Friday, November 8, 2013

A word of thanks

A word of thanks. This blog passed the 10,000 pageview mark this week.  That seems so amazing for a blog with such a narrow focus--the built environment of the Texas Hill Country (and mostly Kerr County).   Posting has slowed down due to a few projects with deadlines I'm involved in, but more will be coming.

In the meantime, I'll ask this again...I like to research and write about buildings in Kerr County that are more that 50 years old. There are plenty!  If you own such a building, or know of one that I haven't blogged about yet, please email me at dgaudier at

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Boy from Reservation

I don't really know where to put this young man, so he gets a page to himself!

Edwin John Kaiser was born July 23, 1897, in Fredericksburg to William and Martha Kaiser.  He died at Camp Travis, Texas, on November 23, 1918. He lived and worked in Harper, but registered for the draft in Kerr County. I have learned from the newspapers that he lived in the Reservation community in Kerr County, a community near the Gillespie county line and not far from Mountain Home. The old Reservation school was consolidated with neighboring Gillespie County schools in 1941.

A service flag and United States flag were  blessed at the local Catholic church in Harper during a mass in December 1942.  The December 11, 1942, Harper Herald reported it this way: "This particular [U.S.] flag is noteworthy in that it is the flag which draped the casket of Edwin Kaiser, who died while in the service of our country made necessary by the first World War.  He was buried here on Nov., 25, 1918.  That flag is the gift of the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Will Kaiser, Sr.  ... enthroned in the sanctuary of the Church, the place of honor, and will silently honor those to whom they are dedicated, the young men of the Paris who are fighting this war for us."

This is the last in the series about World War I dead of Kerr County.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Boys from Turtle Creek

There were two young men from the Turtle Creek community who lost their lives in World War I.
They are Robert Emerson Spicer and Leonard Miles Denton.

Leonard Miles Denton was born August 25, 1896, in Kerr County to Benjamin Franklin Denton Jr. and Louisiana "Annie" Sarah Norwood Denton.  He died of pneumonia April 15, 1918, at Camp Bowie, Tarrant County, and is buried in Turtle Creek Cemetery.
This lengthy obituary appeared in the Kerrville Mountain Sun on April 26, 1918:

 Kerr County Soldier dies at Camp Bowie.
Kerr County is sad today.  Yesterday was laid to rest one of her soldier sons; a young, red-blooded American who left last September to give his life for his country, has made the sacrifice.
Private Leonard Denton, Co. I, 141st Infantry, died Monday afternoon at 4:40 o'clock in the Base Hospital at Camp Bowie, a victim of pneumonia.
The young man was ill only a few days, ad his father, B. F. Denton, left last week for Fort Worth in response to a message informing him of his son's illness.  His condition seemed to gradually grow worse until the end came Monday afternoon.
The remains, accompanied by the father, a brother, Claud Denton, of Midland, and a military escort, arrived on the Wednesday evening train and were met by a large group of relatives and friends.
The remains were laid to rest in the Turtle Creek Cemetery Thursday afternoon.  The funeral was one of the largest attended ever held in the county, showing he esteem in which the young soldier was held by his home people, and their appreciation of his noble sacrifice.
Rev. D. B. South, pastor of the Kerrville Baptist Church, in tender words of sympathy and comfort conducted the service at the [unclear].
Young Denton was just reaching manhood and was one of the first to volunteer last summer when Captain Seeber organized the old Company D, First Texas Infantry, which was merged with another company at Camp Bowie some time ago and named Co. I, 141st Infantry.  It is peculiarly sad that a young man so patriotic should not be permitted to get into action; but he had nevertheless given his life in his country's cause, and to the mourning ones we would remind that He who doeth all things well, makes no mistakes.  The human link snapped asunder on earth is forged anew in Heaven.  It is true when beautiful youth is gone and much of life remains; hence the dear one's eyes are closed to all earthy trials.  In his springtime of enthusiasm and tenderness, ere the sunshine of hope and joy was extinguished, he passed to the glorious beyond.
No bronze or marble shaft, no splendor of ancient or modern tombs and no play of immortal genius can adorn the memory of such manly young men.  Their lives, their deeds, their influences, living or dead, and their pure aspirations are the monuments that will keep their names burning in the home and hearts of kindred and brethren, while the silence of death draps[sic] and chills us at this moment, memories sweet and precious come crowding in.
"How sweet a life was his; how sweet a death;
Living to wing with mirth the merry hours,
Or with his genial tales the heart to cheer.
Dying to leave a memory like the heath
Of summer, full of sunshine and flowers.
A grief and gladness in the atmosphere."

Robert Emerson Spicer was born May 23, 1890, in Kerrville to James and Ruth Nelson Spicer.  He was English, she Canadian. He died October 9, 1918, in France and is buried at Oise-Aisne Cemetery.

Pictured here is his mother who participated in the U.S. World War I Mothers' Pilgrimage in 1930. This was a federally funded program to allow mothers to visit the graves of their sons and to see the battlefields where they died. She went to France to visit the grave of her son for the first and only time.