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Karnes County

Karnes County is named for Henry Karnes, who was a soldier during the Texas Revolution.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Wilson County and Gonzales County 

E – DeWitt County and Goliad County

S – Bee County and Live Oak County 

W – Atascosa County and Wilson County


Created:  February 4, 1854                    Map of Texas highlighting Karnes County

County Seat: 

Helena          1854 – 1893

Karnes City  1893 – present


County Courthouse – Karnes City


Location:  101 North Panna Maria Avenue / West Calvert Avenue

Built:  1894 – 1895

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  John McCormack

Contractor:  John McCormack and J A Austin


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story brown colored brick, stucco and sandstone structure. The building is llocated on landscaped grounds in the center of Karnes City. The east front has a projecting center section with entrance framed with a red sandstone arch and rising to a peaked roof. Red colored sandstone trim runs above and below the windows. On the south side is a semi-circular tower with flat roof. In the interior, the large courtroom is located on the east side of the second story and extends up to the third story with balcony. The building houses the State District Court, Constitutional County Court and County Justice Court. The building was remodeled in 1924. The architect was Henry T Phelps and the contractor was San Antonio Company. An addition was added on the west side. The building is presently being restored during 2016 to 2017. The architect is Fisher Heck Architects of San Antonio and the contractor is M J Boyle General Contractors, Inc. of San Antonio.


Note:  The architect and contractor of the present courthouse John McCormack, died before construction was completed.


County Administration – Karnes City



Location:  200 West Calvert Avenue / North Davidson Street

Built:  2007 – 2011

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Syncro Architect Studio of San Antonio

Contractor:  HMC West and Lehmann Engineering.


Description:  The building faces west and is a one story light red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds on the west side of the courthouse in the center of the city. The west front has a central entrance with north and south sections rising higher with curved roofs. The windows are vertical. The building is named as Offices on the Square. 


Old County Courthouse – Helena



Location:  Highway 61 / County Road 302

Built:  1873

Style:  Federal

Architect:  John Jacob Riley

Contractor:  Thomas Ruckman and W McNamara


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story white colored stone structure. The building is located on spacious grounds in the center of Helena and was the second courthouse. The east front has a two story porch with stairs. The roof is hipped. 


History:  The county was created in 1854 and Helena was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a log structure built in 1854. The building was destroyed by fire in 1865. The second courthouse was built in 1873. The county seat was moved to Karnes City in 1893. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1894 to 1895.



County Courthouse – Karnes City 







Courthouse after 2018 restoration







































County Administration Building – Karnes City 











Old County Courthouse – Helena











Photos taken 2009, 2017 and 2019