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The Historical Story of Bee County Texas By Camp Ezell
Copyright 1973 by Camp Ezell and Beeville Publishing Co, Inc.
Table of Contents Forward Acknowledgements Introduction
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Pictures Corrections

19 - History of Hospitals and Doctors; Bee County Officers  << 20 - Lodges and Fraternities >> 21 - Churches of Beeville

Lodges and Fraternities

Lodges and fraternal organizations and their teachings have exercised a beneficent influence upon the people of Bee County since the county was organized in 1858.

The Masons were the first to receive a charter in Beeville. This was in 1860.

Later followed the Knights of Honor, Knights of Pythias, Pratorians, Loyal Order of Moose, Woodmen of the World, Maccabees, Knights of Columbus, and Odd Fellows.

Several of these demised a number of years ago. Following are histories of the fraternities that are still active:


The history of Beeville Lodge No. 261, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, is 'Intermingled with 'The annals of Bee County, since the lodge was granted a dispensation to organize on September 21, 1860, three years after Bee County was created by an Act of the Texas Legislature.

John B. McMahon was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas, and James Wilson was the first Worshipful Master of the local constituent body. Other officers for the first year were: Robert Graham, Senior Warden; D. S. Page, Junior Warclen; R. H. Allsup, Treasurer; G. W. McClana. han???, Secretary; C. B. Palmer, Senior Deacon; J. H. Allsup, Junior Deacon, and W. W. Arnold, Tiler.

Beeville Masons petitioned Refugio, Lodge to sponsor the local group in organizational plans. The plea was signed by James Wilson, G. W. McClanahan, T. H. Allsup, W. W. Arnett, C. B. Palmer, Robert Graham. R. H. Allsup, J. B. Madray, D. S. Page, William Miller, and G. D. Gray. These men became the charter members.

The lodge worked under dispensation until the meeting of the Grand Lodge in the fall of 1861, when the charter was granted.

In 1860, the Commissioners Court erected a courthouse on the lot where the buildings of Southwest Land Title Co. and McCarty, Millikin & Green, Accountants, now stand, immediately south of the Commercial National Bank.

The court granted the Masons the privilege of building a second story to the structure, which was used as a lodge room. The first meeting in the new Temple was held on Saturday, December 15, 1860, which was the second meeting of the members who were working under dispensation. The first meeting was held on the ground floor of the Courthouse.

At the meeting on March 16, 1861, C. C. Jones received the Degree of Master Mason to become the first candidate to have the highest degree of the Blue Lodge conferred by Beeville Masonic Lodge. That same night J. N. Lee also was ''raised.''

In 1878 Bee County built a two‑story frame Courthouse on the block across the street from the old Courthouse and Lodge Temple. on the location that the present Courthouse occupies. County officials moved into the new frame structure, built by Viggo Kohler, on May 12, 1879. The lodge purchased the lower floor of the old Courthouse and the lot on which it stood from the county in February 1882 for $250.

The members of the fraternity continued to meet there until the night of May 19, 1888, when the building was destroyed by fire of unknown origin.

L. F. Roberts, a member of the lodge, owned the McClanahan Building on the east side of the Courthouse Square. and Invited the Masons to meet on the second floor of the building, free of any charge, until they could build a new Temple. (The McClanahan Building in later years was purchased by the Bee County Historical Society and moved to county property between the County Jail and the Bee County Public Library, facing Corpus Christi Street, where the society maintains its headquarters.)

The lodge continued to meet in Mr. Roberts' building until their new Temple was erected and dedicated. The San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad Co. donated a lot at the corner of Washington and Hefferman Streets to the local lodge, and a two‑story brick structure was erected, which is still the meeting place of the members.

The cornerstone for the Temple was leveled on December 27, 1890, at one o'clock in the afternoon. Members of lodges in Corpus Christi, Rockport, Refugio, Helena, Cuero, Middletown, Goliad, La Vernia, and Floresville were invited to attend the ceremony. The Temple was dedicated on the third Saturday in May 1891.

