Junction, Texas By Frederica Burt
A half-century or so
after the establishment of a village at the forks of
the North and South Llano Rivers, the townspeople of
Junction voted to form and incorporate a municipal
government. The citizenry felt a need for the
benefits of municipal government, and on the 29th
day August 1927, H. O. Denman and 152 others
presented a petition to Kimble County Judge J. B.
Randolph asking that an election be called for the
sole purpose of submitting a vote on the question of
whether or not the territory should be incorporated
for municipal purposes. Opposition to the
incorporation issue was rampant, and handbills from
the “anti” group were distributed throughout the
town. Judge Randolph called the election for
Sept. 13, 1927, and 274 qualified votes were cast
“For Incorporation” and 116 “Against
Incorporation.” Results of the election were
certified Sept. 27, and the township became a
General Law city. A city officers’ election
was duly held Oct. 13, 1927, with the slate of newly
elected officials including E. Holekamp, mayor; Will
Emsley, city marshal; Edgar Jordan, W. B. Buster, J.
A. Heyman, Frank Bissett and N. C. Patterson,
aldermen. On page 6 of the first volume of
City Council minutes, there is a copy of the
Commissioners’ Court Minutes dated Nov. 14, 1927:
“Be it remembered that on this day the Honorable
Commissioners Court of Kimble County, Texas, met in
regular session at the Courthouse of Kimble County
in Junction, Texas, and there were present the
following members, to-wit: J. B. Randolph, County
Judge presiding; A. B. Hodges, J. F. Ragsdale, R. W.
Fisher, and H. W. Bierschwale, County Commissioners;
Dee Gibbs, Sheriff; and L. R. Hodges, County Clerk.
The Court having been regularly opened, the
following proceedings were had in open Court: Among
other things, this order, to-wit:
THE STATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF KIMBLE
To the Honorable
Commissioners Court of Kimble County, Texas,
Greetings and Appeal.
Here comes before you, seven children of the Great
United States and full fledged citizens of Kimble
County, Texas. They have recently been elected and
now obligated officers of the New Born City of
They come before you, Your Honor, pleading with you,
they have no money, no house nor shelter. They ask
for your hospitality in your abode, the Courthouse
and County Jail of Kimble County, Texas. The
Courthouse to be placed at their disposal, to hold
their business meetings, and such other transactions
as may be necessary, and the Jail to be used by them
to place therein any violators of the laws of the
City, as needed, until such time as other
arrangements can be made. We further plead with Your
Honor, should this request be granted, and you cause
this matter to be placed of record in the minutes of
your Court, for future reference. We also plead with
you and your co-officers for your cooperation with
the newly elected officers of the City of Junction,
Texas, as far as possible, not interfering with your
own official duties. Assuring you that peace and
harmony will prevail. Respectfully submitted, /s/ E.
Holekamp, Mayor IT IS THE ORDER OF THE COURT
that the above and foregoing request be and the same
is hereby fully granted, as in all things prayed
for. There being no further business, Court
adjourned this 14th day of November, A. D. 1927.
Attest: /s/ L. R. Hodges, Clerk of the /s/ J. B.
Randolph, County Judge Presiding County Court,
Kimble Co., Texas.
It will be remembered this was the courthouse built
in 1885 and razed in 1929 to be replaced by the
present structure. The city office was later to be
housed in the “new” courthouse until a municipal
building and fire station was erected in 1939-40. W.
N. Hardeman was engineer for the project, and D. C.
Maddux was the architect. Dr. H. E. Wright was mayor
at the time and in later years he recalled the WPA
program furnished labor, and the concrete walls were
hand-poured by a bucket brigade.
A new fire station was erected in the 1980s, and in
the mid-1990s the city purchased a building in the
700 block of Main Street to be utilized as a City
Hall. The police department occupies the structure
built in 1939-40.
With the city government set in motion in 1927, the
City Council considered the health and safety needs
of the people and passed a number of ordinances,
many that are still in force and effect. The
waterworks system was purchased from the Llano River
Irrigation and Milling Company for the sum of
$18,000. Improvements have continued to the system,
including a water filtration plant completed in
1975. A sewer system was built in 1929, and updates
are continuing through the years. A modern landfill
has replaced the original “city dump,” and
contractors now attend to garbage and refuse
collection. Subdivisions have been added to
the original limits, and the city continues to
expand its perimeter. A municipal swimming pool was
built in 1955, and the Kimble Water Control and
Improvement District-Junction installed a dam on the
Llano River in 1965. The office of City Marshal was
abolished in 1956 with the establishment of the
Site of the town was midway
along a later transcontinental highway known as the
Old Spanish Trail. In the 1970s, Highway Interstate
10 bypassed Junction, but city limits have been
extended to include that area.
