Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Karnes City: Karnes County Courthouse

"The first Anglo-American settlement in the county was made in 1852 at Helena at the site of an earlier Mexican settlement called Alamita."


  • 101 N Panna Maria Ave
  • Karnes City, Texas
  • 78118


Hours & Fees

  • Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Free


"By 1853 Anglo settlers, ... , petitioned the state legislature to form a new county from portions of Bexar, Gonzales, DeWitt, Goliad and San Patricio counties. On February 4, 1854, the legislature complied, passing a measure to establish a new county, named Karnes for Texas revolutionary leader Henry Wax Karnes, with Helena as county seat. Large-scale agriculture was not introduced until the arrival of the railroads in the mid-1880s. The arrival of the railroads also changed the face of the county in other ways. After the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, which built through the area in 1886, missed Helena, the county seat was moved in 1894 six miles west to a new railroad town named Karnes City."- Christopher Long,  "Karnes County,"  Handbook of Texas Online 
"The building's Architect and Contractor, John Cormack, died before the construction was complete.  An addition, by Henry Phelps, came in 1927, along with the removal of the clock tower and mansard roofs." -