Commissioners Court Oak

Historical Period: Frontier Texas (1865-1900)
Historical Topic: County Courthouses, Law & Order
Species: Texas Live Oak (Quercus fusiformis)
County: Crockett
Public Access: Yes

E. M. Powell, an early West Texas land surveyor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, drilled a water well on an arid site where now stands Ozona, the county seat of Crockett County.

A “stone's throw” from the site of Powell's well stands a beautiful live oak which shaded the first session of the Commissioner's Court of Crockett County. The court convened on July 21, 1891. Its first order of business was a refund to Val Verde County for the cost of preparing Crockett County's first tax rolls. The second was an order to sheriff John C. Perry to purchase two pair of handcuffs, two pair of leg irons, and a single handcuff with lock. The sheriff was also given the responsibility for operating the county waterworks. This consisted of a windmill-operated pump, a watering trough, and a small cypress tank beside the windmill.

The first district court was convened under this historic live oak in March 1892. Judge Kelso of Eagle Pass presided. The first man tried by the court was convicted and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary for horse theft.

The Commissioner’s Court Oak is located at the corner of Avenue D and Waterworks Drive, in Ozona.