Saturday, November 10, 2018

Centennial of the World War One Armistice

November 11, 2018 is the centennial of the World War One Armistice, the end of the "War to end all wars". Nineteen Kerr County men gave their lives in that war, five in battle, the others died of illness.  I have blogged about them before. Here are links to their stories.
Kerrville men Sidney Baker, Earl Garrett, and Francisco Lemos had streets named for them and have been frequently written about, but apparently not on my blog, so there is no link. That is something I should remedy.  In the meantime here are the stories of  The Other 16 .

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Guadalupe Heights

In August 1950, A.C. Ervin was granted permission by the county commission to plat a subdivision called Guadalupe Heights. This subdivision of mid-century ranch houses lies between the Guadalupe River and San Antonio Highway "overlooking Flat Rock Park".  A rural subdivision, it is located past the VA Hospital and near the Kerrville-Schreiner Airport.

In June 1951 Theodore and Irene Goldman bought the first lot, lot 6, in Guadalupe Heights.

In July 1962, the community residents organized the Guadalupe Heights Club. Its purpose was to promote friendships of the residents of the area.  The first officers were S.M. Udden, President; Warren Stout, First Vice-President; Ted Goldman, Second Vice-President; Secretary, Mrs. Ann Fleece.  The first meeting, a covered dish suppper, was held at the Ace Ranch-O-Tel. [ACE, by the way, comes from A.C.Ervin.]

In January 1963 rural mail service was extended to the neighborhood. By 1964 First Baptist Church had a mission church there, known first as Guadalupe Heights Mission and later as Laurel Way Mission.

In April 1965 the Great Texas Land Company purchased all remaining lots and land in the neighborhood with the intention of immediately selling and developing it. The part of the neighborhood along the highway was put to commercial use. At this time Darwin Instrument Factory purchased the large commercial building on the highway to manufacture and assemble flight and engine instruments for Mooney Aircraft. (It was offered for sale about four years later.)

Additionally, the April 21, 1965 Kerrville Mountain Sun reported
J.D. Brance of Hunt and Houston has purchased the water works and will install storage tanks, large mains and auxiliary pumps, and has pledged to furnish each customer all the water they can use and to maintain adequate pressure all of the time.  It will be comparable to that of City of Kerrville.
At this point 87 homes had been constructed,. All lots had electricity, water (although apparently inadequate for demand), and phone, and were being piped for natural gas.

This subdivision was in the news in 2015 and 2016 with the fight over the annexation of the Martin Marietta quarry which the community abuts.

To learn about other subdivisions in Kerr County go here.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Kerrville Mayors

This month, in a biennial event, Kerrville elected a new mayor (as well as two council seats.)  Since Kerrville was incorporated in 1889 only three men have held the office more than 4 years. As one reads the old newspaper stories one begins to wonder why anyone wants the job! Run as an outsider and as soon as elected you are accused of being part of the "Good Old Boys"! Recalls, threats of recalls, and more pepper the city history.

For many years members of city council selected the new mayor from within their own ranks. They generally served a year or two.  Then, on May 6, 1989, Kerrville citizens approved direct election of mayor.
Working backwards in time, this is the list of mayors since then:
Bill Blackburn, elected 2018
Bonnie White, 2016-2018
Jack Pratt, 2012-2016
David Wampler 2010-2012
Todd Bock 2008-2010
Gene Smith 2005-2008
Stephen Fine 2001-2005
Ben Low 1998-2001 (Threatened with recall. Did not happen.)
Charles Johnson 1994-1998 (Forced from office in recall election in 1998, along with two others.)
Joe Herring, Jr. 1992-1994
Leonard Holloway 1989-92
From Leonard Holloway to Bonnie White is 10 mayors and 30 years.  Three years each on average. Kerrville voters toss their mayors out on a regular basis.

Direct election of mayor approved May 6, 1989.

