Saving the Courthouse

After the Grayson County Government moved to the new courthouse in the late 1970's a controversy erupted around what to do with the 1908 Courthouse. The county could not afford to repair the building which had fallen into dis-repair. The rear porch was in danger of falling down and the roof leaked badly.

Many business people in the Independence thought the  buiding was an eyesore and should be torn down to make room for more parking in town.

Others thought it would be a travesty to tear it down. They saw it as an asset to the community and, with some work, could be restored to being a beautiful landmark. Several organizations including the Grayson County Historical Society and a new grass-roots group called People and the Courthouse (PATCH) conducted fundraising campaigns to save the building.

Dan Baldwin
Dan Baldwin

In the end, it was due largely to one local business man, Dan Baldwin, the CEO of Nautilus Fitness Equipment, that the building was saved. He purchased the building from the county for around $100,000 and then put another $80,000 of his own money into restoring the building.

On July 4th, 1986, Dan Baldwin donated the 1908 Courthouse to the people of Grayson County and formed the Historic 1908 Courthouse Foundation to ensure that there would be an organization to maintain and preserve the building for future generations.

Mr. Baldwin's generosity will long be remembered in Grayson County. He once said "... sometimes things have more value than money." He showed that he beleived that through his actions.