On February 1, 1904, a resolution by Sam Mitchell and 0. H. Carmichael was passed providing ''that the stated meetings of this lodge shall be held on Saturday at 8 p.m. on or before the full moon of each month ,

instead of the third Saturday night as had been the rule since the lodge was established. This was done to provide moonlight for the members who traveled in buggies and on horseback to attend meetings.

The Courthouse, built in 1878, was destroyed by fire on the night of January 15, 191 1. Fritz Heidenfels, a member of the Lodge, and W. C. Stephenson were the architects who drew the plans for the present Courthouse, and on April 8, 1911, Beeville Masons, under the authority of the Commissioners Court and the Grand Lodge of Texas, leveled the cornerstone for the structure. The following were appointed to serve as proxies for Grand Lodge Officers: Carl Heldenfels, as Grand Master‑, D. E. Beedy, as Grand Senior Warden; John H. Pittman, as Grand Junior Warden; W. M. Smith, as Grand Treasurer; A. V. Schvab, as Grand Secretary; J. Wilse Barclay, as Grand Senior Deacon; Roy L. Fenner, as Grand Junior Deacon; H. M. Dailey, as Grand Senior Steward; Dan Cryer, as Grand Junior Steward; Robert A. Ezell, as Grand Tiler, and J. J. Carmichael, as Grand Marshal. Joe F. Webb, as Grand Orator, delivered the address.

In 1915, the Temple was closed from November through January 1916 for a remodeling job when D. E. Beedy was Worshipful Master. During the three‑month period, the Lodge met in the Courthouse under dispensation from Jewell P. Lightfoot, Grand Master. but no degrees were allowed to be conferred until the Temple was completed.

In 1916, Jesse A. Chase, Carl Heldenfels and H. S. Bonham, named a committee to revise the by‑laws of the Lodge, submitted Their proposals, which were adopted, with several changes, on October 7, 1916. The meeting dates were changed from the Saturday on or before the full moon to the first and third Saturdays of each month. (In 1920 the meeting nights were changed to the first and third Thursdays.)

After the completion of the remodeling work, the lower floor of the building was leased to a moving picture man who established the Mission Theater. This later was sold to A. F. Rees and still later to Hall Industries, which changed the name to Rex Theater. After the Halls gave up their lease in about 1960, the space was leased to Public Finance Corporation. present occupants.

Again acting under the authority of the Grand Lodge, Beeville Masons leveled the cornerstone for Memorial Hospital in Beeville in 1963, and performed the same service for the Administration Building of Bee County College in 1966.

Beeville Masonic Lodge has been in continuous operation for one hundred thirteen years.

Present officers of the lodge are: Ray Hicks, Worshipful Master‑, Leroy Hadwin, Senior Warden; Glenn Hiff, Junior Warden; Dave Earnest. Senior Deacon; Allen Wilhite, Junior Deacon; Henry Alexander, Treasurer; William M. Routh, Secretary; William L. Erwin, Tiler; Carl White, Senior Steward; George Richardson, Junior Steward, and Murrell Spurlock, Donald Bonifay. and Tom Yeoman, Trustees. Earl Klett is Chaplain.

The past‑worshipful masters of the lodge are as follows:

Under Dispensation 1860, James Wilson; 1861, James Wilson‑, 1862, R. H. Allsup; 1863. R. H. Allsup; 1864. James Wilson‑, 1865, James Wilson; 1866, J. B. Madray; 1867, James Wilson; 1868, G. A. Staples‑, 1869,

James Wilson; 1870, J. J. Croft; 1871, James Wilson; 1872, James Wilson*. 1873, H. W. Wilson; 1874, H. W. Wilson; 1875, H. W. Wilson‑, 1876, H. W. Wilson‑, 1877, H. W. Wilson; 1878, H. W. Wilson; 1879, H. W. Wilson; 1880, H. W. Wilson; 1881, R. W. Archer; 1882, W. P. McGrew‑, 1883, R. W. Archer‑, 1884, H. W. Hunter‑, 1885, John W. Cook‑, 1886, W. M. Smith: 1887, John C. Beasley; 1888, J. 0. Taylor; 1889, J. 0. Taylor‑, 1890, John W. Flournoy; 1891, W. S. Howard; 1892, John W. Flournoy‑, 1893, J. J. Carmichael; 1894, Dr. L. E. Parr; 1895, A. J. Scott; 1896, T. C. Williams; 1897, John W. Cook; 1898, H. E. Rathbone‑,

