Kerr Boyce DeWalt, farmer and Confederate officer, was born in Newberry District, South Carolina, on September 22, 1819, the son of Daniel and Sarah Elizabeth (Waters). DeWalt remained in South Carolina throughout his youth. In 1841 he was a non-graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. In 1840 DeWalt married Mary Magdalene Hair in Newberry, South Carolina. DeWalt and his family moved to Texas in 1846 and stayed briefly in Fort Bend County before settling in Polk County at Menard Creek a few miles east of Livingston. By 1850 he worked as a farmer and owned seven slaves
In 1860 DeWalt was a prosperous farmer who owned fourteen slaves. When the Civil War began DeWalt was among the first citizens of Polk County to volunteer for service to the Confederacy. He was elected lieutenant of the first company raised by the county and eventually joined Company B of the First Texas Infantry Regiment on May 16, 1861. In September 1861 company captain D. D. Moore resigned, and DeWalt received promotion. When his enlistment expired in May 1862, DeWalt returned home and served as major for the Texas Reserve Corps. In the autumn of 1863, DeWalt was assigned as colonel and commander of the newly-formed First Infantry Regiment, Texas State Troops. DeWalt's service with this unit included the guarding of Federal prisoners at Hempstead and coastal artillery duty at Beaumont and Sabine Pass. DeWalt died in Polk County on April 25, 1891, and was buried at Old City Cemetery in Livingston.