Here is the remaining list of mayors, again working back in time:
Edd Turner 1988-1989
Charles Johnson 1987-88
Jack Furman 1986-87
A. J. “Jack" Brough 1984-1986
Tom Pollard 1983-84
David Calk 1982-1983
H. Lee Jennings 1979-82
Manly E. Cooper Jr. 1976-77
Edward Schlieter 1974-75 and 1977-78
Mark Maxwell 1971-1973
Zelma Hardy 1973-74 and 1975-76 (First female mayor)
John Mosty 1969-71
Fuzzy Swayze 1968-69
Gordon Monroe 1967-68
Walter Cummings 1966-67
Glenn Petsch 1963-1966
Cedric R. Toler 1961-1963
Manly Cooper 1959-61
Hillmar A. Pressler 1958-59
Lloyd Luna 1956-58
Dr. G. L. Bullard 1950-1956 (6 years)
G. E. Lehmann 1949-1950
H. C. Holchak 1948-1949
E. M. Forman 1947-48
J. F. Stallings 1945-1946
Willis A. Fawcett 1940-44 (Read here about the unfortunate encounter with an angry constituent.)
J. F. Leisering 1936-1939
Richard Holdsworth, 1934-36
Arthur T. Adkins 1921-1933 (Longest serving with12 years. Died in office)
J. S. Wheless 1920-21
H. C. Geddie 1917-1919
George Morris 1916-1917
Henry Remschel 1909-1915 (6 years)
John H. Ward 1905-1908
J. E. Grinstead 1903-1904
J. D. Hutchinson 1901-1902
W. H. Rawson 1896-1900
W. G. Garrett 1895-96
E. Hawes 1894-1995
J. D. Hutchinson 1893
George R. Parsons 1892-93
Ed Smallwood 1891-1892
W. W. Burnett 1890–91
A. M. Gilmer 1890
Joseph Tivy 1889-90

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Discovering Relatives in Unexpected Places

I have posted a slightly different version of this on a different blog I manage, but have put here as well because of the Kerr County connection.

Yesterday I met with a neighbor, a descendant of Charles Schreiner, to discuss a Texas historical marker application he is working on for a cemetery in Kerrville. While chatting, he pulled out this 1880 family photo from the Great Western Cattle Trail.
I was stunned when I read the back:

This picture is taken from on old Tin-Type photo “Schreiner and Lytle Herd” 1880.
Third man from left is Alex Crawford
Sixth man from left is Alex Maltsburger. [sic.  should be Maltsberger]
Seventh man from left is Will Hale.
Eighth man from left is Sebe Jones.
All these men drove “Trail Herds” for Captain Schreiner for several years. 
Original photo taken near Doan’s Store, Red River Crossing.

    Above notes drafted by Nell Schreiner Labatt
(Several of the men in the above photo also appear in this photo.)

The above Alexander Perry Maltsberger is a kinsman of mine, not real close (2nd cousin, 3x removed), but a relative nonetheless.
I'm not from around here, but occasionally I'll discover some relative who was. A while back I discovered a very distant relative, William H. Furr, who served on the Kerr County Commission in the 1940s.

The following item appeared in True West Magazine, June 1964  "Old Time Ranchmen of the Southwest":
With brand ALX, Alex Maltsberger,  was a pioneer cowboy who entered the Panhandle in 1880 as a traildriver for Schreiner, Light, and Lytle, who were some of the largest South Texas trail outfits.  In Lipscomb Co, he served as the first sheriff and worked  for the Box T.  Later he was a Cherokee Strip rancher on the John Chisholm Trail near the Cimarron.  Some of his friends were Sebe Jones, Alex Crawford, Charles Schreiner, Sam Cupp, John McQuipp and Charles Rynearson.  Sebe Jones and Alex shot it out with and captured horse thieves in South Texas.  Vigilantes took the prisoners and hung them in  a pecan tree on Turtle Creek as Sebe and Alex were on the way to Kerrville with the men.
I live in on a tributary of Turtle Creek, and like many of my neighbors have a pecan tree on our property.

