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Kerr, John Steele (1847–1925)

Biography Entry

John Steele Kerr, pioneer nurseryman, the son of Green Williamson and Mariah (Henderson) Kerr, was born near Columbia, Tennessee, on January 15, 1847. He was taken to Texas in 1859. During the last year of the Civil War he was a private in the reserve. He farmed near McKinney after 1865 and in 1870 became interested in horticulture. He went into the nursery business with his brother in 1874. On November 18, 1874, he married Amelia Rutherford Murray; they had five children. Kerr moved to Sherman in 1884 and became founder and president of the Commercial Nursery and Orchard Company. He was first vice president of the Texas Nursery Company and president and manager of the John S. Kerr Nursery. He wrote numerous articles on horticulture. He died on October 4, 1925, and was buried at Sherman.

Dallas Morning News, October 5, 1923. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2.


  • Agriculture
  • Merchants

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

Anonymous, “Kerr, John Steele,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 08, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995