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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

22 - Clubs and Organizations << 23 - Fragments of History >> 24-Pictures

Fragments of History


(FOREWORD: Some interesting history of early Bee County is gleaned through letters written by the late Mrs. Sallie Wilson Gillett. widow of the late Judge Roswell H. Gillett, which are now in possession of her great‑granddaughter. Mrs. William Moser of Beeville. One of the articles is as follows:)

By SALLIE WILSON GILLETT (Mrs. Roswell H. Gillett)

In the year 1858 1 came to what is now called Bee County. We traveled by wagon from Gonzales, and on the way my brothers built a little picket house for us to rest in. They dug a shallow well for water, and from the pink clay they made a floor for the little cabin.

We stayed there a week then continued on our way. There were no fences and the grass was like an endless sea, with islands of Live Oak frees here and there. We had to go slowly so our cattle would not tire. Finally we settled down by what is now Skidmore.

Now perhaps you would like to know how we lived in those days. Aunt Biddy, our faithful slave, came with us and the work she did, with so few facilities, was marvelous to behold.

In those days cattle were fat and from the tallow Aunt Biddy made candles. We had to depend upon our friends in Gonzales to send us beeswax to add firmness to the candles, as we had no bees. They also sent us dried fruits, for we had no fences to protect fruit frees.

In the evenings Aunt Biddy would go out to get bones. She would boil these in an ash hopper to make soap. During roasting‑ear time she would shell the corn and put it in great tubs of water. The foam would rise to the top and Aunt Biddy would skim off the loveliest white billows of starch you ever saw.

Aunt Biddy was purchased off the block in Memphis by my sister‑in-law’s father to be a wet nurse for her children. She had lust arrived from Africa. My father bought a husband for her, but he was a rogue and was later sold.

Her work was so good that my father never let her work in the fields. One day she did work, piling up corn stalks, and she labored so hard that my father fold her that she must never work in the fields again. She was so willing, true and good. When news of the emancipation came, Aunt Biddy was dying. We told her she was free and she replied: "I am as free as I ever want to be.''

One hot afternoon I went down to the pens to play, and there I beheld the strangest tall, shaggy beasts drinking wafer. I ran info the house, and in my excitement no one could guess what I had seen. Finally we found a picture of a camel in a book, and my beasts were identified.

There were three Wilson brothers (my brothers), and three Allsup brothers and one man called Jim Madray, whom everyone loved. We stayed in Bee County and finally a few houses or shacks were built. Then these people began to build more houses. Eventually we had a tiny schoolhouse, with very few pupils, on the Aransas.

In those days we all loved one another and depended on each other's help in times of sickness and trouble. Once when we were in danger of a raid our neighbors came to take us to safety. There was the loveliest bowl of cream in the kitchen and I couldn't bear to think of leaving if, so I drank it. To this day, I can't abide cream!


One of the most colorful characters Bee County ever had was a ranch woman, trader, gambler, and pistol‑totter named Sallie Scull, who lived at Dark Corner (Blanconia) during the 1850s through the 1870s.

Hobart Huson, in his masterful two‑volume ''History of Refugio County,'' wrote a thumbnail biography of this remarkable woman. using as authorities such writers as Judge W. L. Rea, Mrs. Sallie J. Burmeister, Rev. 0. W. Nolan, Mrs. Moses Simpson, and John Warren Hunter. Following is a condensation of some of the legendary reports those scribes gave on Bee County's most famous gun‑woman:

Sallie Newson came from a respectable family. She married a man named Scull, by whom she had two daughters. Following the death of her husband, she accepted a man's responsibilities and competed with men on a man's basis, asking no favors on account of her sex. She established a horse‑trading business at Blanconia in the 1850s when that settlement was part of Refugio County.

She did business on a large scale, trading horses from Mexico to the Eastern States. She spoke Spanish like a native of Mexico and had several Mexicans in her employ. She usually wore men's attire, rode astride, and had a pair of six‑guns scrapped to her waist. She was absolutely fearless, and on several occasions she went info Mexico with no other protection than her pistols. At that time the country was infested with bandits and cut‑throats and travelers were frequently murdered. But Sallie was a marksman and could shoot with either hand.

