‘Good Nabours’ bailed out county in 1895

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the Milam County Courthouse.

In 1895 Milam County was doing business with the Milam County Bank when the bank failed.

County deposits were $10,692. At this time in history there was no insurance of deposits.

William A. Nabours was county treasurer.

According to a letter written by Oxsheer Smith to Guy Crouch: “The bondsmen met in the county courtroom to see what they could do about paying or arranging for the loss. Treasurer Nabours rose and said: ‘My friends, you need not worry about this matter. My brother and I have been talking and we are going to sell our land and pay the county. You will not be called on for a thing’.”

William Nabours did sell most of his land and his brother’s holdings to repay the county for the money lost in the failure of the bank.

In 1912, J. L. Barmore was awarded the contract to build sidewalks around the cour thouse for the sum of $889, which included an agreement to maintain them for the next three years.

The first electric fans were installed in the Grand Jur y Room, District Courtroom and the County Court Room in April 1921.

The underground cisterns were filled in during 1927 due to a problem with mosquitoes.

On April 1, 1937, in a special session of the Milam County Commissioners Court, commissioners passed a proclamation that read in part:

“An order creating and manifesting an Agreement between the State of Texas and the County of Milam, Texas for the erection of a monument to Ben Milam, on the Courthouse Grounds at Cameron, Milam County, Texas.”

County Judge Jeff Kemp appointed a committee to be in charge of the location, erection and a dedication program for the statue of Ben Milam.

Working with the sculptor Bryant Baker, a unanimous decision was made to place the statue on the southwest corner of the courthouse square.

Ben was to face south towards San Antonio with his gun in one hand and the other upraised asking the famous question with which he rallied the Texian Army on Dec. 7, 1835: “Who will go with old Ben Milam into Bexar?”

Milam was killed in that day’s fighting, but the army did capture what was to become the city of San Antonio.

The committee’s decision was questioned by the commissioners court.

Commissioners wanted the statue to be placed on the northeast corner of the square facing the river.

After arguing the location, it was finally decided to place it on the southwest corner because County Judge Graham Gillis, who served prior to Kemp, had wanted the statue on the southwest location.

Research: “Milam Count y Courthouse and its People” Mary Ann Eanes, 2002.

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