Charles Schreiner is an important historical figure in the region with whom I previously had no known connection.  Because of my genealogical research I now know my relative worked for Schreiner as a young man and apparently had a close friendship. And I now have a photo of Alex.  It encourages me to keep researching. You never know where the path may lead.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Miniature Golf

In doing some research for a program I did for the Kerr County Historical Commission ("Entertaining Kerrville: Saloons, Pool Halls, Theatres and Eating Establishments") today, I learned that several miniature golf courses opened in Kerrville the same time.  It was a short-lived fad.  After a burst of excitement, there was no mention for four years, when a newspaper article in passing mention the  fad. It was so short-lived there don't seem to be photos from the time.

The year was 1930. That year miniature golf courses opened downtown, one at the Blue Bonnet Hotel and one at the St. Charles Hotel. The St. Charles course was nine holes.  It started near the sidewalk on Water Street and extending through the rear court and back of the J.C. Penney Company store (which was located in the 700 block of Water Street.)  Rock masons constructed the borders and stone hazards.  Granite from Gillespie Co., and rocks "of attractive color and formation from Kerr Co." were used. There were also water hazards.  The one at the Blue Bonnet was 18-holes and was independent of the hotel. It had sand and water hazards, “requiring the use of niblicks and mashie-niblicks to break the monotony of putting.” It also had water hazards.  The course was on a vacant lot just east of the hotel along the banks of the river. Both miniature links would be visible from Water Street, “which carried heavy tourist traffic from the Old Spanish Trail.”

There were at least two other mini golf courses operating at the same time, one at 367 Junction Highway and one at the corner of Water and Houston streets. None lasted very long.
If you look on the Sanborn map for 1930, you can see the miniature golf next to the Blue Bonnet and the one at Water and Houston.  Houston Street was renamed Rodriguez Street in 1973 in honor of Rev. E. E. Rodriguez. Two blocks of Rodriguez Street have been turned into parking for Crenwelge and HEB.

There have been other attempts to establish mini-golf in Kerrville. As much fun as it is, they just don't last.

UPDATE: April 18, 2018
Joe Herring found an accidental photo of the mini-golf course at the Blue Bonnet Hotel. You can see it in the upper left corner of this photo of the Cascade pool--which also now dates this photo.


Friday, April 13, 2018

50,000

I just want to say thanks to all my loyal readers.
This blog has now exceeded 50,000 pageviews.  As my friend Joe Herring has observed about his own blog, which reached that milestone sometime back, that is an extraordinary number for a blog that covers a very narrow topic, in my case vintage and historic buildings in a small town in Texas, especially considering how infrequently I've posted of late. 
So, thanks to all of you.



Monday, March 12, 2018

Holy Cross Lutheran School

The local public schools have educated most children in the area, but there have been other schools, private and parochial, to serve the educational desires of some families.  One of those schools has been Holy Cross Lutheran School.

A friend sent me this photo of the entire student body of Holy Cross Lutheran School 1950-51. (Since she shared the photo, I decided to blog about it.)
The man on the far right was Vernon Doering, principal and teacher then. The woman on the left is probably the other teacher. Can anyone ID her?
Holy Cross Lutheran School opened on September 8, 1947.  It advertised for primary grades "Qualified teacher...Christian Atmosphere...Individual attention." One teacher, essentially a one-room schoolhouse, the first year. As the school grew teachers were added.
The first teacher was Miss Dorothy Jane Stratman of Houston and graduate of St. John's College, Winfield, Kansas. Only the first three grades were offered that first year, with plans to expand to include Kindergarten through elementary.
The next year, July 1948, Vernon Doering was installed as the teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School. He received his Bachelor of Education degree at Concordia College, River Forest, Ill. He had taught school for four years in Houston, was married and had one child. An additional teacher, Mrs. Lawrence Luckemeyer, was hired to teach primary and kindergarten. She may be the woman in the photo above.
In 1949 they expanded to 5th grade, and to 6th in 1950.
This above photo, from the same friend, is 1952-53.  Looks like it was a bright, sunny day. The newspaper reported over 60 children had enrolled for the year.
In the early years there was no tuition charge, but parents were asked to help as they could.
The school continued as a grade school until about 1996, when it became a preschool only, closing permanently in 2009.

 If you have any corrections or want to identify people please post below or  email dgaudier at gmail.com.  This address is just for my blogs and may not get checked frequently.