County Seat – Sarita
Built – 1921
Architect – H. S. Phelps
Style – Texas Renaissance
Photos taken – December 27, 2003
Impressions/story line –
The first courthouse that we actually stopped and photographed was in tiny Kenedy County. Tiny in population, not size. I believe the population of the entire county is around 400. Sarita is the county seat, with a population of 180. While the county is small in population, it is big in land. Much of it was once part of the King Ranch, and may still be. There are other very large ranches in the county, and I noted one big building in Sarita – the Kenedy Pasture Company, which may be the office of the Kenedy Ranch.
We stopped while coming back from a Christmas visit to the Valley. Because of all kinds of logistical problems, this was the only stop on that trip. The drive through the county is long and lonely. Almost all of the land is obviously ranch land, and for some reason, there is lots of pockets of water throughout the drive. There seem to be no gas stations in Kenedy county, which makes the 50+ mile drive to Raymondville seem even longer.
The courthouse itself was not necessarily impressive. Considering the population of the county, though, the county must have taken on a fair amount of debt when they build it, for it’s not tiny in size. It is very white, and needing some upkeep. I noticed the bars on the top floor, and wondered how many other counties would have that same feature?
I know this journey will take us to hundreds of other places, but being the first, this will always have a special place in the Courthouses of Texas.