Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


Rains County Courthouse

The community was originally known as Springville, reportedly for the many local springs that attracted settlers. In 1870 the town became Emory, the seat of Rains County, but water remains the town’s top attraction. Emory lies between two major reservoirs--27,690 acre Lake Fork, a trophy bass fishing lake, and 36,700 acre Lake Tawakoni, home of many retirees and weekenders. Rains County is one of the smallest counties in the state, and, likewise, Emory’s 1909 Neo-Classical Revival courthouse casts a small but eye-catching profile on the downtown square. When the 1908 courthouse burned, county leaders rebuilt around the stenciled records vault which survived the fire and remains in its original location. Fully restored through the Texas Historic Courthouse Program, the1909 courthouse features a unique cruciform plan with projecting wings, a central dome and locally-produced ginger-colored brick. A small Emory museum, the A.C. McMillan African American Museum is named for local educator A.C. McMillan. The museum has exhibits on African-American art, slavery, Negro baseball leagues, Buffalo Soldiers and Rosenwald Schools, including Rains County schools in Richland and Sand Flat communities.