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CENTER POINT, TX (KERR COUNTY)

CENTER POINT, TEXAS (Kerr County). Center Point is on the Guadalupe River eight miles southeast of Kerrville in southeastern Kerr County. The site became a focal point for business activity when early settler Dr. Charles de Ganahl opened a post office in his home on the north side of the river in November 1859. Ganahl called the post office Zanzenburg in honor of his ancestral home in the Austrian Tyrol. The new postmaster, Dr. G. W. Harwell, renamed the growing community Center Point in 1872, when the post office was moved to the south side of the river. It is reported that he chose the name because the settlement was halfway between Kerrville and Comfort, as well as halfway between Fredericksburg and Bandera. The area's potential as a farming and stock-raising center, its healthful climate, and its abundant game continued to attract settlers. Virginia Jordan (Wright) de Ganahl, Charles de Ganahl's widow, deeded 200 acres to the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway in 1888. She hoped to draw the center of population back to the north side of the river around a community to be called Ganahl. Although the community never developed, the Ganahl depot, located a mile north of central Center Point, ensured the town's position as a trade center for the surrounding region.

By 1900 Center Point had an estimated population of 500, permanent churches, a solid business community, public schools, and a growing reputation as a health and recreation resort. Early newspapers encouraged the growth of the region. The Excelsior, published by John A. Corbell and edited by D. C. Nowlin and J. M. Coleman, began as a bimonthly paper in 1878. Thomas A. Buckner of Bandera County established the weekly Center Point News in 1905. It continued publication under various owners until it was absorbed by the Kerrville Times in 1924. The town was incorporated, for public school purposes only, in August 1889 and in April 1890 elected its first school trustees. In February 1913 it voted to complete incorporation and establish a commission government. A new vote in October of the same year, however, dissolved the municipality. Center Point held its position as area trade center until the 1920s, when the paved highway skirted the edge of town and surrounding towns developed their own transportation facilities. The town maintained a stable population and business community throughout succeeding years. In 1984 its population was estimated to be 800. Much like other towns in scenic Kerr County, Center Point has several small service and manufacturing businesses and attracts a steady stream of vacationers, retirees, and summer residents. The population was 623 in 1990 and 800 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Bob Bennett, Kerr County, Texas, 1856–1956 (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956; bicentennial ed., rev. by Clara Watkins: Kerr County, Texas, 1856–1976, Kerrville, Texas: Hill Country Preservation Society, 1975). Matilda Maria Real, A History of Kerr County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1942).

Ganahl Walker, Jr.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Ganahl Walker, Jr., "CENTER POINT, TX (KERR COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlc17), accessed October 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.