Colonel John Salmon Ford wrote in his Memoirs: ''The last incident at‑tracting the writer's attention occurred while he was at Kenney's Tank and wending his way homeward. He heard the report of a pistol, and raising his eyes saw a man falling to the ground and a woman not far away from him in the act of lowering a six‑shooter. She was a noted character named Sallie Scull. She was famed as a rough fighter, and prudent men did not wittingly provoke her into a row. It was understood that she was 'Justifiable in what she did on this occasion, having acted in self‑defense.'' (The incident occurred in 1854.)

Once Sallie learned that a certain man had uttered indiscrete criticism of her. One day she met him, jerked out her gun, leveled it on the man and yelled: ''Been talking about me, huh? Well you dance, you blanketyblank . . . ! Dance!'' And he danced, until Sallie felt he had paid for his indiscretion.

Sallie's second husband was named Robinson, who died. Her third husband was Bill Harsclorff. Judge Rae wrote: ''Bill Harsdorff was a tough customer himself. He is said to have killed Sallie down in the Mexican country. He is supposed to have shot her with a shotgun from behind a free, and to have thrown her body onto a brush pile and covered it with brush. He is said to have taken off her money belt and left the country.''

Sallie educated her two daughters in a boarding school in New Orleans. One of the daughters was the first wife of Ben Barber of Bee County, Mr. Huson related.


Past floods on Poesta Creek in Beeville and Medic, Creek near Pettus have caused loss of life and severe damage to businesses and residential property in the flood plain.

Poesta, Aransas, Talpacote, and Salt Creeks loin to form the Aransas River, and Medic, and Blanco Creeks and their tributaries unite to make the Mission River.

Major floods occurred on Peosta Creek in 1903, 1914, 1919, 1927, 1931, 1942, 1949, 1952, 1954, 1956, and 1967, according to a survey made by the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, of Galveston in 1969.

Of these eleven major floods, the 1903 and 1967 cloudbursts did the most damage and Poesta Creek in the Beeville area reached the highest watermarks in the rivulet's history.

Although the five‑day rainfall that produced the September 27, 1967 flood (spawned by Hurricane Beulah) gauged thirty‑one inches of moisture, the twelve‑inch cloudburst on July 3, 1903, which fell within a period of about four hours, sent Poesta Creek to its record high mark‑about one foot higher than the flood of 1967. Several Mexican citizens of the Mineral City community lost their lives, and all bridges on the stream were swept away by the torrential waters, according to the Beeville Bee and Beeville Picayune. The rain was general over Bee County, and all spans over Medio. Talpacote, and Aransas Creeks also went downstream to join the bay wafers of the Gulf of Mexico.

On October 25, 1960, a cloudburst fell in the northern part of Bee County and flood waters inundated the business section of the Pettus community, and a repeat performance occurred on September 27, 1967, (Hurricane Beulah flood) when the town again was deluged. Fortunately no lives were lost, although some residents were forced to climb to the tops of their homes for safety. Property damages ran into many thousands of dollars as the result of both floods, which were overflows from one of the tributaries of Medic, Creek.

During recent years farmers and ranchers have terraced their lands and as a result much of the wafer that normally would go down the streams, carrying with if valuable fertile soil that is so essential to the agricultural and livestock industries, is being absorbed by the ground. Nevertheless, the Corps of Army Engineers has issued this warning:

''Floods greater than those of the past can occur. Hydrological studies of past storms and floods on other streams in the region with similar topography and physical characteristics indicate that future floods on Poesta Creek (and the same can be said of all other rivulets in Bee County) could be significantly more severe than past floods. To begin a realistic program of flood damage reduction, area residents must know the elevations that future floods can be expected to reach land areas which may be flooded. These data are available.''


If will be recalled that the first Beeville was located on the east bank of Medio Creek, seven miles east of the present city of Beeville. That was when Bee County was organized in 1858. The post office, however, was called Medio Hill, and Michael Seeligson was the postmaster. according to the 1960 edition of Texas Almanac.

