13 - Early 1900's Bring Many
Changes << 14 - Beeville Becomes a City >>
15 - County Becomes Centennarian...
Beeville Becomes a City
Beeville had to make two attempts to become a city before
the aspiration became a reality.
In 1890 Beeville was incorporated as a town, and Captain A.
C. Jones was elected mayor. The following year ‑ 1891 ‑ H. P.
Mathews, who operated a furniture store, was named mayor, but before his term
ended the corporation was dissolved by an injunction suit in court.
On June 1, 1908, Beeville was incorporated as a city under
the aldermanic form of government, and John R. Beasley was elected mayor.
Aldermen serving with him were A. F. Lutz, A. C. Marsden, J. C. Short, and J.
F. Burke. 1. J. Miller was clerk of the council.
On May 2, 1912, the city's electorate expressed a desire to
operate under a commission form of government, and this rule was followed until
1951, when the voters adopted an aldermanic‑city manager form, the system
under which Beeville is governed today. Douglas Henslee became the first city
manager in 1952.
Mayors serving the city after Captain Jones and Mr. Mathews
were: John R. Beasley, A. F. Lutts, B. P. Stephenson, C. E. Williamson, W. T.
Thompson, J. T. Ballard, Ellis Quinn, Douglas Hermes, Lock M. Adkins, Bryan
Adair, Lock M. Adkins, Joe Wolfshol. Paul Schulz, George Spikes, Dr. Scott E.
McNeill Jr., Dr. John Hester. Mrs. Helen Butchee, Malcolm Slay, Humberto Saenz,
Dr. Jerry Berryman, and Dr. Dudley Braly, the incumbent.
Councilmen serving with Mayor Braly are Ronald (Buddy)
Hardy, John Galloway, Jimmy Martinez, and Mike Munoz. Anders Benander is city
When the town was incorporated in 1908 the population was
only slightly more than three thousand, while today, the number of people
residing in Beeville and its environs is estimated to be 18,500. (The county's
population is around 25,000.)
There are many reasons for Beeville's steady and healthy
growth during this sixty‑five‑year period while other South Texas
towns of comparable size around the turn of the century have remained at a
standstill or have become ghost towns.
Through the influence of progressive county and municipal
governments, the Bee County Chamber of Commerce and its predecessors, and the
Bee, Picayune, and Bee‑Picayune newspapers, the area that was created by
the Texas Legislature in 1857 and named in memory of Colonel Barnard E. Bee has
attracted many city‑building enterprises and educational institutions.
The coming of the railroads in 1886 and 1890 helped develop
Bee County's livestock and agricultural industries.
Early in 1929 C. F. Nichols brought in the discovery oil
well on the Hicks Ranch near Normanna to start a boom in oil leases and the
production of oil and gas. Mr. Nichols drilled the well with three Ford
tractors, and found the Hockley Sand at 3650 feet. This was called the Sandhill
Well, and if is still producing.
This discovery began drilling operations over most of the
northern part of Bee County and in 1930 the Union Producing Company established
district offices in Beeville. Their offices were scattered over the downtown
section until a group of business people organized the Beeville Building
Corporation and erected a three-story office building at the corner of Houston
and St. Mary's Streets, which kept the company in Beeville until the
headquarters were moved to Corpus Christi about fen years ago.
Oil and gas activity also attracted the Pan American
Corporation, and a huge cycling plant was erected five miles east of Pettus,
where it operated at full speed until five years ago, when, because of a
setback in the oil and gas industry, the force was reduced to a skeleton crew,
as was that of Union Producing when they moved to Corpus Christi.
Bee County was slow to feel the effects of the depression
because of the discovery of oil and gas, but when the world‑wide
financial crackup finally arrived here, in 1931, if affected everybody. The
Works Progress Administration, popularly known as the WPA, set up offices here
with Mrs. H. E. Gerecke in charge.
Breadlines were formed and many people who had no monetary
reserves were forced to take handouts that were financed by government bureaus.
Men were glad to get work of any kind, even though the recompense was one
dollar and two dollars per day.
