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L. M. Kokernot House

This wonderful house was built by Mrs. L.M. Kokernot in 1914. Mr. Kokernot, born in Stockmon, Louisiana, June 6, 1836, was the son of David L. Kokernot of Holland and Caroline Dittmar of Germany. While he was still an infant, the family moved to Colorado County, Texas, and in the early 1850's they moved to Gonzales County, Texas, where he lived until his death June 4, 1914. L.M. was a Confederate veteran, enlisting in the early part of the war in Company I of the 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment known as Terry's Rangers. After the war, he returned home and became one of the most prominent and respected cattlemen and landowners in this part of Texas. His herds were among the largest to be driven to northern markets up the old Kansas Trail. Kokernot formed a partnership with cattleman and banker G.N. Dilworth and drove the first herd of cattle from this county up the old Chisholm Trail in 1869. Stories persist that from time to time the Kokernots, and several of the other cattle barons, employed the famous gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin, to help them drive their herds to northern markets. With Hardin along, no one bothered the cattle. It is also interesting that, in the opinion of many people of the time, John Wesley Hardin was a handsome, intelligent and very well mannered gentleman. He just didn't put up with any foolishness. L.M. was married twice. His first wife was Sarah E. Littlefield and they were married December 6, 1866. Sarah was born in Panola County, Mississippi, March 16, 1848, the daughter of Andrew Jackson Littlefield and Frances Elizabeth Beliew (Bellew) Littlefield, and came to Texas with her parents, probably around 1850. She was a first cousin to George Washington Littlefield. L.M. and Sarah had five children before she died August 30, 1874, at Big Hill, Texas, a community once located ten miles southeast of Gonzales. His second wife, Hulda Karnes (Carnes), was born in Lake Charles or Chickory Flat, Louisiana August 16, 1852. The Karnes were a prominent family in Louisiana. When they moved to Texas in 1865, they brought many slaves and settled in the Big Hill area. Shortly after their arrival the war ended and their slaves were freed. Mr. Kokernot and Miss Karnes married July 27, 1876, and had three children. He was an active member of the I.O.O.F. and The Masonic Lodge. After her husband died, Mrs. Kokernot moved to Gonzales and bought a house owned by Mrs. Dora Harris, located not far from the homes of her son, F.D. Kokernot, and her daughter, Mrs. C.E. Dilworth. The Harris house was torn down and this beautiful Bungalow style home was built on the site by Fred Meisenhelder. Mrs. Kokernot lived here until her death November 14, 1930. She was an active member of the Methodist church and is buried in the I.O.O.F Cemetery near her daughter in the C.E. Dilworth family plot.
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