In 1859 when the county seat was moved to a settlement which the County Court named Maryville, and eight months later changed the name to Beeville, Henderson Williams became the first postmaster. The following served after Mr. Williams:

George W. McClanahan, N. C. Webster, T. Martin, Thomas R. Atkins, W. M. Smith, A. C. Jones, August Klein, R. B. Skaggs, John W. Flournoy, Walter Johnson, Mary E. Johnson, W. S. Howard, John W. Bell, John H. Ezell, James T, Ballard, Ellis Quinn, Paul Mueller, Lock M. Adkins, Dorothy Wilson Hancock, Dee Cherry Pagel, and Teal Adkins, the incumbent.


Since Bee County was created in 1857 and organized in 1858, the people who were living in this territory prior to that time were listed in the counties from which Bee County was taken. The first census (taken every ten years) shown in 1860 gave Bee County a population of 910.

During the 110 year period, from 1860 to 1970. the population by decades was as follows: 1860, 910; 1870, 1,082; 1880, 2,298, 1890, 3,720; 1900, 7.720; 1910, 12,090; 1920, 12,137; 1930, 15,721; 1940, 16,481; 1950, 18.174; 1960, 23.755, and 1970, 22,737.


The census fakers did not start with Beeville until 1890, and for the first two fen‑year periods the town's size was listed as ''estimated.'' In 1890, the estimated number of people living in the town was given as 1,31 1, and in 1900 it was 2,31 1.

The census takers were on the job from 1910 on, and gave Beeville the following figures: 1910, 3,269; 1920, 3,062; 1930, 4,806; 1940, 6,789; 1950, 9,348; 1960, 13.81 1, and 1970, 13,240.


The Beasley & Beasley law firm is the oldest business in Bee County in terms of continuous operation. It was established in 1876 by John Collier Beasley, who was born January 7. 1854, in Petersburg. Va., and came to Beeville in 1876.

Mr. Beasley graduated from the University of Virginia. In coming to Texas, he stopped for a short while at Ennis, then went to Rockport, where he taught school one term.

Arriving in Beeville, he began the practice of law, fen years before the railroad came In 1886. He married Miss Annie Mary Gramman of Victoria on December 7, 188 1. Mr. and Mrs. Beasley were the parents of four sons, John R., Robert J., and Browne, and William Henry who died in infancy.

For a number of years John W. Flournoy was associated with Mr. Beasley in the practice of law and in the real estate business. and they were largely responsible for the development of Washington Street as the main business thoroughfare of Beeville during the early 1890s.

In 1904, his son, John R. Beasley, joined him in the law practice and the firm name became Beasley & Beasley. In 1937, John C. Beasley 11, son of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Beasley, joined the firm.

The senior John C. Beasley died in 1937, and John R. Beasley passed away on March 1, 1970.

Today, John C. Beasley 11 is the senior member of the Beasley & Beasley law firm, and his son, John W. Beasley, a graduate of Saint Mary's University in San Antonio, is associated with him. In 1975, after graduating from Saint Mary's Law School, Tom Beasley, another son of John C. Beasley, will join the firm.

Thus it can be seen that the Beasley law firm, ninety‑seven years of age, is the oldest business (of continuous operation) in Bee County. The Beeville Bee, a ''Parent'' of the Beeville Bee‑Picayune, was established in 1886, and is the second oldest business in the county at the age of eighty‑seven years.


 By Mrs. Myrtle Brandis Thames

In 1873 along the road between Oakville and Mineral City, about five miles southwest of Mineral City, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Wright homesteaded 160 acres of land and built a home and a store. There were plans that this place would become a little town. It was on the main road called ''Camino Real,'' from Mexico City and Matamoros to San Antonio.

Caravans of oxcarts hauling freight, with Mexican drivers walking beside the carts, traveled this road often. Wright's store became a community center and a place for weary travelers to stop and water their oxen or horses. It seemed to be the beginning of a little town. Near this would be a suitable place for a graveyard.

A member of the Wright family died. The family selected a burying place under a big Live Oak tree east of the road and near their home. Some time later Allen Young died and was buried beside the grave of Mr. Wright. Old settlers fell of passing along the road in a wagon and seeing these graves under the oak free. The third grave was for Albert Wright. These three graves are located in what is now the northwest corner of the Mineral Cemetery. The big oak free died and has been cleared away. The three graves, unprotected by a fence for over sixty years, have been lost.

