bond for newly appointed Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace F. R. Knight. Jose Vaello provided the $500 bond. The court also accepted the bond for Precinct 1 Constable Peter Skass. They also authorized the county surveyor to assist the tax assessor to determine land ownerships and boundaries.

In a special session held prior to the court’s regular meeting, the commissioners approved a resolution vouching for the moral character of Judge Luby and P. H. O’Hare, who were petitioning for permission to practice law before the district court.