Sunday, March 30, 2014

Center Point Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)--Early Pastors

I am currently pulling together material to apply for an historic marker for the 1891 Center Point Christian Church, said to have been organized in 1879.  While I have no reason to doubt it, I would like to document that claim as well as verify the names and dates of service of the early pastors.  Today I'm going to share some of my research with you in the hopes some of my readers can help.  In the great tradition of "crowdsourcing" I've already had help from several parties from the church and Kerr Regional History Center, but we can use more.

An undated handwritten history of the church states that it was established in 1879 by Greenleaf Surber.  I have searched through the U.S. Federal Censuses from 1850 to 1940 and can find no one named Greenleaf Surber.  There are men named Greenleaf (think of the poet John Greenleaf Whittier), but none of them have a surname resembling Surber.

On June 20, 1883, one G. L. Surber officiated at the wedding of Mary Mattie Caldwell and John R. Storms.  This is doubtless the man we seek.  It seems to be the only Kerr County wedding he officiated at.
I think the "G. L." stands for Green Lee Surber (or possibly Greenville Lee), not Greenleaf Surber.
G. L. Surber was born near Somerset, Kentucky, August 13, 1837, to Adam and Jemima Mercer Surber. Jemima died 1875 and Adam 1879 in Center Point.  They are buried in Center Point Cemetery.
At the age of 15 G. L. became a Christian and began to prepare for ministry.  He was educated at Transylvania University.  After ordination he went as a missionary to Australia, serving six years near Melbourne.  In 1872 he returned to America and took a pastorship in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  There he met his wife, Jennie Givens.  Their two children,  Hattie and Lee Elwood, were born in Kentucky, Hattie in Sept. 1876, and Lee in Nov. 1878.  I believe the reason he went to Texas was the death of his father. Adam Surber, along with much of his extended family, had left Kentucky for Texas in 1873.  Adam died March 3, 1879, and was buried in the Center Point Cemetery.  I think G. L. came to help take care of things and ended up staying a while, seeing a need for a church in Center Point and elsewhere in Texas.  According to his obituary, "He labored six years in Texas and strengthened the cause both at Waco and Dallas building a church at the latter place."  I found in a Google book snippet that he was preaching at a church in Dallas in 1881.  Whether it was a regular pulpit or a special event I can't tell. We do know he was in Texas in 1879 or early1880 when photos was taken of children Hattie and Lee (which can be seen on, and when he performed the wedding of Mary Mattie Caldwell and John R. Storms in 1883. My best guess is that he was in Texas from 1879 to 1885.

From Texas he returned to Harrodsburg, Kentucky (for about three years), then spent eight years in Lexington.  From there he went to Nashville, Tennessee, where he superintended the Southern Christian College for two years. In 1898 he, his wife, and children moved to Payette, Idaho, where he spent the rest of his life.

Based on the evidence, I think it is very probable that G. L. Surber established (or re-established) the Center Point Church.  He had a missionary heart and had established other churches.  I don't, however, think he was here full time. Or if he was, he didn't stay long.

There is then a twenty year gap. They may have been served by lay preachers.

The next pastor on record is Kilby Ferguson in 1904. The Christian Evangelist newspaper for July 7, 1904 reported "Kilby Ferguson is now the minister of the church at Centerpoint, Kerr Co., Texas, having removed from Louisiana."  And in the Oct 29, 1904, Kerrville Mountain Sun was the following item: "Elder Kilby Ferguson, minister of the Christian Church at Center Point, called on our office Monday.  Mr. Ferguson is to preach in Kerrville hereafter on each fourth Sunday at the Union Church. He preached here last Sunday and is evidently hopeful."

 After that was Brother Jonathan M. Streeter/Streater/Streator, who served from 1905 to 1914.  In the July 15, 1905, Mountain Sun he was referred to as the new pastor of the Christian church, and in the July 29 edition he was described as "an earnest and forceful talker and is sustaining his former reputation as one of the ablest preachers of West Virginia".

