Kerr County, Texas

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Kerr County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. In 2000, its population was 43,653. Its county seat is Kerrville[1]. Kerr County was named by Joshua D. Brown for his fellow Kentucky native, James Kerr, a congressman of the Republic of Texas. Kerr never set foot in Kerr County, as he died six years before the establishment of Kerrville.

The Kerrville Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Kerr County.


History Timeline

  • 8000 b.c. Early Native American inhabitants arrive. Numerous successive cultures inhabited the area in prehistoric times. Historic tribes encountered by Europeans included the Kiowa, Comanche and Lipan Apache.[2]
  • 1842 Adelsverein[3] Fisher-Miller Land Grant sets aside three million acres to settle 600 families and single men of German, Dutch, Swiss, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian ancestry in Texas.[4]
  • 1844, June 26 - Henry Francis Fisher sells interest in land grant to Adelsverein.
  • 1845 Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels secures title to 1,265 acres of the Veramendi grant, including the Comal Springs and River, for the Adelsverein. Thousands of German immigrants are stranded at port of disembarkation Indianaola on Matagorda Bay. With no food or shelters, living in holes dug into the ground, an estimated 50% die from disease or starvation.[5][6]
  • 1846Joshua Brown (Texas pioneer) becomes first settler.[7]
  • 1854 May 14–15, The Texas State Convention of Germans meet in San Antonio and adopt a political, social and religious platform, including: 1) Equal pay for equal work; 2) Direct election of the President of the United States; 3) Abolition of capital punishment; 4) “Slavery is an evil, the abolition of which is a requirement of democratic principles..”; 5) Free schools – including universities - supported by the state, without religious influence; and 6) Total separation of church and state.[8]
  • 1855, July 8 - United States Army post Camp Verde established.[9]
  • 1856 Kerr County is formed from Bexar Land District Number 2. Joshua Brown donates the land that will become Kerrville, and has it named for his friend James Kerr. Kerrville is the county seat.[2] U.S. Camel Corps headquartered at Verde is the brainchild of United States Secretary of War (1853-57) Jefferson Davis.[10]
  • 1859 Community of Center Point is established.[11]
  • 1860-1861 County population of 634, includes 49 slaves. Sons of Hermann lodge, for descendents of German heritage, is established in the County. The lodge is named for German chieftain folk hero Hermann the Cherusker.[2]
  • 1861 A bitterly divided Kerr County votes 76-57 for secession from the Union, with most German residents being against it. Unionists from Kerr, Gillespie, and Kendall counties participate in the formation of the Union League, a secret organization to support President Abraham Lincoln’s policies.[12]
  • 1862 The Union League forms companies to protect the frontier against Indians and their families against local Confederate forces. Conscientious objectors to the military draft are primarily among Tejanos and Germans . Confederate authorities impose martial law on Central Texas. Nueces massacre in Kinney County. Jacob Kuechler serves as a guide for 61 conscientious objectors attempting to flee to Mexico. Scottish born Confederate irregular James Duff and his Duff’s Partisan Rangers pursue and overtake them at the Nueces River. 34 are killed, some executed after being taken prisoner. Jacob Kuechler survives the battle. The cruelty shocks the people of Gillespie County. 2,000 take to the hills to escape Duff's reign of terror. Spring Creek Cemetery near Harper in Gillespie County has a singular grave with the names Sebird Henderson, Hiram Nelson, Gus Tegener and Frank Scott. The inscription reads “Hanged and thrown in Spring Creek by Col. James Duff’s Confederate Regiment.”[13][14][15]
  • 1866, August 10 - Treüe der Union ("Loyalty to the Union") monument in Comfort dedicated to the Texans slain at the Nueces massacre. It is the only monument to the Union outside of the National Cemeteries on Confederate territory. It is one of only six such sites allowed to fly the United States flag at half-mast in perpetuity.[16][17]
  • 1880 Y O Ranch is founded by Charles Armand Schreiner .[18]
  • 1887 The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway is built through Kerrville.
  • 1919 The American Legion of Texas establishes what will eventually be called the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kerrville.[19]
  • 1923 Schreiner University is established in Kerrville.[20]
  • 1926 Ora Johnson establishes Camp Waldemar Christian girls camp in Hunt.[21]
  • 1929 Mooney Aircraft is established in Kerrville.[22]
  • 1930 Kerrville is called the "Mohair Capital of the World."[2]
  • 1949 The Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital is completed.[23]
  • 1951 Kerrville State Hospital opens.[24]

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