The courthouse was erected in 1890 when the county had only 124 inhabitants. Located in farm and ranch country, the county was created in 1858 but, due to Indian problems and the Civil War, it was not organized until 1879. In June, 1890, the court ordered the publication of invitations to builders on a new courthouse in the Fort Worth Daily Gazette and Galveston News. In July of 1890, bids were received on a stone building to replace this original frame and clapboard shelter. J.L. Dewees and Jacob Rath were the low bidders on the plans submitted by Martin, Byrnes and Johnston, prominent West Texas builders who also bid on the structure. The courthouse is a two-story work with polychromatic walls of light brown and gray sandstone. The exterior is characterized by a large mass expressing the courtroom, flanked by two smaller masses, with a wing that has been added to the west side. A tall tower rising from the center of the mass which once formed a landmark in the community has been replaced by a modest hip-roofed feature.