The City now has
approximately 2,700 residents. A large number of
local residents have given their time and expertise
to serve on the City Council. Of that number, the 15
mayors have included E. Holekamp, T. B. Phillips,
Emil A. Loeffler, H. E. Wright, Joe Bissett, W. P.
Hendrix, Aubrey E. Fife, C. W. McCarroll, Frederica
Burt Wyatt, LaRue Newby, W. Keaton Blackburn, Luke
Hagood, Gordon A. Robbins, Jamie Roy Jacoby and Alan
Appropriately, the town had assumed its name from
its geographical location at the “junction” of
the streams, and the City of Junction was born.
In its formative years, the settlement had been
variably known as Denman in honor of the
township’s surveyor, Marcellus J. “Sel”
Denman. First postmaster for the fledging town was
Harriett Lindamood Kountz. Three months later, on
Aug. 26, 1876, the name was changed to “Denman
City.” The following year, in June, 1877, the
appellation of “Junction City” was adopted.
Finally, on May 5, 1894, the post office became
known as just “Junction.”
Although far removed from
the hustle and bustle of more-densely settled parts
of the state, this part of Texas was a part of the
land grant issued to Francis Fisher, Buchard Miller
and Joseph Baker. Comprising some three million
acres of land between the Llano and Colorado Rivers,
the Fisher and Miller Colony was a part of free land
granted by the Republic of Texas to encourage
settlement of the new frontier.
The earliest real estate
transaction of record was a certificate issued by
the Colony to one Joseph Schertz for a section of
land lying at the confluence of the Llanos.
Schertz’s assignees, Gustavus Schleicher and J. S.
McDonald, were subsequently granted a patent for the
land on July 23, 1855. Signing the instrument was
Texas Governor E. M. Pease. The land was
described as “six hundred and forty acres in Bexar
County between the North and South forks of the
Llano River, about fifty-four miles northwest from
Fredericksburg, and twenty-three miles north 80
degrees east from Fort Terrett, known as Survey 541,
in Section 7, by virtue of Certificate 324, issued
by the commissioner of Fisher and Miller Colony on
August 11, 1851, and transferred to said Schleicher
and McDonald ...” J. S. McDonald passed to
his reward in Bexar County in 1856, and appraisers
of his estate included Samuel A. Maverick, R. P.
Kelley, Francis Girand and G. Schleicher. The
interests of J. S. McDonald were subsequently sold,
on Jan. 30, 1858, to his surviving partner, the
afore said Gustavus Schleicher.
By that time, white
settlers had begun to move to this part of the wild
Texas frontier, and the creation of Kimble County
from its mother county, Bexar, became a reality.
Organization of the county government was delayed
another 18 years, and the area was attached to
Gillespie for judicial purposes. Little or no
real estate activity concerning the Schertz survey
transpired until Feb. 14, 1872, when William McLane
purchased the original property. In August of that
same year, he gave the real estate to his minor
grandchildren, then living in Karnes County, Texas.
The even numbered lots in town were sold to County
Judge William Potter on 29 August of that year. The
transaction is referenced in future transactions;
however, the original instrument was lost in the
devastating courthouse fire of 22 April 1884. The
Kimble County Commissioners Court, on 14 December
1880, designated a local attorney, W. A. Williamson,
as Commissioner to sell the afore-mentioned even
numbered town lots that were “there to fore
The settlement prospered, and The Galveston Daily
News reported, on Feb. 28, 1882: “Junction City,
the county seat of Kimble County, has about three
hundred inhabitants; is located immediately at the
junction of the North and South forks of the Llano;
has a good courthouse and jail, two stores, general
merchandise, and a furniture store, all doing a
profitable business. There is lumber now on the
ground for the construction of a Christian church.
The Methodists are also on the eve of building. A
good school will be opened the first Monday of next
month. The Western Texan is a new issue from
Junction City with J. F. Lewis, editor and
proprietor ...” By deed of partition on his
21st birthday anniversary, William McLane III of
Concho County, Texas, became the owner of the
odd-numbered lots in Junction. The same day, Aug.
31, 1883, young McLane sold the lots to G. W.
Ragsdill, H. H. Allen and W. A. Williamson.