|Horse Trough, Courthouse Square, Hillsboro, Texas|
On the first Monday of each month, the courthouse square in Hillsboro became a social and economic gathering place for the entire county.
Farmers would tie their teams to the iron fence surrounding the courthouse lawn and sell cottons, produce, excess livestock, baled hay and firewood from their wagons. The most favorable spot was on the east side near the watering trough. That way, if the day dragged on, it was easier to make sure the livestock were taken care of.
People brought their horses and mules to trade. If you were there to buy, you needed to be careful and thorough. Otherwise, you’d end up with a decrepit horse or a cow well past her prime. "Buyer Beware" was the rule of the day before the days of consumer protection laws. You had to know your stuff and your stock.
Women and children had a chance to shop, to meet folks and visit with friends from all over. Farm children enjoyed a day in town, with all of the excitement that the crowds generated.
"First Monday" trade day was a greatly anticipated event all through the county. There was a real festive air. Hundreds of people crowded into town and the merchants loved it. So many people showed up that wagons, cars and trucks might be triple parallel parked.
Even when it wasn’t the first Monday of the month, the Hillsboro courthouse square was a central meeting place, and a social center for fiddling, courting, and discussing the happenings around the world.