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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Searching for the family of Everett "Wild Bill" Pettit -- a longtime Kerrville resident.

I believe this is Everett Roy Pettit -- "Wild Bill" -- who lived in Kerrville 62 years.
Do you know if his descendants are still around Kerr County?

I hope everyone understands – when someone drops by with items from Kerrville’s history, I really enjoy studying the things. Often, the objects are something of mystery, especially when most of the things are family photographs.
The suitcase
One such mystery came to the print shop this week, when a friend brought by what was left of a very old suitcase. It contained a pile of family photographs, without many clues about the folks in the photos.
The suitcase was found in an old garage on Clay Street. That, at least, was a clue.
Like most families (including my own), no one in the mystery family ever took the time to write on the back of the photographs, identifying those in the picture. Why would you write grandma’s name on the back of the photo? Don’t you know your own grandma? How could you forget what Uncle James looked like?
Pettit, WWII
The problem is when someone outside of the family comes across the photos. When I went through the various photographs, I didn’t recognize anyone.
There were a few clues, however. I’m hoping one of my readers will be able to help me find this family – so I can return their family history back to them. The images range from about World War I to the 1950s, and while there are some images of Kerr County, most of the photographs were taken in Yoakum, Texas.
Some of the photographs were still in envelopes from the film processing company, and on these a family name kept showing up: Pettit. That was the best clue.
Looking up Pettit in several local databases helped me find the name of one of the folks in the photographs: Everett Roy Pettit, 1919-2010, who is buried at Nichols Cemetery. Looking him up on a national website,, showed me a photograph of Mr. Pettit – and that photograph matches one of the photographs in the suitcase. His wife, Violet Cowan Pettit passed away in 1996; they lived on Clay Street, the same street on which the old suitcase was found.
Is this Violet?
Here’s his obituary:
Everett Roy "Wild Bill" Pettit passed away at the age of 91 on Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, at a local care center. He was born on Feb. 1, 1919, in Yokum, Texas. Everett married Violet Cowen on March 13, 1970, in Fredericksburg, Texas.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1941 until 1944.
Everett lived in Kerrville for 62 years. He worked for Dr. Pepper, Rainbow Bread in Yoakum and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Kerrville.
He loved playing music and performed at many street dances in Ingram over the years.
He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife, and by his two sons, Donald and Everett Jr.
Everett is survived by his children, Shirley Knox of Houston, Doris Branam of Lee's Summit, Mo., Patrica Osteen of Kerrville, Kathy Boyd of Kerrville and Larry Warren of Ingram. Also by 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren and by many other family members and friends who love him and will miss him.
School girls
That last paragraph is important – does anyone reading this column know if any of his children are still in the area – or his grandchildren? I’d enjoy giving the family back some of their history.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who collects Kerrville and Kerr County historical items. If you have something to share with him, it would make him happy. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times July 23, 2022.

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