New Kerr County History Book Available!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Mosty Family of Kerr County: Generations of Service

The eight Mosty siblings celebrating their mother's birthday:
Left to right: Lee, Harvey, Lizzie, Mark, Addie, Karl, Sam, and Ruth.
Seated: Elizabeth Bean Mosty.
Click on any image to enlarge.

Leroy Mosty, of Mosty’s Garage, at the corner of Water and Lemos streets in downtown Kerrville, loaned me a nice book the other day. It’s called “Mosty: From There … To Here.”
It’s a brief history of the Mosty family, as remembered by Harvey Mosty. The book was produced by his grandson, James Craft.
Harvey Mosty
“The following was originally handwritten by Harvey Mosty (my grandfather) at the request of my mother, Marie Annaletta Mosty Craft,” James Craft writes on the introduction page. The original text was put on paper by Harvey Mosty in the 1950s.
Harvey Mosty was the second child of Lee Anthony (L. A.) Mosty and Elizabeth Bean Mosty; he was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1885.
L. A. Mosty was a noted nurseryman in Kerr County, and many of the plants and trees sold in Kerrville from the turn of the last century came from a Mosty family nursery. Quite a few of these trees still grace Kerrville’s older neighborhoods.
Although I’ve known members of the Mosty family all of my life, I didn’t have a real understanding of their family history until I read this little book.
L. A. Mosty was born in Akron, Ohio in 1851. He married Elizabeth Bean at Lampasas, Texas in 1881. The young family moved from Lampasas to Kansas City, Missouri, around 1883, and where Mosty worked at a hardware store, and later as a cattle buyer. He moved his family to Kansas in 1889, and they farmed there. On Thanksgiving Day 1894, they loaded up a wagon and returned to Lampasas, to a ranch owned by Elizabeth Bean Mosty’s family. The journey lasted until March, 1895, and included a crossing of the Red River near Dennison.
“After crossing the Red River,” Harvey Mosty writes, “I saw my first Live Oak Tree. Sure looked good to me. Had never seen a broadleaf evergreen before.”
I notice several places in the book where Harvey mentions things a nurseryman would know from years of experience
“In the fall of 1896, I planted my first crop,” he writes. Harvey Mosty would have been around eleven years old at the time.

L. A. Mosty display at the 1914 West Texas Fair

“Dad and Lee had left for Menard, Texas, hunting work. Grandad Bean furnished me a double shovel plow and showed me how to sow the oats and plow it in. He started me off keeping the front plow shovel in the furrow left by the rear shovel the previous round. I got about half through the field and it looked like I was not getting along fast enough, so I took to running both plows, cutting 2 furrows at each round. When spring and summer came, the oats planted according to Grandad Bean’s instructions made a good crop. The rest that I had hurried on was nothing but weeds. I learned then to do everything right and as told by older people.”
L. A. and Elizabeth,
and I think Lee, Jr.
I noticed a passage about a trip from Lampasas to Menard in 1897, where Elizabeth Mosty and the kids at home boarded a train in Lampasas, traveled to Ballinger, then took a stage coach to Menard, where they joined L.A. and Lee, Jr. at their “camp on the Gus Nois farm a few miles below Menard on the San Saba River.”
That name, Gus Nois, might have been a young Harvey Mosty’s memory of a man name Gus Noyes. His son, Charles Noyes, would later be the subject of a bronze statue by Pompeo Coppini, which stands today on the courthouse square in Ballinger, Texas.
Later that year the family moved from Menard to Kerrville: L. A., Elizabeth, and their eight children. In 1897, L. A. Mosty established his nursery business here in Kerrville. 
This family has had a great impact on the history of our community.
Harvey Mosty was a nurseryman, and, with his brother Lee, of Center Point, was credited as offering the “first soft-shell pecans on native stock.” They had quite a business. In 1936, for example, the brothers shipped “a full [rail] carload of peach trees to Sherman, numbering 12,000 plants.” What an incredible number of trees.
Harvey Mosty was active in his community: he served on the school board, the chamber board, was one of the developers of the Garden of Memories cemetery, was a Mason, and was a member of the Baptist Church. He passed away in 1958, here in Kerrville.
Mosty Brothers Nursery is still in operation, in Center Point.
I’m very thankful to Leroy Mosty for loaning me this delightful book.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who is thankful for our community. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times on January 9, 2020.


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2 comments:

  1. Very cool story. Harvey was my great grand father. I grew up working at Mosty's Flower Shop as a kid for my Dad Sid Taylor. My grandpa Pop McKnight and grandma Margaret Mosty McKnight lived next door to the flower shop. Great memories. Thank you for publishing this story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great story. My cousin is Rich Taylor and Harvey was my great grandfather. We spent many hours working and playing at Mosty's Flower Shop.

    ReplyDelete

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