Thursday, January 31, 2013

631 Water Street

Early 2012 photo
 I really want to share my latest discovery, so, fortunate readers, you get two posts in one day!

 I first wrote about this building on June 19, 2012.  At that time I titled it "Ward's Funeral Home" and said it was erected no later than 1918.  While that is not incorrect, I have learned much more of the history of this building. Rather than extensively edit that post, I am deleting it and posting this instead, mostly because I want to be sure my loyal readers see this updated information.

The startling results of additional research show that this nondescript stuccoed commercial building is one of the ten oldest buildings in downtown Kerrville.

The story of this building begins in the 19th century. On Feb 3, 1891, Charles Schreiner sold the 44x100 ft land this building sits on to William K. Sharpe "of Dover, New Hampshire" for $2000. [Sharpe was a wool buyer with Sawyer Woolen Mills of Dover.]  Since vacant lots were generally going for about $75 each, there must have been a building here.  I am still working to discover when the building actually went up, but it obviously was finished no later than January 1891. Most likely Charles Schreiner was responsible for having it built.

Building after 1929 remodeling

Photo here is of Pampell's.  631 Water St. building is visible at far right in this undated photo.
It appears on the 1898 Sanborn-Perrin fire insurance map labeled as a notions and millinery shop. At that time it was a wood frame building.   In 1904 an undertaker and a notions shop were here--presumably sharing the building. I doubt they were the same business!  The undertaker was probably the Smith and Ward Undertaking business (later John H. Ward Undertaking).   Within the next three years the undertaking business moved across Water Street to where the parking garage is today. When in 1907 the newly organized First State Bank of Kerrville moved in to this building it was still a wood frame structure.  Late in 1910, the bank moved to its new permanent location in the 800 block of Water Street.  By 1916, the building housed a millinery shop and plumber. Sometime between then and 1918 John H. Ward Undertaking moved back to this building. On June 23, 1922, the Kerrville Mountain Sun reported "John H. Ward is having a brick veneer constructed around his wooden building.  This plan of improvement is taken in order to save the excellent vault which is there, and which to tear down would cost considerable, while another would have to be built.  When completed, it will have the appearance of a brick building and make a considerable improvement to the corner."  This vault was probably installed when the bank was here.
Then in August 1924 the Kerrville Mountain Sun reported that the building had been undergoing a remodeling for the past several months, that more rooms had been added by removing part of the former building and adding on.
In 1929 Sid Peterson, for whom the hospital is named, purchased the building and business from John H. Ward and N. B. Smith and completely remodeled it.   After the remodel the business was sold to Edgar H. Fatheree and his father-in-law, Charles Neidert, and was renamed the Kerrville Funeral Parlor. In 1932 there was a corporate reorganization and the business name changed to Peterson Funeral Home.   The Peterson Funeral Home operated about two years before closing its doors.  The chief employees of the business established a new partnership called Fatheree Antony Funeral Parlor at 205 Water Street.  

By early 1935 this building was being called the Peterson Building and since that time has housed a number of small business offices.

1704 Water Street

This building appears on the 1930 Sanborn map as a free-standing building. Today it is attached to 1700 Water Street and is part of the Edson's Kerrcrafters complex.

A. C. Schreiner sold lots 5 and 6 of block 13 in the Tivy Addition to Thomas Frayne in May 1925.
Then in March 1927 Frayne sold the lots to Thomas C. Staley for $750. Staley was an architect from California and was responsible for remodeling the Dixie Theater. On the 1930 census though he was listed as a proprietor of a filling station at the corner.  In March 1927 Staley began work on a tourist village in Water Street near the intersection of the Medina Road. This building probably went up about that time.The description of the project (10 two-room cottages and later adding a store, apartment house, and lunchroom) does not match what is on this lot in 1930.  It appears from the 1930 Sanborn map that he put up a retail building and perhaps two cottages. These were in addition to the gas station and residence which I blogged about earlier.
When Staley and his wife went to California for several months in 1928 on an architecture job, he rented the "Staley village" and store to G. M. South. One year later South list a small grocery and lunchroom  near Medina Road for sale, probably the same.  The Staleys did eventually return.

The next few years are quiet. Then, in January 1935, the Kerrville Mountain Sun reported that Mr. and Mrs. W. E. James, "formerly of the Tasty Coffee Shop 1704 Water Street" had taken over management of the Kerrville Municipal Golf Course and Dining Room.
Six week later, March 7, 1935, the following appeared in the Kerrville Mountain Sun
"New Restaurant Now Open On Water Street.  A new business enterprise, 'Aunt Jean's' Restaurant and Delicatessen, has been opened at 1704 Water Street by Mrs. W. L. Harcus.  ... The interior ... has been rearranged and redecorated."
In August 1938, Edson's Kerrville Kabinet Shop moved into this building, remembered later as badly neglected. In 1941 the woodworking department moved into the former gas station at 1700 Water Street.  Edson's furniture business has been here ever since.

