Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sears-Roebuck Kit Houses

Last week I did a program for the Kerr County Historical Commission on the topic of kit houses in Kerr County, focusing on the Sear-Roebuck & Co. Modern Homes kit houses.
I was told some time back that there are a dozen in Kerrville.  No one I talked to had a full list, so I have not located all of them yet, but here are some.  The first group are all along Earl Garrett Street.
501 Earl Garrett Street
608 Earl Garrett Street
609 Earl Garrett Street  (The Crescent style, one of the most popular Sears houses.)
612 Earl Garrett Street
There is another one on Earl Garrett that is owned by the H.E. Butt Foundation.  I have to confirm the address before linking.

One additional possible Sears house is the house at
816 Earl Garrett Street   Note this is a POSSIBLE kit houses.  I am still working on this.

There is a house near the corner of Harper Road (700 block) and Holdsworth Drive (400 block) that I have been told is a Sears house.  It was once the home of Jeanne Slobod (now deceased).
For a few years Sears offered home mortgages.   Researching for this program, I went to the Kerr County Courthouse to look for mortgages recorded in the deed records and discovered two.
Both of these properties were built outside the city of Kerrville.

One of them,  in 1928, was for a house at the Kerrville Sanatorium, located about 2 1/2 miles from Kerrville on the Fredericksburg Road.  We do not know if that house is still standing, and if so, if it is at the original location or of it was moved.  The city limits were different then. "Two and a half miles from Kerrville" would place this particular sanatorium at about I-10 and Sidney Baker Street today.

The other house with a Sears mortgage, located in the 400 block of China Street in Center Point, it was built by Benjamin and Mary Mattingly in 1931 and was covered by local rock.  The family story is that the rock is river rock from the Guadalupe, but the rock is reddish in color, not typically found around Center Point, so it may have been hauled in.

If you can add to any of this, pleased comment below, or email me at dgaudier at