State lawmakers approved $6 million in funding to restore the Mason County Courthouse, which was destroyed by a fire February 4 of this year. The courthouse caught fire at 10 p.m. and by 1:30 a.m., it had been reduced to its outer rock wall.
The man suspected of starting the fire, Nicholas Miller, was charged with arson and burglary of a building. In an interview shortly after the fire, Mason County Judge Jerry Bearden said that the act of violence was a “gut punch,” but that the county residents were resilient and would rebuild.
State Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) explained why, after paying the courthouse a visit earlier this month, he decided to lead the charge to obtain funding for the courthouses’ restoration. Murr said, “Many of us viewed it as an attack on the judicial branch of government – and an attempt to ignore the rule of law, but no unlawful act will shut down our courts.”
The courthouse had already received a Courthouse Restoration Grant in 2020 from the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program to fully restore the courthouse. The $6 million will work in conjunction with this previous award.
Murr’s press release added that the secured funds will help ensure the courthouse has an opportunity to continue to serve as a symbol of the community’s history and future.