Written by FREDERICA WYATT
The city of Junction was incorporated in 1927, but the settlement and the lives of its people are found much earlier in the chronicles of West Texas history.
To encourage settlement of the new frontier in the 1820's and 1840's the Republic of Texas granted large portions of land to prospective impresarios. Among the more notable grants was the one issued to Francis Fisher, Buchard Miller and Joseph Baker. Comprising some 3,000,000 acres of land between the Llano and Colorado Rivers, the grant became known as the Fisher and Miller Colony.
On August 11, 1851, the Commissioner of the Fisher and Miller Colony issued a certificate to Joseph Schertz for a section of land lying at the junction of the North and South Llano Rivers. Schertz's assignees, G. Schleider and J. S. McDonald, were subsequently granted a patent on July 23, 1855, by Texas Governor E. M. Pease.
J. S. McDonald died in Bexar County in 1856. Appraisers of his estate were Samuel A. Maverick, R. P. Kelley, Francis Girand and G. Schleicher. McDonald's interest in this section of land was sold to his surviving partner, Gustavus Schleicher, on January 30, 1958 (Vol. 3, Page 492, Deed Records of Kimble County, Texas).
By that time white settlers had begun to move to this part of the wild Texas Frontier, and the creation of Kimble County became a reality. County government, however, was not organized until 1876.
The next recorded transaction of the land was on February 14, 1872, when William McLan purchased the property (Vol 24, Page 31, Deed Records of Kimble County, Texas). On August 8, 1872, McLane gave the real estate to his minor grandchildren of Karnes County, Texas (Vol. 31, Page 349, Deed Records o Kimble County, Texas).
The original town site Denman was surveyed and platted by the County Surveyor, Marcellus J. (Sel)Denman in 1876. We quote from the SOUTHERN AND WESTERN GUIDE of 1876 now on file in the State Archives: "Kimble County was organized in 1876 with an area of about 900 square miles and took the name of George C. Kimble as its name...Denman is the county seat..." Before long, however, the residents voted upon the name, and "Junction City" won a few votes.
The even numbered lots were conveyed to County Judge William Potter on August 29, 1876 (Vol. A Page 168. Deed Records of Kimble County, refers to this deed, although the instrument was lost in th courthouse fire of 1884). On December 14, 1880, the Kimble County Commissioners Court designated a local attorney, W. A. Williamson, as Commissioner to sell the even numbered town lots that were therefore unsold.
The settlement prospered, and we quote from the GALVESTON DAILY NEWS, February 28, 1882: "...Junction City, the county seat of Kimble County, has about 300 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 a deed of partition on his twenty-first birthday anniversary, William McLane III ofConcho County, Texas, became the owner of the odd numbered lots in Junction (Vol. A, Page 168, Deed Records of Kimble County, Texas). The same day, August 31, 1883, the young McLane sold the lots to G. W. Ragsdill, H. H. Alien and W.A. Williamson (Vol. A, Page 171, Deed Records of Kimble County, Texas).
By the late 1920's the progressive citizens felt a need for the benefits of municipal government; and on August 29, 1927, H. 0. 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. Judge Randolph called the election, and 274 qualified votes were cast "FOR CORPORATION" and 116 "AGAINST CORPORATION". Name of the new City was to be "Junction". (Vol. 1, City Council Minutes of Junction, Texas).
A city officers' election was duly held on October 13,1927, and elected were E. Holekamp, mayor Will Emsley, city marshal; Edgar Jordan, W. B. Buster, J. A. Heyman, Frank Bissett and N. C. Patterson, aldermen. (Vol 1, Page 5, City Council Minutes).
With the city government set in motion, the city council considered the 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 $18,000.00. Improvements were made, and a sewer system was built in 1929.
In 1939 and 1940, a new municipal building and fire station was built on the block of land east of the courthouse square. W. N. Hardeman was engineer for the project, and D. C. Maddux was the architect
A number of sub-divisions have been annexed to the original city limits. A municipal swimming pool was built in 1955, and extensive improvements have been made to the waterworks, sewer system, parks and streets in the city.
Written by FREDERICA WYATT