Wednesday, May 29, 2013

800 Earl Garrett Street

This house was constructed sometime between late 1915 and early 1918; most likely the earlier date.
On June 27th, 1914, W. C. Stockbein sold the land this house sits on to Ira Kuykendall who on April 20, 1915, sold it to R. M. and Ida Insall.  They then divided the block of land, now known as the Insall Block, into lots.  Four months later, on August 30, 1915, R. M. and Ida Insall sold the lot this house sits on to C. W. and Mittie Moore for $375.  On May 14, 1918, the Moores sold the property, now with a house on it, to W. A. Simmons for $2750.
W. A. Simmons married Miss Mary Katherine Williams in Victoria in 1892.  According to his obituary, Simmons arrived in Kerrville about 1913.  He died in 1927 at the age of 67, leaving behind his widow.  She continued to reside here another three decades, until her death in August 1957.  They are buried in Victoria.

Mary and Richard Tomlinson next owned the house.  After he died she continued to live her until her death in 1988.   Today the house is used as a commercial property.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

521 Earl Garrett Street

County tax records indicate this house at 521 Earl Garrett Street was built in 1945.  That may be about right.  The first record I can find of this house is in the 1947 city directory when the home was owned by Lt. (later Capt.) H. E. Wright.  His wife was Jessie Evelyn Wright. When they divorced in 1951 she got the house.  In February 1953, she remarried to Wylie Enmon Lovelady. They lived here another couple of years.  
Later occupants include F. R. Stevenson, who rented in 1956 and Rev. and Mrs. Powell A. Smith who served as pastor of the First Christian Church for four years before retiring in 1959 and moving to this house.  He then served as the Protestant chaplain at the V. A. Hospital Later Mary and Val Pierce Gohmert owned it from about 1972.  He died in 1977, she continued to live here until 1984.  It has been a law office since 1985.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

317-319 Earl Garrett Street

At the time I write this this 1973 commercial building opposite the Courthouse is not yet old enough for historic status, but I did the research, so I'm sharing it.
In November, 1972, the Woodmen of the World, Cypress Camp No. 56, sold the lot of land this building sits on to Joseph Reeh, who then erected this building. Reeh was the manager of H. & R. Block, which was the first business at 319 Earl Garrett Street; the law firm of Prohl & Leslie the first business at 317.  Unlike 317 Earl Garrett, which has housed only legal and other professional offices,
319 Earl Garrett has housed a greater variety of businesses.
H&R Block was at 319 Earl Garrett until 1983, followed by Domino's Pizza, Mr. Gatti's Pizza Delivery, and then a short-lived title company.  There has been a hair salon here since 1993, although it has changed names and owners, I think we can still consider it the longest lasting business in this building.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Where on Water Street is this?

Hello loyal readers,

Today I'm asking for your help.  This photo appeared in the March 11, 1971, Kerrville Mountain Sun.
As you may be able to read in the caption, it is supposed to be Water Street in Kerrville in 1895. The building with the balcony in the center of the photo may be Pampell's.  However, the balcony on Pampell's covered the entire front of the building.  This one appears too short.  It may just be the perspective though, or it may be that the photo is damaged.  I have looked at the Sanborn map for 1898 and tried to match up buildings with second floor balconies with what appears in this photo. Notice there seems to be a building roof, possibly a balcony, on the left in the photo.
The intersection of Water Street and Tchoupitoulas (Sidney Baker) Street appears to be the best choice.  If this is Pampell's, then the white frame building in the background is the building that now houses Co-Nexus.  Take a look for yourself at the Sanborn map and see what you think. If you are unfamiliar with these, a 1 indicates a one-story building, a 2 indicates two stories. This clip from the map is centered on Water Street at Mountain (now Earl Garrett).  Sidney Baker is at the top, Washington at the bottom.
I welcome your feedback.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

608 Earl Garrett Street

Like its neighbor at 609 Earl Garrett, this bungalow at 608 Earl Garrett Street is a Sears Roebuck kit house, erected 1920.  The bungalow was ordered and shipped as a complete kit and assembled on site.  There are reportedly about a dozen of these in Kerrville.  One of these days I'll get hold of the list and write about others.

The first owners were Clair and Miller Harwood.  They purchased the lot from L. A. Schreiner for $950 on May 11, 1920. and moved into their new home in early October 1920.
Miller Harwood was a bookkeeper for a bank, probably the Chas. Schreiner Bank. Clair, who had been in poor health for a while,  died in 1930.  Miller remarried two years later.  Shortly after that the family moved to the town of Taft.

Later owners of this house included Burney Parker and Hattie T. Secor.  Much of the time the owners either took in boarders or rented out the entire house.

In 1981 law partners requested the house be rezoned so they could use it for their law practice.  Although the property was ultimately rezoned, the first attempt was not successful.

Several years later, in 1986, it was remodeled by Jim Morris for his jewelry design business.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

609 Earl Garrett Street

Constructed in 1919, this house at 609 Earl Garrett Street is one of the dozen or so Sears-Roebuck houses built in Kerrville in the 1910s and 1920s.
Between 1908 and 1940 Sears sold more than 70,000 ready-to-assemble houses all across the United States.  All the necessary materials were shipped in a railroad boxcar. A step-by-step instruction book came with it. Often family and friends would come together to erect the house.

On June 15, 1919, her 16th birthday, Norma Walther married William C. Fawcett. This house was her wedding present.
The style is "The Crescent". The plans, and more about it can be found at
W. C. Fawcett's father W. A. owned the Fawcett Furniture Company on Water Street. That building is a Kerrville landmark. Its history can be found at

The Fawcetts lived here until 1950.  After a couple of different owners, Mrs. Margaret Gillentine bought it in 1952.  Her descendants still own the house.