Kerr County, Texas

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Kerr County
Kerr County Courthouse, southside view
Kerr County Courthouse, southside view
Map of Texas highlighting Kerr County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 30°04′N 99°21′W / 30.06°N 99.35°W / 30.06; -99.35
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1856
Named forJames Kerr
SeatKerrville
Largest cityKerrville
Area
 • Total1,107 sq mi (2,870 km2)
 • Land1,103 sq mi (2,860 km2)
 • Water4.0 sq mi (10 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total52,598
 • Density48/sq mi (18/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district21st
Websitewww.co.kerr.tx.us

Kerr County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 52,598.[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.

History[edit]

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 (1,200,000 ha) 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 (512 ha) 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 descendants 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 76–57 in 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]

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.[16][17] The Y O Ranch was founded in 1880 by Charles Armand Schreiner, who had opened a store in the area in 1869.[18]

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.[19]

The Schreiner Institute was established in Kerrville from 1917 to 1923.[20] In 1926, Ora Johnson established Camp Waldemar Christian girls camp in Hunt.[21]

Mooney Aircraft was established in 1929 in Kerrville.[22] Kerrville was begun to be called the "Mohair Capital of the World" in 1930.[3] The Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital was completed in 1949.[23]

Kerrville State Hospital opened in 1951.[24]

Geography[edit]

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.[25]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860634
18701,04264.4%
18802,168108.1%
18904,462105.8%
19004,98011.6%
19105,50510.5%
19205,8426.1%
193010,15173.8%
194011,65014.8%
195014,02220.4%
196016,80019.8%
197019,45415.8%
198028,78047.9%
199036,30426.1%
200043,65320.2%
201049,62513.7%
202052,5986.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[26]
1850–2010[27] 2010[28] 2020[29]
Kerr County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[28] Pop 2020[29] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 35,851 35,791 72.24% 68.05%
Black or African American alone (NH) 739 690 1.49% 1.31%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 207 156 0.42% 0.30%
Asian alone (NH) 361 576 0.73% 1.10%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 19 39 0.04% 0.07%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 38 187 0.08% 0.36%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 515 1,561 1.04% 2.97%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 11,895 13,598 23.97% 25.85%
Total 49,625 52,598 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

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 inhabitants per square mile (15/km2). There were 20,228 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (6.9/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.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Education[edit]

School districts include:[31]

All of the county is in the service area of Alamo Community College District.[32]

In popular culture[edit]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Kerr County, Texas[34]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 20,879 75.25% 6,524 23.51% 342 1.23%
2016 17,727 76.09% 4,681 20.09% 889 3.82%
2012 17,274 78.95% 4,338 19.83% 267 1.22%
2008 16,752 74.27% 5,570 24.69% 234 1.04%
2004 16,538 77.84% 4,557 21.45% 151 0.71%
2000 14,637 76.12% 4,002 20.81% 589 3.06%
1996 11,173 66.61% 4,192 24.99% 1,410 8.41%
1992 8,787 53.72% 3,707 22.66% 3,864 23.62%
1988 11,207 75.03% 3,587 24.01% 143 0.96%
1984 11,829 79.00% 3,102 20.72% 43 0.29%
1980 9,090 70.71% 3,387 26.35% 378 2.94%
1976 6,021 60.34% 3,767 37.75% 190 1.90%
1972 6,039 77.82% 1,511 19.47% 210 2.71%
1968 3,692 55.58% 1,878 28.27% 1,073 16.15%
1964 2,706 48.25% 2,894 51.60% 8 0.14%
1960 3,252 70.76% 1,323 28.79% 21 0.46%
1956 3,555 77.38% 1,025 22.31% 14 0.30%
1952 3,683 73.24% 1,337 26.59% 9 0.18%
1948 1,520 47.44% 1,505 46.97% 179 5.59%
1944 1,358 46.14% 1,377 46.79% 208 7.07%
1940 1,112 40.35% 1,634 59.29% 10 0.36%
1936 994 38.39% 1,586 61.26% 9 0.35%
1932 623 22.22% 2,165 77.21% 16 0.57%
1928 1,575 73.36% 570 26.55% 2 0.09%
1924 892 49.31% 735 40.63% 182 10.06%
1920 464 40.38% 612 53.26% 73 6.35%
1916 272 29.34% 621 66.99% 34 3.67%
1912 126 14.14% 577 64.76% 188 21.10%

Kerr County has been given the majority of its votes to Republican candidates in the vast majority of presidential elections since 1924. The only Democratic Party candidates to carry the county since then were Franklin D. Roosevelt by diminishing margins in each of his 4 electoral victories & Texan Lyndon B. Johnson by a narrow margin in his 1964 national landslide.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kerr County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Odintz, Mark. "Kerr County". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Brister, Louis E. "Adelsverein". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  5. ^ Ramos, Mary G. "The German Settlements in Central Texas". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  6. ^ "Indianola, Texas". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  7. ^ Block, W T. "The Story of our Texas' German Pilgrims". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  8. ^ "History Kerr County". Kerr County Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 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 (4): 247–261.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Camp Verde". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  11. ^ "Camel Corps". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  12. ^ "Center Point". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  13. ^ Moneyhon, Charles H. "The Union League". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  14. ^ Shook, Robert W. "Duff, James". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  15. ^ "Spring Creek Cemetery". Texas Gen Web. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  16. ^ "Treue der UnionMonument". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  17. ^ "List of Dead-Treue Der Union Monument". Texas Gen Web. Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  18. ^ Hollon, W Eugene. "Charles Schreiner". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  19. ^ Herring, Rebecca. "Veterans Affairs Center-Kerrville". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  20. ^ Baulch, Joe R. "Schreiner University". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  21. ^ "Camp Waldemar". Camp Waldemar. Archived from the original on June 26, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  22. ^ "Mooney Aircraft". Mooney Aviation Company, Inc. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  23. ^ "Peterson Regional Medical Center". Peterson Regional Medical Center. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  24. ^ "Kerrville State Hospital". State of Texas. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  25. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  26. ^ "Decennial Census by Decade". US Census Bureau.
  27. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  28. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Kerr County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  29. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Kerr County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  30. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  31. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Kerr County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022. - Text list
  32. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.162. ALAMO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..
  33. ^ Treat, Wesley. "StoneHenge II - A Megalithic Facsimile". Archived from the original on May 29, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  34. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 26, 2018.

External links[edit]

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