Sunday, December 25, 2016

Assorted News Items About Kerr County, July to December, 1880

Galveston Daily News, July 1, 1880
Kerr.  Frontiersman: A report has been circulated around the county that Fayette Nichols, a Kerr county boy who went to New Mexico last fall, had been killed by the Indians, but a letter has been received from there saying the report was false....It is reported that a Kerr county boy, Barney Wickson, who went to New Mexico last fall, has struck it rich.

KGS note: Fayette Nichols returned from New Mexico and lived in Kerr County until his death 7 March 1930.

Galveston Daily News, August 4, 1880
Suicide of a Native of France.
Kerrville, July 27.--Emil Joss, a son of la belle France, was found dead in his bed this morning, at his home, about two miles from Kerrville--a pistol ball had pierced his brain...killed by his own hand.  Deceased had lived in Kerr county about four years, drifting here from Mexico, where, it is said, he had served under the eagles of the ill-fated Maximilian--had married, become a widower, and were a son survives him.  He lived among us an isolated life, wholly alone.  For some time past he had endured great physical suffering to which is attributed his tragic death.
We were favored last night with the heartiest rainfall known in this region since 187[8?]. The river Guadalupe rose twelve feet before daylight at this point.

Galveston Daily News, August 12, 1880
Kerr.  The democracy of Kerr "resoluted" favorably to Gov. Roberts, Adjt. Gen. Jones and Hon. C. Upson....Last Thursday a severe thunderstorm came up, and during the storm the lightning sent a shaft into our schoolhouse.  The house was full of children, and you can imagine their consternation.  The shock was a very severe one to them, as the whole front of the house was rent.  Fortunately no one was hurt.

Galveston Daily News September 21, 1880
The trial of the count Kerman, at Kerrville, which took place last week, resulted in a mistrial, the jury failing to agree.

The missing Villeneuve.
The following paragraph appeared in day before yesterday's telegram to the Galveston News, from this city: "A young attorney of this city, named Celestine Villeneuve, who had been leading a fast life, came up missing yesterday, leaving many mourning friends who are interested in his welfare.  He had mortgaged his office furniture to four different parties."
This reported had heard rumors of a similar nature, but they seemed to have no source, and in endeavoring to trace them up could find no responsible authority, but learned that Mr. Villeneuve had gone to Kerr county to accept the position of county attorney....The father of Mr. Villeneuve resides in Victoria county, is one of the wealthy men of the west, and is said to allow his son, Celestine, $1500 per annum for his pin money. [San Antonio Express]

Galveston Daily News, September 22, 1880
Sheep and Wool.
Kerrville Frontiersman:  Mr. M. Honnewald, of Michigan, landed in our county a few days ago with some 305 high grade Merino bucks and ewes.  We are glad to learn Mr. H. has bought a large tract of land at Buffalo on the head of the Guadalupe, and his sheep already located there....Capt. Scott, secretary of the Kerr county Wool Growers association...

Galveston Daily News, September 24, 1880
Kerr. Frontiersman: Tuesday night quite a stir was caused in the courthouse by a very large centipede, which was seen crawling up the door facing, against which a man was leaning.  The numerous footed reptile was quickly killed....Kerrville has been deluged with lawyers from abroad....San Antonio Express:  The case of the state of Texas vs. Bodun (count) de Keroman furnished bond to appear at the next term of the district court of Kerr county.  After the adjournment of the court it was ascertained that the jury stood seven for acquittal and five for conviction.  The case excited much interest, and it is believed that when it comes up again a change of venue to Bandera county will be obtained.

Galveston Daily News, October 29, 1880
Mr. Birney has sold his interest in the Kerrville Frontiersman to Mr. P. J. Stephenson who promises to devote his whole attention to the newspaper business and will try and give them an interesting local and miscellaneous newspaper.

San Antonio Daily Express, November 17, 1880
The Bulllet.  Assassination of a Mexican at Kerrville.
Kerrville, November 16th, 1880.
A dastardly and cold blooded assassination occurred here on Sunday, the 14th inst., at p.m., the victim being an unoffensive Mexican named Abundo Gonzales, 35? [unclear] years of age. No cause whatever can be assigned for the murder.  He left the house to get some firewood and immediately returned, shot through the body. He lingered until 6 a.m. Monday and in his lucid moments would give no clue to the perpetrator of the deed. The course of the bullet indicates that the assassin was on horseback.  The coroner's inquest held could throw no light on the affair or had any clue to cause the arrest of any one.

Galveston Daily News, December 10, 1880
Bandera Bugle.  December 4: The sad intelligence was received here yesterday of the death of one of Kerr county's prominent citizens. Mr. August Rossberg.  About the first of last month he discovered symptoms of illness in his entire family and a short time elapsed when he consulted a physician, who, after diagnosing the case, reported it caused from trichinia.  He lingered only a short time, through suffering and pain, and finally died on Tuesday last.  Mr. Rossberg purchased some pork  infested with the parasite known as trichimia and it was from eating some of this without cooking that caused the disease.  Mr. Rossberg leaves his wife and four children struggling with this awful malady and it is thought they will all die.

KGS note: August Rossberg operated Kerrville's first blacksmith shop in a rock building on Water Street where the Bluebonnet Hotel later stood.

San Antonio Daily Express, December 30, 1880
A Budget About Kerr.
Rapid Development of the Country--The Remains of U. H. Birney En Route to Washington.
Dr. G. R. Parsons, of Kerrville, reports the remaining members of the Rosberg family, afflicted with trichina, to be recovering.  Only two of the family, the father and a daughter, died. Their cases have been reported.
Dr. Parsons says the country west is developing with wonderful rapidity.  When he located at Kerrville in 1876, there was not a mile of fence between here and Boerne, while now about one-half of this country is under fence, and land purchased then at two and a half dollars per acre is now held at ten dollars.  The Doctor mentions the Dr. Elliott place as an instance.  Kerr county is rapidly improving and property cannot be rented in Kerr county at any price.  There is a constant demand for houses.  A house with two small rooms will rent easily at five dollars a month, and where accommodations are greater, at correspondingly advance figures.
Game is abundant in the lines of quail and turkey, though deer and duck are scarce.
Dr. Parsons' visit to our city is for the purpose of sending the remains of U. H. Birney, who died on the 11th of November, to Washington, where the remains will be interred in the burying ground of his family, of which Gen. William Birney is the head.  The remains had been interred at Kerrville for twenty-one days.

KGS note: Ulric Hoffman Birney was born 7 September 1850 in France while father was working there.  U. H. Birney is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown, Washington DC. His father, Gen. William Birney, was a prominent member of the District of Columbia Bar, a professor, Union Army general in the Civil War, author, and ardent abolitionist.

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