Seat of justice for Ector, created out of Tom Green County in 1887 and organized in 1891.
The 1891 courthouse was frame, the remodelled town sanitarium, moved to the present square. Its first floor had rooms for the sheriff, court clerks and Odessa school, while the county and district courtroom was upstairs. As the only public building in town, it provided space for dances. socials and church services. Picnics and baptizings were held at the windmill and tank on the northwest corner of the square. As townsite restriction banned the sale of liquor, Odessa was usually quiet. However, fights broke out when settlers rushed to the courthouse to file claims on public lands.
In 1904 a 2-story red stone courthouse was built just east of the early one. On the lawn in 1906 the Christian church was organized. At that time Odessa had 400 people and little hope for growth, because of drouths and their effects on cattle raising.
After oil discoveries of 1926 stimulated Ector's development, a 3-story cement building was erected in 1938.
The fourth structure was dedicated April 12, 1964, by governor John Connally.