Saturday, July 21, 2012

212 A Street


1988 photo,  Kerr County Historical Commission collection
This Craftsman style cottage on A Street is owned by the City of Kerrville and from 1977 until recently was the headquarters of the Fire Department.
In 1920, Robert B. Knox bought this lot from the Protestant Episcopal Church of Kerrville.  The Episcopal Church had been given a chunk of land by Capt. Tivy.  They sold off several lots they didn't need, including this one.
Knox then built this house and lived here with wife Mabel and daughter Kate before moving to Austin in the early 1930s.   In 1944 they sold it to Efis and Lucy LeBlanc.  The LeBlancs  had lived in the house for a number of years as renters before purchasing it.  They were living here in 1936 when a fire consumed a garage behind the house. The house was undamaged.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Henry Dietert House

This late 19th century rock farmhouse on Homestead Drive was the home of Henry Dietert and his family. Henry bought the land in 1893 from his brother-in-law, George Robert Ochse, who in turn had purchased it in 1889 from Nathan James. 
Henry Dietert had five children with his first wife, Paula Schulze, and two with his second wife, Clara Real.  The Dieterts were pioneer settlers of Kerrville. Henry was a son of miller Christian Dietert who first came to Kerrville in 1857 and built a mill on the Guadalupe in the 800 block of Water Street about where One Schreiner Center is today. Traces of that mill and dam remain.  The site of Christian Dietert's mill has a Texas historic marker.
One of the sons of Henry and Paula Dietert was Harry Dietert who founded the Dietert Center.  This was his childhood home.
The owners would like to obtain an historic marker for this house, but to do so we need historic photos documenting the age of the house. Something as simple as a family group standing outside might suffice.

Are any of my readers able to help with this?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

513 Earl Garrett Street

1988 photo

This house at 513 Earl Garrett Street, now a commercial property, is said to date to 1895.  In 1988, a survey taken of the oldest buildings in town reported this house had heart pine and German craftmanship.  
This was originally the home of Thomas Wallace Anderson, a native of Oxford, Georgia, and a Louisiana plantation  and cotton gin owner. Like so many others, he and his family came to Kerrville for his health.  
The  house is two story in front with a one-story ell at the rear. Verandas were built upstairs and down on the front and across the ell at the back.  The lumber was bought from Remschel yard, and carpenters from Morris Ranch did the construction. (Daughter Jean Beall had married Charlie Morris, who ran Morris Ranch for his cousin.)  
Originally, the lot was much larger, extending 50 feet to the north and southward to the railroad on North Street.  It was an in-town farm with large barn, stables, chicken house, stables, and other outbuildings.  A windmill drew water from a well, along with a cistern on the back porch.
Anderson and his sons opened the Kerrville Mercantile Company, at the railroad crossing at Clay Street.  Mosel-Saenger bought the business from Anderson Brothers in 1908.
Daughter Lilly inherited the house.  She and her husband, A. G. Morriss, ranched on the Divide.  Mrs. Morriss and children lived in town during the school year and spent summers at the ranch.
Although the family owned the house until 1945, they didn't always live here.  In 1930, for instance, the Morriss' lived in a more modern house at 800 Wheless, and rented out the house to Marie Gentry, who ran a boarding house called the "Mary Marie". (Mary was her daughter.)
When the house was sold to G. S.  Cone in 1945 three generations of Anderson family had lived here. Cone divided the property and built four houses in the former orchard and gardens. The area today is no longer residential, but the feel of the old neighborhood lingers because of efforts to preserve these houses along Earl Garrett Street.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

980 Barnett Street

This former grocery store at 980 Barnett Street is home to the 720 Club, which hosts support groups.