1899, E. Lawley; 1900, F. M. Ellis Jr.; 1901, J. J. Carmichael‑, 1902, 0. H. Carmichael; 1903, John W. Flournoy; 1904, Sam C. Mitchell; 1905, Robert A. Ezell; 1906, Carl A. Heldenfels; 1907, Carl A. Heldenfels‑, 1908, W. A. Lee‑, 1909, Charles Dower; 19 10, John Wilson; 1911, D. H. Hardeman‑, 1912, C. E. Williamson; 1913, Charles B. Sheldon', 1914, R. H. Gillett 1915, D E. Beedy; 1916, Jesse A. Chase; 1917, Jesse A. Chase‑, 1918, Henry L. Atkinson; 1919, A. C. Appleby‑, 1920, Paul Mueller; 192 1, R. L. Cox‑, 1922, J. M. Range; 1923, G. S. Thompson‑, 1924, W. G. Gayle‑, 1925, Truman M. Gill; 1926, Milton Kohne; 1927, G. S. Thompson; 1928, R. L. Cox*, 1929, R. W. Rhea; 1930, J. M. Range; 193 1, J. P. Deer; 1932, R. A. Hall', 1933, Camp Ezell; 1934, G. S. Thompson; 1935, Irl F. Cherry; 1936, V. E. Kessler;

1937, Irvin N. Boothe; 1938, Fred V. Thomas; 1939, E. D. Miller; 1940, C. C. Dobson; 1941, Arthur Mabray; 1942, Eric L. Archer; 1943, Denver C. Roberts; 1944, Fred V. Thomas; 1945, E. D. Miller; 1946, B. W. Kingrea; 1947, B. J. Cornett; 1948, Chester Amfhor‑, 1949, Alva J. Bryan; 1950, R. A. Gause; 1951, Willie H. Fizer‑, 1952, Henry Alexander; 1953, David C. Roberts‑, 1954, Sid Hirst; 1955, Leonard R. Briggs; 1956, Charles Reynolds; 1957, Ben M. Yeats; 1958, Earl H. Kleff‑, 1959, Glenn H. Tate‑, 1960, Hoyt J. Stover‑, 1961, William M. Routh; 1962, Donald A. Bonifay‑, 1963, William L. Golding; 1964, Murrel Spurlock‑, 1965, C. B. Denwood'. 1966, John H. Grohn Jr.‑, 1967, Walter Boenig‑, 1968, Jerome H. Boenig; 1969, Hugh Roble; 1970, Ross Sommerville; 1971, Tom Yeoman‑, 197Z Ray Hicks.

The following local Masons have served as District Deputy Grand Master: T. H. Allsup, J. J. Carmichael, Carl Heldenfels, Henry L. Atkinson, Jesse A. Chase, Paul Mueller, J. P. Deer, Arthur Mabray, Fred V. Thomas, A. C. Wheeler. Chester Amthor. Henry Alexander, Camp Ezell, William M. Routh, Donald Bonifay, and John H. Grohn Jr.

Three members of Beeville Masonic Lodge were honored by the Supreme Council Thirty‑third Degree of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry with the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor for outstanding work for Masonry and for the community: The Rev. Everett Y. Seale, Jack Everman, and Camp Ezell. The Rev. Mr. Seale was a member of the Red Cross of Constantine, a Masonic organization with limited membership in each chapter.

Col. Carr Kitchen (U.S. Army Ref.) and Mrs. Kitchen have moved to Beeville and Col. Kitchen has affiliated with Beeville Masonic Lodge. He is the only Mason in Bee County who has been coroneted as a Thirty‑third Degree Scotch Rite Mason.