Monday, January 28, 2013

209 G Street

This house at 209 G Street is part of the Edson Kerrcrafters complex at G and Water Streets.  The oldest part of the house predates 1930--the first time it appears on the Sanborn fire insurance maps.  It was most likely built in 1927 by T. C. Staley. The property was sold by Thomas Frayne in 1927 to Staley for $750 and in 1930 had a value of $7,000.  The steep increase in value is clear indication of a building being constructed.
It has had several additions to the original frame building.  Although the front door faces G Street today, it originally was known as 1704 Water Street. The G Street address was used between about 1940 and 1984.  It was the home of Albert and Amy Edson until they died, he in 1967, she in 1984. 
Albert Edson had been a printer in California, but was interested in furniture making. He came to Kerrville where he and his sons established Edson Kerrcrafters in 1938 at 1704 Water Street in a building I'll blog about another time.
They apparently rented at first. Five years after establishing the business, they purchased the property from Minnie Staley. widow of Thomas Staley. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kerrville Recreation Building

This building at 1708/1712 Water Street, part of the Edson's Kerrcrafters complex, was built and financed by Louis A. Schreiner in 1946 as a bowling alley.  The owner of the business was Sully S. Woodland, the manager H. S. Roe.
The Kerrville Mountain Sun of August 29, 1946 reported that "Sully's Bowling Alley" would open Saturday, September 7. 
"The owner and manager of the center are optimistic as to the future of the sport in Kerrville, and promise a clean and up-to-date recreational center.  Bowling is for all ages, and no matter how much of a novice the player is, he enjoys participation in his very first game."
It didn't last long.  This 10-lane bowling center was replaced in March 1948 by Sully Woodland Motors, a Lincoln and Mercury auto dealership.
In April 1954 the building returned to an entertainment center when Doug Gleason opened a new roller skating rink here. The newspaper reported "Gleason said the rink would be named in a contest and the place hopes to provide clean wholesome entertainment for the entire family." I can find no record of the results of a contest. It is simply referred to as the Kerrville Skating Rink in news stories and advertising.   At least occasionally on Friday and Saturday nights it also served as a dance floor.
This was a short-lived business.  In September 1955 the maple flooring was pulled up and offered for sale.  The next month it was announced that the George Faber Co., a furniture upholstery company, was moving his business from San Antonio here.
The Junk Jungle was here for a few months in 1960.  It was then taken over by its current owner, Edson's Kerrcrafters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

413 Sidney Baker Street

Now a law office, this house was erected sometime before 1898, making it among the oldest houses in Kerrville.

In November 1929 Albert Beitel, Sr., sold 3/4 of the lot this house sits on and the house to Mrs. J. H. C. Maxwell for $1,250.   Mrs. Maxwell was the widow of Rev. J. H. C. Maxwell, a Methodist minister.  In July 1925 Rev. Maxwell, who was serving in Poteet, became ill with appendicitis while visiting Kerrville. He died following surgery for the appendicitis and is buried at Glen Rest.  He had once been pastor at Center Point.  His widow must have liked the area because she made Kerrville her home after he died.
Beitel sold the property to Mrs. Maxwell with the condition she had the right to remove "the old house" off the property so long as she applied the proceeds to pay off the lien on the property.  Houses were frequently moved from one lot to another. Happily, she chose to keep the old house.

In June 1934 Josephine Maxwell rented the house to Drs. Sherburne and Sherburne, chiropractors.  It served as both their home and office for the next year when they moved again.  In March 1936 she offered "For sale--My home, at a bargain, if sold within next few weeks."  It did not sell quickly so she advertised for roomers and continued to live here until August 1943 when Mrs. Edna Roney of Minnesota purchased the house.  She sold the house to  J. R. Burnett in 1946. His widow inherited the property in 1951.

In November 1951 "The Health Bar" opened in this house, offering home baked bread, fresh yogurt (made daily), and other health food offerings. It moved to a new location in February 1952.  After that, it appears from city directories and newspapers the house again served as a residence until 1973.  Since then it has been used for commercial purposes.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

717 Sidney Baker Street

Also known as the Mittanck house.

