Abilene developer Kenneth Musgrave dies, is remembered

Abilene developer Kenneth Musgrave dies, is remembered

ABILENE, Texas - Prominent developer Kenneth Musgrave was hospitalized in critical condition after a car accident on Oct. 31.

The 82-year-old Abilenian died Monday.

Musgrave built thousands of Abilene homes and developed various shopping centers over the last 50 years. He also brought national retailers including Cracker Barrel to Abilene.

"He knows West Texas like nobody else. He knows every building there is and he knows who owns it and how much it's worth," said Dr. Jon Ashby, a Musgrave friend.

The largest building in Abilene, the Enterprise Building, was owned by Musgrave. The 7th floor was made up entirely of his company, Musgrave Enterprises. The building has since been passed onto his son in law, Bruce Bixby.

"He had business principles that he used to grow his business and I think a lot of people maybe look to him for examples of success," said James McCoy, who noted Musgrave helped him with his business.

Musgrave lived in Abilene for 75 years. He spent one semester at Abilene Christian College, but never finished his degree there.

In the 1970s, Musgrave spent 17 months in federal prison after being charged with embezzlement. Musgrave said he never broke any laws.

Musgrave played an important role in founding Global Samaritan Resources.

"He was so proud of Global Samaritan and he would come back and he would always have something to say about, 'You don't need to thank me, you need to thank God,'" Ashby said.

In 2008, Musgrave enterprises purchased the Hendrick River Ranch. Musgrave hoped to protect the land for Abilene's Cedar Ridge Reservoir project, that project is expected to be completed in about 10 - 15 years.

Musgrave Enterprises was the sponsor of the Abilene fireworks show for a decade, but stopped funding the show after it was cancelled in 2009 because of high winds.

Most recently he made the news with a plan to develop a water park in Abilene. However, after several people posted negative remarks on a Facebook page set up for donations, he decided not to move forward.

Elmwood Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Visitation for Kenneth Musgrave will be held Thursday from 6 to 8 pm. Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Oldham Lane Church of Christ.

Musgrave is survived by his wife, five children, and a dozen grandchildren.

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