Jeffrey S. Kerr

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Doc Reeves and Early Longhorn Football

In his day, Henry "Doc" Reeves was a mainstay at Longhorn football games.

The Great Austin Train Robbery

In 1887, armed men robbed a Missouri Pacific train within Austin's modern city limits.

Your University Can't Fail: UT Commencement Then and Now

All things considered, I was glad we had arrived so early. Cool breezes, a cold water bottle, a good book and an endless supply of phone-supplied crossword puzzles had enabled two hours to pass pleasantly enough. I turned off the phone, put down my book and glanced at the nearby UT Tower.

Bringing the General Home: A Controversial Corpse's Long Return to Austin

Albert Sidney Johnston wanted to come home. At least that’s what folks said in April 1862 after a bullet at Shiloh severed an artery in the Confederate General’s right leg, filled his boot with blood and drained his body of life. Johnston had once told his brother-in-law, “When I die, I want a handful of Texas earth on my breast.”

From Circus Ring to Parking Lot: The Long History of Republic Square

Where in Austin can you go to see a physical reminder of the city’s birth? Does anything remain in our modern metropolis that greeted Texas President Mirabeau Lamar upon his triumphant 1839 entry into the city he helped create?

Tragedy in Guy Town

Irish stone mason James Simms observed the changes in his Austin neighborhood with trepidation. The quiet residential community around his house at the corner of Cypress (Third) and Guadalupe streets had been invaded by sin. Saloons and gambling houses proliferated and thrived. Worse though, by 1874 at least two dozen “lewd women,” or prostitutes, lived within two blocks of the Simms home.

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Jeffrey Kerr entered Rice University in 1975 with little clue about what to do with his life. Vague plans of becoming a writer and historian soon gave way to more practical considerations and in 1984 Kerr earned his medical degree from Texas A&M University. After a residency at Wake Forest University, he moved back Texas to establish a successful pediatric neurology practice in Austin. Not long thereafter, Kerr discovered the extensive photograph collection at the Austin History Center. With a renewed passion for exploring the past, he spent the next 18 months researching, writing, and publishing his successful first book, Austin, Texas-Then and Now, which became a 2005 non-fiction finalist for the Writers League of Texas Violet Crown Award. He next tackled the fascinating story of Austin's founding in Seat of Empire, currently being prepared for publication by Texas Tech Press. The Republic of Austin, Kerr's third work, appeared via Waterloo Press in October 2010 and is now in its second printing. Kerr lives in Austin with Sharon, his wife of over 30 years. The couple is quite proud of its two children, a son at the University of Texas and a daughter at Texas Christian University.

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