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The Historical Story
of Bee County Texas By Camp Ezell
17 - Communities << 18 - Smaller Communities >> 19-History of Hospitals and Doctors; Bee County Officers
Considerable space has been given in this book to relate the early happenings of the communities of Blanconia, Clareville, Mineral City, Normanna, Papalote, Pawnee, Pettus, Skidmore and Tuleta, not only because they were sizable villages, but also because they played vital parts in the early development of Bee County. At one time, Papalote and Mineral were approximately as large, population‑wise, as Beeville, the county seat.
However. there were other settlements, not as large but quite important because of the agricultural and ranching interests of the people who established homes there, that must be remembered. Some of those hamlets no longer exist, and those that survived have been reduced in size, but during the pioneer days each settlement contributed its share to the economical development of the county as a whole.
With this in perspective, the sixteen other hamlets will be reviewed briefly, in alphabetical order rather than in historical sequence, so that the progress of the county as a whole will be correctly recorded.
The first settlers in the vicinity now known as Cadiz were Ben Atkins, R. C. Eeds, Ben Fleming, William Cryer, Duncan Turner, G. M. Garner, and John Atkins, around 1870. Four years later the McCollom family moved there. Mr. Feds operated a grocery store. School teachers were Julia Judd and Meda McHenry. The Rev. Amos Barber organized a Baptist Church there in 1877 and became its first pastor. In later years his grandson, the Rev. Dr. Carroll Jones, was pastor of the church for twenty‑five years. Present pastor is the Rev. R. C. Jeanes. Mr. Eeds sold his grocery store in 1904 to H. V. Howard. who named the village Cadiz in honor of his former home in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Sullivan operated a general merchandise store there for a number of years. When they sold out they settled in George West, where they resided until they died. Mrs. Sullivan, the former Mary Mikeska, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Mikeska Sr., pioneer settlers of Live Oak County, was the author of several books. In 1939 Cadiz supported a three‑teacher school, a grocery store, gin, and service station. Now the only remnant of the once‑active hamlet is the Cadiz Baptist Church.
In the northern part of Bee County there was a settlement of farmers and ranchers called Caesar which started in the early 1890s. Today all that remains is the name. but at one time there was a post office, a store, a gin, and a Baptist Church. (The church also served the people of nearby Monteola.) Early settlers included the families of J. Usury, George Livingston, Robert Miller, George M. Slaughter, Jepthia W. Wolfe, the Pullins, and R. L. Peevy. Jepthia Wolfe was the father of Anne Wolfe (who married Austin Maley). Anne was born in Caesar, but the family moved to the Wolfe settlement when she was two years old. Her father was a trustee of the Wolfe school. The land of the Caesar area is now used for cattle grazing and some flax and grain crops are grown. The cemetery has had little care during recent years.
The village of Candlish was laid out by W. J. Candlish in 1909. The location was eleven miles east of Beeville, and embraced three communities of olden days‑Medio Hill, Robinson, and Cummingsville. A common school district was created, and Candlish was voting Precinct Number Thirteen. W. D. H. Saunders operated a store during the early days. The late C. J. (Blackie) Valenta lived there many years and served several terms as county commissioner for the Blanconia‑Candlish area. After the store and school were closed, the village was reduced to a settlement of farmers and ranchers.
The Central community is located seven miles south of Beeville and is halfway between Beeville and Olmos. The earliest settlers were Henry T. Clare and his sons, John I., P. S. (Bud), Thomas, Gus, Hillery, and Thomas, Elzy Clare, James B. Madray, Henderson Allsup, Tom Allsup, L. C. Ross, Martin Reed, Rev. R. B. Thames, W. M. Bailey, and Captain D. A. T. Walfon. In later years came Charles Sugarek, Valentine Kubala, Stephen Kubala, John Hall, C. B. Barton, Charles Peter, August Holub, Filbert Mueller, and Gus Luthringer. Central is a farming community and some of the most progressive agriculturalists in Bee County grow grain, flax, broomcorn and cotton there. The schoolhouse that was the educational center for the children in this area for a number of years has been converted info a community center, where dances and parties are held. The children now attend Beeville public schools. The big annual event is a Fourth of July barbecue, followed by a dance at night.
In 1826, Jeremiah O'Toole rode horseback from New York to the Aransas Creek after he had heard that Irishmen could get land grants from the Mexican government. He was accompanied by his son‑in-law, James O'Reilly. Later Mr. O'Toole's wife and his brother, Dominique, and the latter's children, Ellen, Martin, Michael, and John, *joined him. They built a log house there. Ellen married John Corrigan, and the settlement was named in honor of the latter. Mrs. Corrigan donated the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in 187 1. The cemetery for the community still exists and is located on the Claude Heard Ranch. Other early settlers included D. S. Page and his wife (the latter was a practical physician and administered to the sick people of the area), D. C. Grover. William Leahy and his son, Phil, Hugh J. O'Reilly, B. F. Burris, Jack Barry, P. F. Latting, William Kennedy, D. R. May, Nicholas Dunn, John Hynes. Phil Welder, and Jerry and Michael Corrigan.