Rev. V. R. Stapp is the next preacher I find record of--in 1915.  I don't know how long he served.  After that was Brother Perry E. Hawkins,  who was the pastor at the Kerrville Church beginning in June 1924 but also "filled his regular appointment at Center Point" from June 1924-1926, possible longer; T. W. Storms 1929-?; and H. Ellis Thomas, 1938. Beginning in 1940 the records are much more complete.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can add to the record of these early pastors.
Again, their names and probable dates of service are:
G. L. Surber 1879-1885 (on and off)
?? 1885-1903
Kilby Ferguson, 1904-05
Jonathan M. Streetor, 1905-1914
R. V. Stapp  1915-??
Perry E. Hawkins, 1924-26 (possibly longer)
T. W. Storms 1929-??
H. Ellis Thomas 1938 (possibly later, but no later than 1939)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

825 Earl Garrett Street

Things are not always they seem.  I've been trying to figure out when this house was built for a while.  The first mention of a building at 825 Earl Garrett Street is in an advertisement in the June 7, 1928, Kerrville Mountain Sun for needlework, "baby layettes a specialty."  Other ads beginning in 1929 offered rooms with light housekeeping.  The next mention is May 16, 1940, when Mrs. Della Sommers advertised she did dressmaking and needlework of all sorts. However, there is no property with this address listed in the 1936, 1940, or 1950 city directories.
Finally, I looked in the alphabetic name section of the 1940 city directory and have now figured out that the newspaper misprinted the address. In 1940 Della Sommers lived at 325 Earl Garrett--not 825!

So now let's explore the real history of this house.

According to the Kerrville Mountain Sun for June 14, 1918,"[a] deal was recently closed between Dr. A. A. Roberts and Tom J. Moore whereby Dr. Roberts purchased the residence property of Mr. Moore on Mountain Street." It seems he bought not just the residence property but additional land as well. It doesn't appear that Dr. Roberts ever lived on the property. He certainly never built a house on the vacant lot and there is no evidence he lived in the neighboring rental either.

The census shows some puzzling things. In 1930 the census taker recorded a house at 825 Earl Garrett rented by Jesse E. and Rose L. McCreary and one at 829 owned by Allie B. Burton. The 1930 Sanborn map shows houses at 821 and 829, so the census taker apparently made a mistake.   In 1940, just as in 1930, there was no house at 825.  There were families at 821 (Wm. Sullivan) and 829 (Allie B. Burton. )

 Dr. Alphonso A. Roberts was married twice, his second wife being Madona Roberts. He lived at 912 Water Street from 1892 to his death in 1948. The house is gone now. He was a director at First State Bank, served on the school board, and was a member of the Men's Club, a precursor to the Chamber of Commerce.
The June 1, 1966, Kerrville Mountain Sun described him this way: "He was a man, large of stature with heavy white hair and wore a beard, he had a kindly and gentle disposition and was often called "Santa Claus" by small children, who were seeing him for the first time.  He was a naturalist and was an authority on the native animals, flowers and trees of the area."

Dr. Roberts owned the land a long time, but after he died it changed hands several times in the next few years. His widow, on February 24, 1949, sold this property to Bradley and Gracey Mitchell for $10 "and other consideration". (His name appears as both Bradley Mitchell and Mitchell Bradley in the records. I think the surname is Mitchell.) They may have been the ones who erected the house, because the Mitchells sold the property to Jimmie M. and Hannah Sumner for $5300 on May 17, 1950.  The house turned over again in May 1951 when the Sumners sold to Leonard and Chloe Sharp, the sharps assuming the $4519.55 debt. (Leonard Sharp worked for the VA, receiving a 30 year pin in November 1959.)  Then in February 1952 the Sharps sold the house to R. L. Hardy and wife.
John D. and Helen Buckner, Kerrville Bus Company employees, owned the house from 1965-1972. It later had a series of tenants.

Friday, March 21, 2014

605 Earl Garrett Street

This Victorian at 605 Earl Garrett Street was erected by Banks B. Lowrance, a native of Mississippi.  I have been told this house was built in the 1890s, however Lowrance and his wife Linton did not purchase the land from I. N. Denton until May 4, 1904. They paid $45, a price that indicates a vacant lot. The house was probably built shortly after.

