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
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 erected.
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
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
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
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 their teachers.
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
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 fashions.
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
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,
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 incumbent.
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 area.
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 ranching.
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
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
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 library.
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 week.
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
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
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
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
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,
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 present date.
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 books.
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
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 the company.
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
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
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 reading.
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
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
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
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
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.