Irl F. Cherry was manager of the Chamber of Commerce, and he
felt that the money being spent for day labor should produce something that
would have lasting results, instead of cleaning up creek bottoms, streets and
alleys. As a consequence, streets and county roads were improved, concrete
culverts were installed, and several small concrete bridges were constructed.
Although President Franklin Roosevelt's pump‑priming
policy did not end the depression, the distressing condition was alleviated to
a great extent, and experts on economy agree that it prevented what was
designed to be a fake‑over by the Communists. Actually, the depression
did not end until World War 11 placed every able‑bodied man and many
women in jobs.
The 1940s brought Chase Field and the United States Naval
Auxiliary Air Station to Beeville, and even though it was closed following the
end of World War 11, it was reactivated in August 1952, and has been undergoing
almost constant improvement and increase in personnel until today the annual
payroll, including Navy personnel and civil service employees, exceeds twenty‑one
million dollars. (A detailed history of Chase Field was written by a Navy
officer and appears in Chapter Thirteen of this book.)
COLLEGE DISTRICT ESTABLISHED
In 1965 the voters of Bee County named the entire county as
a college district and authorized the issuance of bonds in the amount of
$1,500,000 for a junior college. Mrs. A. C. Jones, widow of the late A. C.
Jones 11, and her three living children, Mrs. W. M. 'Thompson, W. W. Jones 11,
and Mrs. H. B. Hause, gave one hundred acres of land for the college campus,
and with a large government grant, work was started and the Bee County College
project soon became a reality.
Captain A. C. Jones, grandfather of A. C. Jones 11, erected
a palatial residence in the late 1880s on the ground that was given by the
Jones family for college purposes. After his death in 1904, his second wife,
the former Miss Jane Fields of Goliad, sold the home and built a new residence
on Jones Street, which after her death became the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. C.
Jones 11. If is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Wicker. John W. Flournoy purchased
the suburban residence and moved if to the corner of Huntington and St. Mary's
Streets, where it remained until the land was purchased as a site for the
Bonham Food Store. The three-story house was razed and the Bonham Store was
In September 1967 the first classes of Bee County College
were opened in the first building to be completed, the Technical‑Vocational
Building. In qualifying for a state institution the planners had ' promised an
enrollment of 350 students the first year, but the actual count was over 700.
The current student body numbers more than 1250.
In preparing a brochure on the college, the people were fold
that the first year the fax rate would be 39.1 cents; in 1967 the rate would be
45.9 cents: in 1968, 51.1 cents; in 1969, 61.2 cents, and in 1970, 62.4 cents.
The actual rate rose to 50 cents and has never been increased.
Before the end of 1968 six buildings had been added,
including the Administration and Library Building, the Gertrude Jones Fine Arts
Building, two classroom buildings and the gymnasium. Later on were added the
Dougherty Student Center, a shop building, and the dormitory. Being constructed
now is the Dougherty Dental Hygiene Building and a second Technical‑Vocational
Building. And this will not end the building program. The master plan calls for
fifteen structures on the campus.
Mrs. Joseph Hunter of San Antonio donated $ 150,000 for the
construction of a baseball stadium, and it was named Joe Hunter Field in memory
of her late husband, who was a Bee County native and an avid baseball fan. The
Dougherty Foundation gave two large checks, which made if possible with federal
funds to build the Dougherty Student Center and the James R. Dougherty Jr.
Health Science Building. The Fine Arts Building was given the name Gertrude
Russell Jones Fine Arts Building in memory of the woman who, with her children,
gave the one hundred acres for the college campus.
Fred C. Latcham Jr., publisher of the Beeville Bee‑Picayune,
was the first president of the Board of Trustees. He was re‑elected to
the office each year until 1971, when he declined, and Robert Beasley was named
head of the board. Other members serving with Mr. Beasley are: Dr. E. C.
Spellmann, Vice President; Fred C. Latcham Jr., Secretary; Frank Jostes. Peter
Marecek, Henry Medina, and Bill Dirks. Dr. Grady Hogue is college president.
