Sunday, October 10, 2010

The mystery of the Citizen's Auto building.

There are many images in my collection of historic Kerrville and Kerr County photographs of places that  leave me puzzled.  Take, for example, this photo of the Citizen's Auto Company.  It's a fairly clear photo, showing a building recently remodeled and enlarged.  If you look closely, you can see an automobile inside the building.  Here's the big question: where was it?  Was it even in Kerrville?  There is some doubt -- the sign advertises the Gunter Hotel -- which is in San Antonio.
The mystery garage -- Citizen's Auto Company.  Where was it located?
 To find the answer, I had to look elsewhere in my collection.  One of the first clues came on a postcard, advertising the automobiles Joe Bader was assembling in Kerrville.
Joe Bader in one of his Paterson automobiles, Kerrville, beside the St. Charles Hotel.
This car was  facing south on Sidney Baker Street (then Tchoupatoulas Street)
toward the river, though there was no bridge there yet.
From an advertising postcard.

The other side of the postcard.  Note the address of Bader's garage.
So from the postcard, we know there was at least one garage "opposite" the St. Charles Hotel.  But that means the garage was either on Water Street, or on what we know as Sidney Baker Street.  Which could it be?
Another image from my collection solved the riddle.  This image of the Kerrville Livery Company vehicle, and its proud owner, was taken in front of the St. Charles Hotel.  The proud owner is facing Pampell's on Water Street.
Kerrville Livery, Phone 115.   A fairly famous image. Taken in front of the St Charles Hotel,
in the 700 Block of Water Street, where the Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital
until recently stood.
Look closely at the Kerrville Livery photo, and you'll see, on the left side of the image, a familiar building -- the Citizen's Auto building.
So that's where it was!  On Sidney Baker Street, across from the St Charles Hotel.  My guess is this building also housed Mr. Bader's operations.

1 comment:

  1. Joe,

    I don't know how accurate this website is, but it refers to "Citizen's Auto" in San Antonio.

    It also displays a photo of Peterson's Garage in Kerrville.

    The website is:

    Here is an excerpt from the website:

    "The next generation of buses was still privately owned. Called depot hacks, they too were purchased as truck chassis but had more powerful engines, better suspension, balloon tires and padded seats. The bodies would often be built by local companies, using a huge variety of designs. These vehicles were often owned by hotels to bring railroad passengers and their luggage to their establishments. Other companies, such as Citizens Auto Company, started in 1910, used them for a number of purposes, either to bring prospective customers to the showroom or take folks whose cars were in for repairs back home."



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