DEAF SMITH: Miss Patti Reagan, county school superintendent in 1920, suggested the name Deaf Smith for Common School District Ten, which was created by an act of the Legislature when L. W. Bell was head of the county schools. She named if in memory of a Texas Revolution hero, Erastus (Deaf) Smith, captain of a company in the war with Mexico. The settlement was located near the Medio Creek area east of town. This is now a farm and ranch section of Bee County, but at one time it was a lively neighborhood.
There are only two families residing in the once‑active community of Monteola, about halfway between TuIsita and Pawnee Leslie Moses, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Moses, and W. A. (Bill) Dobrilla, son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Dobrilla. During the late 1870s, George Cooke and his daughters, Liza Jane and Eleanor, nafives of England, arrived and Mr. Cooke purchased 3100 acres of farm land. In 1890 he built a gin, which was operated until 1926. Liza Jane married Joshua Moses and her sister, Eleanor, married Joshua's brother. Monroe Moses. The Moses brothers were old‑time fiddlers and usually were awarded first prize at the annual old‑fiddlers' contest at the Bee County Fair in Beeville. Liza Jane Moses, although not a medical doctor, had some kind of diploma which authorized her to deliver babies and care for sick people who were afflicted with minor maladies, and she was an expert at treating patients for rattlesnake bites. She made the rounds in her buggy. Also she operated a store at Monteola and one at Pawnee, but the latter business was destroyed by fire in 1941. She died in July 1951 and Joshua Moses passed away a month later. In 1911, the Rev. G. H. M. Wilson preached for the people of the community in the Baptist Church. Besides those mentioned, early settlers included the families of August Schultz, Fred Schroeder, Jim Pullin, J. M. Lynch, Hiram Chandler, Hubert Cox, G. B. Livingston, Andy Maye. D. W. Cox, George Williams, Nixon Lynch, and others. Later came Mr. and Mrs. Dan DeLeon, parents of Mrs. John (Virginia) Bell of Beeville, who spent part of her girlhood in that community. Mrs. William (Mildred) Siddon of Beeville, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Moses, is a native of Monteola and spent her girlhood days there. Today the land of the area is used for livestock grazing, and a considerable amount of flax and grain crops are grown.
Los Olmos, Spanish for ''The Elm Trees,'' was the original name for the village located on Olmos Creek in the southern part of Bee County. Mrs. J. A. Sliva, in a story in the Bee‑Picayune's Centennial edition, October 16, 1958, said the first settlers purchasing land there were Barton, Brown, Dudek. Hollas and Taylor, but they stayed only a short while. They were followed by the families of Vrana, Staf, Sugarek, Bohac, Struhal, Sliva. Hanus, Jancha, Huble, Machacek. Bosak, Valek. Kopecky, Hybner, Range, Duge, Wadsworth, Riggs, Sumbera, Trlica, Doubrava, Spiekermann, Byer. Krupa, Afzenhofer. Vollmering, and Foifik. In 1891 a Catholic Church was built on a 10‑acre plot donated by Mr. Dudek. Part of the land was used for a cemetery. For many years the community supported a school, but after if was consolidated with the Skidmore‑Tynan school system, the building was turned over to the Olmos Community Club, where social events are held periodically. The old schoolhouse also is the meeting place for the S.P.J.S.T. and R.V.O.S. organizations. Julius Hrdina's Orchestra, comprised of Julius and Bill Hrdina, Emil Hanus, Eddie Sliva, Anton Motal, Charles and Eddie Doubrava, and Edwin Wallek, played for many enterfainments in the historic old structure. Most of the people living in the community are farmers of Czechoslovakian descent, and they have some of the most progressive farms and ranches in Bee County.
Shortly after the turn of the century the Wangeman Ranch was divided into small tracts and sold, mostly to people from Northeastern and Eastern States who were enthused over the idea that Bee County had climate and soil that would produce citrus fruits, particularly oranges. The name selected for the village was Orangedale, located five miles west of Beeville on the road to Mineral. Around 1906 the settlers began to arrive, including W. C. Stephenson, father of Mrs. Winifred Goodwin of the Lapara community. He was a man of many talents, including acting, and could recite Shakespeare by the hour. He and Fritz Heldenfels formed an architectural firm and drew the plans for the present Bee County Courthouse. (This was after the orange fever subsided!) Other newcomers included Robert Utter, S. W. Ford (who wrote articles for the Picayune under the nom de plume Silas Wright), W. S. Barber, Robert Miller, D. E. Six, Will Taylor, Harry Whiting, Wallis Blakely, E. Townsend, T. E. Pittman, H. E. Lockwood, and others. J. J. K*Kirkpatrick opened a store. And there were Will Henry. Tom Washburn, R. A. Ivey, the Eafcns, Fudges, Ballards, and West families. Friendship Baptist Church was built about two miles west of the settlement near where the old Carter Mill stood and marked the seven‑mile post on the road to Mineral. It is still the house of worship for the many families of farmers and ranchers in the area. The pastor is Rev. John W. Tisdale.
