Richmond, Texas

Richmond, Texas is a place of great history. It remains a very small town in comparison to its neighbors, Rosenberg, Katy and SugarLand; however, the place is filled with the names of famous Texas characters; Mirabeau Lamar, Jane Long, Deaf Smith, Carrie Nation and many others are tied to Richmond, Texas. Members of Steven F. Austin’s Old 300 built the first structures along the Brazos River in 1822, calling their community the “Fort Settlement”. Incorporated as the county seat of Fort Bend County in 1838, the land promoters who laid out the formal town, renamed it “Richmond” for Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond has been the home to several courthouses. The first four were located on Morton Street. In 1842, the first one was located in a house; the second built in 1850 and was located in a two story brick building. During Reconstruction, the courthouse was moved to several locations until a three story structure was purchased from C. H. Kendall. A two story brick Victorian courthouse, complete with bell tower and clock, was located on a courthouse square on Morton Street from 1888 through 1909.

The fifth courthouse is the historic Richmond courthouse built in 1908. Together with the William B. Travis Building which was built in 1989, the courts were located on Jackson Street. In June 2011, all of the courts, the county and district clerks’ offices, and the district attorney’s office moved to the new Fort Bend County Justice Center located across from the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department and Jail.

The Fort Bend County Jail was built in Richmond in 1897 and was the third jail structure for the county. It contained living quarters for the sheriff as well as a gallows on the third floor. This building served as the jail until 1955. Renovated, it now houses the Richmond Police Department.

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