Several business leaders and members of the Parker County Historical Commission gathered Friday to officially dedicate a building with a State of Texas Historical Marker. That’s not unusual in a town so rich in Texas history but then it wasn’t just any building.Built in 1870, on the Weatherford Downtown Square, it housed the first bank in Parker County owned by J.R. Couts. Later, it became the Franco-Texan Land Company from Paris, France. There, at 118 Houston Avenue, they sold bonds which were intended to bring the Intercontinental Railroad through the city and westward to El Paso.Arguably one of its most notable tenants was S.W.T Lanham, the 23rd governor of Texas and the last Confederate soldier to hold the post as governor. It was there where he had a law practice and served as Parker County’s District Attorney.Later, the building housed the Western Union Company, a radio recording studio and even the Parker County election returns were once announced from the building.Bob and Carolyn Glenn purchased the property in 2011 from the Cotten family and restored the building to its original character. Bob Glenn thanks those who worked on the building’s restoration and had County Judge Mark Riley speak to those attending.“We want to thank Bob and Carolyn for this work and for having the vision as willingness to make the commitment to invest in downtown,” Riley said. “I think there’s a renewed interest in downtown and the square.”Most importantly, Riley said, was that people connect with the past because if they fail to do so then it’s forever lost.Bradford Tibbitts with the historical commission gave a historical summary of the building prior to the unveiling of the marker followed by a ribbon cutting by the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce commemorating the event.
Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102 Twitter: @Lancewinter