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Monday, March 26, 2012

Hunt, Texas celebrates its centennial this year

Hunt, Texas: the early years
I've certainly enjoyed reading so many local history books lately. Dr. Joseph Luther's on Camp Verde is very good, and I learned a lot about our entire area from it.
I'm now reading Jeanne Schumacher Sutton's history of Hunt, Texas, which is a project of the Hunt Centennial Committee. My copy was a gift from my long-time friend C. Jane Ragsdale, who has called Hunt home for most of her life.
As you know, I love old photographs. Ms. Sutton's book does not disappoint -- it is stuffed full of old photographs showing Hunt and the surrounding the hills. There are good photographs of the schools, churches, stores, and Hunt's many summer camps. Many of the photographs I've never seen before, and so this book is a very valuable resource.
In addition to an informative narrative about the formation of the community, I especially appreciate some of the "Summaries" in the back of the book, which list the various camps, cafes, cemeteries, and crossings which were nearby.
Take this list of old post offices near Hunt: "Japonica, 1880-1918; Vix 1884-1888; Pebble 1906-1918; Hunt 1913-present."
I have an old postcard which was postmarked "Pebble"; Jane tells me the post office was, for a time, near where Heart o' The Hills Camp for Girls is today.
The list of schools interests me, too, because I think I have photographs of several. A partial list includes schools at Auld Ranch, Boneyard, Pebble, and Poverty Flats.
Hunt was named for Robert Finley Hunt, a Tennessee native who was born in 1868. Hunt arrived in the area around 1910, and married Clare Byas.
In 1911 Robert Hunt bought 319 acres from John Dubose. He sold Lizzie and Alva Joy 4 acres, and conveyed 2 1/2 acres each to the Japonica school trustees and to W. H. Page. After these sales the Hunt family moved near Flat Rock Lake near Kerrville.
Robert F. Hunt died in 1927; his widow, in 2005.
In 1915, a new school was built, and with the move the name changed from the Japonica School to the Hunt School.
Lizzie and Alva Joy saw the importance of the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Guadalupe and purchased land for a store, and later a post office, from Robert Hunt. Alva Joy became the first postmaster of Hunt, Texas.
The Joys moved on -- they're buried in California -- but the importance of that little confluence remained.
By 1912 what is now Hunt included the Hunt Baptist Church, the Primitive Baptist Church, Japonica School, the Lizzie Joy store, and land set aside for a post office. Alva Joy decided to name the community after his friend, Robert F. Hunt.
By December 1912 Robert F. Hunt sold the last of his property in Hunt to Tom Moore. Mr. Hunt, in the short 18 months he owned the property made a handsome 25% return.
It was Moore who subdivided the land into lots "that would form the new village with churches, a school, and homes. He built and lived in the native stone home that still stands on the right past the present-day post office on the South Fork."
"Hunt, Texas: the early years 1857-1959" is available at Wolmueller's Books at 229 Earl Garrett Street. They also have a few of Dr. Luther's book on Camp Verde available. I am happy to recommend both.
Until next week, all the best.
Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who, long ago, attended summer camp near Hunt, Texas. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times March 24, 2012.

3 comments:

  1. I'm wondering if that's a typo. Mr. Hunt died in 1927, his widow in 2005. If it's not a typo, then I want to hear that story too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops -- the book does say 2005, but the footnotes reference a 1950 newspaper article. Good catch!

      Delete
  2. My Aunt Clare Hunt died 1/14/1951. I didn't realize that Hunt, TX was named after her husband.
    George Richeson
    Houston

    ReplyDelete

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