The college complex is valued at approximately ten million
dollars. The institution received accreditation from the Southern Association
of Universities and Colleges in 1969. The original Statement of Purpose adopted
by the trustees contained the following words: ". . . educational guidance
to foster the continued development of the individual and to assist the
individual in achieving personal goals."
CATTLE INDUSTRY EXPANDS
After the turn of the century, Bee County ranchers began to
increase the value of their cattle by turning from the Longhorns to various
other breeds. At first, the Durhams gained prominence here. This was an English
breed, with colors of roan, red, and white. They had short horns, and
eventually they were called Short Horns instead of Durhams. Then came the
Herefords, Angus, Charolais, Charbray, Brahmans, and other beef and show
cattle, and Holsteins and Jerseys for milk cows.
On April 19, 1937, a representative group of stockmen from
Bee and surrounding counties met in the Courthouse in Beeville and organized
the South Texas Hereford Breeder‑Feeder Association. Pryor Lucas of
Berclair presided and the following officers were elected: John R. Scott,
President‑, Holman Cartwright, First Vice President; Claude E. Heard.
Second Vice President, and Paul Russell, Secretary.
Charter members were: Paul Russell. Sidney Smith, J. R.
McGuffin, Tom McNeill, John R. Scoff, K. L. Handy, T. L. Wilson, George Miller,
B. V. Matheson, Raymond C. Brown. F. M. Ellis. C. H. Hardison. Claude E. Heard.
Charles Muil, R. A. Hall, C. L. Cox, L. B. Williamson, Bennie Wilson, B. H.
Wilson, Hinnant Brothers, John P. Impson. B. S. Byrnes, G. W. Clare. J. J.
McKinney, Leonard Smith, W. E. Handy, J. A. Handy. J. A.
Stewart, T. L. Wade, Carroll R. Jones, Texas Livestock
Marketing Association of Fort Worth. and Pryor Lucas.
The members agreed to hold annual shows and auction sales,
and a rodeo would be held as a special attraction. Rocky Reagan Sr. and his
Rocky Jr., Bob, and Flournoy, were engaged to stage the
rodeos. A few years later the words " Breeder‑ Feeder'' were deleted
from the name of the organization, and today it is the South Texas Hereford
Association. with headquarters in Beeville.
Ranchmen from many states and Mexico come to buy registered
bulls and heifers to improve their stock, and beef cattle also are sold at the
annual show and sale events held in Beeville. John C. Burns was judge of the
first show and Earl Gartin was the first auctioneer.
For the last several years the sales have been held at the
Bee County Livestock Market auction barn three miles east of Beeville on the
Houston Highway. This facility, one of the largest and finest in South Texas,
is owned and operated by Clyde Hebert.
The following have served as president of the Hereford
Association: John R. Scoff, Claude E. Heard, Pryor Lucas, R. J. Roeder Sr., V.
T. Irby. A. C. Jones 11, Ira Heard, Sidney Smith, K. L. Handy, Paul Russell, R.
J. Roeder Jr., Robert Webb, Volmer Roberts, H. A. Fitzhugh, R. N. Webb, Lincoln
Borglum, Ted Scott, H. C. Brinkoeter, W. C. McCord, Bill Rodgers Jr., Robert W.
Heard, Richard M. Lucas, Ralph V. Ellis, Leonard Smith, J. A. Handy, Edwin S.
Brown, Edward M. Neal, Gordon Brown, W. W. Jones ]I. William D. Dugat, Charles
Mcscatelli, Thad Irby, and Lynn Fields.
Present officers are: Tom Crump, President‑, Guss
Dunn, First Vice President Weldon Winsauer, Second Vice President‑, and
Louis Fromme Jr., Herbert Ball, Thad Irby, Lynn Fields, Edward M. Neal, Austin
Brown 11, Edward Roeder, and Lawrence Schrade, Directors. E. L. Spaniel is
secretary and Miss Lucille (Dutch) Miller is treasurer.
