Hello, from the Comanche County Museum!  Today I am talking about the “Picket” Courthouse which was the first courthouse (1859-1862) located on today’s courthouse square:

“The courthouse built in the new town of Comanche was of slim log poles.  A trench was dug and the poles set on end similar to a picket fence.  The structure had an earthen floor and shake roof.  Because of the method of construction, the combination courthouse and jail was called the “picket” courthouse.  It was located southwest of what is now the town square, but near historic Fleming Oak.  Picket courthouse had a short life.  The Minutes of Commissioners Court for March 20, 1862, simply state: “Whereas on the night of the 15th inst. the courthouse was burned…”.  With no further comment on the fire, the court arranged to rent Silas Puckett’s building for $65, to be used as a district courtroom and clerk’s office.  J.M. Green was appointed agent to furnish paper, books and furniture to equip the office.  The county clerk was ordered to transcribe, or have transcribed, the old records of official oaths, bonds, beef tallies, bills of sale, etc., the person performing said task to receive 15₵ for each and every hundred words transcribed.  The original brand register and marriage records are intact.  The story is that a hard working clerk took some books home to work after hours and thus saved them from the fire.

Plans were made to build a new courthouse and jail.  It was to be a two story structure, fifty feet square, “built of hewn stone and good plank, with doors and windows neatly arched.”  These were ambitious plans for Comanche which had a total county population of 709 in 1860.  More than ten years passed before the new courthouse became a reality.”

And now here is a Christmas story: “Christmas out on the plains”

Yes, I was born in 1930, near Big Spring, Texas.  This was out ON THE PLAINS, cotton country, and maybe milo and hegari (another form maize).  A few years ago, I was writing songs and poetry and I turned this out using my memories:

Twas the night before Christmas, out there on the plains.

But all Momma and Pappa talked of was rain.

We knew times were bad that we had a drouth,

But there were other things that Bobby and I were thinking about

For tomorrow was Christmas and let it be said,

We were in no hurry to get into bed.

We’d looked in the cellar and out in the sheds

Looked in the closets and under the beds

There were no presents, and no tree

Nothing anywhere that we could see

Bad times before,

But there was candy, and toys and more

We heard Poppa say, “Hon, I’m just about through

If it don’t rain in the next day or so,

We’ll have to move

We can go and stay with your folks for awhile

And I’ll give that feed store job a trial

Mama and Poppa were really hurting

we went on to bed and one thing for certain,

When we said our prayers

We didn’t ask for things we just asked God to please send some rain.

We woke up and heard on the roof

What we knew must be Santa and his reindeer’s hooves

We rushed outside and we saw a sight we’d not seen before

Mamma and Poppa were jumping and yelling

It took us a minute to hear what they were telling

That’s rain coming down, boys

we won’t have to leave here and move into town

There never was a prettier sight

Than rain coming down on that Christmas Eve night

And I’ll tell my kids about my Momma and Dad

And the best Christmas that we’d ever had,

When God answered prayers and Santa bought rain.

Missy Cox Jones

Hoping for the best Christmas for each of you and a Happy New Year.

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