The late Walter Boenig, a leader in the York Rite of Freemasonry, was honored by the Grand Encampment with the title of Knights Templar Cross of Honor for ''exceptional and meritorious service rendered by the recipient far beyond the call of duty.'' Also he was a member of the Committee on Work Tor the Grand Chapter and Grand Council of Texas. Eight local Masons served as Mayor of Beeville: A. C. Jones, B. P. Stephenson, C. E. Williamson, J. T. Ballard, Ellis M. Quinn, Douglas Hermes, Paul Schulz, and Malcolm M. Slay.

Four other organizations that have a relationship to Freemasonry meet in the Masonic Temple. They are:


Beeville Chapter No. 466, Royal Arch Masons, meets on the second and fourth Monday nights of each month at 7:30. Julious L. Harris is High Priest and Donald Bonifay is Secretary. A member must be a Master Mason in good standing.


Beeville Council No. 381, Royal and Select Masters, meets immediately following the session of the R.A.M. Chapter. John 0. Hudman is Thrice Illustrious Master and Donald Bonifay is Recorder. Membership in the Council also requires membership in the Blue Lodge.


Beeville Chapter No 422, Order of the Eastern Star, meets every second and fourth Tuesday in each month at 7:30 p.m. Mrs. Iona Hester is Worthy Matron and Mrs. Mildred Schimming is Secretary. Master Masons are eligible for membership, and a woman must be a wife, widow, mother, sister, or daughter of a Master Mason.

Beeville Chapter received its charter on October 14, 1908. Mrs. Maggie Mitchell was the first Worthy Matrm Carl A. Heldenfels was Worthy Patron; and Mrs. Delia E. Lott, Associate Matron.

The charter members were: Mrs. Ella F. Carmichael, Mrs. Susie Carmichael, Miss Eunice Carmichael, Mrs. Viola Dower, Miss Sallie Ezell, Miss Ollie Lee, Mrs. Delia E. Lott. Miss Annie Michot, Miss Rosabelle Michot, Mrs. Annie Miller, Mrs. Maggie Mitchell, Mrs. Irene Seymour, 0. H. Carmichael, Charles Dower, R. A. Ezell, Carl A. Heldenfels, J. M. Lott, Sam C. Mitchell, J. W. Ray, and Dr. B. F. Seymour.

The Past‑Worthy Matrons of the Chapter are: 1908, Mrs. Maggie Mitchell; 1909, Miss Ollie Lee‑, 19 10, Mrs. Irene Seymour: 1911, Miss Minnie Bell; 1912, Miss Annie Michot: 1913, Mrs. Kafie Lacks; 1914, Miss Rosabelle Michott 1915, Mrs. Aline Faupel; 1916, Mrs. Aline Faupel; 1917, Mrs. Sallie McNeill; 1918, Mrs. Velma Brown; 1919, Mrs. Annie Algea‑, 1920, Mrs. Annie Algea; 192i, Mrs. Mary Bond; 1922, Mrs. Mary Bond‑, 1923, Mrs. Mina Cherry; 1924, Mrs. Roxye Taylor; 1925, Mrs. Sudle Scoff; 1926, Mrs. Lela Sikes; 1927, Mrs. Minnie Franklin', 1928, Mrs. Lessie Troy‑, 1929, Miss Willie Bell; 1930, Mrs. Mary Rhea; 1931, Mrs. Virgie Boothe; 1932, Miss Mabel Hancock; 1933, Mrs. Emma Applewhite; 1934, Mrs. Mary Long; 1935, Mrs. Beatrice Archer; 1936, Mrs. Gladys Skinner; 1937, Mrs. Fannie Hancocl<7 1938, Mrs. Beatrice Mabray*, 1939, Mrs. Alma Stephenson; 1940, Mrs. Ella Lewls; 1941, Mrs. Edna Hawkins;

