Wise County is named for Henry Alexander Wise, who was a United States Congressman from Virginia who supported Texas annexation.
Created: February 1, 1856
Decatur 1856 – present
County Courthouse – Decatur
Location: 101 North Trinity Street / West Walnut Street
Built: 1895 – 1897
Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: James Riely Gordon of San Antonio
Contractor: John A White
Description: The building faces southwest and is a three story cruciform Texas granite structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the city. There is terra cotta used in the friezes, turrets and dormers. A square stone clock tower rises on the center of the roof. There is a winding cast iron staircase in the center of the building. The large courtroom is located on the east side of the second story and the small courtroom is located on the third story. The building was remodeled in 1960.
See: The architect James Riely Gordon of San Antonio, Texas
Note: The first courthouse was built on the square in 1861 and burned in 1881. The second courthouse was constructed in 1893 at a cost of $50,000 but burned on January 7, 1895. The cost of construction of the present courthouse was $110,000. The courthouse is similar to the cruciform design of the courthouse in Ellis County.
E – Denton County
W – Jack County
Picture 1861 Courthouse
Picture 1893 Courthouse
Photos taken 2006, 2014 and 2019