The oldest date on a tombstone is May 30, 1876. A four‑year‑old child, Ada McChesney, is buried there. Other graves were located east and south of this one. Some individual graves were enclosed by an iron railing. Some family lots had an iron fence and gate around them. When a person died, the men in the community dug the grave. Sometimes they would work all night, faking turns at digging.

In 1877 the ''Mineral well'' was dug and Mineral City became a thriving health resort. The town grew fast and was prosperous. The Wrights sold their land and moved their store and house to Mineral City in 1880.

When the railroad was built through Bee County, it was nine miles east of Mineral City. Main roads were made parallel to the railroad. The road from Oakville to Mineral City was not used much any more. When pastures were fenced there were too many gates to open. A lane was built along property lines to prevent cuffing off anyone's pasture. That is why there are so many corners in the lane southwest of Mineral. The old road was changed to a lane about one mile east of the graveyard. There was no road to the graveyard and no gate in the lane fence nearest there. This road was so rough and overgrown with brush that it could hardly be traveled. The men of the community decided they would have to repair the road.

They met with axes, grubbing hoes, and teams With scrapers and made the road wide enough for one wagon or car and leveled the roughest places.

In 1924, Harold Yoward deeded seven acres of land to the Mineral Cemetery Association. Otis Harris volunteered labor and a hired group, built a fence around the cemetery, made a circular driveway through if, and made a lane from the burial ground to the public road. There were double gates in this lane fence to let the cattle through on the day of a funeral. An oil company made an improved road which passed near the south side of the cemetery. Mr. Harris obtained permission for the public to use this road and he installed a cattle guard in the southeast corner.

In 1934 plans were made to dig a wafer well. Robert Thames used a forked switch to locate the wafer sand, which he found at a depth of 75 feet. The well was dug by hand with a drop auger. A hand pump was installed and a year later a windmill was erected. Several years later a cistern was added.

The first annual Memorial Day service was held in 1953. Galloway Funeral Home furnished a tent for shade and brought some chairs. The people realized the need for a pavilion. Otis Harris took up collections, and the pavilion was built and ready for use by the next Memorial Day. Mineral Baptist Church donated benches, and tables were built on which to place the delicious food for the dinner that followed the morning service. Later, money was donated by Dee Maley, Jesse Garner and Sam Copeland to pay for having the pavilion ceiled. Mr. Harris planted cedar trees which grew to form a wall, making the building shady and cool.

Since 1953, Memorial Day services have been held in the pavilion each year, with congregational singings, a talk, reading of the names of all who have been buried there since the preceding Memorial Day, and the annual business meeting of the Mineral Cemetery Association. A picnic dinner follows the program.


Beeville was honored by having one President of the United States deliver a short address as his train made a ''whistle stop" at the S.A.&A.P. depot here in 1909.

President William Howard Taft, the fwenty‑seventh President of this country, was scheduled to appear at the rear end of the Presidential Train when he was en route to La Quinfa, headquarters of the huge Taft ; I Ranch, for a visit with his half‑brother, Charles Phelps Taft. But when the train rolled into Beeville the President was asleep, and because he had experienced a frying day, his attendants would not awaken him.

Since automobiles in this area were scarce at that time, Sid Hall and A. F. Rees were asked to fake their cars to Taft and chauffeur the Presidential Party around the Gulf Coast area. Colle Hall drove one of the cars and Mr. Rees the other. Jacob M. Dickinson, Secretary of War under President Taft and the only Democrat member of the cabinet. was in the party.

When apprised of the fact that he had wandered to dreamland and failed to make his appearance in Beeville, the President contacted friends here and promised to make the talk on his return trip. The hour set was around nine o'clock at night.

A large crowd was present when the train pulled into the city and came to a stop. People came as near to the car as they could get so they could hear every word the distinguished visitor had to say. I was an enthusiastic member of that group.

The President was scheduled to deliver a five‑minute talk on a subject of his choice, but he was sidetracked by a man in the crowd whose conversational prolixity was simulated by a few swallows of strong drink.

After the Chief Executive had apologized for having taken a side trip to the Land of Nod when he passed through Beeville a few days previously, the inebriate in the gathering around the observation car said:

''Bill, what do you think of the Postal Savings Bank?''

