A historical land mark in Duval County that is recognized by residents as the seat of county government for Duval County, where almost everyone has a connection.
On Tuesday, the residents of Duval County celebrated the Courthouse Centennial with tours of the courthouse, a reception and guest speakers on the history of the county.
The current courthouse was erected in 1936 after the original courthouse mysteriously burned down on Aug. 11, 1914. It was designed by Sanguinet, Staats, & Gottlieb. Duval County played an important role in the economic and political development of South Texas.
“It's very important that we recognize these milestones of 100 years for this courthouse,” said Duval County Judge Ricardo “Rocky” Carrillo. “It's important that we're involved with the history of the county. We have a history that is known throughout,but we fail to tell our own children about this history.”
Though not geographically the center of the county, the courthouse in San Diego and on the edge of the county border has long been central to the community, local historian and guest speaker Alfredo Cardenas said.
Duval County was named in honor of Burr H. Duval, a captain of a company of Fannin's command at Goliad.
Cardenas gave a history lesson on the courthouse and Duval County. Architect O. Daniel Castillo discussed the restoration plans made to the courthouse and the plans to come.
The courthouse has been on Preservation Texas' annual list of the state's 10 most endangered historic places and continues to be listed as threatened. In 2015, the Texas Historic Commission listed the Duval Courthouse as one of the top two most endangered courthouses in Texas.
Rep. Ryan Guillen, Texas House of Representatives read a resolution to the attendees to commemorate the courthouse centennial.
The festivities included Mariachi music by “Azul Y Oro,” the San Diego High School Mariachi group and the presentation of colors by the Freer Color Guard.
Winners of the contest sponsored by the Historical Commission were Elementary were Jaelle Perez and Halie Garza, students at Collins-Parr Elementary.The junior high/middle school winner was Spirit Cantu, sixth grader at Benavides ISD and high school winner was Robert Moncada of San Diego High School.
Moncada read his essay on the importance of county government to the audience.
The Historical Commission continues to work on preserving and the restoration to the courthouse in the hopes that it will last another 100 years.