Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1016 Main Street

This neo-Classical house has been referred to as the "old Earl Garrett house", but really it should be called the "Dede Garrett house".  Dede and Jesmyr Garrett were the first owners.  Their son was Victor Earl Garrett, known as Earl.

It's been described as a two story house, but it might be better thought of it as a story and a half.  The upper floor isn't apparent from Main Street.  One has to walk around to the side to spot the shed dormer for the second story windows.
ca 1932.  Kerr Regional History Center collection.
There was a flurry of real estate transactions on this property in 1918 and 1921.
On May 1, 1918, Charles Schreiner et al sold the two lots this house sits on to Leroy D. Garrett for $500 ($100 cash, $400 in a lien). Then, on March 21, 1921, L. D. Garrett sold these two lots to A. C. Schreiner for $400 and on the same day Schreiner released the earlier lien.
Then, two months later, on June 28, 1921, L. D. Garrett purchased this property back from A. C. Schreiner for $3,300.
I can only surmise from this that Garrett sold the lots to A. C. Schreiner for the purpose of erecting a house, then bought it back when finished.
In 1963 L. D. "Dede" Garrett retired from the Chas. Schreiner Company after 54 years. The retirement announcement included the statement that he made his home at 1016 Main Street within one block of where he was born.  He ws also a member of the firm of Garrett Insurance Agency.
Garrett lived here until his death in 1981. Members of the family continued to live here until 1991.
Since then it has been a commercial property.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

1028 Main Street

The stucco craftsman house is the Seaborn "Dick" Eastland house.  Eastland was the owner of the Kerrville Light and Power plant until he sold it in 1925 to Texas Public Utilities. At that time he announced he intended to devote himself fully to his Kerrville Ice and Cold Storage Co. business.

Originally part of the Tivy estate, Capt. Charles Schreiner later purchased this property.
Then, on May 1, 1918, Capt. Charles Schreiner's sons sold this "property, premises, and improvements" to Seaborn Eastland, Jr. for $3000.  The price indicates there was a house here. Unfortunately, the 1918 Sanborn maps don't extend far enough out to show this property.  The 1924 map does show a house of a very similar footprint to the house today, similar enough to make me think the oldest part of this house predates 1918.  
However, the November 11, 1926, Kerrville Mountain Sun mentioned "Mrs. S. Eastland entertained ... in her lovely new home on Main Street."   The style of this house puts it squarely in the 1920s. It is possible the old house was removed from the property and a new one build.  It is also possible that this house was an older existing house that was extensively remodeled in 1926.  The newspaper frequently called extensive remodels "new".  Considering that the Eastlands were living on Main Street in 1920 at this location, I am inclined to think this house was a remodel of the older home.

ca 1932.  Kerr Regional History Center collection.

Eastland lived here until his death in 1970. Today this house serves commercial purposes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

625 Main Street

(Yes, I took these photos on different days!)
This former gas station was erected in late 1962 for the Magnolia Petroleum Co.

The Kerrville Mountain Sun of August 12, 1962, reported, "The Temple Lumber Co. of Kerrville was low bidder and awarded the contract by the Magnolia Petroleum Co. for the construction of a new station at the corner of Main and Sidney Baker Streets. ... workmen will demolish the old station at the site, and the new $12,500 structure is scheduled for completion by Dec. 10. "

Magnolia Petroleum became part of Mobil Oil in 1959.  A Mobil station operated here into the 1990s. 
(I do not know how it is that Magnolia Petroleum was building a station after it was merged into Mobil, but this is how it was reported in the newspaper.)

Monday, February 18, 2013

324 Clay Street

ca 1932. Kerr Regional History Collection.
There is a house on the corner of Clay and Jefferson Streets known as the Edward Dietert home, which I wrote about here .  This cottage is next door to that house, facing Clay Street and was known as the Edward Dietert cottage.
According to the Sanborn maps, it was either erected or moved to this lot between 1916 and 1924.    By the 1920s craftsman style houses were being built in Kerrville. This house is clearly an earlier style. While it is possible it was built on this lot as early as 1916, the cottage may also have been moved here.
It appears from the published record that this house has nearly always had commercial or mixed business and residential use. The first occupant that I can definitely place here was Mrs. D. J. Domingues who advertised in the December 25, 1924, Kerrville Mountain Sun that she would "remodel your hats. At Ed Dietert cottage. 324 Clay St." Within a few weeks she had moved her business to a cottage in the 600 block of Water Street.
It is possible that Mrs. Domingues was not the first occupant of the cottage.  On September 29, 1922, Dr. Fannie L. Jordan, chiropractor, announced that she was opening offices in the Ed Dietert residence.  Since it seems the Dieterts were still living in their house, it is likely Dr. Jordan's offices were in this cottage.  I'm hopeful more information will eventually turn up.