SHOW AND SALE FOR YOUTHS
The Bee County Farm Bureau for the last fifteen years has
sponsored an annual show and sale for the young people of the county, and it
not only provides a sizable income for the youths, but the preparation of
livestock, clothes, and food for exhibition and sale incidentally is one of the
best character builders that man can design. During the entire school year,
these boys and girls are working on their projects and receive credits from
The official name of the annual event is Bee County Junior
Livestock and Homemakers Show, and the participants are members of the 4‑H
Clubs, Future Farmers of America Chapters, and
Future Homemakers of America Chapters from the four independent school
districts of Bee
County. The show and sale are held on the second Saturday of
March each year.
Officers of the show and sale are: John Hensley, Chairman;
Harry Hughes and Virgil Wilburn, Vice Chairmen, and Mrs. Joann Hughes,
Entered in the livestock show and sale are various breeds of
cows, bulls, calves, hogs, sheep, lambs, and poultry; 'in the culinary
department are found cakes, pies, preserves, breads, cookies, and many other
edibles; and in the clothing department there are dresses made in the latest
If a survey were made of the youngsters who seriously
participated in the work taught by these departments in school, I honestly
believe that there would not be registered one boy or girl who was a
delinquent. These industrious youths get their ''kicks'' from worthwhile
MRS. MAE CLICK FIRST COUNTY AGENT
Mrs. Mae Click, who moved to Beeville from Waterloo, Iowa,
in 1911, became the first Home Demonstration Agent in Bee County in 1912, and
gave this county the distinction of being among the first counties in Texas to
start this kind of work.
Mrs. Click used her buggy to travel to the various
communities, where she organized canning clubs for the preservation of foods
and worked with the women and girls, teaching them new methods of improving
home and family living. When night overtook her she spent if with the family
that had sponsored the demonstration for the day. Her first clubs were formed
in Blanconia, Central, Mineral, Normanna, and Skidmore.
As clubs increased and the work expanded, Miss Winnie Deer
was employed to assist Mrs. Click and she remained active in that position
until her marriage to Joe Ramirez of Beeville. Mrs. Click is still living and
writes occasionally to friends in this area. She resides in Washington State.
Other home demonstration agents came to Bee County in the
following succession: Miss Kaleta Lyon, Mrs. Etta Ringgold, Misses Ezra Grimes,
Alice Matthews, Thelma Wilson, Lorena Yates, Blanche Crumpler, Nell Foley,
Minnie Bell, Emily Goehring, Willie Mae Botard, Mrs. Dorothy Hanny, Mrs. Audrey
H. Bellows, Sharon Madson, Vernetta Fisher, and Mrs. Susan Neuenschwander, the
During recent years the term home demonstration agent has
been changed to county extension agent.
COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AGENT WORK STARTED HERE IN 1909
Although the County Agricultural Agent's work under the
auspices of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service started in Bee County on March
15, 1909, this was on a cooperative plan with DeWitt, Goliad. Gonzales and
Karnes Counties, and one agent, J. 0. Berryman. divided his time with the
farmers and ranchers of the five‑county
J. H. Stoltzfus of Tuleta was the first full‑time agent
for Bee County, but the records reveal that he only served from September 19,
191 1, to October 31 in the same year, or a total of forty‑two days, when
he resigned to devote his time to other pursuits.
Then followed: Pinkney D. Smith, November 11. 191 1. to
September 30, 1913; C. H. McDowell, May 16, 1915, to January 25. 1917; J. S.
Farmer, February 12, 1917, to May 14, 1918.
Frank R. Shanks, father of John Shanks, took over the
position on February 20, 1918, and worked until January 8, 1921, when he resigned
to accept a position in another city.
Paul B. Dunkle became agent on February 16, 1922, and served
until August 31, 1922. He was succeeded by C. C. Jobson on September 1. 1922.
who continued the work until February 28, 1925. The county discontinued the
Extension Service project from that date until January 1, 1929, when Jack
Forgason assumed the duties and conducted the work until he entered military
service on November 30, 1940. He was given a leave of absence.
