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Monday, March 14, 2011

A place called Pebble, Texas

It might surprise you to know I collect Kerrville and Kerr County items. When I saw an old postcard with the caption "Wagon Train, Kerrville, Tex.,"  I added it to my collection.
The little card is interesting in its own right. Printed on thick card stock, it shows an image of a train of three connected wagons traveling up a slight grade; I can't tell exactly how many horses (or mules) are hauling the wagon, but there are a lot. More than six. You can vaguely see a rider on one of the horses hitched to the wagons. In the distance you can see hills.
Click on any image to enlarge
Postcard, Wagon Train, Kerrville, around 1915
Of course, I bought the card for this picture, even though it was poorly printed. Freight traveled this way before the world saw Interstate highways and railroads. Even after
the railroad came to Kerrville in late 1887, freight continued to be shipped by wagon train to communities west of us, like Junction and Rocksprings.
Getting agricultural goods to market was hard work; getting goods back to local stores was just as hard. The freighters moved the goods that drove the economies of our community and the communities around us.
Imagine my surprise, then, at being just as fascinated by the other side of the card, the side for correspondence.
The message itself is intriguing: "Thursday-noon. No luck yet but trying hard. SRL"   The message was sent to a Miss Eusta Smith in San Antonio. Intriguing, yes, but not most interesting thing about the postcard.
The card itself was published by H. G. Zimmerman and Co., Chicago. This, too, is interesting -- Chicago, after all, is a long way from Kerrville, and several local people were also publishing postcards at the time, including J. L. Pampell and J. E. Grinstead. Not sure how a postcard from Chicago made its way to Kerr County.
The most interesting thing about the postcard -- at least to me -- is the postmark.
"PEBBLE Dec 11 1915 TEX."
Reverse of Postcard.  Note the postmark.
You see, Pebble was the name of a community in Kerr County. It had its own post office, though most references I've seen suggest the Pebble post office closed in 1914. (I suppose it was open until at least December, 1915, from the postmark on my postcard.)
According to the Kerr County Album, "the Pebble Post office was established in 1905. The location was the Sam Taylor property and it was situated between Camp Heart O' the Hills and Camp Mystic. A small room was enclosed on the end of the front porch. Ms. Emma Taylor was the postmistress. Mr. Cleve Griffin carried the mail on a horse called 'Ole Blue' and Mr. B. F. Merritt carried the mail on a horse called "Old Streeter."  The horse pulled a buggy most of the time; It took all day to make the trip to Ingram and back to the Pebble post office." 
There is some disagreement as to the exact location of the Pebble post office; some say between Heart o' The Hills and Camp Mystic; others near present-day Criders. I really don't know where Pebble was. Perhaps a member of the Merritt family can help solve the mystery.
If you didn't know there was once a place called "Pebble" in Kerr County, don't feel bad. There was also a "Vix," and, briefly a place called "Ura," though some spelled it "Eura."  Even "Legion" had a post office for a while.
Until next week, all the best.
Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who sends a lot of mail, but none from Pebble, yet. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times March 12, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Dear sir,, I just read your description of Pebble,,TX. You might consider sharing your information on Pebble with the folks at www.texasescapes.com They recently had something about Split Rock and Pebble in Kerr County.They showed a map of Kerr County from the 1900s with Pebble on it and a couple of post cards with the name of both communities on them,but little else.They considered them mystery towns.
    That's like on Loop 1604 South near San Antonio is an old stone store building with iron shutters on it. It might once have been the town of Loma China, but haven't been able to find anything on the place. Thanks for your interesting blog.

    ReplyDelete

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