1942, Mrs. Lucille Ennis; 1943, Mrs. Laura Bray', 1944, Mrs. Alma Knight, 1945, Mrs. Hetty Jean Nelson; 1946, Mrs. Margaret Chapman‑, 1947, Mrs. Irene Thomas; 1948, Mrs. Edith Stanley; 1949, Mrs. Margaret Davies; 1950, Mrs. Ulna Amthor; 1951, Mrs. Frances Hicks‑, 1952, Mrs. Lillie Belle Sommerville; 1953, Mrs. Minnie McGilvray; 1954, Mrs. Inez Stuart; 1955. Mrs. Mildred Malone; 1956, Mrs. Ruth Collier; 1957, Mrs. Catherine Athey; 1958, Mrs. Evelyn Box; 1959, Mrs. Willa Brown; 1960, Mrs. Sadie Lee Wise; 1961, Mrs. Marilyn Caffall; 1962, Mrs. Mildred Shinn; 1963, Mrs. Lee Bonifay; 1964, Mrs. Faye Gossett‑, 1965, Mrs. Dorothy Hicks; 1966, Mrs. Dorothy White: 1967, Mrs. Cubie Kurtz‑, 1968, Mrs. Mildred Schimming; 1969, Mrs. Dorothy Hicks‑, 1970, Mrs. Faye Gossett,‑ 1971, Mrs. Farina May; 1972, Mrs. Iona Hester.


The national Order of Rainbow for Girls was organized in April 1922, and Beeville Assembly No. 6 received its charter on December 8, 1922. The Supreme Assembly, ''mother assembly of the world of the Order of Rainbow for Girls for all nations of the world,'' has its see at McAlester, Okla.

Josephine Bond was the first Worthy Adviser and her mother. Mrs. Ernest Bond, was the first Mother Adviser. Others who served as Mother Adviser were: Mrs. Peggy Davies, Mrs. Beatrice Mabray, Mrs. Minnie McGilvray, Mrs. Cora Powell, Mrs. Lillie Bell Sommerville, and Mrs. Jean Thomas. (The latter is the incumbent.)

Charter members were: Dorothy Clough, Eleanor Pressy, Martha Teas. Nannie Mabel Sims, Nettie Hatcher, Evelyn Springfield. Mattie Malone. Catherine Lyne, Willie Mae Neal, Marye Cox, Hazel Brown, EIna Griffin, Ruby Jones, Josephine Bond, Marion Prather, Olivia Jacobs, Janie Bell Miller, Ruth Beck, Annie Laurie Bates, Mary Dee McCoy, Margaret McKinney, Edna Mae Wright, Louise Ezell. Edith Toland, and Mattie Mae Sprouse.

Officers are elected every four months. The Assembly meets on the first and third Monday nights of each month at 7:30. The immediate past‑Worthy Adviser is Debbie Fulton and the present head of the Assembly is Jerri Hatfield. Membership is open to girls of good character between the ages of 12 and 18 years. At least one Mason or one member of the Eastern Star must be present at each meeting.


The Central Shrine Club organized during the early 1960s under the dispensation of Alzafar Shrine in San Antonio, but gave up the charter because of lack of leaders to carry on the monthly dinner meetings. to which the Shriners' ladies were invited.

The Coastal Plains Shrine Club was organized in 1970 under the auspices of the newly formed Al Amin Shrine at Corpus Christi. Charles L. Sisk is president and Eric Archer is secretary. Eligible for membership are Master Masons who have attained the rank of either Knight Templar or Thirty second Degree Scottish Rife.


A Chapter of Order of DeMolay for Boys has operated in Beeville

off and on'' since the 1920s, but is inactive now for the reason that no one had time to serve as Chapter Dad, leader of the chapter.

Stanfield Thompson served as Chapter Dad when the body was organized the first time. After several years Sam Pieper took charge of the youths, and still later Marion W. Young was the leader. Mr. Young finally had to give up the responsibility because of pressing business duties, and the Chapter was inactive for a number of years.

Earl Kletf reorganized the body while he was Worshipful Master of Beeville Masonic Lodge in 1957 and continued to lead the young men until 1969, when he, too, had to give up the work because he did not have the time to devote to it. The first Master Councilor under his eleven year regime was Jim Hayes of Chase Field, and the last one was Russell Young.

C. W. (Tubby) Hester assumed the Chapter Dad responsibilities, but after eight months he was forced to resign because of lack of time. The Chapter was temporarily suspended, but efforts are now under way to resuscitate the project, and before 1973 expires it is expected to become active again.