Filling the position until Mr. Forgason returned were: James
C. Thompson, December 1, 1940, to June 21, 1942; Wayne L. Sigler, July 1, 1942,
to September 15, 1943; Don Windrow, September 16, 1943, to October 10. 1944;
and William J. Moore, November 1, 1944, to November 30, 1945, when Mr. Forgason,
a full colonel in the U. S. Army, returned to his position, which he held until
January 1, 1964, when he retired from the Extension Service.
Eugene L. Spaniel of Wilson County assumed the duties of
County Agent upon Mr. Forgason's retirement and holds that position today.
Actual farm demonstration work had its inception in Texas in
1903 on a privately‑owned farm, when Seaman A. Knapp, special agent in
the United States Department of Agriculture, was invited to come to Terrell.
Texas, to discuss with businessmen the serious condition in agriculture and
business, caused by the spread of the cotton boll weevil over the state. Dr.
Knapp was a former president of the State Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa.
He supervised the demonstration work at Terrell for one year, and that
eventually led to the establishment of the Extension Department at Texas A.
& M. College (now Texas A. & M. University) on September 1, 1910.
On July 1, 1914, the Smith‑Lever Act became effective
and the Extension Service as it is known today came into being. But behind this
new Extension Service lay more than fen years of pioneering experience, of
demonstration of new methods of teaching, and training of the leaders who were
to carry on and expand this service to the people of the Lone Star State.
County agents in Bee County have helped the farmers and
ranchers combat the boll weevil. the pink boll worm, cattle ticks, screwworms
and diseases of horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine and poultry.
They taught the rural people how to protect their farm and
ranch lands from having the top soil washed away by floods by constructing
They have made available to the people of the communities a
supply of educational pamphlets issued by the A. & M. Extension Service,
telling how to preserve (''cure'') meat, plant crops, care for livestock, build
silos, and many other procedures that are essential to successful farming and
In addition to working with the adult farmers and ranchers,
the county agent helps train the youths for agricultural and livestock pursuits
by tutoring the members of the Four‑H Clubs.
The service is financed three ways: The Federal Government,
the State Government, and the Commissioners Court each pays an equal amount.
BEE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
By Helen Y. Ezell
In the 1830s when the early settlers came to this land to
make their homes they brought their prayer books, Bibles and hymnals with them.
Although some could not read or write, These book treasures were proudly
displayed. The family Bible had the pages for birth, marriage and death
records. To some the Bibles were their "readers.''
When more families came from different parts of the United
States, mostly from the South, they brought other books besides Bibles which
were eagerly read.
In 1887 a small group of women collected some books and
started a little library in a corner of a room in the Courthouse.
These pioneer women ]it the torch of hope for an adequate
library which has been burning ever since, in spite of the complacency of some
of the citizens.
After a few years the volumes were moved from the Courthouse
to a small room in the back of John C. Beasley's law office.
Books became more necessary to the happiness of the people.
The Faupel Music Store had a circulating library with paid memberships in the
1890s and early 1900s. In 1898 benefit shows were given for the public school
In 1902 after the Rosetta Club was organized, the members
became interested in the little library that started with the few books in
1887. They donated their time to checking in and out books for a few hours each
The Rosetta women in 1918 moved the books from the little
room in Mr. Beasley's law office to the Methodist "Bungalow." It was
opened to the public several hours a week. Mrs. Robert Utter was the librarian.
In 1912, Miss Lida Dougherty and Judge Tom Cox. members of a
board for the little library, held a $1 membership drive to obtain some money
to purchase more books for the library. Miss Mattie Sonley was acting
In 1938 when the Rosetta Club, the Business &
Professional Women's Club and the now defunct Jesters Club obtained a building,
which was named the United Clubs Building, a room in It was reserved for the
library. In addition to the books moved from the Methodist Bungalow many
volumes were received from private donations.
The Rosetta Club appointed Mrs. R. J. (Mary McCurdy) Welder
library chairman in 1939 and she supervised the little library for many years.
Under the WPA program in the latter part of the depression,
a woman worker was hired to check books in and out. After the WPA ceased to
function, Mrs. Sidney Dugat donated her services as librarian for a few years.
