From brass keychains to calendars to Model Ts, plans for the celebration marking the 100th birthday of the Johnson County Courthouse are moving forward.
The event is being planned by a volunteer committee under the auspices of Johnson County and is funded with a $5,000 budget from county funds. County Judge Roger Harmon chairs the planning committee, which meets once a week.
Organizers want to recreate 1913 in downtown Cleburne for the celebration by bringing in vendors that will offer foods and arts and crafts that would have been available then and by getting participants to dress in 1913-era attire.
Johnson County Historical Commission Chair John Percifield said that he has arranged to bring in automobiles that will help set the mood. Percifield said at the committee’s Tuesday meeting that he has found five Model Ts — from 1905, 1910, 1914, 1915 and 1925 — to park on the east side of the courthouse square to help create the proper atmosphere.
There will be other vintage automobiles parked in a lot on the southeast corner of the square, as well, he said.
Committee members handling vendor registration said that booth spaces are going fast. Of the 60 total booth spaces available on the courthouse square, all but 19 have been spoken for already. There are still booth spaces available at Market Square, just south of the courthouse.
Each of the cities in Johnson County can have a booth at the event to promote their towns. Committee members encourage city representatives to claim their space soon.
The committee is ordering brass keychains commemorating the courthouse’s 100th year, and committee member Mollie Mims is designing a calendar that will feature photos from turn-of-the-century Johnson County and interesting facts about the county and its people ranging from 1913 to 2013.
“We are celebrating the courthouse’s 100 years, so really that is our ‘period,’ those 100 years. So I wanted to include information from that whole span of time,” Mims said.
The final price for the calendars hasn’t been determined yet but will likely run about $10.
Committee members are also looking for people who were born in Johnson County and live here now — even if they moved away for awhile in between — who are 100 years old or older. Those individuals will be recognized with a display at the courthouse during the celebration.
Committee members are also looking for churches that are at least 100 years old. So far, they said, they have confirmed 60 churches to be at least 100 years old, and they expect to add more to that list.
The Johnson County Courthouse was dedicated Nov. 28, 1913, but the celebration marking its centennial will be held Nov. 16 because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The celebration begins with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. in Room 201 of the courthouse. A time capsule placed in the courthouse cornerstone when it was built will be retrieved beforehand and opened, and a new time capsule will be placed in the cornerstone as part of the centennial celebration.
The Texas Historical Marker for the courthouse will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. by a ceremony rededicating the Confederate monument on the courthouse grounds.
The day will include vendors on the courthouse square and at Market Square, informational booths, a car show, live music, “gunfighters” and more. Organizers also said they are looking for someone to set up a facepainting booth for children.
For information about the event, including information about booth space, call Kimber Zorn at 817-556-6360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.