Banks Lowrance was a paperhanger.  On March 8, 1902, an ad ran in the Kerrville Mountain Sun "Lowrance and Goodwin.  Crackerjack Painters and Paperhangers.  Shop next to Dr. Palmer's Office." (Dr. Palmer's office was in the 600 block of Water Street.)
On July 26, 1902,  the newspaper reported "Lowrance & Goodwin left this week for the Shell Lowrance ranch on the Divide, where they will be engaged for the next two weeks painting Mr. Lowrance's house."

Politically active, Lowrance served as a city alderman 1903-1905. In 1920 he and Ben Smith were appointed judges for the municipal elections, then in 1926 he lost to Frank Moore in the race for Constable, County Precinct No. 1. That appears to have been his last foray into local politics.

His wife Mabel Linton Lowrance died of pneumonia died in 1932.
Her obituary from the February 4, 1932, Mountain Sun:
Pneumonia Fatal to Mrs. Banks Lowrance.
Following a brief illness of pneumonia, Mrs. Mable Linton Lowrance, 53, wife of Banks Lowrance, died Monday at the family home on Earl Garrett Street.
Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the chapel of Smith Funeral Home, with Rev. Clift M. Epps, pastor of the First Methodist Church, officiating.  Burial was in Glen Rest Cemetery.
... Members of Miss Hardie Avera's Sunday School class served as flower girls.
... Mrs. Lowrance was a native of Kentucky, where she was born November 20, 1878; but she had lived in Kerrville much of her life.  ...
Surviving are her husband, Banks Lowrance; her mother, Mrs. Nyal Estell Davis; a son, Howard Lowrance; two daughters, Mrs. Elvie Morgan and Miss Amie Lee Lowrance; two sisters, three brothers.
I've never heard of flower girls at a funeral.  Does anyone know what they did?

In 1934 "Miss Amy B. Lowrance " was in a car wreck.  The Mountain Sun reported it this way:
Girl Victim of Wreck Improving.  Miss Amy B Lowrance, 19, daughter of B. B. Lowrance, Wednesday was reported to be making satisfactory improvement from injuries received in an automobile collision which occurred Wednesday night of last week.
Miss Lowrance, who is at the family home on Earl Garrett Street, suffered a compound fracture of the pelvic bone.  ... expected to recover.  [She was thrown from the car when it was hit from the rear.]  On E. Water Street near the Lucas Cafe.
Five year earlier her father had been struck by an automobile at the corner of Main and Earl Garrett, knocked down and badly bruised.  He was also taken to Secor Hospital, but his injuries were not as severe as his daughter's.

Banks Lowrance died in 1941 and is buried at Glen Rest.
From the January 9, 1941, Kerrville Times: 
Rites for B. B. Lowrance, 70, Held Friday.
Attack of Pneumonia Is Fatal to Pioneer Man Who Had Lived Here 53 Years. 
Mr. Lowrance passed away on New Year's Day at 5 p.m. at the family residence, 605 Earl Garrett Street.  He had been in failing health for several months and was stricken with pneumonia, resulting in his death within a few hours.
Funeral rites for Banks B. Lowrance, 70, a resident of this city for the past 53 years, were held Friday afternoon from the Smith Funeral Home chapel with Rev. J. R. Hilliard, pastor of the First Methodist Church, officiating.  Burial was in Glen Rest Cemetery.

