CORYELL COUNTY, TEXAS
Founded March 15, 1854INTRODUCTION:
The first official record for Coryell County, Texas has been named Police Record A. This record is filed in the County Clerk’s office and records the actions of the County Court from it’s creation in 1854 through November 1870. The first County Court consisted of four county commissioners, clerk, treasurer, law enforcement officials, tax collector and was presided over by a Chief Justice. Later the name of the presiding officer was changed to County Judge.
Beginning December 10, 1866 the meetings were called Police Court instead of the earlier term County Court. There is no explanation why the name was changed. The record itself is entirely hand written but the name Police Record A is typewritten on a single cover sheet and we can only guess that this page was added by one of the later records keepers. There is no record of a subsequent Police Record B.
This journal is a valuable tool for researchers in the history of Texas as well as of genealogical importance. It records the location of the exact center of the county as the location to erect the courthouse, sets up the districts of the county for the construction and maintenance of a road system, the building of the courthouse and a very detailed description of the construction of the first jail.
Another important disclosure is the July 4, 1859 census of the males of the county between age 21 and 60 who were freeholders and qualified voters to comprise the jury list. It is a complete listing of the male population of that age group. The same census was conducted the following year on July 2, 1860. See pages 126 et seq.
The handwriting was exceptionally clear for the age of the document, but in places there were blurs and fading that made it difficult to ascertain the spellings of some names. Every effort has been made to include every name and verify the spelling as best as possible. Also included is a topical index of events and recordings other than names. The indexer was certain that some of the different initials and names were the same person, but he left that decision to the researcher.
The recording of page numbers in the index begins with “face sheet” to indicate the unnumbered first page.
There are several other records that chronicle the early years of the county’s existence. There is a Court Docket, S. B. Ray, Judge for 1868-1870 and there is a Coryell County Commissioners Court Book C 1880-1885. There is no single record for the 1871-1879 period but there are deed records, tax records and justice of peace records for that period.
The Genealogy Club of Albuquerque, New Mexico, undertook this project, even though not New Mexico history, in an effort to preserve the contents of a very valuable document. Our thanks must go to Mr. Morris Ashby of Gatesville, Texas who was granted permission by the County Clerk, Ms. Barbara Simpson to manage the photocopying of the original document, which is presented here reduced to standard letter size photocopies.
Our thanks also to Rex Hopson and Eldon Pierce of Albuquerque, New Mexico for obtaining the photo copies of the original document. Their help was also very valuable in deciphering the handwriting and verifying the authenticity of the names presented here.
Howard W. Henry, Indexer and Compiler
Eldon W. Pierce, Technical Advisor
Rex Hopson, Project Advisor
Herbert W. Palm, Chairman PAF Users Group
The Genealogy Club of Albuquerque PAF Users Group 423 Central Avenue, Northeast Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102