Early African Pioneers of Kerrville

The Texas Story Project.

My great-grandparents James and Adeline Thornton were early African American pioneers in Kerrville, Texas.

James was born enslaved in Versailles, Kentucky in 1835. He was freed, upon enlisting in the U.S. Colored Troops, 12th Heavy Artillery Regiment, during the Civil War. Following the War's end in 1865, he migrated to Kerrville, Texas. Adeline Joiner, along with her mother Mahala Blanks and uncle Theodore Blanks, were brought to Kerrvile enslaved. in the 1850s. Adeline would recall to her daughter Edna that she was thirteen years of age when Emancipation came. Adeline and James were married in 1871 at Center Point. They had twelve children including my grandfather Daniel. James was one of the early African American landowners along with others such as the Blanks and Fifer families. He bought 160 acres near the Guadalupe River in 1884. James passed away in 1911 and Adeline in 1941; both esteemed members of the Kerrville community.

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