McLennan County Courthouse
The McLennan County Courthouse is considered one of the finest examples of Neo-Classical architecture in Texas. Built in 1902, it is the fourth courthouse to serve the county. The building features a large dome, portico, several and Corinthian columns. Viewed from inside, the dome is decorated with stained-glass art pieces. There are also a number of large statues. Atop the dome stands the Greek goddess of justice, Themis, who is holding a sword in her right hand and a pair of scales in her left. The other statues are Justitia, the Roman goddess of justice, and a torchbearer who resembles Lady Liberty. Around the base of the dome are several Roman eagles. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Backstory and Context
One of the most notable cases at the courthouse was that of Clyde Barrow— aka, Clyde of the notorious bank robber duo Bonnie and Clyde—who stood trial here in 1930. He was sentenced to two years in jail but escaped before he was transferred to the jail in Huntsville. Another notable event to occur at the courthouse was the first live televised murder trial in 1955.
Robinson, Willard. "McLennan County Courthouse." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. December 14, 1978. https://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/NR/pdfs/78003095/78003095.pdf.
Photo: Jerry Larson, Waco Tribune-Herald