Built in 1914, the Bastrop Courthouse has seen a lot of wear and tear over the years and wasn't always the most modern, which is why, 1968, it was renovated and added to, and the dedication of the renovated courthouse took place this week in 1968.
The courthouse was first worked on in 1935 when new wings were added, but in 1968, it was fully renovated under Rannie Terrell. New light fixtures, carpets, and furniture were put in place and many rooms got new paint jobs. The décor was modernized and redone in many places. New spacious counters were several areas for customer convenience.
Renovations and added wings made more room for the service officer, Red Cross, Registrar of Voters, Tax Accessory, and Sheriff's Criminal and Civil Department as well as the Police Jury and Juvenile Offices, new jail facilities, Jury Rooms, Courtroom, and Petit and Grand Jury Rooms.
The courthouse was given a much more modern look including new equipment. A new kitchen for the jail was added as well as a radio room whose operators controlled who entered and exited the jail. Two new elevators were also added to the building.
A spacious Clerk of Court office with a larger record vault was added as well in the front lobby. One of its most interesting features was an old fashioned table used by Mrs. Johnnie Green's father for 40 years in his office. In other efforts to retain the buildings history, pictures of past jury members such as Frank M. Jones and J. W. Brodnax were hung in the jury room.
A dedication ceremony to officially open the courthouse was held on Sunday, August 11, 1968. Chamber of Commerce president W. T. Blackwell served as Master of Ceremonies, and Congressman Otto Passman gave a short speech at the event. Jacob Seligman commented on the downtown renovation which also took place that year. Renovation Committee Chairman Henry Messenger cut the ribbon and tours of the new facilities were give to guests by courthouse workers. In all 1500 people attended the event.
The community was pleased with the courthouse renovations and happy city officials took the time to revitalize such an important part of Bastrop's history.