Judge Kristen Hawkins, 11th District Court
Judge Kristen Hawkins, 11th District Court (Emile Browne)

Kristen Brauchle Hawkins made history Jan. 9 when she was administered the oath of office as judge of the 11th District Court in Houston.

“It’s the oldest court in Texas,” said Hawkins, who has become the court’s first female judge.

“She is the 28th judge of the 11th District Court; the first 27 were men,” said Judge Mark Davidson, who was the 26th judge to serve on that court.

Davidson said the court, originally known as the district court of Harrisburg County and five other counties, was established in 1836 by Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and Secretary of State Stephen F. Austin. Harrisburg County became Harris County in 1839, according to The Southwestern Historical Quarterly published by the Texas State Historical Association.

The 11th District Court is a general civil court. But Davidson, who currently serves as judge for a multidistrict litigation court in Houston, said the first case heard in the court was a larceny case, State v. Adams, which involved “pig theft.” The man convicted of that offense was branded with the letter “T” on his right hand.

The first judge of the 11th District Court was Benjamin Franklin, great-nephew of the Benjamin Franklin of Revolutionary War times, Davidson said.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett of the Southern District of Texas in Houston swore in Hawkins, who was in private practice for 17 years and a Houston solo practitioner immediately prior to her election. She replaces Judge Mike Miller.

“It’s very exciting,” Hawkins said.

Kristen Brauchle Hawkins made history Jan. 9 when she was administered the oath of office as judge of the 11th District Court in Houston.

“It’s the oldest court in Texas,” said Hawkins, who has become the court’s first female judge.

“She is the 28th judge of the 11th District Court; the first 27 were men,” said Judge Mark Davidson, who was the 26th judge to serve on that court.

Davidson said the court, originally known as the district court of Harrisburg County and five other counties, was established in 1836 by Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and Secretary of State Stephen F. Austin. Harrisburg County became Harris County in 1839, according to The Southwestern Historical Quarterly published by the Texas State Historical Association.

The 11th District Court is a general civil court. But Davidson, who currently serves as judge for a multidistrict litigation court in Houston, said the first case heard in the court was a larceny case, State v. Adams, which involved “pig theft.” The man convicted of that offense was branded with the letter “T” on his right hand.

The first judge of the 11th District Court was Benjamin Franklin, great-nephew of the Benjamin Franklin of Revolutionary War times, Davidson said.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett of the Southern District of Texas in Houston swore in Hawkins, who was in private practice for 17 years and a Houston solo practitioner immediately prior to her election. She replaces Judge Mike Miller .

“It’s very exciting,” Hawkins said.