Born April 17, 1870, at Burnsville, Miss., Mr. Lowrance, as a youth of 17, moved with his parents to Kerrville in 1887.  He grew to manhood in the city and until recent years followed his trade as a painter and paperhanger.  Soon after Kerrville was incorporated he served one term as an alderman in the '90's.  [correction: 1903-1905]
While he was of a retiring disposition, Mr. Lowrance took an interest in public affairs and was an advocate of community advancement.  ...
Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Elvie Morgan and Miss Amy Lee Lowrance, and one son, Howard Lowrance, all of Kerrville.  The grandchildren also survive.
For a bit of local color, B. B. Lowrance is mentioned in a March 12, 1936,  Kerrville Times story.
The first water delivery in Kerrville was water hauled from the river to individual water barrels all over the city.
"When housewives were low on their supply, they would hang out a red flag as a signal for more water. Wash day was 'Trades Day' to the water haulers, and businesslike and civic-minded, they did everything in their power to sponsor cleanliness in the community.  B. B. Lowrance, an old-timer here who remembers the conditions, says that red flags hung out by housewives for rush orders looked more like a small-pox epidemic or a modern communist uprising than wash day."
B. B. Lowrance's heirs transferred the property to A. P. Allison "assuming all taxes" in 1941. Allison made repairs to the residence, rented it to Cecil Roe for a while, then sold it to Ruby Phillips in December 1943 for $2,000.  
She later sold it to Delia Whitehouse, who owned it until 1954. 
It has had a series of owners since and since 1992 has had commercial use, most recently as a bed and breakfast.

If you have a house more than 50 years old that you would like me to research, please contact me at dgaudier at gmail dot com. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pursley's Jitney Service

1915. Kerr County Historical Commission collection.
Here I am, off on a tangent again.  I saw this photo in the Kerr County Historical Commission collection and was curious as to where it was taken. I thought it might be on Water Street, but turns out it's not. I now know that most of the buildings in the photo no longer stand. They were in the 200 block of Mountain Street (now Earl Garrett Street) and have been replaced by the Baehre Building. The only building that still survives is the rock building, a corner of which is on the far right in the photo. That building is the Weston Building, home to Francisco's restaurant.

On the bottom of the photo is written  "Pursley's Service Line 'Kerrville's Pride'."
From March 1915 to June 1916 W. W. Pursley "The Man that Put 'Jitneys' in Kerrville. Fare is 10 cents.  Will do jitney service out of town." advertised that his office and station were "next to" the Post Office.  Research shows that it was near, not next to, the Post Office.  In June 1916 he sold the business to Henry James.
During this time period the Post Office was in the Masonic Building on Mountain Street so that is where I began looking for the jitney office location.

This photo appears to show two wood frame buildings and a brick building.

The Sanborn fire insurance map was an important help to figure this out. To the left is a clip from the 1916 Sanborn map showing the stretch of Mountain Street between the Masonic building at the top and the Weston building at the bottom.  In between are three small buildings between the vacant Masonic Building and the Weston Building. Two of the buildings were frame, the one between was an iron-clad frame building. So the one that appears to be brick in the photo is not brick. The  map shows that two of these buildings were jewelers. That would mean that the remaining small building, labeled "office" must be the jitney location. From the photo above it is clear that the one right next to the jitney service office is a jeweler. (Note the watch-shaped clock outside.)  The other is probably A. E. Self's jewelry store.  It closely matches other photos of Self's.

I have uploaded the photo to  You can go there to see a comparison of the stretch in 1915 and today.  There are other Kerrville buildings there too.  To simplify the search, enter the zip code 78028 where it says "Where to."  Have fun!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

417 Elm Street

1932. Kerr Regional History Center Collection.
This Tudor style bungalow at 417 Elm Street in Westland Addition with delightful eyebrows in the roof was built by William W. Miller, Jr.  The neighborhood began developing in May 1925 when the first lots were auctioned off. I wrote about Westland here.

This house was one of the earliest built in Westland.  On June 23, 1926, Kerrville Development Company sold this lot to Miller for $250.  The deed carried the provisions that the building must cost a minimum of $2,000 to build and finish, and that it was a whites-only community. The only non-whites who could live there had to live in separate servant quarters at the rear.  This racist provision was, of course, voided by law decades ago.

On August 7, 1934, W. W. Miller sold the house to W. E. and Marian Hahn for $3,400.  There was a requirement in the deed that Hahn must carry insurance against fire and tornado.  Within the year the Hahns moved to Baca County, Colorado, and sold the house to Mrs. J. E. (Rose) McCreary "feme sole" for $2,500.  "Feme sole" means "single woman" and indicated she had the right to own property in her own name.  In this case she was widowed.