A community called Poesta developed during the last decade of the nineteenth century, and it was located near Poesta Creek on the right side of the road to Refugio, about four miles east of Beeville. By 1894 they had a school there. which continued in operation until the middle 1930s. The old schoolhouse is now being used by the Fleet Reserve Club. Among the early settlers were Tom Langston, Mrs. Kate Kurtz, Ben Hatcher, Anton Juenger, J. M. Dorsey, and Van Pelt.
The John Quincy Ranch seven miles east of Beeville on the left side of the road to Refugio was purchased by D. J. Swickheimer for subdivision in 1891. The Enterprise Land & Colonization Company developed the project, selling tracts of land to people from Kansas and other states. A village was started in 1892, with a store, post office, a drug store, a physician (Dr. C. B. Palmer), and a number of residences. When I was a small child my Grandfather Ezell and I went to the Medio to fish on Saturdays. As we passed the remains of the Quincy settlement we saw a chimney standing in the midst of charred lumber. Grandpa fold me that a fire destroyed the village of Quincy. John J. O'Brien and his son, John Morgan O'Brien, now own the 10,500‑acre ranch that once gave promise of becoming a substantial town. In the April 18, 1898, issue of the Bee Mr. McCurdy wrote: ''Ed C. Carroll, popularly known to his friends as the mayor of Quincy, was in town Sunday to pay his Easter devotions.''
Richland, which exists only as a memory in the minds of oldtimers, was located on Salt Branch (creek), and was first called Salt Branch community. C. H. Maley and John Weed and their families moved there from Blanconia in 1870. William Massengale operated a store in his home. Other settlers included Craig Uzzell, Zak Ballard, Robert Custer, Charles Angermiller, John Curry, John Stewart, and others. There was a store and a Methodist Church in 1940, but these no longer exist.
Sid Smith, a native Bee Countian who had lived in other parts of Texas for a few years, purchased ranch land four miles east of Cadiz in 1899 and developed the place, which has since that time been called the Sid Smith Ranch. ''Mr. Sid,'' as he is called by his friends, celebrated his ninety‑ninth birthday anniversary on March 4, 1973. He is a pioneer cattleman and grew up with the county. Seeing the need for the education of many Mexican children in his neighborhood, Mr. Smith built a schoolhouse and paid a teacher to instruct them for a number of years. Finally, the county school system made a common school district of the area. In later years if was consolidated with the Beeville Independent School District.
The town of Tynan. seven miles south of Skidmore on the highway to Mathis and the Southern Pacific Railroad branch from Skidmore to Alice and the Rio Grande Valley. is made up of farmers and business people, and the area produces more cotton than any other part of Bee County of comparable size. Legally there were two Tynans, the northeast side known as Welder Tynan (from the Welder Ranch) and Beasley Tynan. taken from the Beasley Ranch, on the south side. In 1903, J. C. Beasley drew a plat of the Beasley side, and It was out of this plat that A. W. Steinmeyer bought from Mr. Beasley some land and erected the first business in Beasley Tynan in 1912. A Mr. Braden built a cotton gin there the same year, which later was owned by Blaschke and Beyer of Skidmore. In 1916 the first gin burned and a group of cotton growers organized the Tynan Gin Co. and erected a new gin. Farmers and business people came to the community from Karnes, Lavaca and Guadalupe Counties during the early 1900s. Edgar Steinmeyer established the Bank of Tynan in 1915, which served the people of that area until the depression. If was closed in 1935. The fen‑grade school was consolidated with the Skidmore school system during the late 1940s to form the Skidmore‑Tynan School District. The town has three churches: Peace United Church of Christ, Rev. F. J. Mehrtens, pastor; Saint James Lutheran Church, Rev. James K. Jensen, pastor, and Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Rev. L. H. Kelly, pastor. There are around two hundred residents in the Tynan area.
Small tracts of land that were subdivisions of Viggo Kohler's Number Seven Pasture were settled by farmers and ranchers shortly after the dawn of the Twentieth Century, and they named the community that ensued Viggo. The first to arrive were the Fentons, the Sikes, and the Owings. Then came George Miller from Canada. He was the father of John Miller, judge of the Thirty‑sixth District Court and father of Mrs. William B. Moser of Beeville. Others who established homes in the hamlet four miles west of Beeville on the Viggo Road were the families of August Schultz, W. H. Thomas, Frederick Heinsohn, L. B. Williamson, A. D. Cude, C. E. Culpepper, George Searcy, Charles Searcy, S. B. Hardy, Chris Rothlisberger, Felix Young, William P. Richardson, Grady Harrison Sr., and perhaps others. Mr. Schultz donated land for a schoolhouse, which was used for social and church acclivities as well as for a public school. The common school district finally became consolidated with the Beeville public schools.
A railroad switch six miles south of Beeville was named in honor of Mrs. Eugenia McGloin, who donated five acres of land for a rail. road station. Mrs. McGloin built a store, a schoolhouse and a Catholic Chapel on her ranch, but these buildings have been moved away. A state historical marker has been placed there.
17 - Communities << 18 - Smaller Communities >> 19-History of Hospitals and Doctors; Bee County Officers
The Historical Story
of Bee County Texas By Camp Ezell
Updated Thursday, December 21, 2006 21:02
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