Apparently paying no attention to the disrespect that had been shown the head of the United States Government, Mr. Taff said he favored the project, and expounded on the subject during the remaining three minutes of his allotted time. Then the whistle blew, and the President gave the people who had assembled a cordial farewell as the train departed.

Although Mr. Taft was the only President of the United States to visit Beeville, Lyndon Johnson came here on numerous occasions during the time he was serving as United States Senator, but never returned after he had assumed the duties as head of this government.


Thomas Collins, maternal grandfather of Rae Wood (Mrs. Amos) Welder, was born in 1816 in Armah County, Ireland. When a young man he sailed for Nova Scotia and after a short time spent there he went to New York for a while before sailing for New Orleans. In 1846 he joined General Zachary Taylor and his 3,000 soldiers who had been stationed on the Nueces River to do battle in Mexico.

Major General Winfield Scott was in command at the Baffle of Molino del Rey and when the fortress of Chapulfepec was stormed and captured on September 12 and 13, 1847, Thomas Collins was wounded in the leg by a saber thrust. The young Mexican cadets at the fort were trained in saber fighting. Collins was sent back to the United States.

In 1850 Thomas Collins and Sarah Howellton were married in New Orleans. They went to Matagorda and started a sheep ranch. Thomas extracted salt from the wafers of the Gulf which he took in a little boat and sold in Corpus Christi. While on one of his trips during the Civil War days some of the Northern soldiers raided the ranch. taking the sheep and killing the chickens.

In 1878 after a storm had wrought devastation to his home and ranch at Matagorda, Collins moved his family to some land near Pettus. His children, including Martha (Mattie) born in 1675 (mother of Rae Wood Welder), walked miles through tall grass and brush to attend the San Domingo School, the first [!‑I Bee County. The children often hid in the brush from Mexican bands‑.

Thomas Collins died on January 27, 1884, in Pettus.


In the 1870s if a young lady was fortunate to have an admirer she would receive a requesting note for a date like this: Compliments of Mr. Joe Doe to Miss Katie Blank, and respectfully solicits the pleasure of seeing her home this eve ‑ Conveyance to be buggy or horseback;

Just as it may suit your pleasure.

town date.


The first issues of the Beeville Bee in 1886 were made  of advertisements, most of them from San Antonio merchants, and stories from other towns, states and countries. There was velocal news. The newspaper did carry notices of the quests registered at the Brown Hotel and Ellis Hotel. Some of the guest; were from Kansas City, New Orleans and Beaumont.

One of the articles was entitled, What To Do With Our Girls, in which It was stated that salesladies received $3.50 per week and their feet got fired standing all day. They could be hired as servants on ranches. Women in newspaper offices were a nuisance. However, the writer knew one woman who was the best proofreader he had ever known. ''What to do with our girls? Marry them!''

Dr. D. M. Thurston's, Physician and Surgeon. ad ran regularly in each issue of the Bee in 1886, as did the ad for C. S. Phillips, dental surgeon.

The following are a few of the regular advertisements appearing in the Bee for the first year: Thos. Brundrett, agent for Hallaclay windmill', John Impson, contractor & builder‑, Eclipse windmill agent;

J. T. Byus & Co., dealers in groceries, dry goods, hardware. Highest cash prices paid for wool, hides and cotton. Mineral City. Later this store was sold to Fred B. Malone.

W. B. Hatch‑General Store, Papalote. Groceries, dry goods, boots and shoes; farm, ranch, and railroad supplies.

R. B. Skaggs‑Druggist & Stationer. Dealer in patent medicines, druggist sundries, fancy goods. paint, wallpaper, books, and 'jewelry. Agent for Cottonplant stoves and Hawks' crystallized spectacles and eye glasses.

T. J. Skaggs‑Dry Goods Emporium. Staple and fancy goods, millinery and confectionary. Carpets, matting a specialty.

Don Teas‑dealer in staple and fancy groceries, furniture, crockery, tin ware, etc. Quick Sales and small profits is my motto. New McCollom Building, Beeville.

Meals and bed‑each 25 cents. Mills Restaurant. Barbershop and bathroom in connection. St. Mary's Street opposite Clare's Stable.

