Bee County, Texas

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Bee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. Bee County was founded December 8th, 1857. As of 2000, the population was 32,359. Its county seat is Beeville[1]. Bee County is named for Barnard E. Bee, Sr., a secretary of state of the Republic of Texas.

The Beeville Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Bee County and partial of Refugio County, Texas.


Bee County Courthouse

The Bee County Courthouse was designed by the architect William Charles Stephenson, originally from Buffalo, New York. The original courthouse, completed in 1912, cost $72,000. He also sculpted the "Justice Is Blind" monument (In his own words, an "Enlightened Justice") that tops the Courthouse; he intentionally chose the "non-blindfolded" concept.[2] and [3]The structure uses the Chicago window style of a glass pane flanked by two narrow ones. It is classical with the grand portico having Corinthian columns at the entry.[4]

Stephenson also designed the Rialto Theater in Beeville, now used for special occasion, not the running of films, which is located close to the Joe Barnhart Library. He helped construct the death mask of U.S. President William McKinley, who was assassinated in Buffalo in 1901. Stephenson also designed the courthouse in McMullen County, Texas and many other buildings, grand homes, schools, churches, and commercial buildings in and around Beeville.[4]

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