Qualifications for membership in DeMolay are: Boys of good character between the ages of 14 and 2 1 years. The Chapter Dad must be a Master Mason. The Masons sponsor the local Chapter.

The National Order of DeMolay for Boys was organized in Kansas City, Mo., in 1919 by Frank S. Land, a Mason. Since that time several million youths have been initiated info the fraternity.


Beeville Council No. 1653, Knights of Columbus. was organized in 1912 with fifty‑two charter members.

R. W. (Whizzy) Barry, who at that time was news editor of the Beeville Bee and who purchased the newspaper following the death of the publisher, W. 0. McCurdy, on June 19, 1913, became the first Grand Knight.

The charter members were R. W. Barry, Edmund Burke, Peter J. Burke, Joseph F. Burke. Richard Carroll, John A. Carvel, Thomas H. Clare, George Grover, Robert L. Harrison, Emil Henke, John W. Leahy, Hilary F. Rush, Sam H. Smith, William C. Stephenson, Benjamin Dudley Tarlton. Guy E. Teal, Harry W. Zowarka, H. W. Klein, Mark Gregory, Benjamin Gregory, Amos W. Mussett, Thomas P. Tucker, Ray J. Welder, Joseph B. Kemp,

Charles H. Kring, T. J. Buckley Jr., John Burke, Jerry Corrigan, J. E. Dolan, William Francis Dolan, Francis X. Dougherty, J. F. Dunn, John H. Wood, Jim Francis Goodwin Jr., P. T. Goodwin, Mark Jefferson Gregory, A. E. Kellmann, John Cornelius Murphy, G. J. Kutchler, David Charles Odem, H. E. Odem, J. F. Odem. George O'Neill, Desmond T. Pereira, C. P. Rachal, Rev. John H. Scheid, Owen Joseph Sheeran, R. J. Smith, William Thomas Thompson, and J. C. Wood.

The following short statement of the founding and purposes of the Knights of Columbus is taken from the New Catholic Dictionary, published in 1929 under the imprimatur of Patrick Cardinal Hayes and compiled and edited by five Catholic scholars:

''Knights of Columbus, a fraternal benefit society for Catholic men founded and incorporated in New Haven, Conn., in 1882, for the purpose of developing a practical Catholicity among its members, of promoting Catholic education and charity, and of furnishing at least temporary financial aid to the families of deceased members, by means of its insurance department.

''The order has grown rapidly and is now established in every one of the United States, in Mexico, Cuba, Panama. the Philippine Islands, Newfoundland, and Canada . . . The charitable accomplishments of the Knights of Columbus include beds endowed in Catholic hospitals, scholarships provided in Catholic colleges, the maintenance of free employment bureaus, distinguished services during the World War. and the foundation of a chair in American History at the Catholic University of America."

During the Bee County Centennial Celebration in 1958, the following were named chairmen for the six‑point program sponsored by Beeville Council of Knights of Columbus for the year 1958‑1959; J. M. Barnhart. general program chairman; the Rev. Louis Joseph, chaplain; John Hercek, Catholic activity; Charles C. Kohutek, fraternal activity,‑ Amos W. Musseti, Jr., membership‑insurance‑, John D. Rossi, public relations; and George Spikes, youth activity.

The present officers of the Council are: P. F. Malek, Grand Knight; Frank Smeikal, Deputy Grand Knight; Rudy Foitik, Recorcler; Hugh Brice, Treasurer; H. H. Laechelin Jr., Lecturer; George Bernsen, Advocate, Rudolf Mueller, Warden; Joe Olsen, Outside Guardian; Herbert Pivonka, Inside Guardian: Rev. Charles McNaboe, Chaplain; Robert Simnacher, Financial Secretary and Gus Smeikal. John Hersek, and Ed Kossa, Trustees.

Three members of the Beeville Council have served as District Deputy Grand Knights: W. 0. McCurdy, Frank Smejkal, and Ed Kossa.

