Duval County Courthouse

400 E Gravis 
San Diego, TX 78384 

Although Duval County was created by the State Legislature in 1858, it was attached to Nueces County until 1876 when a group of citizens petitioned for an organizational election. On February 1, 1858 the legislature passed an act creating: The county of Duval, (named in honor of Captain Burr H. Duval, who fell in Fannin's Massacre), the county seat thereof shall bear the same name, and may be located by a majority vote anywhere within ten miles of its center. The act provided for the county to be organized by a petition of 75 citizens. It was not until 1876 that the petition would come forward. On April 22, 1876 N.G. Collins, F.C. Gravis, J.H. Moses and other citizens petitioned the Nueces County Commissioner Court for recognition. The court denied their requests because;1) they were unsure if San Diego, from where most signatures were from, was in Duval or Nueces County: and 2) the petition was not verified by a law officer. A month later, on May 21, 1876, the group petitioned again through Gravis who was a County Commissioner in Nueces County. The court rejected them again until the boundaries could be reviewed. On September 22, 1876 a third petition was presented which was tabled to allow the County Attorney more time to review and analyze the situation. Finally, on September 28, 1876 the Court accepted the petition and called for an election on November 7, 1876. The election proved successful and James O. Luby was elected the first county judge (Exhibit A). Other elected officials included: Frank C. Gravis, County Commissioner Precinct One, P.W. Fowler, County Commissioner Precinct Two, Rafael Salinas, County Commissioner Precinct Three, E.H. Caldwell, County Commissioner Precinct Four, R.P. Fly (Exhibit B), Sheriff, P.W. Moses, County Attorney, Charles Hoffman, County Treasurer, Theo Lamberton, Hide Inspector and John Dix, Surveyor. San Diego, being the only community of substance, was selected as the county seat. San Diego had been partitioned in 1875. The first courthouse was a two story stone building rented for $400 per year. In 1879 a two-story wood frame courthouse was built (Exhibit C). It burned down in 1914 under mysterious circumstances. The present courthouse was built in 1916 (Exhibit D) and the annex in 1938.
        James Luby         luby
                     Exhibit A                                                    Exhibit B

   courthouse     courthouse 
                 Exhibit C                                                     Exhibit C (color)

   courthouse  courthouse
             Exhibit D                                                                        Exhibit E (Present Day)
List of Duval County Judges (1877-Present Day)