Adolph C. and Margaretha Knippa, who founded Kash-Karry, Austin’s first local self-service grocery chain. was builtin 1928. The Austin Development Company is attributed as the architect/builder of the home. The Knippa-Huffman House is an excellent example of Italian Renaissance-style villa architecture, and was a spec house for the Pemberton Heights Subdivision to serve as a model for future architecture in the neighborhood. The round-arched bay on the left side of the façade was once an open sunporch which has been infilled. Fenestration on the second floor consists of casement windows, each with a pair of shutters. The eaves of the house are prominent, with carved wood brackets. The house has a “European flagpole” across the front, consisting of a horizontal pole resting on brackets. The house is especially notable for having an integral two-car garage, a true rarity for the time of its construction in 1928.
A.C. Knippa was born at Swiss Alp, Texas and moved to Austin while still a teenager. With his brother-in-law, he established the Ritter and Knippa Grocery Store at what is now I-35 and Manor Road in 1910. He went out on his own by 1913, establishing the Sunshine Store on 23rd Street (now Manor Road). Knippa was a pioneer in the grocery business in Austin. With the development of national chain stores such as Piggly Wiggly and the A&P, Knippa opened his own grocery store at 7th and Congress in the same model as the national chains, which had moved into the Austin market in 1918. Knippa named his store the Kash-Karry Grocery, which differed from the city’solder grocery stores in that rather than customers placing orders, carrying a credit account at the store, and havingthe groceries delivered to them, the customers came into the store, chose their own grocery items, paid for them on the spot, and carried them home. Knippa was very successful in this model, and began opening stores in othersections of town, making him Austin’s first local chain grocer.
The home was later owned by Calvin & Olive Huffman. Calvin Huffman, was born October 15, 1907 in Del Rio. His family moved to Eagle Passwhere he spent much of his childhoodbefore enrolling in the University of Texas in Journalism. After attending UT, he returned to Eagle Pass and managed the Guide, a newspaper owned by his father. In the late 1930s, Huffman entered politics and was elected the State House of Representatives. While there, he was the driving force behind a movement to create Big Bend, now a US NationalPark. A mountain in the park, now called Mt. Huffman, was even named after him.