We spent all day today in Center, visiting my aunt Janie. We had a very nice day chatting and visiting, mostly about my family and my early years. It was a very enjoyable day for me. I have used Janie as my personal historian for a long time and I'm lucky to have her and her outstanding memory of my family.
Since I don't want to bore you with my boyhood in Galveston, I'll tell you about this area. Center was originally called White Cottage with the post office established in 1848. Shelbyville was the county seat of this county, Shelby county. One of the State Representatives introduced a bill, which passed, into the legislature that the county seats should all be in the geographical center of the counties, and in Shelby county, that would be White Cottage. A vote was held in Shelby county with the results being to move the county seat, however the people of Shelbyville organized to resist the move. One night in 1866, a group of men led by the County Clerk came in the middle of the night to move the records. The town changed its name to Center, to reflect the requisite location and a post office opened there in 1866.
The original county courthouse burned to the ground in 1882. The county decided to build a new courthouse and jail on land donated by a local resident, who demanded that a four acre town square be established with the new courthouse as its centerpiece. The builders issued a bond to erect the building for $26,725 and it was completed in 1885 and it still stands. Talk about not built like that any more...