Frio County is named for the Rio River which is named after the Spanish word “frio” meaning “cold”.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Medina County
E – Atascosa County
S – La Salle County
W – Zavala County
Created: February 1, 1858
Frio Town 1871 – 1883
Pearsall 1883 – present
County Courthouse – Pearsall
Location: 500 East San Antonio Street / South Walnut Street
Built: 1903 – 1904
Architect: Henry Truman Phelps of San Antonio
Contractor: R O Langworthy
Description: The building faces south and is a two story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Pearsall. The south front has a projecting center section with arched entrance and recessed doorway on the first story. On the east and west are one story projecting sections with higher sections behind. White colored trim is above and below the windows. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the Commissioners Court is located on the southwest side of the first story. The courtroom is located on the west side of the second story. The building houses the State District Court, Constitutional County Court and County Justice Court. The building was altered in 1937 and 1950. On the southeast side is the Old County Jail (1884).
See: The architect Henry Truman Phelps of San Antonio, Texas
Old County Jail – Pearsall
Location: 665 East Median Street / South Pecan Street
Architect: P J Pauley & Brother of St Louis, Missouri.
Contractor: P J Pauley & Brother of St Louis, Missouri.
Description: The building faces west and is a two story white colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Pearsall to the southeast of the courthouse. The building is now the Frio Pioneer Jail Museum.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Old Frio County Jail
History: The county was created in 1858 and Frio Town was selected as the county seat in 1871 when the county was organized. The first and second courthouse were built in Frio Town in 1871 and 1872 and the latter burned in 1877. The third courthouse in Frio Town was a stone structure built by W J Slaughter in 1878 and the ruins are still standing 16 miles northwest of Pearsall on highway 140. The county seat was moved to Pearsall in 1883. The fourth courthouse was a temporary structure built in 1883. The County Jail was built in 1884 at a cost of $11,000 and is still standing. The fifth courthouse was constructed in Pearsall in 1903 to 1904.
County Courthouse - Pearsall
Old County Jail - Pearsall
Photos taken 2009 and 2019