Kerr County, Texas

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Kerr County, Texas
Kerr county tx courthouse 2015.jpg
Kerr County Courthouse, southside view
Map of Texas highlighting Kerr County
Location in the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1856
Named for James Kerr
Seat Kerrville
Largest city Kerrville
 • Total 1,107 sq mi (2,867 km2)
 • Land 1,103 sq mi (2,857 km2)
 • Water 4.0 sq mi (10 km2), 0.4%
 • (2010) 49,625
 • Density 45/sq mi (17/km²)
Congressional district 21st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Kerr County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 49,625.[1] Its county seat is Kerrville.[2] The county was named by Joshua D. Brown for his fellow Kentucky native, James Kerr, a congressman of the Republic of Texas.

The Kerrville, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Kerr County.


Around 8000 BC, early Native American inhabitants arrived in the area, with numerous successive cultures following in prehistoric times. Historic tribes encountered by Europeans included the Kiowa, Comanche, and Lipan Apache.[3]

In 1842, the Adelsverein[4] Fisher-Miller Land Grant set aside 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km²) to settle 600 families and single men of German, Dutch, Swiss, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian ancestry in Texas.[5] Henry Francis Fisher sold his interest in the land grant to the Adelsverein in 1844.

In 1845, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels secured the title to 1,265 acres (5.12 km2) of the Veramendi grant, including the Comal Springs and River, for the Adelsverein. Thousands of German immigrants were stranded at port of disembarkation, Indianaola on Matagorda Bay. With no food or shelter, living in holes dug into the ground, an estimated 50% died from disease or starvation.[6][7] Joshua Brown, in 1846, became the first settler.[8]

The Texas State Convention of Germans met in San Antonio on May 14–15, 1854, and adopted 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.[9] The next year, United States Army post Camp Verde was established.[10] Kerr County was formed in 1856 from Bexar Land District Number 2. Joshua Brown donated the land that became Kerrville, and had it named for his friend James Kerr. Kerrville was named the county seat.[3] The U.S. Camel Corps, headquartered at Verde, was the brainchild of United States Secretary of War (1853–57) Jefferson Davis.[11] Center Point was established in 1859.[12]

In 1860-1861, the county population was 634, including 49 slaves. The Sons of Hermann lodge, for descendents of German heritage, was established in the county. The lodge is named for German chieftain folk hero Hermann the Cherusker.[3] A bitterly divided Kerr County voted 76-57in 1861 for secession from the Union, with most German residents being against it. Unionists from Kerr, Gillespie, and Kendall Counties participated in the formation of the Union League, a secret organization to support President Lincoln’s policies.[13] The Union League formed companies to protect the frontier against Indians and their families against local Confederate forces. Conscientious objectors to the military draft were primarily among Tejanos and Germans . Confederate authorities imposed martial law on Central Texas. The Nueces massacre occurred in Kinney County. Jacob Kuechler served as a guide for 61 conscientious objectors attempting to flee to Mexico. Scottish-born Confederate irregular James Duff and his Duff’s Partisan Rangers pursued and overtook them at the Nueces River; 34 were killed, some executed after being taken prisoner. Jacob Kuechler survived the battle. The cruelty shocked the people of Gillespie County. About 2,000 took 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.”[14][15][16] The Treue der Union Monument ("Loyalty to the Union") in Comfort was dedicated to the Texans slain at the Nueces massacre August 10, 1866. It is the only monument to the Union outside of the National Cemeteries on Confederate territory, and is one of only six such sites allowed to fly the United States flag at half-mast in perpetuity.[17][18] The Y O Ranch was founded in 1880 by Charles Armand Schreiner, who had opened a store in the area in 1869.[19]

In 1887, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway was built through Kerrville. The American Legion of Texas established what eventually was called the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kerrville, in 1919.[20]

The Schreiner Institute was established in Kerrville from 1917 to 1923.[21] In 1926, Ora Johnson established Camp Waldemar Christian girls camp in Hunt.[22]

Mooney Aircraft was established in 1929 in Kerrville.[23] Kerrville was begun to be called the "Mohair Capital of the World" in 1930.[3] The Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital was completed in 1949.[24]

Kerrville State Hospital opened in 1951.[25]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,107 square miles (2,870 km2), of which 1,103 square miles (2,860 km2) is land and 4.0 square miles (10 km2) (0.4%) is water.[26]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 634
1870 1,042 64.4%
1880 2,168 108.1%
1890 4,462 105.8%
1900 4,980 11.6%
1910 5,505 10.5%
1920 5,842 6.1%
1930 10,151 73.8%
1940 11,650 14.8%
1950 14,022 20.4%
1960 16,800 19.8%
1970 19,454 15.8%
1980 28,780 47.9%
1990 36,304 26.1%
2000 43,653 20.2%
2010 49,625 13.7%
Est. 2015 50,955 [27] 2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[28]
1850–2010[29] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[30] of 2000, there were 43,653 people, 17,813 households, and 12,308 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 20,228 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.89% White, 1.78% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.60% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. 19.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,813 households out of which 25.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.90% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 22.20% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 24.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,283, and the median income for a family was $40,713. Males had a median income of $27,425 versus $21,149 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,767. About 10.30% of families and 14.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 8.40% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d Odintz, Mark. "Kerr County". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Brister, Louis E. "Adelsverein". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Ramos, Mary G. "The German Settlements in Central Texas". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Indianola, Texas". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  7. ^ Block, W T. "The Story of our Texas' German Pilgrims". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "History Kerr County". Kerr County Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Biesele, R. L. (April 1930). "The Texas State Convention of Germans in 1854". Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Denton, TX: Texas State Historical Association. 33, No. 4: 247-261. 
  10. ^ "Camp Verde". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Camel Corps". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Center Point". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Moneyhon, Charles H. "The Union League". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  14. ^ Shook, Robert W. "Duff, James". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Spring Creek Cemetery". Texas Gen Web. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  16. ^ Tegener, Gus at Find a Grave
  17. ^ "Treue der UnionMonument". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "List of Dead-Treue Der Union Monument". Texas Gen Web. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  19. ^ Hollon, W Eugene. "Charles Schreiner". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  20. ^ Herring, Rebecca. "Veterans Affairs Center-Kerrville". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  21. ^ Baulch, Joe R. "Schreiner University". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  22. ^ "Camp Waldemar". Camp Waldemar. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Mooney Aircraft". Mooney Aviation Company, Inc. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "Peterson Regional Medical Center". Peterson Regional Medical Center. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  25. ^ "Kerrville State Hospital". State of Texas. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  26. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2015. 
  27. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  28. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 2, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 2, 2015. 
  30. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  31. ^ Treat, Wesley. "StoneHenge II - A Megalithic Facsimile". Retrieved 2011-03-25. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°04′N 99°21′W / 30.06°N 99.35°W / 30.06; -99.35