Correction: This blog has been updated to correct the spelling of Harry “Gil” Gillam and his law firm Gillam & Smith.
Harry L. “Gil” Gillam Jr. is one of those lawyers who counts an IP practice as one of the reasons he set up Gillam & Smith in a historic Victorian house in Marshall years ago. Yet Gillam’s fascination with East Texas courthouses goes beyond just the litigation aspect — he has an equal love of the buildings where he makes his living; a passion Gillam has documented through his own artwork.
So, when Gillam & Smith decided to revamp their website recently, they featured Gillam’s artwork as an advertising hook, titling it under the heading “Drawing on Experience.”
“I just like to sketch I like to draw and always have. There’s no formal training there. These courthouses are beautiful. If you look at the past, there’s some really pretty ones that don’t exist anymore,” Gillam says, noting his drawings of early incarnations of state courthouses in Bowie and Smith Counties that have been lost to time.
“The thing that just kills me about these things is some of the ones that aren’t around anymore,” says Gillam, who used old photographs as guides to draw the demolished courthouses.
“You wonder about the forefathers that tear them down just for a highway,’’ he says.
To view Gillam’s depiction of nine Northeast Texas federal and state courthouses, click here.
— John Council