Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Davey & Schott

My most recent post about Weston Farm got me thinking about B. F. Davey & Bruno Schott, the builders of the house.  Davey & Schott was a prominent construction company in the late 19th and early 20th century in and around Kerr County, including projects in neighboring counties. Bruno Schott proudly said his buildings were built to last.
Some of the structures they built in Kerr County that still stand include:
Charles Schreiner Mansion
The 1890 Tivy school (now the administration building for the Kerrville Independent School District)
The 1890 Weston Building 
The 1905 Weston Farm
The 1909 building at 715 Water Street
The ca 1910-1914 building at 1312 Water Street
The 1914 Peterson-Kennedy house, 840 Earl Garrett Street
The 1916 Zion Lutheran Church
The 1887 Guthrie Building, 241 Earl Garrett 

In an interview in 1939 Schott claimed to have built every building on Water Street but one. He also said he built 3/4 of the residences in the city, including houses for four members of the Schreiner family. Many are gone now, but I will add to this list as I learn of others still standing.

Benjamin F. Davey passed away in 1942 in Kimble County and is buried at Glen Rest. By 1924 Wilhelm Bruno Schott had formed a partnership with J. E. McCreary. Schott passed away August 1949 and is also buried in Glen Rest.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Weston Farm

The 1905 Weston farm house, located on East Main Street, is now part of the Schreiner University campus, the university having taken possession of the house and surrounding acreage in 2012.
Malachi F. "Mack" Weston was the original owner of the house. It remained in the family for more than a century before its transferred to Schreiner.

The first mention of the property is in the March 4, 1905, Kerrville Mountain Sun, which reads,
"Davey & Schott have secured the contract to erect a modern stone residence for Mr. M. F. Weston, on his property recently purchased from the Harris estate east of the city.  Work will begin at once."

Davey & Schott was a prominent builder in Kerrville. The work must indeed have begun "at once", because the July 29, 1905, Kerrville Mountain Sun reported a surprise party was held at the "beautiful new home of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Weston east of town" just four and a half months later. He lived here the rest of his life, passing away at the age of 89 in 1961.

The house originally had expansive sleeping porches on three sides, but one side was later enclosed to allow year-round use.

At the time the house was built Mack Weston operated the Ranch Saloon downtown.  Today the building houses Francisco's Restaurant. Later he ran the Favorite Saloon. In 1914 he began to diversify his business interests by buying the Overland auto dealership. By 1922 the Boeckmann & Weston garage sold and serviced Hupmobile and Dodge automobiles.  His January 1962 obituary reported he was involved in stock farmimg, the automobile and real estate business for the previous half century.

The fireplace is made of local rock.

Beautiful herringbone pattern in ceiling.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Polly's Fort

J. P. "Polly" Rodriguez erected a house of limestone rock on the banks of Privilege Creek in Bandera County. The ruins of the house are on private property. The current owner said it was burned by vandals several decades ago.  It was called the Fort because of its design and because people in the community sought refuge there during Indian raids.  Rodriguez built not only this sturdy house by himself, but constructed a high rock wall all around his property. Read more here.
To learn more about Polly, Texas, go here

Ruins of Polly's Fort.

Remains of Polly's rock wall.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Polly's Chapel

It is thought the charming rock 1882 Polly's Chapel was built almost entirely by hand by J. P. Rodriguez after he converted to Methodism and became a preacher.  It isn't usually adorned with sky blue ribbons. A wedding was about to take place.
The property has a Texas historical marker.
To learn more go here.

The cornerstone, April 17, 1882.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Polly's School House

A couple of months ago a friend and I had an outing to Pipe Creek to visit the old community of Polly, Texas. This beautiful valley along Privilege Creek in Bandera County was discovered by J. P. Rodriguez in 1858 and subsequently purchased by him. The settlement that grew up once contained a school, chapel, cemetery, general store and post office. Polly's Fort, his home, was destroyed by fire many years ago by vandals.  Our original goal was to find the schoolhouse, which is currently being restored.  By the time we were done we had picked up a delightful guide--a board member of the association--who took us to the church and the ruins of the fort--but we ran out of time for a cemetery visit. Another time I suppose.

(Polly's Fort is on private property and requires permission to access.)

Polly is named for Jose Policarpio "Polly" Rodriguez, well known as a scout and guide, a Texas Ranger, a Bandera County Justice of the Peace, and later as a Methodist minister.  You can learn more about him here at the Polly Texas Pioneer Association website.

The schoolhouse is located at 2320 Bear Creek Road in Bandera County.  The day I visited a group of volunteers were cleaning the building and clearing the land around the 1882 schoolhouse in preparation for a dedication ceremony.  See the low roof line below the main peaked roof? I was told it is thought the addition was a room that once served as living quarters for the teacher.
The school operated for about 40 years before consolidating with Bandera.
Note the beautiful floors and ceiling.

Interior of school. Note fireplace and enclosed bookshelves.

The interior had a fireplace at one end. Off to the left, and just out of view there was also evidence that a wood-burning stove had provided heat in the building.

The association is currently raising money for the restoration of the schoolhouse. Go to the website  to learn more.

Piles of cedar cuttings where the parking lot is now.