Before the construction of the local courthouse or the historic jail, the area of Kendall County had sheriffs in place to maintain law.
The first sheriff took office when Kendall County was established in 1862, but left soon after. Since then, twenty-two additional sheriffs have filled the role, some of them serving for decades.
In June of 1844, a squad of Texas Rangers–led by legendary Captain Jack Hays–battled with a band of Comanche Warriors.
The fight is well known for the Rangers’ use of the new Colt Paterson 5-shot revolver, giving them the upper-hand in the event that would come to be known as the Battle of Walker’s Creek.
The Western Trail–also known as the Great Western Trail, Dodge City Trail, and Fort Griffin Trail–was blazed in 1874 by John T. Lytle as he herded 3,500 longhorn cattle from south Texas to Ft. Robinson, Nebraska.
By 1879, this was the principal route for northward bound Texas cattle. By 1893, when the last reported drive was made, an estimated 3 to 5-million cattle were moved along the trail.
During the Prohibition Era in the 1930s, at what is now known as “Cave Without a Name,” a sink hole was discovered. It was determined that the sink hole would be a great place for a secret moonshine distillery; and so it became.
To this day, while walking down the stairwell, you can still see evidence of the soot and ash from the brewing process on the walls.
The Fabulous Toepperweins, also known as “The Tops,” were known as the greatest sharpshooting team in the world–entertaining crowds world-wide for nearly four decades.
Adolph was born in Boerne, Texas and discovered his unique skill as an adult. His wife, Elizabeth Servaty, was born in Connecticut and surprisingly, had never fired a gun before meeting her husband.
Bat bombs were a U.S. experimental weapon during World War II which would have allowed thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats to be deployed over enemy territory. These bats, with timed explosives attached, would then roost under eaves; setting cities ablaze upon detonation.
The project was canceled due to slow progression, and the atomic bomb was instead utilized to bring a quick end to the war.
The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway was organized by Uriah Lott in 1884 to improve connections from major cities to smaller ones, and to trading areas in Mexico. The railway consisted of several lines running across south Texas, one of which ran from Kerrville, through Boerne and San Antonio, and on to Aransas Pass.
In the 1920’s, Boerne became known as a “health retreat” and Mrs. Emilie Lex, a midwife, saw the need for a place for patients to convalesce after surgeries and procedures.
She opened her home on Johns Road, converted two rooms into operating rooms, and provided patient services at the Lex Sanitarium until 1939.
Charles Apelt came to Comfort from Germany in 1887 as a farmer. After encountering the native armadillo, he developed a commercial use for its hard shell: to use them as baskets and other accessories.
With early and quick success, the factory shipped orders throughout the world, even displaying them at the St. Louis World’s Fair.
Composed of brothers Willis, Joe, Jess, and Wylie (Doc), the Newton boys were a criminal gang operating mostly in Texas during the 1920s.
Willis Newton, along with his brothers and other outlaws, were responsible for robbing over eighty banks and six trains from Texas to Canada–including the single largest train robbery in U.S. history.
The U.S. Telegraph Lines ran through Boerne in 1879, connecting federal forts from Brownsville, Laredo, Bracketville, San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Mason, Ft. Davis, Ft. Concho, and Ft. Sill.
The telephone system soon followed–upon arrival of the railroad–with the first exchanges built by the Western Telegraph Company.
Arnold S. Toepperwein operated a small carpentry shop in his hometown of Boerne. His trademark “Ring Tail Rhino” signature can be found on all his creations, to include furniture, cabinets, doors, and window frames.
His son and daughter-in-law created Highland Press which produced children’s books; one of which was The Little Deputy, a chronicling of the young A. S. Toepperwein’s experience as the son of a sheriff.
The Kendall County Historic Jail was constructed in 1887 and served for a century as the county jail.
Built in 1887, the limestone jail was designed and built by Pauly Jail Building & Manufacturing Co. and stood next door to the Kendall County Courthouse, built 17 years prior.
The jail housed four jail cells and also served as home to the early sheriffs and their spouses, who would often cook for the inmates.