A committee of Rosetta women petitioned the Commissioners
Court for assistance to help maintain the library. Five dollars per month was
granted at first, then fifteen dollars was given. In 1944 James R. Dougherty
matched the fifteen dollars a month and continued until his death in 1950.
Mrs. John (Cora) Burke in 1944 became the librarian for
fifteen dollars per month. The library was kept open two afternoons a week. In
January 1963, Mrs. Burke was presented a gift from the Library Board for her
nineteen years of service.
On May 15, 1952, through the efforts of the Rosetta Club and
the Business & Professional Women's Club, representatives of all
organizations in Beeville met at the club building to make plans to expand the
library. Mrs. R. J. Welder was elected chairman, Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen, vice
chairman, and Mrs. Edward N. Jones, secretary.
In September 1952 a governing board composed of twenty‑five
members was appointed for the Bee County Public Library. Mrs. Sadie Holland,
sister of Mrs. T. B. (Lera) Knight and aunt of Toscoe Knight, was hired as full‑time
librarian, with Mrs. Burke as assistant.
In January 1953 the Commissioners Court began contributing a
greater stipend to help maintain the library and the Beeville City Council
started to contribute. There has been a continuation of this program to the
February 18. 1953, the Bee County Public Library Board was
incorporated by the State of Texas as a non‑profit organization and
entitled to transact business in Texas.
The three original incorporators were Mrs. Edward N. Jones,
Mrs. R. J. Welder, and Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen.
The Rosetta Club and the B&PW Club held a gay fiesta
annually for more than twenty years. They were assisted by some of the other
women's clubs, the Navy Enlisted Men's Wives and the Navy Officers' Wives. Buck
Harris with city workmen helped in setting up the fiesta in Flournoy Park and
during the last years at the Fair Grounds. The proceeds went to the library for
The Rosetta Club in 1971, 1972, and 1973, has sponsored
talent shows with Beeville public and parochial school students performing. The
money raised was given to the library.
In the early years of the Rosetta Club the women gave ice
cream suppers in Klipstein Park to raise money for books. In the last twenty‑five
years this club has given more than $26,000 to the library.
The Business & Professional Women's Club has donated
about $2,000. Other women's organizations also have contributed.
On February 18, 1953, Mrs. R. J. Welder resigned as chairman
of the Library Board. Mrs. Eric Spielhagen served as chairman until September
1953 when Mrs. Ina West was elected chairman, Mrs. T. B. Knight was secretary
and Eric Spielhagen, treasurer.
Mr. Spielhagen served in this capacity and was a patron of
the library until his death in 1969.
In 1956 a county‑wide brick‑sale drive with Mrs.
Camp (Helen) Ezell as chairman netted more than three thousand dollars and
stimulated great interest in the library.
Mrs. James R. Dougherty gave $60.000 to the board for a
library building in 1957. It was built on county property on corner of Corpus
Christi and Buchanan Streets in Beeville.
The A. C. Jones family gave $3,000 for the ‑furnishings
of the children's room in the library.
A $500 gift for histories was donated by Joe Richards, a
local druggist. Mr. and Mrs. George Atkins of the Beeville Publishing Company
presented the library with a microfilm reader. Sets of microfilms of all the
back issues of the Bee, Picayune and Bee‑Picayune are kept up to date by
Dr. John Hester and Dr. Orville Schroeder, local
optometrists, donated a projection magnifier for those with less‑than‑average
eyesight to use.
The eight thousand volumes were moved from the room of the
United Clubs Building to the new red brick James R. Dougherty Sr. Memorial
Library Building. It was formally opened and dedicated on Monday, July I S,
1957, at 8 p.m.
Mrs. James. R. 'Dougherty gave the opening address and
Bishop M. S. Garriga of Corpus Christi, close friend of the Doughertys,
delivered an address.
The library board at that time was composed of Lincoln
Borglum, President; John Rossi, Vice President,‑ Mrs. T. B. Knight,
Secretary, Eric Spielhagen, Treasurer, and Mrs. Dudley Dougherty, Judge Joe
Wade, Mrs. Camp Ezell, Mrs. Reese Wade, Stephen Fey, Mrs. R. J. Welder, Monroe
Finke, Mrs. Rex West. Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen and Camp Ezell, directors.
