First Court House
The First Court House of Hill County
1853 A. D.
According to legend, the
first court house was built by C. N. Brooks of elm poles. The
building was approximately twelve by twelve feet with one clapboard door
and two shutter windows. There was no furniture of any kind and had a
dirt floor. There is no definite proof of location, but more than likely
it was built in Hillsboro.
According to A. Y. Kirkpatrick, the
first citizens to go to court, with their troubles were Ridlen
and Hartgraves who each claimed possession of a certain yearling.
During the trial Ridlen suggested to Hartgraves that they
settle the matter between themselves, but the trial went on as
scheduled. While the six-member jury was trying to reach a verdict, Ridlen
pulled a pistol and shot at Heartgraves but missed. Ridlen
ran and caught Hartgraves, pulled a Bowie knife and slashed him
up so mercilessly that the died in a few minutes. Louis Boda, who
was deputy sheriff, arrested Ridlen, but he was able to escape
that night. Hartgraves' widow offered a reward for the capture of
Ridlen. He was caught at Lockhart and was killed while resisting
|Contributed by Mr. Lem Young -- 2003
(Builder of the replica of the first court house for
Hill County. It is now on display at The Hill County Cell Block