By Shannon Gillette
From the earliest days of statehood, Texas county courthouses were often damaged or destroyed. The main cause of destruction
was usually fire, although severe weather often took a toll on these architectural beauties as well. A few courthouses suffered the odd
and unusual event such as Cooke County’s first courthouse. The small log structure was leveled by a bull. The nosy bovine
found his way into the building leaving nothing but toppled logs and a trampled mess in his wake.
Montague County’s courthouse did not escape the courthouse curse. Disaster struck the county seat on more than one
occasion. Shortly after the county was formed in 1858, the first courthouse was erected. It was a small log cabin. The plan was
to use it until a more permanent building could be erected. Due to the outbreak of the Civil War and dealing with raiding Indians,
the courthouse had to serve the county much longer than first anticipated. It was used until the end of the War Between the
States. This structure may have met a fiery doom, but there are no remaining records that resolutely prove what became of the first
courthouse. To read more pick up the October 2015 issue of NTFR.