Sister Jane Marie and her library students from Our Lady of
the Lake College, San Antonio, catalogued the books. Mrs. H. E. Butt of Corpus
Christi has been a liberal contributing patron.
Mrs. J. A. Donley in April 1963 donated books valued at
$3,000 from her rental library to the Bee County Public Library. The same year,
Mrs. Kathleen Jones Alexander, San Antonio, gave $3,000 which was used to
enclose the patio of the library, converting if into a reference‑book
The children's story hour was started in April 1963 and has
been continued each summer. Donors of memorial gifts are registered in a
In October 1963, the Rosetta Club sponsored the Friends of
the Library with Mrs. R. C. Harris as organizer. Serving with her were Mrs.
John Monroe and Mrs. C. S. Harris. Mrs. Laurie Hunter became President, Mrs.
Dean Hughes, Secretary, and Mrs. Bruce Wilson, Treasurer. The membership
contributions and teas raised the sum to over $1,100 for the library in the two
years the Friends of Library was in existence.
The late Dan Troy's extensive collection of books were
donated to the library by his daughter, Donna Troy Skidmore.
Mrs. William (Margaret) Moser for several years wrote a book
review column for the Bee‑Picayune and Mrs. Gertrude Linke Cowie writes
weekly Library Notes for the newspaper about new books, stimulating interest in
The library sent over one thousand surplus volumes to the
State Penitentiary in Huntsville. Six hundred books were given to the library
in Three Rivers after a flood had destroyed most of theirs, Several hundred
books also were donated to the Sinton Library following a flood.
In January 1973 the Bee County Public Library had 21,254
books. plus encyclopedias, newspapers and shelves of magazines. So the pioneer
women's torch has been far reaching through the years and still burns.
There were 50,264 books checked out in 1972. On Saturday,
January 27, 1973, a total of 346 books were issued to readers and on March 3,
1973, 264 books were checked out. The library is open six days a week.
On April 10, 1973, the library held open house for viewing
the bronze plaque hung in memory of Mrs. James R. Dougherty, donor of the
building, who died August 8, 1972.
Mrs. Lula Striedel went to work in the library in 1957 and
became librarian in 1962, the position she still holds. Mrs. Sid Hirst is the
assistant. Mrs. Bertha Gingerich is the Reference Room librarian. Kathy
Janysek, a high school student, assists on Saturday and during the afternoons.
Mrs. Elodia R. Moreno is supervisor of cleaning service.
The present officers of the library board are: Mrs. Camp
Ezell, President, Judge Joe Wade, Vice President; Mrs. Paul Schulz, Secretary,
and James Millikin, Treasurer. Other members of the board are: Mrs. Reese Wade,
Mrs. R. J. Welder, Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen, Dudley Dougherty, Camp Ezell, Miss
Martha Helmers. Mrs. Fred Latcham Jr. and John Rossi.
The past chairmen are: Mrs. R. J. Welder, Mrs. Eric
Spielhagen, Mrs. Rex West, Mrs. Reese Wade and Lincoln Borglum.
The past‑presidents are: Mrs. Eric Spielhagen, 1958‑1964;
Mrs. Mary Jane Ramirez Turnbow, 1965, and Mrs. Camp Ezell, 1966‑1973.
There is a small library at Chase Field for the Navy
personnel and their families.
The Bee County College has a student library consisting of
more than 19,000 volumes and many periodicals. The doors of this inviting
library were opened in November 1967. Non‑student membership cards are
available to citizens of Bee County.
The staff members of the Bee County College Library are:
Douglas A. Green, head librarian, Mrs. Barbara Wardlow, librarian, and Mrs.
Glenn (Jackie) Krueger and Miss Maria Cuellar, the assistants.
13 - Early 1900's Bring Many
Changes << 14 - Beeville Becomes a City >>
15 - County Becomes Centennarian...