Early Settlers of Kerr County – Kerrville, Texas

This Historical Marker is located at the Courthouse Square, (Sidney Baker and Main Street). This is a place worth visiting. There are two historical markers, a Texas 1936 Centennial Marker, and a War Memorial at this location. This is a beautiful site and a great way to begin your visit to Kerrville. 114

According to Archeological artifacts found along the Guadalupe River, Kerr County has been the site of human habitation for thousands of years. Evidence of human inhabitants date back 6000 to 10,000 years ago.  The first attempt at Anglo settlement in the area of the present Kerr County occurred in 1846 when Joshua D. Brown (Family Photo Below) led a group of ten men to the Guadalupe River and established a shingle-making camp at the site of present Kerrville. Sarah, Joshua and Alonzo Potter 1873 original corrected smallThey were soon driven off by Indians, only to return to the site in 1848. A number of settlers moved into the area in the early 1850s, erecting sawmills on the various streams and establishing farms. Indian raids became increasingly troublesome in the early 1850s, and in response the United States Army established a post at Camp Verde in southern Kerr County on July 8, 1855. Settlers faced the dangers of Indian attack for the next twenty years, and the final raid took place in 1878.

119              The Texas 1936 Centennial Marker sits in between the historical markers.

The Kerr County war Memorial is located on the side of the Court House.106

107108    All the benches have a military symbol. This area is beautifully kept. Its a must visit. 109

Historical Marker Reads:

Early Settlers of Kerr County (the Shingle Makers)

The earliest permanent settler at this point on the Guadalupe was Joshua D. Brown (1816-74), a native of Kentucky who came to Texas in 1830 and settled at Gonzales near a fellow Kentuckian, James Kerr, surveyor and resident manager of Green DeWitt’s Colony. Brown did military duty for the Republic of Texas. After marrying Sarah Jane Goss of Gonzales, he sought new opportunities on the frontier, learned the art of hand-riving cypress shingles, and found here on the Guadalupe’s headwaters an abundance of giant cypress trees suitable for commercial use. In 1846, he led to this site ten shingle makers, and built a camp of picket houses in which to work. Despite Indian raids that sometimes drove the crew to Gonzales for safety, he made a success of the first industry operated at later site of Kerrville. Brown bought 2,640 acres of land with frontage on the river. When the county was organized in 1856, he insisted upon having it named for his friend, James Kerr. He donated the original townsite, including 4 acres of land for public buildings and streets in Kerrsville (as town was then called), the county seat. He lived out his lifetime on his ranch near town. A son, A. P. Brown, was county commissioner in 1935-36.

Historical Marker Year 1971



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