C. P. Morris, Professor of Penmanship, who taught all over this section of the country, had a class in Beeville in 1886.

The Beeville Academy, designed for students of both sexes, opened in September 1886 with 78 pupils.


Mrs. H. B. (Jeanne Jones) Hause has in her possession many handwritten letters from C. P. Huntington to her great‑grandfather, Captain A. C. Jones, concerning another railroad line coming into Beeville. The letters were written between 1888 and 1892. C. P. Huntington lived in New York and was world‑wide known as the head of the Southern Pacific Railroads.


In December 1896, Carl Rankin, a prosperous farmer, living just west of Beeville, gathered 2.500 bushels of sweet potatoes from 15 acres which he had planted. He was selling them for 50 cents a bushel.‑Beeville Bee.

In July 1897, Robert Ezell (father of this writer) in sinking a well on the Thomas Welder Ranch brought up pieces of bones of a mastodon from a depth of 65 feet.‑Beeville Bee.

In January 1898, R. J. Cook purchased, at $2 an acre, 5.000 acres of land 14 miles west of Beeville, near Clareville, and embracing Mulas Hills and into Live Oak County.‑Beeville Bee.

D. Swickheimer sold the remaining 5,000 acres of his land in Bee County to J. C. Wood of Beeville for $3.75 per acre.‑Beeville Bee.

Mayes & Agee, druggists, sold hammocks at $1.25 and $2.25. "Poetry is in the gentle swing of the hammock.'' Beeville Bee, 1898.

Will Benning had a shoe‑shine box at Smith & Stapleton's Barber Shop and would call at anyone's home to do polishing.‑Beeville Bee 1898.

Some people, mostly druggists, were concerned about cancer in 1898. On May 5, 1898, patriotic speeches were made by local Mexican leaders in the Opera House which was gaily decorated with American, Mexican and Cuban flags in commemoration of the victory of the Mexican patriots over the imperialists at Puebla in 1866.‑Beeville Bee, May 6, 1898.


The engagement of Miss Genevieve Tarlton was announced by her father. Judge D. B. Tarlton, to J. R. Dougherty, Austin, March 24, 1911.

The following items are from the files of the 1911 Picayune: The Courthouse excavation laborers getting $1.25 per day struck for $1.50 . . . Sweet and Irish potatoes, also apples, came into town by the carloads, either sold at the railroad tracks or at the grocery warehouses . . . A carload of heaters came in for W. 0. Potter & Son in January which sold for $1.50 up . . . At the Cut‑Rate Cash Grocery Store, A. Q. Knight, owner, one could buy 100 pounds of Irish potatoes for $2, coaloil for 15 cents a gallon, smoked bacon for 18 cents per pound and soap ‑ any kind ‑ brought 25 cents for six bars . . . J. H. Thompson & Sons sold 16 pounds of sugar for $1 . . . On June 2, 1911, the Beeville Creamery turned out 1,161 pounds of buffer‑the largest amount for any week of the plant . . . In December the City Dads were concerned about the women in their velvet shoes having to step in the mud downtown. They also advocated a concrete crossing in town for the cows to cross . . .

Beeville was determined to get rid of the auto speed fiend. An ordinance was adopted which reduced the minimum speed from fifteen miles to eight miles per hour. Fine $5 to $100. Auto hogs are breeding trouble San Antonio Republic, June 22, 1911.

There were few sidewalks in Beeville, but in 1912 work began on 30,000 feet of cement walks and free delivery of mail started.

The following notice appeared in the Picayune, June 21, 1912: ''BIG BARN HOP dedicating Sid Smith's model farm west of Beeville some eight miles‑on evening of Friday. June 28, 1912. Proceeds to buy furniture in Smith Schoolhouse‑ready for use next school term.''

A carload of cans came in on August 1, 1912, for R. B. Jones, Grocer. The cans were sold to the members of the canning clubs.

Dog taxes‑August 1, 19 11 to July 3 1. 19 1 2‑must be paid by June I to the City Secretary. Male $1, and $1.50 for female.

In early 1913 Dan Troy, county clerk, announced that in 1907 there had been 179 marriage licenses, but in 1912, being leap year, there were 211 marriages.

