I never really knew what it meant, but it does stick in my memory. So here's a few pictures from a recent travel through Decatur, Texas just up the road a piece from Fort Worth.
The Wise County Courthouse was constructed at a cost of $110,000.00, thought by many to be excessive at the time. It was designed by J. Riley Gordon, of San Antonio, who collected a fee of 5% of the construction cost. The building, completed in 1896, is of pink granite with interior of Vermont marble, was precut and each piece numbered, then shipped from Burnet County, Texas. The stones were raised by a windlass pulled by donkeys walking in a circle drawing the rope tight. The Courthouse clock was purchased from E. Howard & Company, described thus: "No. 1, Hour Strike Tower Clock, $952.00; with bell for same, 2,000 lbs., $388.00, total cost $1,340.00."
The Courthouse dominates the Decatur town square, which is still thriving, probably due to the fact there isn't a mall is rock throwing distance from the town. Here are some examples of the buildings dating back to the 1800's:
and early 1900's:
The Waggoner Mansion is located at the end of Main Street.Sometimes called "El Castile", this is a large home,consisting of two stories, sixteen rooms, with a full basement and eight fireplaces,sitting on thirteen and one-half acres.
"Thistle Hill" by Roze Porter, describes the mansion like this:
"It was constructed of old fossiliferous limestone and decorated with handcrafted wrought iron on the roof and balconies. Half-moon-shaped stained glass added an array of color to the tops of the windows and to the large massive hand-carved entrance door.
As we left this cozy rural town we saw this former gas station, now rehabed into a barber shop.