|GRAHAM (H.J.) BUILDING
402 E. Blanco Street, Boerne
Library File #25.1
|OWNERS:Graham, Bremer, Kemp, Pechacek, Musto, Frost, BAHPS||LOCATION: Original Town Lots #:116- 122||DATE:c1900 Style/Period:Commercial Frame|
|BUILDER: Henry J. Graham||CONSTRUCTED OF: Frame; metal roof; 4 x 4 windows||DESCRIPTION:One story frame commercial building with store front, bay windows; metal porch roof overhang|
HISTORY: The Henry J. Graham Building was first built and located on part of original Lot #27, as shown on the Boerne plat map done by John James in 1852. The lot is in Kendall County and is part of Survey #180 in the name of M.I. Leal which encompasses most of Boerne, Texas. There have been various conjectures as to when the building was built, but the official tax rolls from the Kendall County Tax Office indicate the building was built in 1891. This date also corresponds to the growth of South Main Street at that time.
Mr. Graham (1854-1936) was born in Brazil, South America and came to Texas as a small boy with his parents. He came to Boerne during the 1870s. He was active in settling Kendall Cunty and served as County tax assessor from 1878 to 1904. Mr. Graham was also a deputy sheriff.
In the early days, he acquired and sold much of the land in the county. He was known for his business activities because he held many of the notes for real estate, insujrance and banking and had a large safe, the only one in Boerne. He did some banking for paople who dealt in gold money. Henry Fabra, a long time resident born in Boerne at the turn of the century, well remembers finding a gold coin on the floor as a small boy visiting the office.
Although not much information is available on Henry J. Graham, he is remembered by those who knew him as a shrewd businessman who profited from his dealings in real estate and banking. He is also remembered for erecting a monument as a memorial to those who died in war as members of the Armed Services. The monument was placed near the center of Military Plaza on South Main Street and was dedicated on February 15, 1923.
Mr. Graham died in 1936 and is buried in the Boerne Cemetery. In 1938, the land, with the building , was sold to his grandson, also named Henry J. Graham. The building remained vacant during most of the 1930s but there are reports that there was a telephone exchange there at some time.
Rose Kemp had her "Rose Marie Beauty Parlor" there from 1941 to 1945. A Mr. Volbrecht sold peanuts and popcorn from the building during 1946. In December of 1946, Mr. Graham sold the land and building to Adolph and Cresentia Pechacek and opened "Curley's Barber Shop" in the Graham Building. It is said that there were many good poker games there in the back room.
The Graham Building was located at the edge of the sidewalk to the
front of Lot #27. In 1949, during Boerne's Centennial Celebration, there was a
drive to spruce up Main Street and Curley (Adolph Pechacek) moved the Graham Building to the back
of Lot #27 in order to construct a new barber shop on the old location.
After the building was moved to the back of the lot, it was used as an office for Alex Bremer and in the 1960s it was rented by Epperson Motors, next door, as a storage building. In 1978, Curley (Adolph Pechacek) sold the Graham Building to the Boerne State Bank as they were buying all portions of Lot#27 for the bank expansion.
Mr. Pechacek retired in 1977, died in 1981 and is buried in the Boerne Cemetery.
In 1980, the Graham Building was sold to Gloria Musto who moved it out of Boerne, about 3 miles on the Sisterdale Road, where it was used as an antique shop named "The Hand & Heart".
In 1983, the Henry J. Graham Building was purchased from Mrs. Musto by Mr. and Mrs. Tom Frost when they bought her land located on the Sisterdale Road.
On June 15, 1984 the Graham Building was donated as a charitable gift to the Boerne Area Historical Preservation Society. On October 16, 1984 the building was moved back to Boerne to Lot #9 at 402 E. Blanco Street. The building now sits high on a hill, next to the Kuhlmann-King House, where it is used to house the Society's office and Archives.