Commissioners Court hears requests from citizens about 1885 Historic Courthouse grounds


The Shelby County Commissioners Court met on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

Agenda items approved were the following:

Charles Barr and Judge Allison Harbison to represent Shelby County on the DETCOG Board of Directors.

The single bid from Ronda King for Property ID 20633, on Bolton Street, City of Center.

A Proclamation declaring May as Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.

Tem Morrison’s (Grounds Chairman for SCHC), request for the County to pay half of the cost of the repairs needed for the Bandstand and First Ladies of Texas Buildings on the 1885 Historic Courthouse grounds. The cost to the County would be up to, and including, $12,500, the money to come from the Building Fund.

A Map Contract with Liberty Marketing Company.

Create County Road 2516 from478 feet of Forest Service land from 2517 to Michael Paul Kay property.

Adopt 1146 feet of Forest Service Road 143 as part of County Road 2369.

Commissioner Pct. 1 to get bids for new or used backhoe and to enter into a lease agreement. The bids opened May 3 and continue to the May 29 deadline.

Delbert Jackson, 1980 graduate of Center High School, spoke to Commissioners Court about placing an historical marker for Lige Daniels (hanged 1920) and other victims of lynching at the site of the “old hanging tree” on the 1885 Historic Courthouse grounds. Mr. Jackson spoke about the need for remembering this portion of our county’s history. He has the backing of a group called the Equal Justice Initiative.

Colleen Doggett, Marker Chairman for the Shelby County Historical Commission (SCHC), then spoke about the Commission’s thoughts on such a marker. While in favor of the marker, it is the SCHC’s position that the marker not be placed on the 1885 Courthouse grounds. The “hanging tree” is no longer on the Courthouse grounds, having died and been cut down in 1999. The tree now on the grounds is one placed by the Daughters and Sons of the Republic of Texas, grown from a historic Stephen F. Austin live oak in Austin. It is the policy of the SCHC not to place a marker honoring a single individual, the exception being the one to J.J.E. Gibson, the architect and builder of the 1885 Historic Courthouse, which should be the focus of attention on the Center square.