Past‑Grand Knights of the council and the years that they served are: R. W. Barry, 1912‑1914; W. C. Stephenson, 1916‑1918; R. W. Barry. 1918‑1920‑, Tom P. Tucker, 1920‑1923; E. H. Henke, 1923‑1924‑, B. T. Gregory, 1924‑1928; Tom P. Tucker, 1928‑1930; W. C. Stephenson, 19301932; T. E. Gregory, 1932‑1935; N. D. Karl, 1935‑1937; Tom P. Tucker, 1937‑19387 J. E. Nowery, 1938‑1939; Tom P. Tucker, 1939‑1940; J. A. Nichols, 1940‑1941; D. M. Parchman, 1941‑1942‑, D. H. Sullivan, 19421943; D. H. Sullivan, 1946‑1947; A. R. Taylor, 1947‑1948‑, J. J. Muska, 1948‑1949; Charles Houlihan, 1949‑1951; John Zimmer, 1951‑1952; L. Helvenston, 1952‑1953; J. F. Young, 1953‑1954; H. Wehman, 1954‑1955‑, Stephen Fey, 1955‑1956; A. Wingenfer, 1956‑1957‑, Robert Adkins, 19571958; R. A. Foltik, 1959‑1960; Frank Smeikal, 1961‑19627 W. 0. McCurdy, 1963‑1964; Albert Leo McGuill, 1964‑1965; Tony Warzecha, 1966‑1967; Gus Smeikal, 1967‑1970; and P. F. Malek, 1971‑1972.

The James R. Dougherty Sr. Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Assembly was organized in 1965, and W. 0. McCurdy was the first Faithful Navigator. The charter members were: W. 0. McCurdy, Frank Smelkal, Robert Adkins, Paul Bauer, Bob Juenger, Bill Trial, George Spikes, Jim Frazier, Joe Olson, 1. P. O'Neil, and the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Harold Palmer.

The present officers of the Assembly are: Frank Smelkal, Faithful Navigator‑, Rober, Adkins, Faithful Admiral; Leo Strauss, Faithful Comptroller: Rudolf Mueller, Faithful Purser, and Ed Kossa, Faithful Captain.


Western Star Lodge No. 444, A.F.&A.M., was organized in Beeville in 1922, with Mitchell Hampton as Worshipful Master. Mr. Hampton served as head of the lodge for thirty years, and in 1952, Rieba Tucker was installed as Master, and served until 1968. The Rev. John C. Caruthers succeeded Mr. Tucker and had charge of the organization until 1972, when Macon Smith, the incumbent Master was installed.

The lodge is operating under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Saint Joseph Grand Lodge of Austin, Texas. There are twenty‑six members and six of them have attained the Thirty‑second Degree of Scottish Rite Masonry.

The Beeville members meet on first and third Tuesday nights in their two‑story temple at the corner of West Flournoy and Avenue B.

Present officers are: Macon Smith, Worshipful Master; Arthur Lee Liggins, Senior Warden; George McCarty, Junior Warden‑, Mitchell Hampton, Treasurer; B. W. Coates, Secretary; Aaron Smith, Senior Deacon; Clemente Ramon, Junior Deacon. and Robert Farris, Tiler.


Golden Leaf Chapter No. 593, Order of the Eastern Star, was organized in Beeville in 1928, and Mrs. Mary Canada was the first Worthy Matron and Mitchell Hampton was the Worthy Patron.

The Chapter meets in the Masonic Hall at the corner of West Flournoy and Avenue B, and there are eighteen members.

Present Officers are: Mrs. Anna Russell, Worthy Matron‑, Mitchell Hampton, Worthy Patron, Mrs. Catherine Coates, Associate Matron*, Miss Sammie Barefield, Conclucfress, Mrs. Rose Graves. Associate Conducfress; Mrs. Alma Hampton, Secretary; Mrs. Alice Green, Treasurer; Mrs. Susie B. Blackwell, Chaplain; Mrs. Velma Lewis, Assistant Chaplain; Robert Farris, Sentinel, and Mrs. Alice Green, Organist.

