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Officials rededicate Newton County Courthouse

NEWTON - By Justin Hinton, KFDM News

Hundreds of people gathered at the Newton County Courthouse to watch its rededication 12 years after it burned down.

“Over 100 times I've been asked, ‘Judge, when are you gonna get in the courthouse?’  I can tell you, it's today folks,“ Newton County Judge Truman Dougharty said.

The event started outside, but rain forced organizers to move the rest of the ceremony inside.

“I have to say it's pretty ironic that the building burned and then today, the day of its dedication, it's absolutely pouring rain, so I love that. It just sort of brings things full circle,” Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission Mark Wolfe said.

Newton County officials submitted a master plan to the THC for restoration of the 1902 landmark in hopes that they would receive a Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program grant. Days before the building burned down, the plan had been approved.

“I was at home and my pager went off and said that the courthouse was on fire. I climbed in my truck and went up here and you could see the black smoke way before you even got here,” said Newton County Volunteer Firefighter Shannon Woods.

The dedication is significant for him and his family, because his father-in-law is County Judge Truman Dougharty.

“He stayed with it and I know it means a lot for him to see it actually be reopened,” Woods said. “I remember when he said it, 'It burned on my watch and I want to see it come back on my watch."Officials rededicate Newton County Courthouse

Saturday, February 9 2013, 11:25 PM CST
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