In 1913 ladies' long coats could be bought at the local stores for $2.25 to $5. Boys' knee pants sold for 25 cents to $1.60, corsets 85 cents to $2, and colored silk petticoats for $2.98. ,

By 1913 the Beasley family had bought four automobiles. Mother Garrett made fresh yeast every week for sale at her home or at Musseff's. Everyone thought that one owed if to one's self to be well dressed. A bill was introduced in Austin for 125 days of schooling per year instead of 55 days which had been required for children.

"J. Frank Dobie of Beeville, who is attending Columbia University in New York, was awarded a $ 150 scholarship for making the top grade in English. ''‑Beeville Picayune, October 1913. Frank Doble's parents moved to Beeville while he was attending Southwestern University at Georgetown. Later he became professor of English at the University of Texas and conducted a popular class in ''Life and Literature of the Southwest.'' Mr. Dobie spent a year as a visiting professor of English at Cambridge. His books are gems of legends and folklore. At his death he left his estate outside of Austin to be used by writers and artists.

In 1931 during the depression, ground meat was 15 cents a pound, a f In ree‑ ' pound roast was 45 cents and a haircut was 30 cents. Today in 1973 the prices have zoomed for everything. These are sale prices at a local store: Bacon, 83 and 99 cents a pound; shoulder round roast, $1.15 per pound, and extra‑lean ground round meat is $1.49 per pound; potatoes, a five‑pound bag 79 cents, and chicken is 45 cents a pound. Barber shops charge $2.00 for haircuts and beauty shops ask $3.50 for a shampoo and set.

In 1934 when Mr. and Mrs. Reese Wade entered Beeville for the first time he stopped their car while they looked with amazement at the sky full of windmills, for it seemed every yard had one. The city waterworks and electric pumps have replaced most of the windmills in the town, but the county is still doffed with them. In the 1890s Beeville was called, ''A Forest of Windmills,'' Windmills were shipped here by carload lots during that time.


From 1961 to 1972 Raymond Eissier gave a free Thanksgiving dinner the Friday following Thanksgiving at the auction at Blueberry Hill for approximately 1000 people. Roberts' Antiques holds an auction occasionally of fine antiques and interested people come to bid and buy from miles around.

Rev. Jess M. Lunsford received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree Saturday, May 19, 1973, conferred by Mary Hardin‑Baylor College at Belton. Dr. B. C. Brown of the First Baptist Church received his honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Howard Payne College in Brownwood on August 2 1, 1959. Dr. Carroll Jones had the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred on him by the University of Corpus Christi on May 29, 1961. The three men are Baptist ministers.

The president of Bee County College, Grady C. Hogue, received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Corpus Christi August of 1972.

''What God Hath Wrought,'' History of the Blanco Baptist Association, 1873‑1973, written by Mrs. Carroll (Cora) Jones. is being published and will soon be released for sale.

Mrs. Ruth Hardcastle, head of the Cosmetology Department of Bee County College, in the three years that classes have been held in beauty salon work, has prepared 60 graduates to successfully pass the State Board examination. There have been no failures.

Lloyd Gregory, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Gregory, was born and reared in Beeville. He was for many years managing editor of the Houston Post and a long‑time advertising executive in Houston. For the past 25 years he has been chairman of the Battleship Texas Commission and it was through his influence that the ship was anchored in the Houston Ship Channel near the San Jacinto Battleground. At the observance of the 137th anniversary of the victory baffle giving Texas her freedom, Mr. Gregory was honored 'in a ceremony for his efforts. Lloyd always comes home to attend the annual reunion of his 1916 A. C. Jones High School graduating class.


(I June 1943 to present)

I June 1943‑22 July 1943 .... ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ LCDR. George T. McCufchan

22 July 1943‑5 Aug. 1943 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑ LCDR. E. S. Spangler

5 Aug. 1943‑13 June 1945 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑ .‑.CDR. A. R. Nash

13 June 1945‑7 March 1946 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ LCDR. W. A. Mathews

7 March 1946‑Chase Field was placed on a caretaker basis due to reduction in training. Six officers and 90 enlisted men made up the command. LCDR. W. A. Mathews was relieved by LCDR. A. L. Rausch as Commanding Officer.