In 1936 her daughter and grandson were living with her.

On November 4, 1939, her son-in-law and daughter, A. Edward Granes and Emma Pearl Granes, sold the adjoining vacant lot, no. 11, to Rose McCreary for $300 and moved to Cherry Street.  She died 1941 and is buried next to her husband at Glen Rest Cemetery.

While researching this house I came across the best, funniest obituary I've ever seen.
It appeared on the front page of the Kerrville Times August 4, 1938.
Parrot, Hero of San Francisco Fire, Dies at 41.
Closing with peaceful death an adventurous, action-filled life of 41 years, during which he survived fire, earthquake, and revolution, "Polly", a parrot owned by Mrs. J. E. McCreary, 417 Elm Street, toppled over backward in his cage Saturday.
["Polly"... what other name could you possibly give a parrot?!]
"Polly", a native of Mexico City, was a cosmopolite, globe-trotter and and accomplished linguist.  He could converse both in English and Spanish. 
Highpoint in the bird's career came on April 18, 1906, in San Francisco when the great earthquake and fire destroyed the city and brought death to hundreds.  When the first major shock was felt at 5 o'clock in the morning "Polly," with cries of "Help!", awakened the McCreary household.
"Polly" had traveled across the continent, from San Francisco to New York.  He had been to Cuba and returned often to his birthplace, Mexico, a country which he left several times during revolutions, escorted by bullets.
"Polly" was buried under a rose bush, and his spirit doubtless has gone to the parrot heaven where a cracker can always be had for the asking.

After Rose McCreary died the house was rented out.
In 1953 the house was advertised for rent as a 5-room house.  By October, 1955, it was a 6-room house, so this may indicate an addition on the house.

While doing renovations, the current owners discovered evidence of a fire in the past.  Digging around in the old newspapers brought up the Kerrville Mountain Sun, Dec. 23, 1964, report that sparks from a fireplace had ignited the shingle roof. A few weeks later a building permit was issued to W. A. Sullivan to make repairs estimated at $1,500.

The next owners were members of the Leinweber family. Mrs. Lena Pearl Leinweber died here in 1976 at the age of 80.  She had been living with her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Cid Bluemel. Sometime after Pearl died her daughter Ferne Eckert retired, moved home to Kerrville from South Carolina, and lived in this house with her husband Clifford Herman Eckert. In 1988 she was one of seven candidates for Kerr County Commissioner, District 1, losing to Dr. Gordon Morgan.
The Eckerts eventually returned to Summerville, South Carolina, where he died 2002.

If you have a house more than 50 years old that you would like me to research, please contact me at dgaudier at gmail dot com. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

602 Bluebell Road

This ranch-style house in Blue Bell Hills, erected in the early 1950's, has provided meeting space and parking for Trinity Baptist Church since 1990.
I wrote about the Blue Bell Hills development here.
There have been many property owners, few of whom lived here long--averaging about three years each until the church bought it. This won't be a particularly interesting blog post. Most of them weren't in the news much, probably because most didn't live here long. Perhaps one of you can add some color.

In November 1949, Blue Bell Hills sold to Jim W. Weatherby, trustee, part of lot 12 block 1 of the Blue Bell Hills Addition.  In August 1950, Weatherby in turn sold the property to Don and Marjorie Bowen who, two months later, sold the lot to Carroll and Ethel King.
The Kings may be the ones who built the house.  He worked for the Kerrville Bus Company before moving to Midland in September 1951. 
In the 1950 city directory the address does not exist.  In the 1952 directory the house was up, but vacant. As a matter of fact, the house was listed as vacant in all the city directories from 1952 to 1956, sometimes with the address of 600 Bluebell.

In 1952 T. O. "Dick" and Hattie Mae Midkiff sold to A. A. and Georgia Wehmeyer.  After Georgia died in 1954, her widower continued to live here until December 1956 when he sold the house to Paul Meredith.
In March 1957, the newspaper reported as front page news that Mrs. Courtlandt Eaton, age 73, of 602 Blue Bell Road, had died.  A native of Montreal Canada, Mrs. Eaton (nee R. H. Martel Davis) had lived in Golden, Colo., coming to Kerrville in September of the previous year.

