Several weeks ago, a kind person in Oakland, California, contacted me via email, saying he’d purchased an old scrapbook from 1938-39, which contained photographs, news clippings and football programs from Schreiner Institute.

While going through my collection of historic Kerr County photographs this week, I found some negatives that I’d never scanned. I could tell they were photographs of construction. Intrigued, I put them in the scanner to find out what they were.

Of the men listed on the Kerr County War Memorial, I personally knew only one, and while every soldier listed on that monument left a painful gap in our community when they died, torn away from their families and friends, it’s that young man I think of first on this holiday.

A friend brought by a book on the history of raising sheep in the southwest, and it’s fascinating.

When I study black and white photographs from my collection of historical Kerr County photographs, sometimes I forget how colorful our area was in those days. I suppose my mind processes pre-1940s images as grayscale, and jumps to the conclusion that nothing was in full color in those days.

I was reminded this week that the stories we tell about a community’s past and the actual history of a community often are different. I’m not sure one has more value than the other, especially when each provide a way to better understand the forces that shaped today’s community. 


The Civilian Conservation Corps made a lasting impression on Texas with its construction of parks all over the state. Notable nearby examples are Garner State Park and Blanco State Park, while the cabins at Bastrop State Park or Indian Lodge at Fort Davis State Park are great examples of bui…

This past weekend I traveled to Comfort, hoping to solve a mystery. Several friends there told me a building once used as Kerr County’s second courthouse was still standing, though in bad repair.

On Dec. 22, 1899 — 119 years ago today — a remarkable news magazine was published in Kerrville by J.E. Grinstead. The Neunhoffer family kindly let me make a copy of the magazine years ago.

There have been either four or five courthouses in Kerr County.

Roughly three years ago, an anonymous donor gave the historic residence of A.C. and Myrta Schreiner, at 529 Water St., to the city of Kerrville. This is the large home between the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library and our print shop, on the river side of Water Street.

Ruth Hamilton remembered how cold and clear it was in Kerr County on the morning of Monday, Nov. 11, 1918. She lived a little over a mile from Kerrville, and when she and her family heard the downtown fire bell ringing, they thought a house was burning.

In 1940, when he was a student at the University of Texas at Austin, Forrest Salter wrote a story about the shingle makers who founded Kerr County. The story was for an English class, “Life and Literature of the Southwest,” taught by J. Frank Dobie.

Last week, my friends Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller, of Wolfmueller’s Books, gave me a booklet which included a story by Kerrville’s Forest Salter called “The Saga of the Shingle Camp.”

Sidney Baker, for whom one of the principal streets in Kerrville was named, died in France on October 15, 1918, 100 years ago this coming Monday. He was only 22.

I’ve noticed posts on social media about the Tivy High School class of 1968, which will be celebrating its 50 year reunion this year. I understand quite a few are hoping to attend the Tivy Homecoming celebrations in a few weeks, when the Antlers play Memorial on Oct. 19 at Antler Stadium.

With the newly reinstituted Texas Arts & Crafts Fair happening in Ingram this weekend at the Hill Country Arts Foundation, I thought a brief history of the fair might be timely. 

One hundred years ago today, on Sept. 15, 1918, Francisco Lemos died in France, giving his life for his country. He was only 30 years old.

I recently came across a series of photographs taken in late February 1967, which surprised me.

In the early 1930s, an unknown employee of the city of Kerrville systematically photographed houses and buildings all over town for use in documenting the city’s tax rolls, walking along the street and stopping at each address to snap a photo. While I do not have a complete set of the negati…

The story of Capt. Charles Schreiner is well-known in our community, but the story of his wife, Lena, has been hidden by time.

The coming of the railroad in 1887 changed everything for Kerrville — because it allowed commerce with the world beyond our hills.

A little more than four years ago, I got a telephone call from a fellow who said he’d found Capt. Joseph Albert Tivy’s tombstone in some rubble on his property.

Legend says Charles Schreiner started the first bank in Kerrville by putting money and gold entrusted to him by his customers under a loose board in his one-room store. The “safe” was then secured by rolling a flour barrel on top of the loose board.

When the first camps in Kerr County opened, in the 1920s, there were no interstate highways, and air travel was extremely rare.

I was going through old photos of Water Street the other day when I noticed a name on a building. Noticing that name led me to discover an important but forgotten part of our community’s history.