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KERR, ALFRED BENJAMIN FONTAINE (1823–?). Alfred Benjamin Fontaine Kerr, Methodist minister, the son of Hugh and Lucy (Thomson) Kerr, was born in Giles County, Tennessee, on January 1, 1823. In company with forty other families, the Kerr family arrived at Harrisburg, Texas, on April 21, 1831, and proceeded to the area of present western Washington County to take up land. On March 10, 1847, at the seventh session of the Texas Conference of the Methodist Church, Kerr was admitted on trial. He later became a prominent minister in this conference. In August 1847 he helped organize a church at the site of present San Marcos. He was appointed agent for Rutersville College on December 12, 1849, and served in that capacity until 1852. While covering his circuit on horseback he sought donations and subscriptions for the college. In 1853 he was transferred to another circuit and became pastor at Goliad, where he assumed the duties of agent for Payne Female Institute. Ill health because of exposure caused Kerr's retirement from the ministry. In 1876 he moved with his family to San Marcos.


Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817–1866 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1924); A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867–1902 (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort, 1937).

Robert Lee Williamson


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Robert Lee Williamson, "KERR, ALFRED BENJAMIN FONTAINE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.