Kerrville, the county seat of Kerr County, is sixty-two miles northwest of San Antonio on Interstate Highway 10, at the junction of Texas Highways 16 and 27. The official elevation is 1,645 feet above sea level, though many of the residential districts in the hilly township are higher. Geography has always been the dominant quality of the Kerrville area-from prehistoric times, with archeological evidence suggesting human habitation as early as 10,000 years ago, to the present, when the town has achieved a national and international reputation for its karst landscapes, scenic roadways, river and streams, lakes, caves, biological diversity, ranches, architecture, and popular culture. The original settlement, named for James Kerr and situated on a bluff north of the Guadalupe River in the eastern half of the county, grew from a successful shinglemakers' camp into a mercantile and shipment center for the middle and upper Hill Country, and eventually into a medical, recreational, professional, cultural, and, to some extent, educational hub for parts of a five-to-seven county area. One of the earliest shinglemakers was Joshua D. Brown, a member of Green DeWitt's colony at Gonzales and a veteran of the battle of San Jacinto, who, with his family and related families explored about a hundred miles of the Guadalupe valley from Curry Creek to near the headwaters in the 1840s. These pioneers built permanent homes at what they called Brownsborough in the early 1850s. From this settlement, Kerrsville, later Kerrville, was platted after Kerr County was organized in 1856. It was voted county seat by a narrow margin, and its claim was tenuous until 1862, when rival Comfort was placed in newly formed Kendall County. Kerrville's importance dates from a conjunction of events starting in 1857, when German master miller Christian Dietert and millwright Balthasar Lich started a large grist and saw mill on the bluff. This mill, with a permanent source of power and protection from floods, became the most extensive operation of its kind in the Hill Country west of New Braunfels and San Antonio. Related mercantile and freighting enterprises led to the foundation of the Charles A. Schreiner family empire of retail, wholesale, banking, ranching, marketing, and brokering operations-which during the next five decades became the catalyst of Kerrville's and the area's early prosperity and growth.
Kerrville at a Glance
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Kerrville by the Numbers
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|24,225||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|22,347||2010||Texas Demographic Center|
|20,425||2000||Texas Demographic Center|
|17,384||1990||Texas Demographic Center|
|15,276||1980||Texas Demographic Center|
|12,672||1970||Texas Demographic Center|
|8,901||1960||Texas Demographic Center|
|7,691||1950||Texas Demographic Center|
|5,572||1940||Texas Demographic Center|
|4,546||1930||Texas Demographic Center|
|2,353||1920||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,834||1910||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,423||1900||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,044||1890||Texas Demographic Center|
|156||1880||Texas Demographic Center|
|226||1870||Texas Demographic Center|