Kemper City

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Kemper City is just west of U.S. Highway 77 twelve miles from Victoria in southwestern Victoria County. The town is named for Capt. John Frederick Kemper, who developed the original site, Kemper's Bluff, as a trading post on the Guadalupe River, ten miles to the east near the site of present McFaddin. Kemper, a Kentucky native, served as second in command under William Parsons Miller, a colonel in the Texas army, whose volunteer force of eighty men was captured by the Mexicans upon its arrival at Copano in 1836. About 1838 Kemper, who married Miller's daughter Eliza, settled with a few other families on the Guadalupe River just above White's Ferry, a cart-road and stage-line crossing. Since the river above the site was barely navigable, Kemper's Bluff became the terminal point of steamship traffic on the Guadalupe and the shipping point for cotton and other products to inland communities via the wagon road. Soon White's Ferry and Kemper's Bluff offered Victoria considerable trade competition. In 1845, however, Kemper was killed by Karankawa Indians. By the 1850s people began moving away, some to the town's present site. At least one general store was still doing a good business at Kemper's Bluff in 1862, but post-Civil War railroad construction made river navigation impractical, and the focus of the town moved west to the new location. Kemper City received a post office in 1860 that operated until 1909. An eight-grade rural common school served the area until the 1970s. The population was estimated at sixteen from 1964 to 2000.

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Craig H. Roell | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Kemper City is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Kemper City is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Kempers Bluff]


Latitude: 28.64555100
Longitude: -97.07332250

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Kemper City by the Numbers

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Pop. Year Source
16 2014 Local Officials