The earliest record of this building is in November 1928, when Ives Sandwich Shop "near school buildings" is mentioned in a newspaper advertisement.
In 1930 J. S. Robertson bought the business from John R. Ives. Located near Tivy School, it handled not only groceries but also school supplies and candy and had a lunch room. A few months later he sold the property and business to M. W. Cooper and T. N. Phelps. They converted the store to a Red & White Grocery and enlarged the facility.
In 1931 Leslie Adkins bought Phelps' share in the business. After Leslie Adkins died, his son Roger took over management.  Cooper later sold his interest to Earl Bernhard.
Roger Adkins bought out his partner in 1953.  The 25 year old grocery store closed its doors July 1955.

After Adkins' closed, the building housed a variety of other businesses including Landgrebe Grocery in the late 1950s, the Kerr County Commodity distribution center (before 1971), and The Corner Store.

It has served its current purpose since 1990.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Edward Dietert House

This photo was updated April 17, 2016

This folk Victorian home now has the address of 332 Clay Street, and until recently was the Soul Cafe.  In March 2016 the Pint & Plow Brew Pub opened here.  The house sits at the corner of Clay and Jefferson.  I believe it was originally 529 Jefferson Street.  Unlike the Tivy hotel, which was actually rotated on its lot, it appears the house is in its original location.  The front door was moved instead.

In researching this house, the first mention I could find of the 332 Clay address was in a 1963 advertisement for apartments to rent. The fact that I cannot find a mention of this address prior to 1963 would usually suggest that the building wasn't much older than that, but this house is clearly much older.
The 1924 Sanborn map shows a house in this location and with about the same footprint. The address then was 529 Jefferson Street.  A 1930s aerial photo also shows the house.

The January 17, 1974, Kerrville Mountain Sun had a story about James J. Vogel, who was running for Justice of the Peace.  He resided at 332 Clay and had legal offices at 529 Jefferson.  I think it was the same building--just with doors facing different streets.

Based on the evidence, I am certain this was the Edward Dietert house at 529 Jefferson. Edward and Tekla Langbein Dietert arrived in Kerr County from Boerne in 1903 and built a home on the corner of Jefferson and Clay streets the next year.  They lived there the rest of their lives.  Ed Dietert died September 1959, his widow in April of 1960.  They are buried at Glen Rest Cemetery.

Ed Dietert was a rancher on the Divide.  His obituary reported that his family resided in Kerrville so that the children might attend school and the services of their church.  This arrangement was not uncommon at that time.
Also according to his obituary "Cabinetmaking was his hobby, and some of the finest interior work in some of the older homes of the city is his handiwork."  I wonder which houses those are.
Perhaps one of my readers will know.

Friday, July 6, 2012

501 Earl Garrett Street

This lovely cottage at 501 Earl Garrett was originally at 333 Earl Garrett Street.  It was moved by W. E. Crick in 1948 for the construction of the building that now houses the Kerrville Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Many houses in Kerr County, especially those on the edge of the commercial districts, have been moved over the years.  Some of those houses still serve as homes today. Others, like this one, are used for commercial purposes.
The first record in the newspaper of the house when it was at 333 Earl Garrett is in June 1930 when the house was burglarized. The occupant at that time was Dr. Ricardo Mestre.  Five years later it was serving as the office of Dr. Sherburne, chiropractor.  Sitting across from the Courthouse, the area was seeing commercial creep.  It was probably inevitable that the few residences remaining would be moved or torn down.

Monday, July 2, 2012

333 Earl Garrett Street

This brick and hollow tile building at 333 Earl Garrett Street was erected in 1949 by Earl Stiefel for Lone Star Gas Company. Their offices were here until August, 1994, when they moved across the river to Sidney Baker Street, South.   It has been home to the Kerrville Chapter of the American Red Cross since January of 1995.

You may be thinking "1949? That's not historic!"  This may surprise you, but a building becomes eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places when it is 50 years old.  At the time I write this, the building is 63 years old--more than old enough.
The exterior was in buff brick.  The entrance was trimmed with Austin shell stone; the edges aluminum.  The entire front of the building had a marquee of satin finish stainless steel. A simulated flame of blue porcelain enamel was installed over the entrance.

In order to clear the lot to construct this building, the house that was located here was moved to 501 Earl Garrett Street where it serves today as a professional office.