James R. England purchased the property in 1958.  The April 2, 1958, Kerrville Times reported his arrival along with the news that his first duty was to go to Austin for a briefing.  Sgt. England was the new head of the Kerrville sub-district office of the State Highway Patrol.

The city directory reported that the house was vacant between 1962 and 1965.
Over the next twenty five years there were seven owners.
For those really interested other owners and residents include: 1967-1972 realtor Temple J. Duderstadt, 1975 Shirley Swindel, 1975-76 Dean Guy (who remodeled), 1977 H. Ellis Thomas who sold to Norman E. Mayfield in September of that year, September 1977-February 1980 Mr. and Mrs. Norman E. Mayfield, 1980-86 Mrs. Lillian D. Edwards; 1986 Marguerite and Floyd Forehand.  Forehand was a football, track and basketball coach at Peterson Middle School for a short time before going to Schreiner College (now Schreiner University) in a coaching position.

In September 1990, Trinity Baptist Church bought the properties at 602 and 606 Bluebell Road for parking. While 606 is gone, this house is not.  Instead, much of its lot was paved and the house used for church activities. Newspaper mentions call it the Trinity Baptist Annex.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

223 Clay Street


According to the Sanborn fire insurance maps, this building at 223 Clay Street
was constructed sometime between 1924 and 1930, and more likely close to the later date since the first mention in the newspaper was in 1931. (It was not on the map in 1924, but was in 1930.)

These two photos do indeed show the same building. The second story was removed in the 1950s when it became rickety and unsafe.

The first mention of this building was in the September 3, 1931, Kerrville Mountain Sun, when the following ad appeared: "Rusche Grocery, 223 Clay Street.  'The Store with Dependable Foods'--We Deliver."  In late March, 1931, Alfred Rusche had bought the Heiman grocery at the corner of Jefferson and Clay.  Within the next five months he moved the business one block down the street to this building.  He was in business in this location less than two years. By March 2, 1933, Rusche had moved to the Brown Building at the corner of Earl Garrett and Main and opened a Maytag dealership in conjunction.

The September 7, 1933, Kerrville Mountain Sun reported the following
Bud Neely Opens Grocery Store at 223 Clay Street.
Bud Neely, who has been connected with the grocery business for a number of months in Kerrville will open a new grocery store Friday at 223 Clay Street.  The store will be known as the C. O. D. grocery, and will be a serve-yourself store with the additional features of a delivery service on orders telephoned where the amount purchased is one dollar or over.
The building in which the store is to be operated was formerly used as a grocery and was known as Ruche's store.  Mr. Neely has had the building entirely renovated and redecorated. The stock is being placed on the shelves at this time. ...
The six weeks later the following item appeared in the Kerrville Times:
"Bud" Neely in Water Street Location.
...Mr. Neely expects to move the stock of groceries from his present establishment, the C.O.D. Grocery at 223 Clay Street, to the Kerrville Food Store.  The new institution willbe known as the C.O.D. Grocery,  He will close up the 223 Clay street place, and concentrate all of his business at the new location.

The next mention is a report in January 1934 that the "[o]ffices of the Kerr County Board of Welfare and Employment were moved early this week from the Brown building on Earl Garrett Street to 223 Clay Street."
It was followed by D-C Cleaners, a firm owned by Nelson Davis and J. C. Cavness, which offered cleaning, dyeing, and general tailoring. Although ownership changed in 1945, D-C Cleaners continued from October 1937 to June 1948.
When it was D-C Cleaners

 In June 1948 John Potts Weatherford, from Amarillo, purchased the business from Bernard Sherlock and changed the name to Potts Dye Works.
Although one story today, during the early years there was a second story apartment. It was frame construction and probably intended as living quarters for the business owner.  The 1936 city directory shows tenants living upstairs.  I found one newspaper announcement indicating use as a rental apartment.  The June 11, 1942, Kerrville Mountain Sun reported
Daughter's Marriage Announced
Mrs. Mary Brusher has announced the marriage of her daughter Mary Patricia, to Frank James, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank James.  The ceremony was performed in Boerne on April 7.  Mr. and Mrs. James are residing at 223 Clay Street.
They would have occupied the now-removed second story.