14 Aug. 1952‑Navy paid $100,000 to Beeville for Chase Field. Personnel on board Chase Field included 6 civilians, I secretary and LT. W. J. Colins.

23 Nov. 1953‑Chase Field was designated as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station with LCDR. S. M. Tharp, Jr., appointed Officer in Charge.

I April 1954‑2 July 1954 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CDR. William H. Keighley

2 July 1954‑18 July 1954 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. W. L. Wiclhelm 18 July 1954‑27 Aug. 1954 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CDR. William H. Keighley

27 Aug. 1954‑14 July 1956 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. H. M. Avery

14 July 1956‑1 July 1957 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Arthur B. Sweet

I July 1957‑15 July 1958 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ __ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. T. D. Harris


15 July 1958‑1 Sept. 1959 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ _ ‑‑‑ CAPT. G. H. Duffy

I Sept. 1959‑7 Sept. 1961 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Sam E. Clark

7 Sept. 1961‑17 Aug. 1963 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. R. F. Trudeau

17 Aug. 1963‑23 Sept. 1965 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Joseph A. Pariseau

23 Sept. 1965‑23 Aug. 1967 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ CAPT. Walter C. Blatfman

23 Aug. 1967‑8 Sept. 1967 ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ CDR. Aubrey L. Gibson

8 Sept. 1967‑31 March 1969 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Gerald E. Peddicord

31 March 1969‑14 April 1969 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑_ CAPT. Joseph L, Morgan

14 Apr. 1969‑23 July 1971 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Hal B. Stewart

23 July 1971‑8 Sept. 1972 ‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Robert P. S rm1fh

8 Sept. 1972‑preserf _C;A P I. Robert E. Ferouson


Joyce Jones wif‑ cT' Lieutenant Colonel Robert Jones

au‑hter‑i r ‑law c' 11 e Rev, Dr

~ I) , and Mrs. Carroll Jones of Beeville,

p~a~ ' ~e(` a v,‑ogram on t,‑)e marnril pipe organ in Notre Dame Cathedral in Par's Sunday morning, May 27, 1973.

The organist, who is booked in the United States by Community Concerts Association, is on a concert tour of Europe, but her first performance was at the famous Catholic cathedral which was completed in 13 13??.

Joyce Jones Is a daughter of Mrs. Frank Gilstrap and the late Mr. Gilstrap of George West. She started piano studies under Miss Josephine Canfield of George West. Later she turned to the organ and has studied with some of the great teachers of the United States, Germany, and France. She gave a recital in Beeville several years ago. Her husband is a chaplain in the United States Army.


Helen and I have been members of the RcQ~cri.lclan order (A.M.O.R.C.) for more than forty‑five years. We are botl[~ p,~s‑‑masfers of the Philadelphia Lodge and i served twenty years as Grc~ri_‑' ‑.cuncilor of the South western States for the Grand Lodge at San Jose, During the years we have been in Beeville we have had some distinguished Rosicrucian officers as guests in our home, including: Ralph M. Lewis, Im I perafor of the world‑wide order, and Ms. Lewis of San Jose; Dr. Albert Doss of Cairo, Egypt, a past‑master of the Cairo Lodge who has become a naturalized citizen of the United Staies and is now a pracflc'lng psychiatrist in Ra

leigh, N. C.; the Rev. Dr. William C. Clark of Lindsborg, Kan., who suc ceeded me as Grand Councilor; Harold Stevens of Mayville, N. Y., Grand Councilor for the Northeastern States, and Mrs. Stevens; and hundreds of Rosicrucian members, from throughout the United States as well as from foreign countries. All of the officers were favorably impressed with Bee ville and Bee County.


This is the end of the verbal Historical Story of Bee County, Texas. The next forty pages will be a recapitulation of the annals of the county in picture form.

This has been the biggest assignment I have ever attempted, yet if has also been the most interesting and enjoyable writing task during my sixty‑two years of writing experience.

I am deeply indebted to my wife, Helen, who has been a tremendous help, and to the many people who have loaned pictures and offered historical items for consideration. Without the help of friends a work of this kind could never become a success.

I hope that you like it!
CAMP EZELL, the Author

22 - Clubs and Organizations << 23 - Fragments of History >> 24-Pictures


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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