On April 8, 1908 Charles Schreiner sold four acres of land on Tchoupitoulas Street (now Sidney Baker Street) to Julius F. and Emma Mittanck.  They then hired Henry Remschel to build a house on the land. They had moved in by the time of the 1910 census.

On November 9, 1915 H. Remschel made a statement that he had been given a note secured by lien, to erect a residence for the Mittancks "on the land described" and that he was now releasing the lien. The debt had been paid.

ca 1988
Julius Mittanck appears in the 1910 census in Kerrville. In 1920 he was in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., Texas, where he was managing an ice plant, but his wife and children were in McAllen.
Sometime between 1910 and 1920 they rented the house out, first to H. L. Arno, then in September 1922, to E. M. Shirley.  In June 1923 the Mittancks returned to Kerrville and Julius Mittanck went to work for the American Creamery Company. The September 22, 1922 Kerrville Mountain Sun reported, "J. F. Mittanck is a new man on the force in the factory department of the American Creamery Company.  Mr. Mittanck returned to Kerrville three weeks ago after a several years absence spent at McAllen and Pleasanton, where he was engaged in the creamery business."
By 1940 Julius Mittanck was owner operator of a retail grocery company.

The Mittancks owned this house until February 1944 when it was sold to H. J. and Sophie Niehaus.

Today it is a commercial property.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"The Bank", Center Point

This rock building on San Antonio Street was constructed for the First National Bank of Center Point, which opened for business on the first floor of this building in March 1902. The Rising Star Masonic Lodge 429 rented the upper floor.  H. M. Burney was the bank president.
In 1904 another bank, the Guadalupe Valley Trust Company, later Guadalupe Valley Bank, organized in Center Point. In 1908 the Guadalupe Valley Bank took over the operations of the First National Bank.   There may have been some relationship between the First National and the Guadalupe Valley banks from the very beginning since they had overlapping officers.
In 1935, during the Depression, the Guadalupe Valley Bank underwent voluntary liquidation.
After the liquidation, the building was purchased on June 7, 1938, by the Rising Star Masonic Lodge 429.  The lower floor of the building then served as the post office for many years.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

700 Jefferson Street

While it has the look of a former residence, this ranch-style building at the corner of Sidney Baker and Jefferson streets was purpose-built for Dr. C. H. Borchers for his dental clinic in 1949. A photo of the building when new is below. Designed and constructed by Bob Hill, the building was erected at a cost of $13,000.

October 29, 1949 Kerrville Mountain Sun

His dental practice was here until May 1981 when he sold the building and moved to new offices.

You may be wondering why I would include such a "modern" building in this history blog.
One basic criterion for listing on the National Register of Historic Places is that a building be at least 50 years old.  While it isn't particularly notable otherwise, the building is older than that.  Besides, I was just curious!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Woolls Building, Center Point

The Woolls Building, located on San Antonio Street in Center Point, is believed to be the oldest building in Center Point.
G. W. Woolls purchased the property in 1873. The building was erected sometime between then and 1875 by Sam H. Wellborn.  Woolls operated a general store here until his death in 1877.  His wife Kate continued the business and also served as postmistress.  The upper story housed the Rising Star Masonic Lodge 429.
In 1880, James Sellers and George Leigh bought the merchandise from Kate Woolls and together continued to operated the store until 1882, when Leigh became manager of the Stoneleigh Ranch and sold his share to Sellers.  In 1895 Sellers sold the store to Wm. A. Cocke.
A fire on Christmas night in 1900 destroyed the entire stock of the store and all the property of the Masonic lodge on the the second floor. The sturdy rock walls survived. The building was renovated and purchased by the Farmers Mercantile Cooperative Association in 1902.  Henry Noll, who later opened H. Noll Stock Company in Kerrville, was the general manager.  When the business opened in March, the advertisements said "it is not a money making, but a money saving institution ... net profits are returned to patrons as a dividend on their purchases." Every patron shared in the profits, members receiving full dividends, non-members receive half dividends on purchases.  It also advertised itself as an investment company, issuing interest bearing certificates which were redeemable on short notice.
It truly was not a money-making institution. The store freely extended credit to residents of Center Point.  It went bankrupt in 1910 and was forced to close.
Henry Noll took this concept to Kerrville and opened H. Noll Stock Co., another cooperative, in 1906. That business lasted until the death of the owner some 20 years later.

The Woolls Building was remodeled by John T. Young about 1940, and in August, 1946, Curtis and Lucille Eden moved their business, Edens Implement Company, from the Pafford building here.  In 1980, when Curtis Edens retired, he sold the  business to James T. Crow, who operated it as Edens Ford Tractors and later also moved from the building.  In 2002 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Today it is a special event facility.