E. B. Meeker & Sons feed store was here in 1951, then in March 1952, Charles Adamek purchased the land and building from the executors of the estate of Richard Holdsworth, deceased.  Adamek immediately obtained a permit for building alterations. When completed he moved his business, the Kerrville Saddle Shop, in.
The Adameks ran the Saddle Shop here from April 1952 until retirement in 1978.
A  western store followed, until early 1988. It has since been home to a taekwondo studio, then a music studio.

Article updated April 4, 2018, to include D-C Cleaners photo.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

840 Earl Garrett Street

An earlier survey of historic homes in Kerr County called this the Sid Peterson home. One might just as well call it the A. M. Kennedy house.
Its porch architecture, the most notable feature, is described this way: "Classical Revival use of simple double and single Doric columns to create a large southeast porch, a popular form of the early 20th century."

ca 1988. Kerr County Historical Commission Collection.
This house was built for Austin Milton Kennedy in 1914 and was owned by several business and political leaders over the years.  A. M. Kennedy died from tuberculosis on July 19, 1914, before the house was finished.
Austin Milton Kennedy was a Texas state representative and speaker of the Texas House during the 31st legislature (1909-1910).  Sam Rayburn, who later became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was one of his honorary pallbearers.
He purchased a lot 100'x200' from B. F. Hicks on March 23, 1914, for $150 ($50 cash and $150 note) and began work on the house. It appears the house was unfinished when Kennedy died.  On August 7,  three weeks after his death, A.M. Kennedy's widow, Marion, transferred the property "having a residence thereon built by A. M. Kennedy" to James M. Kennedy for $2500 and assumption of the note to B. F. Hicks.  James Kennedy may be a relative, perhaps a brother, but I haven't been able to find A.M. Kennedy in the census before 1900 to determine that.

On October 9, 1919, J. M. and wife Sallie Kennedy sold the property to H. C. Geddie and Lee Wallace for $1800. (Geddie was the mayor of Kerrville and Wallace the Kerr County Judge at the time.) Four days later, Geddie and Wallace sold to Sid and Myrta Peterson for $2,250.  Sid Peterson is the man for whom the local hospital is named.  He and his three sons had heart conditions and knew first hand the difficulty of traveling the 60 miles to San Antonio for anything more than basic medical care.  After he died in 1939, in San Antonio, his sons vowed to build a modern hospital to Kerrville. The hospital admitted its first patients in July 1949.

Sid Peterson had many business interests. He was the founder of Peterson Auto Company and Garage, the Kerrville Bus Company, the American Pure Milk Company, and the Peterson Farm.  He also owned a ranch in Edwards County.

They lived in this house about ten years.  In February and March 1929, Sid Peterson and Newton B. Smith swapped several pieces of property, including an undertaking business and this house, which on March 5, 1929, the Petersons sold to Newton B. Smith for $11,000 "Together with all improvements thereon and all household furniture and fixtures now contained in the dwelling house situated on said land." Smith had been a "popular" undertaker in Kerrville. After the sale he became an agent for the Magnolia Petroleum Company. In 1931 Newton Smith sold to his niece Nelly Smith, who lived with him, a 60'x80' piece of this land.  In 1942 the house was inherited by his daughter Leona Rawson. In December 1943 she sold the property to chiropractor Francis G. Bailey, who moved his office here from 1613 Broadway.

In 1947 a part on the corner of Myrta and Earl Garrett Streets was sold to Sam. H. Taylor and W. B. Priest to build apartments.  In 1959 it was bequeathed to the Methodist Home Foundation. In June 1971 they sold it to Kenneth and Glenda Greeson who owned it until selling it in 2005 to Lifestyle Homes, LLC.  Today it houses small offices.