Campus News 2015
For Immediate Release
April 29, 2015
Exhibit Explores Tuberculosis Impact on Kerr County
“The Story of Us: The Impact of Tuberculosis on the Growth of Kerr County,” is being presented at the Schreiner Mansion Historic Site and Education Center through October. The static exhibit of photos and text, prepared by the Friends of the Kerr County Historical Commission, is free and open to the public. The viewing area is upstairs and there is no elevator access.
Starting in the mid-1880s, thousands of people--tuberculosis patients and their families--flocked to Kerrville in hopes that the Hill Country air would dry up the moisture in their lungs and cure them of the disease. In those days TB killed one out of every seven people living in the United States and Europe. In the 1940s the first of several medicines used to treat TB were discovered, and the disease slowly began to decrease in the United States. The decline continues, but the emergence of drug-resistant forms of TB has slowed that decline.
This 1915 photo shows “interior of Standard Cottage, Mountain Park Sanatorium”
Nancy Alford, president of the Friends of the Kerr County Historical Commission, says that in addition to the Mountain Park Sanatorium (which became the Kerrville State Hospital), many small, private sanatoriums operated out of homes in the Kerrville area. “There were tent camps, too, one on the north side of the Guadalupe River where Lowery and Guadalupe streets meet.”
A series of public presentations about leaders in the treatment of tuberculosis and how this health industry affected the area’s development are also scheduled. Dr. Dan Bacon will speak about the role of the Veteran’s Administration hospital on April 11; Joe Herring Jr. will speak on June 11 about Father Henry Kemper and the Butt Family’s involvement; and Dr. Bill Rector will speak Sept. 18 about Dr. Samuel Thompson and Dr. George Robins Parsons, early physicians who treated the disease.
In October there will also be a musical tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, “Father of Country Music,” who came to Kerrville for recovery from his tuberculosis in the 1920s.
For more information, contact Stacey Lewis, director of Schreiner Mansion and Community Engagement, by email at SLewis@schreiner.edu or phone 830-792-7211.