On September 30, 1926,  Mrs. F. B. Prichard announced she was moving her hat and dressmaking shop to her home at 324 Clay.
In 1930 T. Oscar Osman, an auto mechanic at Lee Mason garage, lived here with his family, then by April 1933 the Kerrville Health Center had moved in for a few years.
Since then a number of businesses and individuals have occupied this cottage.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Center Point Mercantile

Date unknown.  Kerr County Historical Commission Collection.
The Center Point Mercantile on San Antonio Street was created in 1902 when  J. W. Nelson,  James L. McElroy, and C. W. Howland combined their businesses. The Kerrville Mountain Sun of February 22, 1902 reported the organization of the business this way:  "The Centre Point Mercantile and Milling Company have elected officers as follows:  A. Reese, president; W. H. Witt, vice-president; J. W. Nelson, general manager; J. L. McElroy, secretary-treasurer.  They have capitalized at $60,000, and applied for a charter.  That will combine two principal business houses here, and the flour mill under one management.  Also the two lumber yards.
Surely, this is the age of combinations, for here comes the Centre Point co-operative and mercantile association who have got their charter, and capitalized at $10,000.  The co-operative company is composed of about 70 farmers and prominent men of the neighborhood.  Both companies expect to open up on March 1st."

Located on the corner of Kelly and San Antonio Streets, the store offered groceries, dry goods, ladies ready-to-wear, shoes, school supplies, feed, lumber, farm equipment, and hardware.  It prospered for many years before going bankrupt in April 1928. A. C. Schwethelm of Comfort purchased the real estate, and in October 1928, W. J. Work moved his dry good and groceries to the Center Point Mercantile, the first of several subsequent retailers in this building.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

1100 E. Main Street

ca 1932
Undated early photo, Kerr County Historical Commission collection

This is another nineteenth century house in Kerrville. Are you surprised by how many there are?
In 1891 Mary Virginia Gillespie purchased three lots of land along Main Street from Captain J. A. Tivy for $275, partly in cash, the remainder due later.  The debt was paid off in December 1894. It is probable this folk Victorian was built at that time, and definitely no later than 1898 because in 1899 the house and three lots were assessed at $800 for tax purposes. This may have been an investment property as I can find no record of Miss Gillespie in newspapers, other county records, or census records for Kerr County.
She sold the property in 1901 to Miss Mary E. Parsons.  The property changed hands several times over the next three decades.  By1934, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin H. Keith moved in. He established his cabinet shop at the rear of the property. They were renters for about 10 years, at which point J. R. Burnett sold them the house and land. Ed Keith died in 1950, but his widow, Addie, lived here until her death in 1989.  Today this house is home to professional offices.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

719 and 721 Earl Garrett Street

719 Earl Garrett Street
These two neighboring houses in the 700 block of Earl Garrett Street, now occupied by the H E Butt Foundation and Laity Lodge, have been owned by the Butt family since they were constructed in 1933.
721 Earl Garrett Street
The March 30, 1933, Kerrville Mountain Sun reported, "Plans have been completed for two new residences on Earl Garrett Street for Mrs. Florence Butt and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Butt.  The new homes will be located in the 700 block of Earl Garrett Street.  Each of the houses will be one story and have seven rooms.  The walls will be of native stone, and the specifications call for all materials as obtainable in Kerrville. 
Plans for the new homes were prepared by M. P. Mull, Harlingen architect, who will supervise the construction.  Mull also has prepared plans for the complete remodeling of the front of the C. C. Butt Piggly Wiggly Store.  The interior of the store has been remodeled under his direction."
The house at 719 Earl Garrett Street was the home of Florence Butt. This was her third and final home in Kerrville.
ca 1988
She lived here from 1933 until her death in 1954.
The house was then rented out. The first tenants after Florence Butt's death were Mr. and Mrs. Ken Clover (1956-59).  He was the principal at Tivy Junior High School, his wife a teacher at Tivy Senior High.  The next tenants were William R. "Bill" Anderson and his family.  Anderson was principal at Tivy Senior High.  Other tenants followed until 1973 when the HEB Foundation moved into the house.

Likewise, the HEB Foundation took over the house at 721 Earl Garrett Street after Miley Butt, widow of Eugene Butt, passed away in 1975.