The Star Points officers are: Mrs. Jewel Tolliver, Adah; Miss Willaner Bess, Ruth*, Miss Darlene Davis, Esther‑, Mrs. May Alexander, Martha‑, Mrs. Mary Jo Easterling, Eiectra, and Mrs. Velma Johnson, Warda. Out of‑town members are Mrs. Dorothy Hodge and Mrs. Marsha Neil McLinn.

Aaron Smith is presently representing the Grand Chapter of Austin as District Deputy.


Pettus Masonic Lodge No. 1308 was chartered on December 2, 1948, and there were thirty charter members. The lodge was sponsored by Kenedy Masonic Lodge, and the first elected officers were: W. E. Fox, Worshipful Master; W. C. Meneley, Senior Warden. and A. A. Ware, Junior Warden.

The second floor of the W. T. Roberts Company general store was leased by the Masons for meeting quarters. In 1970, a temple was erected on the opposite side of the railroad tracks, and that is the permanent home of the lodge. The lots on which the structure was built were given by Mrs. John (Helen Harfzendorf) Shaw.

The first meeting held in the new temple was on April 6, 1970, with A. B. Smith presiding as Worshipful Master.

The late Gentry Dugat started the project of framing pictures of the Past‑Masters of the lodge and hanging them in the temple. He also gave the lodge a Currier & Ives painting of George Washington.

K. W. Hart presented the lodge with a crusader's sword. which is around nine hundred years old, with the following explanation: ''This ancient crusader's sword, 13th or 14th century, may have secured our ancient brethren from eavesdroppers, scoundrels, or ruffians, serving the filer well; if may have seen 'justice done' upon occasions‑, it may have settled a score upon the field of battle; if may have proven the honor of an ancient duelist. Let us trust that if remain only an ornament 'within the Iodge'‑a relic of past glory still as useful as ever, should occasion require.''

The Past-Masters of the lodge and the years they served follow: Ernest Fox, 1948; W. C. Meneley, 1949; C. R. Collier, 1950; J. S. Holmes, i951; T. W. Nelson, 1952; V. D. Eubanks, 1953‑, A. B. Hines, 1954; C. P. Beauchamp, 1955‑, J. D. Copeland, 1956; G. H. Davis, 1957; John Pogue, 1958; W. L. (Ed) Garner, 1959; John Shaw, 1960; Doyle Parker, 196 1 ; E. D. Williams, 1962; J. B. Vanhooser, 1963; W. K. Bateman, 1964; C. R. Jones, 1965; C. E. Briley, 1966; K. W. Hart, 1967; George Anderson, 1968; James Beauchamp, 1969; Arnold B. Smith. 1970; Arnold B. Smith, 1971

and Harmon Devall, Jr., 1972.

The charter members were: Kenneth R. Leggett, W. C. Meneley, D. Possoit, H. A. English, A. S. Hope, J. S. Holmes, R. S. Pearce, C. M. West, J. E. Roberts, Leroy Roberts, J. M. Matthews Sr., J. M. Matthews Jr., E. D. Miller, C. G. Barnard, A. S. Burris. C. R. Collier, W. E. Fox, Denver C. Roberts, J. W. Lockhart, A. A. Ware, L. R. LaComb, W. F. Morrison, Travis Hunt, J. M. Warfield, C. F. Randall, H. L. Devall, M. L. Clewis, B. L. Scott, Gentry Dugat, and George A. Ray Jr.

The present officers of the lodge are: Harmon Devall Jr., Worshipful Master; Gil Champagne, Senior Warden; H. L. Devall Sr., Junior Warden; Ernest Fox, Treasurer; John Shaw, Secretary‑, W. L. (Ed) Garner, Senior Deacon; T. E. Ball, Junior Deacon; John Fox, Tiler; K. W. Hart, Senior Steward‑, J. B. Vanhooser, Junior Steward, and George Anderson, Chaplain.

19 - History of Hospitals and Doctors; Bee County Officers  << 20 - Lodges and Fraternities >> 21 - Churches of Beeville


The Historical Story of Bee County Texas By Camp Ezell
Copyright 1973 by Camp Ezell and Beeville Publishing Co, Inc.
Table of Contents Forward Acknowledgements Introduction
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Pictures Corrections

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