Phone: 325.572.3365
Tues-Sat 10-5; Sun 12-5        

Taylor County Courthouse

This courthouse, built in 1879, opened in March of 1880. Buffalo Gap was the first county seat of Taylor County. Originally, this building was supposed to be a temporary structure until a new one was built. This building would then be used as a jail.

The total cost of this courthouse was $8000. It was built with cannon balls between the bricks on each layer.  This was done to improve the stability of the whole structure. If you look all around the courthouse, you will see the bricks have arrows pointing to where the cannon balls are located within the walls.

The area downstairs was the office of the judge and county clerk, as well as the courtroom. Upstairs was home to many criminals. In the main room, lovingly referred to as the Drunk Tank, there were enough beds to hold twelve men. When the courthouse was first constructed there were no windows upstairs just small holes in the wall to let in air. With no light entering the Drunk Tank, the criminals felt as if they were in a dungeon. The tiny jail cell at the top of the stairs was reserved for more violent or malicious criminals.

After the county seat moved to Abilene, the courthouse was sold and made into a two story home. At this point remodeling occurred, which is why there is a second doorway on the first floor and windows on the second floor.

This Day in Texas History

  • 1883 On this day in 1883, the Fifty Cent Act was repealed. The act, advocated by Governor O. M. Roberts and passed in July 1879, provided for the selling of Texas land for fifty cents an acre, with one-half of the proceeds to be used to pay down the public debt and the other half to establish a permanent school fund. The act opened to settlement about fifty-two Texas counties, in which the state sold 3,201,283 acres for $1,600,641.55. The Fifty Cent Act was repealed as a public necessity due to fraudulent land speculation

Contact Us

Taylor County History Center
133 N. William Street
Buffalo Gap, Texas 79508

Museum: 325-572-3365
Offices: 325-572-3974