Located in the far northeastern corner of the Texas Panhandle, with Oklahoma on its northern and eastern borders, Lipscomb County is known as a remote and rugged place with a sparse and resolute population. The 2020 census recorded 3,059 people, with the village of Lipscomb—the county seat—having just 66 residents.
Modern services can be scarce in Lipscomb—there are no gas stations or grocery stores, and electricity and cell service can be spotty. There are no city officials and none of the usual local ordinances and regulations. The residents are self-reliant, independent, and determined. Standing in the center of the small town is the impressive Lipscomb County Courthouse, a Classical Revival structure with Prairie Style influences. Built in 1916, it is now fully restored.
A participant in the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP), the community centerpiece was rededicated on September 11, 2021. The ceremony was presided over by County Judge Mickey Simpson and featured former County Judge Willis Smith, who recounted the history of the restoration project.
At a total cost of nearly $6 million, the project included masonry repairs, roof replacement, removal of suspended ceilings, modern wall finishes and floor coverings, and the restoration of all interior finishes. New mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were installed, and modern security features were added, including cameras and computer system wiring. The district courtroom was restored based on finish analysis and historic documentation, including the restoration of the balcony. A new elevator was installed inside the building after the removal of an exterior elevator that was added in the 1970s. Windows had previously been restored during a 2014 THCPP emergency grant project, and replica windows were installed during this recent project at the location of a demolished addition.
The Lipscomb County Courthouse stands restored and proud, a testament to its residents’ determination.
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