This Historical Marker is located in Downtown Brenham in front of the Washington County Courthouse. The county commissioners’ court or county board, as established by the Constitution of 1876, was composed of the county judge, as presiding officer, and four commissioners elected from precincts for two-year terms. A constitutional amendment adopted in 1954 changed the term of office to four years.
The commissioners’ court has none of the functions of a court but is the general governing body of the county. It establishes a courthouse and jail, appoints numerous minor officials such as the county health officer, fills vacancies in the county offices, lets contracts in the name of the county, builds and maintains roads and bridges, administers the county’s public welfare services, performs numerous duties in regard to elections, sets the county tax rate, issues bonds, adopts the county budget, and serves as a board of equalization for tax assessments.
There is a Gazebo that sits in front of the Courthouse that was dedicated to the people of Washington County.
Historical Marker Reads:
Texas Confederate County Commissioners Court
Composed of a chief justice (now county judge) and four county commissioners, these elected governing boards directed vital Civil War programs. Provided arms, clothing, horses and saddles for troops from county. Gave aid to wartime factories. Obtained and distributed to soldier’s families scarce medicine, food, cloth, salt and cotton and wool cards. County patrols and home guards were set up in many counties and supplied lead, powder, gun caps to guard against the enemy, Indians and bandits. Funds were raised by issuing bonds and scrip and assessing a special war tax on property. Tax credits were given to citizens for contributions to soldier’s dependents. Unbranded cattle were gathered and sold to benefit orphans and widows. Rich, heavily-populated Washington County through its court financed hospitals in Hempstead and Chappell Hill; contracted the making of army uniforms; bought kegs of powder and held gun inspections to maintain home defenses; printed county scrip in 50 (cents), $1, $2, $3 bills; established at Old Mt. Vernon a camp of insctruction and in Brenham a soldiers home. Judges, commissioners and other dedicated public officials did much to strengthen Texas’ war effort.