A Ghost Town
Located in the central region of Hill
County, the site of the former town Kerby can be found five miles
southwest of Hillsboro
near the intersection of County Road 2452 and Pattons Mill Road. There
are no buildings or structures proving its existance, but a historical
marker does provide information about its history.
Texan Henry Ross first settled the area in 1881 after receiving a
land grant. Robert Moore Duff arrived later that year and acquired
five hundred acres, taking up the entire southern portion of the grant.
Jesse M. Beavers arrived on the scene in 1882 after a long journey
from Mississippi. After building a home north of the intersection
already mentioned, Jesse and his family opened a store. This business
later received the company of a blacksmith shop and cotton gin, both
operated by a man named Sam McDonald. A church and school were also
In 1899, a post office operated by Jesse Beavers made itself available
to the public, prompting the necessity to pick a name for the town.
The settlers chose Kerby to honor Jerome Claiborne Kearby, a politician
who had campaigned for the Sixth Congressional District five years
earlier. For reasons unknown, Kerby was often interchanged with Kirby,
a practice which may have caused confusion since there was another
Kirby in Bexar County.
The town never voted for incorporation and never had a population
count. The post office closed its doors in 1903 without any reasons
given. Tragedy struck the town in 1920 when a fire burned down the
store, school, and cotton gin. The school was rebuilt, but it was
consolidated with the school districts of Abbott
and Hillsboro before
The year Kerby came to an end is unknown. There can be no mistake,
however, that the aftermath of the fire played a key role. Although
nothing from the town exists, the solitary sign erected in 2008 serves
as a reminder of the past.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact
County 1907 postal map showing Kerby SW of Hillsboro
From Texas state map #2090
Texas General Land Office