MASON, TX — In Mason County Thursday night, the historic courthouse burned to the ground. News of the fully engulfed fire reached us at around 10:15 p.m.
The structure appears in live videos presented by locals as a complete loss. Hill Country Sports Network reporter Justin Fisher told us that firefighters from the area, including units from Mason Volunteer Fire Department, Rochelle VFD, Brady VFD, and Lohn VFD responded to the fire in downtown Mason.
The fire was knocked down at least externally at around midnight.
The courthouse was built starting in 1909 and completed in 1910 at the cost of $39,786. It was designed by German-born architect Edward Columbus Hosford. The structure was on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure was renovated in 2012 with a new roof and electrical wiring. This is the third courthouse for Mason County. The first structure was built in 1872 but burned in 1877. The next year, a second structure was built. It burned in 1900. This fire encouraged the community to commission the Mason Fire Department.
The Mason County War of 1875, or the Hoodoo War, was fought over the killing of cattle and cattle rustling in Mason County. Several prisoners — suspected cattle rustlers — were captured by the locals and hanged. A feud ensued that lasted two years. The history of the Hoodoo War went up in smoke when the first Mason County Courthouse burned.
The courthouse was undergoing renovations in early 2021. All offices had temporarily relocated to another building in late 2020. Hopefully, most of the courthouse records were taken with the county staff late last year.
Here are photos of the historic courthouse throughout the years: