Clubs and organizations have played an important part in the
progress of the citizens of Bee County, both culturally and
civically, and since the early days the people have been club
The first clubs were for pleasure, and cards and dominoes were
popular forms of entertainment for both young and old. In the early
1900s Five Hundred Clubs were organized, and by 191 1 the card
players turned to bridge and whist.
The Harmony Club, comprised of men and women, had many talented
members and delighted audiences with programs in 1898. The Dugat
Orchestra, composed of Estelle, Edith, Camille, Cecile, Mabel and
Sid Dugat and their mother, Mrs. W. S. Dugat, frequently had parts
on the programs.
In the 1890s and early 1900s the men had an Anniversary Club which
met once a month, and birthday dinners were served at the Nations
Hotel. Dr. L. E. Parr, W. 0'. McCurdy, Jim Dougherty, B. W.
Klipsfein, and John E. Wilson were among the members.
The Beeville Club was organized in 1910, and the social event of the
year was given by the men for their ladies. This was a strictly
In January 191 1 Jewel Malone was hostess to the Girls Five Hundred
Club with the following members present: Lucille Barber, Lillian
Bauer, Viola Blakesfad, Lilly Heldenfels, Rosalie Law, Loleef New,
Mary Clair and Myrtle O'Reilly, Elizabeth Praeger, Jessie Ryan, and
By 1912, Forty‑two Clubs were popular. Some of the hostesses were
Mrs. R. M. Prather, Mrs. E. Blakestad, Mrs. August Meinrath, Mrs. J.
C. Beasley, Mrs. Sam Mitchell, Mrs. Will Geffert, Mrs. Robert
Beasley, Mrs. John R. Beasley, Mrs. John Wheeler. Mrs. J. S. Davis,
Mrs. Carl Heldenfels, Mrs. J. W. Cook, Mrs. J. C. Borrourn, Mrs. C.
L. Kimbrough. Miss Mary Brown, Miss George Offutt. and Miss Mabel
Mrs. C. 1. Swan organized the Country Woman's Club in Normanna on
April 5, 1912. Mrs. Percy Pennybacker of Austin was present. This
was the only country woman's club in the United States at that time.
Mrs. Swan was president for several years.
The Girls Canning Club was formed in 1912 under the sponsorship of
Miss Lida Dougherty, with Mrs. Mae Click as the girls' leader. Mrs.
Click was the first home demonstration agent in Bee County.
A member of the club, Lucile Johnson. age twelve, won first prize
for her article in the Picayune about her project. She described how
she planted the tomato seeds and cared for the plants. She canned
and sold 583 cans of tomatoes. The club members canned and sold over
2000 cans. Lucile also sold fresh tomatoes for 25 and 35 cents a
basket. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Johnson and a niece
of the late Mrs. Sidney Smith. The Johnson home still stands among
the beautiful oaks lust across the line in Live Oak County. After
Lucile grew into womanhood she worked many years at the Courthouse
and for Elliott & Waldron Title & Guaranty Co. in George West. She
is now retired.
There was also a Bee County Poultry Club for both boys and girls in
The Merry Maids Club in 1912 gave popular parties. The members were:
Boonle McCoy, Sibyl Smith, Merle Dodd, Helen, Margaret and Mary
Lacks, Letitia Law, Roma Ivey, Gladys Rees, Minnie Rice, Intha
Collins, Mae Von Logsden and Margaret Perkins.
Mrs. S. J. Coleman was the matron of the B‑Natural Club in the early
teens. Anna Brauer was president, and later pursued her musical
studies in Germany.
In 1913 two active members of the Blue Bird Club were Cora Lee
Gregory and her cousin, Catherine Gregory.
The Stitch and Chatter Club was organized in 1913 with a teenage
membership consisting of Eloise Laws, Ray Wood, Marjorie Wilson,
Aleene Smith, Alice Ballard, Eleanor Campbell and Dorothy Chambliss
as charter members. Later Lida Ransom, Hallie Gefferf, Blanche
Partain and Marguerlte Partain joined the sewing and chatting. 'Then
Anna Brauer, Hattie Merle Gregory, Ruth Prather, Lillian Marsden,
Edwina and Emily Harris, Olive Klipstein, Fannie Mae Brown, Martha
McCurdy, Grace Teas, Mary Simons, Edith Walker, Judy Addle Nunnelly
and Fay Gregory affiliated with the club. Different matrons in the
county entertained the girls and gave them sewing instruction.
In the early teens there was the lively A.D.D. Club composed of
twelve teenage girls whose main interest was parties. The meaning of
the initials. A.D.D., was strictly secret, but has now been revealed
to stand for ''A Dozen Darlings.'' Some of the darlings were
Marjorie Wilson, Aleene Smith. Ray Wood, and Eleanor Campbell.
Two of the other girls' clubs at this time were the Bow Knot and the
The first meeting of the Women's Federated Clubs of Bee County was
held in the Methodist Bungalow on October 30, 1914, with Mrs. J. P.
McDowell presiding. Clubs represented were: Skidmore Civic Club,
Normanna Country Woman's Club, Mineral Literary Club, and the
Beeville clubs, Merry Oaks Woman's Club, Mothers Club, Women's
Christian Temperance Union. and Rosetta.
HISTORY OF BEE COUNTY 207
Mrs. C. 1. Swan gave a talk on political science, She also led a
discussion on patriotism. Mrs. J. K. Constantine gave a paper on
civics, Mrs. McDowell talked on Bee County relics, and Mrs. W. R.
Marsh on motherhood.
In the 1930s the Jesters Club was organized with Mrs. J. A. (Marie)
Donley as one of the leaders, The members studied and reviewed books
During the war years in the 1940s the women were engaged in Red
Cross and USO work.
In the middle 1950s the Red Slipper Dancing Club was organized for
the young teenagers with their parents as the chaperons.
Parent‑Teacher Associations have been active throughout the county
for many years.
Beeville has an active Golden Age Club for senior citizens,
The Firemen's Auxiliary ladies give moral support to the Fire
Department composed of volunteers. They meet regularly and give
entertainments occasionallly. The Ambulance Auxiliary Ladies are
also active in the same way.
By Fielen Y. Ezell
At a 1901 pre‑Christmas party with Mrs. John C. Beasley as hostess,
plans were made to organize a literary study club. In early January
1902, an organizational meeting was held at the home of Mrs. B. W.
Klipstein, under the leadership of Mrs. L. B. (Mattie) Randall. The
Bronte Club of Victoria was the sponsor of the new Beeville club and
it became federated with the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs in
The club was named "Rosetta'' after the famous Rosetta Stone, the
key to the Egyptian language. The motto was "Ad astra per aspera"
(to the stars through difficulties). The flower selected was the
yellow rose and the colors were white and yellow.
Officers elected were: Mrs. L. B. Randall, President; Mrs. B. W.
Klipstein, Vice President, and Miss Lorene Jones,
The membership was composed of Mrs. John C. Beasley, Miss Jennie
Berry, Mrs. J. C. Burrows, Mrs. John P. Buelow, Miss Florence Bell,
Mrs. Fred G. Chambliss, Mrs. J. C. Dougherty, Mrs. George Fizer,
Mrs. William H. George, Miss Lorene Jones, Miss Margaret Kennedy,
Mrs. William W. Jones, Mrs. B. W. Klipsfein, Mrs. Robert Law, Mrs.
Herschel P. Mathews, Mrs. Hugh F. Marr, Miss Mattie Mussetf, Mrs. L.
B. Randall, Mrs. Riley Smith, Miss Nannye Teal, Miss Grace Welder
and Miss Elizabeth Wood. Honorary members were Mrs. F, R. Pricham of
Victoria, and Mrs. A. C. Jones, the step‑grandmofher of the late A.
C. (Dick) Jones.
The official meeting of the club was held on Friday, January 31,
1902. with Miss Jennie Berry as hostess. The course of study for the
first year was Shakespeare and American Literature. The club met
every Friday for two hours from September into June for several
years. Then the meeting time was changed to Tuesdays, later in 1915
to every other week. and finally to once a month. The club now meets
from October to May.
The club met for the first several years in homes, at Miss Lida
Dougherty's office, then at the Methodist Bungalow and for several
years at the Home Economics Cottage on the high school grounds. In
1937 the Rosetta Club, Business & Professional Women's Club, and the
now defunct Jesters Club acquired a building from the Baptist Church
and moved it to a lot given to them by the City. It was named the
United Clubs Building and became Rosetta's meeting place for
approximately thirty years. The little library which Rosetta was
sponsoring was moved from the Bungalow to the club building. The
Rosetta members now meet at the Country Club, and the library has
its own beautiful building, given by Mrs. James R. Doughe rty.
At first the Rosetta Club was a congenial group of women coming
together to have stimulating courses of study to improve their
minds, but they were not content with this, so began to expand their
thoughts and deeds. Their obiective changed from their own
self‑improvement to a goal that not only stimulated intelligent
development for themselves, but took in plans which tended toward
the elevation or general good of the community. The club has never
departed from this policy in its seventyone years of existence.
One of the club's first civic projects was a city park, donated to
the club by B. W. Klipsfein whose wife was a member. On May 19,
1908, Rosetta's Park was formally dedicated to the public. The women
planted trees and shrubs and cared for the park until 19 14, when it
was deeded to the City of Beeville and officially named Klipsfein
Park in honor of the giver of the block of land.
The Rosetta members were not only 'interested in their own park, but
also in the beautification of Beeville. They set out shrubs and
planted flowers on the Courthouse Square. They planted frees and
sponsored plantexchange days. They had flower shows and held garden
pilgrimages many times throughout the years.
During the presidencies of Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen, 1950‑1952. and
Mrs. Reese Wade, 1952‑1953, with Mrs. Camp Ezell as chairman, a
general beautification program was successful. All club members
assisted in this project and local merchants and professional men
The Rosetta Club's keenest interest from almost the beginning of its
organization has been the library. The members took over the small
collection of books started by the pioneer women in 1887, adding to
if whenever possible. They sold ice cream and pound cake at supper
parties at Klipstein Park during the summer months. A band played in
the bandstand. The money received from these events went to purchase
The first fiesta the club held was in the late 1940s at Klipstein
Park. Crafts and food were sold to obtain money for their projects.
The fiestas became gala affairs and were held annually for more than
twenty years. The Business & Professional Women's Club and other
local clubs assisted Rosetta in these events, the proceeds going to
the library to purchase books.
During the last three years Rosetta has sponsored talent shows with
public and parochial school students performing as another means of
raising money for the Bee County Public Library. Altogether more
than $26,000 has been contributed by Rosetta.
In October 1963, the Rosetta Club sponsored the Friends of the
Library with Mrs. R. C. Harris as organizer and Mrs. John Monroe and
Mrs. C. S. Harris, Rosetta members, serving with her. (Note chapter
on the library.)
In 1964 the club donated $100 for a children' s school library in
Peru to be named Inez Spielhagen in honor of Mrs. Spielhagen.
The club has contributed heavily to the local Youth Center.
In August 1908 the club sponsored the Lyceum which presented twelve
performances here. In 1909 the cantata, Queen Esther, with local
talent, was sponsored. The Rosetta members helped with the Civic
Music and later with Community Concerts membership drives annually.
On January 27, 1905, the traveling art gallery, under the patronage
of the Texas Federated Women's Clubs, had an exhibition here which
was sponsored by the Rosetta Club. In 1947 and 1948 the club brought
the Texas Fine Art Exhibitions to Beeville.
In 1951 the Children's Art Show was inaugurated by the late Louella
Jones Borglum and has since been an annual event. In 1958 with Mrs.
George Morrill as chairman the art show was expanded to include all
children in Bee County. At thaf time 622 pictures were shown and
there was an attendance of over 1200 people. The club donated $75 in
prizes to the children. The years following have shown a tremendous
increase 'in the quantify and qualify of pictures of the shows as
well as in attendance. All the schools cooperate.
In 1959 an art exhibition from the Coppini Art Studio in San Antonio
was held in the United Clubs Building under the auspices of the
The club had many programs on safety and was influential in having
drivers' education put into effect at A. C. Jones High School in
1951. Since 1953 U. R. Pfenninger, instructor, and other teachers
have successfully carried on the drivers' education program.
The Bee County Centennial Celebration was held in October 1958 with
Rosetta members participating on many committees. Mrs. Camp Ezell,
club president at the time, was the Spectacle Division chairman and
Mrs. A. C. Jones had charge of the museum.
The club in 1960 started the far‑reaching Literacy Program under the
leadership of Mrs. Fred Latcham Jr. Workshops were conducted by
Robert Likens of Baylor University for volunteers from various
groups, clubs and churches in Bee County. Fifty persons weie trained
to teach the Laubach Method for adult illiterates to write and speak
English. Rosetta members gave their time and money.
Mrs. Latcharn and Mrs. Ezell instructed teachers in Pettus and
Normanna to give the programs in those communities. Mrs. Paul Schulz
In 1964 the Rosetta Club began a new approach to the literacy
program in the county. Mrs. Fred Grevelle was appointed chairman.
She made talks to other organizations. A total of $ 105 was received
for the project from Beta Sigma Phi Chapter, Rotary, Kiwanis,
Soroptimist Club, and the Junior Service League. Freddy Moreno,
druggist, lent his aid. John Rossi, KIBL owner, and the announcers,
Rick Martinez and Al Velasquez, and the Bee‑Picayune were
instrumental in reaching those who wanted to learn how to read and
write English. Two‑hour weekly sessions were held at night at the A.
C. Jones High School. George Briggs and Allen Donaho, teachers in
the high school who spoke Spanish fluently, were the instructors.
In May 1965, seventeen students received certificates for having
completed courses. The fall classes saw many more students enrolled.
Rosetta gave $150 to each of the two instructors for fifteen‑week
courses in the winter of 1965.
The club sponsored a pre‑school for Mexican‑American children. This
created so much interest that if helped the Beeville Independent
School District get government approval for a federal grant of
$26,845 for Project Head‑Start.
In 1964, Rosetta added another facet to their educational program
when the members learned that children in some of the schools in the
Philippines had no books or school supplies. Over 800 discarded
books from the local school system were sent to them. Included were
pre‑school books and books through all the grades. Mrs. Robert Webb
of Berclair donafed a set of Compton's Encyclopedias and story
books; Truman Gill's Beeville Coca‑Cola Bottling Company donated
paper; the Jones High School Student Council gave a gross of
pencils; Edward N. Jones gave a gross of pencils and the Beeville
Publishing Company contributed other supplies for the children of
S. R. Wofford's Hermes Transfer Company hauled the many boxes to the
Post Office, free of charge. The Rosetta Club paid the postage and
donated time and money for this overseas project which received
worldwide publicity. Mrs. James R. Dougherty through the Rosetta
Club gave money for a wheel chair for a crippled child and two
Philippine children's eye operafions.
Mrs. Viggo Gruy in 1960 raised $250 for a nurse's scholarship in
honor of Mrs. Dougher[y.
The Rosetta Club Was hostess to the board meeting of the Fifth
District Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, in the fall of 1958 in
Beeville, and to the Alamo TFWC in 1970.
Rosetta, with other local women's clubs assisfing, held the Fifth
District TFWC Twerify‑sevenfli annua; convention here, May 1‑3,
1928. The Wednesday Luncheon Club and the Home Arts Club gave a
barbecue at the Dick Cook Ranch for the convention members. Sam
Ezell rendered a violin solo at ‑The gala fine arfs evening for the
The Alamo District TFWC annual convention under the auspices of the
Rosetta Club was held in Beeville in March 1963. The state TFWC
President Mrs. A. T. Carleton, aflended. In March 1970 the Alamo
District convention was held in Beeville under the sponsorship of
Rosetta and the club will again sponsor the convention in March
Throughout the years Rosetta Club and many of its members have
received honors and hundreds of awards, from the district
especially, and many from the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs and
a few in the General Federation.
For d two‑year period‑ 1960‑1 962‑for work done in behalf of art and
art Interest, Mrs. Camp Ezell as State TFWC Art Chairman won second
place from General Federation of Women's Clubs (world‑wide) both for
Texas and herself.
In 1960 the Warren LeBourveau family was the Texas State winner 'in
the All‑American Family Contest. They received many gifts and a trip
to Florida to meet with other winners. The Rosetta Club sponsored
Mrs. Gordon Noble in 1960 won first in the sewing contest TFWC Fifth
District. In 1961 Miss Mary Louise Everett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
Ned Everett, won the Vogue Sewing Contest in the sludent division in
Alamo District TFWC. She was sponsored by Rosetta.
In May 1962 at a TFWC State Convention in San Antonio the Rosetta
Club was presented a certificate and a $300 check from Sears
Foundation for the state community achievement award. Mrs. George
Morrill was the club president and Mrs. Camp Ezell and Mrs. Dan
Conoly were the commiffee for the Community Achievement Program.
The Leadership Development Woman of the Year is always an
outstanding award both for the member and for the club to receive
such recognifion. The Rosetta members who have received this honor
are: Mrs. 1915, D. E. Beedy; 1916, Jesse A. Chase; 1917, Jesse A.
Chase; 1918, Camp Ezell. 1959, Fifth TFWC District‑, Mrs. Viggo Gruy,
1960, Fifth TFWC District; Mrs. Fred Lafcham, 1962, Alamo District,
and in 1967, Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen from Alamo District.
In 1962, Mrs. James R. Dougherty received the Mother of the Year
award from both the Alamo District and the TFWC. Mrs. J. M. Barnhart
received the Alamo District award for the Mother of the Year in
Mrs. John Rossi was chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Drive and was
recognized for her work. and the Rosetta Club received a bronze
plaque from MDA Chapter Bexar County of the Muscular Dystrophy
Association of America for services given.
Rosetta member Mrs. Teal Adkins was asked by Senator Ralph
Yarborough and other solons to go to Washington and present her
paper on making Padre Island a National Park. Mrs. Adkins, the only
woman member of Governor Price Daniel's Park Study Committee of
fifteen members, had been a speaker on the subject in Corpus Christi
at a meeting about Padre Island.
The bill for Padre Island to become a National Park (81 miles long
on the Gulf) was to come up before the House and there was strong
opposifion to it.
Mrs. Adkins was unable to go, but she was given $250 from the local
banks to defray the expenses of the dentist, Dr. Jimmy Bauer of
Refugio, to go to Washington and read her paper.
Mrs. Adkins received the following message from the Secretary of the
Interior: ''Many thanks for your great work that made the Padre
Seashore possible. With admiration, Stewart Udall.'' (January,
Mrs. Adkins was also a member of Governor Daniel's State‑wide Water
Conservation Committee and chairman of TFWC Conservation Committee.
Throughout the years Rosetta members have been on both the old Fifth
TFWC District, now Alamo District, and the state TFWC Boards.
Mrs. Spielhagen was president of the Alamo District TFWC, 1964‑1966,
having been first and third vice presidents prior to being
president. Mrs. C. S. Harris held office for six years in the Alamo
District and is now the president. Her term will end in 1974.
Rosetta officers installed in May are: Mrs. John Galloway,
President,Mrs. R. J. Welder Jr., First Vice President; Mrs. Burke
Ellwood. Second Vice President; Mrs. Joe Burke, Third Vice
President; Mrs. Dudley Braly, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Edward
Wicker, Corresponding Secretary, and Mrs. R. J. Findley, Treasurer.
Past‑Presidents are: Mrs. Louis Randall, 1902‑1905; Mrs. B. W.
Klipstein, 1905‑1906; Mrs. Fred G. Chambliss, 1907‑19M Mrs. B. W.
Klipsfein, 19081909; Mrs. Fred G. Charribliss, 1909‑191 1; Miss Lida
Dougherty, 19111913; Miss Matfie Musseft, 1913‑1914; Mrs. J. P.
McDowell (Maffle Mussett), 1914‑1915; Mrs. Fred G. Chambliss,
1915‑1916; Mrs. J. Chris Dougherty, 1916‑1917; Mrs. J. W. Brown,
1917‑1918; Mrs. J. R. Scott, 1918‑1919: Mrs. J. W. Brown, 19
19‑1920; Mrs. S. Lightlocurne, 1920‑1922; Mrs. James R. Dougherty,
1922‑1924; Mrs. A. C. Jones, 1924‑1925; Mrs. J. C. Burrows,
1925‑1926; Mrs. A. C. Jones, 1926‑1928; Miss Mary Brown, 19281929;
Mrs. H. E. Lancaster, 1929‑1931; Mrs. J. R. Beasley, 1931‑1933: Mrs.
Haggard Ray. 1933‑1935; Mrs. James R. Dougherty, 1935‑1936; Mrs. L.
J. Freeman, 1936‑1938; Mrs. H. E. Lancaster, 1938‑1939; Mrs. R. J.
Welder, 1939‑1940; Mrs. A. H. Geiselbrecht, 1940‑1942; Mrs. Rex
West, 1942‑1944; Mrs. G. A. Ray Jr., 1944‑1946: Mrs. W. D. Walton,
19461948; Mrs. Wallace McKinney, 1948‑1950; Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen,
19501952; Mrs. Reese Wade, 1952‑1953; Mrs. John Rossi, 1953‑1954;
Mrs. J. M. Barnhart, 1954‑1956; Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen, 1956‑1957;
Mrs. Camp Ezell, 1957‑1959; Mrs. Dan Conoly Sr., 1959‑1961; Mrs.
George Morrill, 1961‑1963; Mrs. Edward N. Jones, 1963‑1965; Mrs. Joe
C. Faulkner, 19651966; Mrs. C. S. Harris. 1966‑1968; Mrs. William B.
Moser Jr., 1968‑1969; Mrs. Dan Conoly Jr., 1969‑1970; Mrs. Fred
Grevelle, 1970‑1972: Mrs. George Spikes, 1972‑1973.
BEEVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT
Ellis M. Quinn, former mayor of Beeville and a charter member of the
Beeville Fire Department which was organized on January 3, 1905,
wrote the history of the Fire Department for the Centennial Edition
of the Beeville Bee‑Picayune on October 16, 1958. Mr. Quinn died in
1970. The facts recorded in this history, up to the time of the
Centennial Celebration, are gleaned from his article. Additional
information from 1958 to the present came from department heads.
The charter members were Louis Beyeff, George Fahr, George Atkins,
Charley Wright, Charley Sheldon, Frank McKinney, Stanfield Thompson,
Dave Stockbridge and Ellis Quinn. All of these men have passed over
to the Great Beyond.
According to the early issues of the Beeville Bee, there were no
fire plugs in the town, and while people answered fire alarms, which
consisted of blowing whistles and firing guns, the only way they
could fight conflagrations was with garden hose attached to the
cistern that was furnished water by a windmill.
In 1905, when the department was officially formed, the only
fire‑fighting equipment the firemen had was the "bucket brigade,''
as there was only one fire plug in the city. If was located at the
corner of Washington and Bowie Streets.
The Beeville Cotton Oil Mill, then located about where the
Whataburger restaurant now stands, had the only hose in the city.
Any time a fire developed in the proximity of the plug, Jim Hermes,
operator of a dray drawn by a pair of mules, would drive to the oil
mill, get the hose, and bring it to the fire. Many people attended
the fires and brought their buckets to help spread wafer on the
Beeville was incorporated on June 1, 1908. with John R. Beasley as
mayor, under the aldermanic form of government. Shortly after that
date the City Council purchased a chemical hand‑drawn
hook‑and‑ladder truck and a two‑wheel hose apparatus that would hold
three hundred feet of hose. That equipment was housed in a small
corrugated iron building just north of Hotel Kohler.
The Fire Department always entered the Bee County Fair parade each
year, and W. T. Thompson, then an undertaker and later mayor of
Beeville, provided a team of beautiful black horses to pull the
truck in the line of march.
When the department was organized, and for a number of years
afterward, there were no paved streets lin Beeville. Mr. Quinn said
the boys had as much trouble traversing the rugged and muddy roads
(streets) as they did in extinguishing the blaze after their arrival
at the scene of the conflagration.
In 1925, they received their first piece of pumping equ*ipmenf‑a Rio
truck that would pump 350 gallons per minute. The Chevrolet chassis
was bought in 1927. and the firemen built a truck onto if. The
Southern truck was bought that year and was sold to Brown & Root of
Corpus Christ11n 1940. The American LaFrance was purchased in 1929,
and in 1940 the Diamond T special booster was added to the
During the early days of the organization several big fires
destroyed downtown business property. On the night of January 3 1,
1907, nineteen frame buildings on the 100 block of North Washington
Street and West Bowie Street were destroyed by fire. Exactly one
year to the day‑January 3 1. 1 908‑the other side (east) of
Washington Street was razed by flames, including the old post office
building where the Rialto Theatre now stands. However, the post
office had just been vacated.
Other big fires 'included:
Lindell Hotel, formerly the Commercial Hotel, and originally the
Ellis Hotel, located where the Mobil Service Center now stands at
corner of Washington and Corpus Christi Streets, burned to the
ground in 1908.
Saint Charles Hotel, on property now occupied by Grant Lumber Co..
burned in the early 1900s.
Bee County Courthouse, erected on the public square by Viggo Kohler
in 1879 at a cost of $3425, was consumed by flames on January 15,
Nations Hotel, formerly the Barclay Hotel, located across the street
from the present Post Office on St. Mary's Street, was burned down
Beeville's super deluxe Grand Opera House, built in 1907, was
destroyed by fire one night during Christmas week in 1919.
The heaviest damage caused by any conflagrations in Beeville since
the town started occurred on the night of January 25, 1964, when
fire broke out in the basement of Hall's Store on Washington Street.
Buildings destroyed were: The old First National Bank building.
occupied by Mergele's Jewelers, Ballard Drug Store, and Hall's Store
on the ground floor and the Dougherty offices on the second floor.
Approximately fifteen years ago, the firemen prevailed upon the
Commissioners Court to assume some of the responsibility for the
operation of the Fire Department because many of the alarms answered
were to residences and places of business outside the city limits of
Beeville. Since then the Commissioners Court has provided a monthly
stipend to help the City of Beeville finance the operation of the
Louis Beyett was the first Fire Chief. Others who led the men in
exfinquishing blazes were: N. B. Walker, A. F. Lufts, R. H. Berry,
Ellis Quinn. Louis Fox, Stanfield Thompson, Charley Stockbridge,
Robert Sonley, Fritz Leverman, Henry Eissler, Fritz Leverman (second
time), A. J. Bryan, Clyde Jenkins, and C. M. (Smiffy) Smith, the
incumbent who has been chief since 1950, a total of fwenty‑three
In World War 1, fourteen firemen joined the United States armed
forces. In World War 11. fhirfy‑one went into service and three of
fhese‑Mlfchell Davis, Bussie Black, and Jack Whife‑made the supreme
One of the early Mothers Clubs was organized, with Mrs. C. 1. Swan
assisting, on May 8, 191 1. Mrs. J. W. Flournoy was President; Mrs.
W. R. Marsh, Vice President; Mrs. F. E. Mills, Secretary‑, Mrs. S.
V. Thurston, Corresponding Secretary, and Mrs. F. E. Perkins,
They planted trees and in 1912 gave $10 for dirt to be placed in low
places around drinking fountains on school grounds,
The present Mothers Club was organized on March 25, 1937, at the
Mary May Flower Garden with charter members as follows: Mrs. Wayne
Amick, Mrs. J. N. Barineau. Mrs. Roy Boggus, Mrs. C. A. Davis, Mrs.
Bill Dugat, Mrs. C. C. McCall, Mrs. R. N. Mills, Mrs. E. T. Musseff,
Mrs. Marvin Nutt, Mrs. W. R. Opful. Mrs. Jesse Walker, Mrs. J. 1.
Warner, and Mrs. Harry Golstein, and the officers were: Mrs. Allen
Marsden, Presi. denf; Mrs. J. D. Douthif, Vice President; Mrs. E. H.
McCombs. Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. J. C. Cafes, Librarian; Mrs.
A. L. McGuill, SecretaryTreasurer. and Mrs. Earl 1. Tingley,
The members paid $ 120 for a set of books on child training and
characfer building which was purchased through the organizer, Mrs.
Virginia Rice, representative of the Child Conservation League of
America. These books were studied and discussed.
The club sponsored a Tom Thumb Wedding and bought playground
equipment for the children in the area of what Is now the Chambliss
The club became inactive during the war years in the 1940s due to
the mothers being engaged in Red Cross work. In 1949 the interest in
the club became renewed and Flossie Neal became president. The
presidents following her were: Monte Spikes, Catherine Athey, Jennie
Alley, Gladys Diebel. Margaret Gardner, Lulan Fraser, Mary Wroten,
Mildred Wilson, Bettye Lucas, Helen Kassen, Jamie Robertson,
Elizabeth Millikin, Beth Pasley, Diana Braly, Sue Ellwood, Kay
Hjartberg, Nancy Bell, Ann Stark, Patti Adair, Elizabeth Galloway,
Paula Duffy, Pat Scott, Kathy Workman and Jodi Hueqler.
The club members work each year with the March of Dimes program.
The newly elected officers are Mrs. Eddie Dunn, President; Mrs. John
W. Beasley, First Vice President; Mrs. Allen Dunn, Second Vice
President'. Mrs. Buddy Brown, Recording Secretary,‑ Mrs. John Green,
Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. Ron Coldeway, Treasurer; Mrs. Johnny
Smejkal, Parliameniarian, and Mrs. Clifton Trllca, Reporter.
THE PARENTS CLUB
In the early 1950s the Parents Club was organized for mothers with
preschool children. Each month a speaker talks on some phase of
child guidance or training. Often the children play a part on the
In 1963 four books‑''The Infant and Child in the Culture of Today''
by Gesell and 11g; ''The Child From Five to Ten,'' by the same
authors; ''The Years From Ten to Sixteen'' by Gesell, IIg and Louise
Bates Ames and ''Parents Ask'' by Frances L. I1g and Louise Bates
Ames‑were given to the Bee County Public Library in honor of Dr.
Ernest E. Miller.
The present officers of the club are: Mrs. E. J. New, President;
Mrs. Joe Maley, First Vice President‑, Mrs. Russell Joy, Second Vice
President; Mrs. James DeVoe, Secretary‑ Reporter‑, Mrs. D. R.
Sugarek, Treasurer, and Mrs. Ed McKay, Parliamentarian.
On May 17, 1912, the Rev. George M. Boyd, Methodist minister,
received a Certificate for Scoutmaster from the Boy Scouts of
America which entitled him to organize a troop in Beeville. A little
later this was done, and Beevilie had one of the first troops to be
organized in Texas (either the second or third one). The program was
for character building and citizenship training.
The following are some of the members of this first troop: Alex Cox.
Lloyd Gregory, Warren Bates, Loren Bates, Ford Lockett, Festus
Carroll, Maurice Simons, Clemence Chase. Henry Dobie. Lee Dobie, Ben
Laws, Warren Young, CurHs Walker, Jarvis Miller and Shannon Miller.
Many men of this community have given their time and service to
forward the Boy Scout movement. Earl Hunt was known as ''Mr. Boy
Scout of Beeville.''
Ralph Jackson, George A. Ray Jr., Joe Wroten, Lee Dirks, Earl Hunt,
James V. Beauchamp, J. T. (Red) Carter, Marion Young, Robert
Beasley, 1. P. O'Neil, John Shanks, Tom Brown and Sam Pieper are
some of the scoutmasters receiving the Silver Beaver Award for
service. Sam Pieper is on the Executive Board of the Alamo Council
of Boy Scouts of America.
CAMP FIRE GIRLS
In 1912 Mrs. W. H. Laws organized the Camp Fire Girls which was
active in the teens. If has recently been revived by some of the
The Girl Scouts was organized in 1939 with some of the businessmen
sponsoring it. Miss Gertrude Linke was one of the first leaders and
she continued in the work for several years after she married Alex
Cowie. The program of a Girl Scout is character training and to
enjoy and to be trained in outdoor living. Mrs. Alex Cox was one of
the early workers. Mrs. Frank Boyd in the late 1940s became a
leader. Mrs. Douglas Henslee was the Neighborhood Chairman. Bee was
one of the four counties of the Girl Scout Whooping Crane body. Mrs.
Ned Everett. Mrs. John M. Turner and Mrs. A. A. Nelson were leaders
in the 1950s. Mrs. Lincoln Borglum. leader, with her husband,
Lincoln Borglum, and Mrs. Nelson often took their froop of girls to
the Girl Scout Camp at Copano Bay for fun and instruction. Mrs. Joe
Ramirez Jr. was a worker. Mrs. John Hester, Mrs. Kenneth McClintock,
Mrs. Charles Stewart, Mrs. C. O. Chesnutt, and Mrs. Scott McNeill
worked with the Brownies, the seven and eight‑year‑olds, in the
Some of the Navy Wives who have been trained in the Girl Scout work
have contributed their time. Mrs. Charles Darnell. Mrs. Robert
Phillips are active in the work, as is Mrs. W. H. Blount, along with
many other women in the community.
TWO AMERICAN LEGION POSTS
There are two American Legion Posts in Beeville and they work
cooperatively for the best interests of the men and women who have
served the United States Government in the armed forces.
Bee County American Legion Post 274 was organized about 1920,
following the close of World War 1. Records have been lost, many of
the early members have died or moved away, and consequently
historical data is not available. Dr. Houston Neeley, who served in
the Army Medical Corps in World War 1, organized the veterans and it
is believed that he became the first commander.
Some of the other heads of the post were Lee Dirks, Clarence Miller,
Louis Lee, Frank O'Reilly, Irving Saltzman, George Frels and Rowland
The Bee County Post gained fame in about 1942 when Lee Dirks wrote a
resolution endorsing the passage of the GI Bill of Rights, the Post
adopted the measure, Mr. Dirks carried it to the Department of
Texas, where it was approved, and he was delegated to present it at
the National American Legion Convention in California for final
approval. After that the measure was adopted by the U.S. Government
and if became a law.
Teal Adkins is the present commander and A. B. Moore is adjutant.
The building the Post occupies was given to the veterans by the City
of Beeville. It formerly was a dance hall on the Fair Grounds
property. The Legionnaires razed the building and erected It on
their property soufh of the city on the Refugio Highway.
Charles Major Lytle Post 818 was named for a Negro man, Charles
Major Lytle, who was killed while in defense of his country in World
War 1. The late Judge James R. Dougherty, prominent Beeville
attorney, oil producer and philanthropist, donated several lots on
which to build a Legion Post Hall and some money to help pay for the
construction work, and the building was erecled in 1952 on West
Hefferman Street. The members sold barbecue dinners and paid out the
The Post was organized in 1946 with sixteen charter members. Lymas
Langley Jr. was the first commander, and following him were: Carl
Mayberry, George McCarty, Lymas Langley, and the present commander
is Eugene Langley. James H. (Pete) Lewis is the adlutanf. There are
twentyseven active members today.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The official name of the civic organization that has been boosting
this area for more than severty‑five years has been the Chamber of
Commerce of Beeville and Bee County, Texas, Inc.. since if was
chartered in 1940. But if had several other names prior to that
The first community promoter was called the Bee County Immigration
Association, organized in 1888 with L. F. Roberts as president. In
1899 the name was changed to Beeville Business Men's Club. In 1911
the Young Men's Progressive League was formed, with John B. Daniels
as secretary. W. R. Marsh succeeded Mr. Daniels and served the
league a number of years. In 1925 the civic body became known as the
Chamber of Commerce, and Sid Kring was its manager. A year later Irl
F. Cherry assumed the duties and worked for the interests of Bee
County nineteen years.
Since the chamber was chartered in 1940, the following have served
Dr. Ernest Miller, 1940; H. C. Brinkoeter, 1941; Dewey Pieratt,
1942; R. A. Hall, 1943‑, C. R. Gordon, 1944‑1945‑, A. E. Newsom,
1946; Cliff C. Mccall; 1947; A. E. Newsom, 1948*, Reese Wade, 1949;
W. C. Dahlman, 1950; John M. Turner, 1951; K. A. Bennett, 1952;
Gerald Workman, 1953; F. T. Williams, 1954; F. W. Parsons, 1955;
Charles Galloway, 1956; Edwin Turnipseede, 1957*, Henry Hall Jr.,
1958; Edward M. Neal. 1959; A. C. Short, 1960; A. E. Newsom, 19617
Malcolm Slay, 1962‑, W. B. Phillips, 1963; Fred Latcham, 1964; W. D.
McCarty, 1965‑, Ross Parflow, 1966; Dr. Dudley Braly, 1967; Edwin
Diebel, 1968, Edward M. Neal, 1969; Burke Ellwood, 1970; J. E.
Chesnut, 1971; Dr. M. P. Huckman, 1972, and Charles Galloway, 1973.
Frank Atkins has served as Executive Vice President of the
organization since September 1967.
BEEVILLE ROTARY CLUB
The Beeville Rotary Club, oldest civic club in Bee County, was
organized May 14, 192 1, under the sponsorship of the Victoria club.
The Rev. Edward H. Hudson, Presbyterian minister, was the first
president. The charter members were: Mr. Hudson, Blaine Barry, R. W.
(Whizzie) Barry, Earl B. Hunt Paul Mueller, John R. Beasley, Will
Geffert. Jesse A. Chase, Dr. Lawrence Griffin, Ernest Bond. George
H. Atkins, Bob Smith, George Faupel, R. J. (Dick) Cook, Prof. W. E.
Madderra, Buck McKinney, Mose Harris, Ellis Cowart, Alvin Brauer,
Dr. Houston Neeley, Ben Coin. and Emory Johnson.
The Beeville club is the parent of the Goliad and Pettus clubs, and
furnished one District Governor, the late Dave Stockbridge, in 1949.
The first big meeting the club sponsored was when Governor Pat Neff
visited Beeville on October 17, 1922.
During the early days of the organization. the Wheelmen were active
in boys club work in its relation with the public schools. For many
years the local Rotarians maintained a Scholarship Loan Fund for
students who desired to enter college, and helped many youths to
complete their university studies.
For sixteen years the Beeville Rotarians have presented the Rotary
Award to two outstanding members of the Senior Class of Jones High
School at graduation time, in the form of a gold watch for the boy
and the girl selected by a committee.
Present officers are: Charles Reynolds, president; Albert McGuill,
Vice President; Robert Wingenfer. Treasurer7 Charles Altimore,
Secretary; Norris Rider, Sergeant‑at‑Arms. and Dean Patton,
Parliamentarian. The officers and Robert Hollingsworth constitute
the Board of Directors.
The club celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary on Wednesday. May 19,
1971, at 7:30 p.m., with a Ladies Night Banquet at the Country Club.
Dr. Dudley Braly was chairman of the event.
Rotarians the world over emphasize the original slogan of Rotary
International: ''Service above self . . . He profits most who serves
best." Also stressed is the Four‑Way Test: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is
it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build good will and better
friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The Beeville Rotary Club helped to establish the Youth Center for
area high school students. The club paid the salary of the director.
In 1947 they raised the salary to $50 a month. Also in that year
they donated $250 to the city to help purchase street markers, gave
the Garden Club $50 for their free‑planting campaign, and paid for a
case to house an iron lung purchased by the VFW through
contributions from throughout the city.
Rotary has sent boys to Boys State, has been a prime force in
organizing and supporting the Bee County Junior Livestock and
Homemakers Show, and has organized and supported Boy Scout Troops.
For over twenty‑five years the Rotary Club has been host to the
seniors of A. C. Jones High School at the weekly Wednesday Rotary
In April 1960, the club hosted the District Conference for District
584 .of Rotary International. District Governor Sloan Bafchlor of
Kerrville presided and Rotarlans came from as far away as San Angelo
and Eagle Pass.
The Rotary Club has been active in charity drives for Gonzales Warm
'Springs Foundation, Goodwill Industries, U.S. Savings Bonds,
American Cancer Society, the Bee County TB Association and Easfer
Seals and Christmas Seals drives. Rotary twice has brought musicians
to Beeville for the cultural improvement of the area.
Through the years several drives for free plantings in parks, and
highway safety were club projects. Rotary helped organize the Pony
League and Tommy Wroten was first president. Today the league has
merged with the Colt League and is called the Babe Ruth League.
Rotary still sponsors a team.
The Beeville Club is 300 per cent in donations to the Rotary
Foundafion, which provides financial backing for the Rotary Exchange
Student Program. In 1972‑73 the first Rotary student attended Bee
County College. He was Anders Anderson from Denmark and lived in
Beeville in the homes of Rotarians Anders Benander and President
In 1972‑73 the Rotary Club gave financial support to the exchange
student, Babe Ruth League, Community Concerts, Junior Livestock and
Homemakers Show. and the Youth Center.
Past‑Presidents of the club are: 1921. Rev. Edward H. Hudson; 1922,
Blaine Barry; 1923, James T. Ballard; 1924, Jesse A. Chase*, 1925,
George H. Atkins‑, 1926, Earl B. Hunt; 1927, Truman M. Gill; 1928,
Robert A. Hall; 1929, Dr. Howard Lancaster‑, 1930, Tom Tucker and
Dr. W. H. Jenkins‑, 1931, Ed Laski; 1932, Alwyn King‑, 1933, Rev.
Dan Laning and Jack Forgason: 1934, B. C. Davis; 1935, H. C.
Brinkoeter‑, 1936, Paul Russell; 1937, Robert Marshall‑, 1938, Dr.
Ernest Miller‑, 1939, Howard Hambleton and Dr. Tom Reagan; 1940,
Henry Eissler‑, 1941, John L. Huder; 1942, Monroe Fairly; 1943,
Dewey Pieratt; 1944. John H. O'Connor; 1945, Candler R. Gordon,
1946, H. E. Yoward; 1947, Dave Stockbridge‑, 1948, Robert Beasley‑,
1949, Rev. W. J. Coleman, 1950, Ralph Jackson‑, 1951. Portwood
Alley; 1952, John Shanks; 1953, George Brown; 1954, Lincoln
Borglum‑, 1955, Rev. Everett Y. Seale: 1956, Jimmy Goodman‑, 1957,
Charles W. Barnes‑, 1958, Dean Patton; 1959, Fred C. Lafcham Jr.;
1960, Dr. Scoff McNeill Jr.: 1961, Thomas W. Wroten; 1962, W. D.
McCarty‑, 1963, Burke Ellwood‑, 1964, Dr. Dudley Braly; 1965, Dr.
Orville Schroeder; 1966, William B. Moser Jr.; 1967, Fred Grevelle;
1968, Lester W. McCoy‑, 1969, Grady Hogue; 1970, Dr. Jerry Berryman;
1971, Robert Hollingsworth, and 1972, Charles Reynolds.
At a meeting of the club on March 7, 1973, the following officers
were elected for 1973‑74: Albert McGuill, President‑, Charles
Altimore. President‑elect; Robert Winqenfer, Vice President; Alex
Kibler, Treasurer, and Norris Rider, Sergeant‑at‑Arms. They will be
installed at the first meeting in July.
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S CLUB
The Business & Professional Women's Club was organized May 25, 1922,
in Beeville only three years after the National Federation of
Business & Professional Women's Clubs started in St. Louis in 1919.
The objective was to have members become better business women for a
better business world and to be civic minded. The club became
federated with the National Federation.
The charter members were: Dr. Catherine Compton. Miss Kathleen
Compton, Mrs. S. M. Corbin, Miss Mary Cochran, Miss Sula Brown, Miss
Tennie Brown, Mrs. S. R. Davis, Miss Earle Darby, Miss Fannie Doble,
Mrs. Sidney Dugat, Miss Gertrude Linke, Miss Helen Ransom and Mrs.
Etta W. Ringold.
The officers for the first year were: Dr. Catherine Compton,
President; Miss Fannie Dobie, Vice President; Miss Helen Ransom,
Recording Secretary; Mrs. S. R. Davis, Corresponding Secretary, and
Miss Sula Brown, Treasurer.
The greatest difficulty the club had during the first years was
findingplaces to meet. The members met in homes, the Commercial
National Bank, Hotel Kohler. the Presbyterian Annex, in Miss Dobie's
office, the office of the J. W. Brown & Company and in 1927 in Mrs.
Dugat's studio until 1938, when the Baptist Annex was bought in
connection with the Jester Club and Rosetta Club. The first meeting
in their remodeled United Clubs Building (as the structure was
named) was held on May 12, 1938. This was the meeting place for
almost thirty years.
From the beginning of the organization the club has helped promote
better working conditions for women. Girls have been assisted with
their education and in 1936 money was donated to buy uniforms for
members of the high school band. In 1937 the club sponsored the Girl
Scouts. In the early 1950s the B&PW (as the club is often called)
gave Mexican suppers in connection with the Rosetta Fiesta for the
benefit of the public library. The club in this way raised a total
of approximately $2000 which was donated to buy books for the Bee
County Public Library. Contributions are made yearly to the United
Mrs. Mona Seymour Nuff is the oldest continuing member. She was
voted info the club on July 26, 193S. Mrs. Grace Bauer is next in
The past‑presidents: Dr. Catherine Compton, Miss Fannie Dobie, Miss
Kathleen Compton, Miss Ezra E. Grimes, Mrs. W. R. Marsh, Miss Mary
Wofford, Miss Kathleen Compton, Miss Gertrude Linke, Miss Daisy
Rapp, Mrs. R. A. Hall, Mrs. Nelle New, Mrs. R. A. Hall. Miss Nelle
Stoltzfus, Mrs. Gladys Kenworthy, Miss Carrie Wright. Mrs. Nelle
Swinebroad, Mrs. Lera K. Knight, Miss Blanche Crumpler, Miss Mary
Wofford, Mrs. X. A. Dunn, Mrs. Nell Richter, Miss LaNelle Trepfow,
Miss Margaret Kinkler, Mrs. Margaret Kinkler Farley, Mrs. Ina Pearl
Brundrett, Mrs. Lera K. Knight, Miss Marie Mills, Mrs. Lydia Kubala,
Mrs. Lera K. Knight Miss Mary Wofford, Miss Willynne Rabb, Miss Mary
Wofford, Mrs. Isabella Becker, Miss Jewel Gibson, Miss Donna Maley,
Mrs. Lucille Minniffi. Mrs. Lola O'Donnell, Mrs. Nina Park, Mrs.
Eloise Davis, Mrs. Anna Lee Lackey, Mrs. Ruth Anderson, Mrs. Myrtle
Barber and Mrs. Lola O'Donnell.
The incoming officers are: Mrs. Marjorie Routh, President; Mrs.
Marjorie Fuson, Vice President‑, Mrs. Thelma Barnett, Treasurer;
Mrs. Cathy Heard, Secretary, and Mrs. Lois Chesnutt, Recording
HOME ARTS CLUB
By Helen Y. Ezell
The Home Arts Club, under the direction of Mrs. Pryor Lucas and Mrs.
George Atkins. was organized on January 5, 1924. They ''believed the
health of a nation was to be found in the homes of the people'' and
they desired to contribute in small ways to the betterment of this
community. They felt that by coming together in a club each month
for discussions and programs this could be done.
Mrs. Lucas became the first president and Mrs. Atkins was secretary
treasurer. The other members were Mrs. L. N. Connally, Mrs. S. R.
Davis, Mrs. T. M. Gill, Mrs. W. H. Miller. Mrs. F. M. McKinney and
Mrs. H. L. McKinney.
Club membership was limited to twenty, elected unanimously by club
members. This is still the rule. The first objectives were
threefold: The promotion of art in the home, the study of home
management. and child welfare. The motto was ''To be of service to
others.'' The club meets in members' homes, the fourth Wednesday of
each month from September to May, for programs, feasting and
In civic work the members have cooperated in community affairs. The
club contributes regularly of the Red Cross and other worthwhile
projects. In the early years a street‑grading program was fostered.
For the first twenty‑five years or more the Home Arts Club gave an
annual grandmothers' party, the elderly ones of the county being the
honorees. Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets are delivered to
several needy families. Money Is donated to the Special Education
Class each year for a Christmas party.
The club members assisted with the Youth Center. For many years
until the last two years they maintained a milk fund at the Jackson
School which provided for 35 cups of milk daily to underprivileged
children during the school terms. The club now contributes to FISH.
On May 1, 1928, the club, with the Wednesday Luncheon Club, gave a
barbecue on the Cook Ranch for the delegation of the Convention of
Fifth District Texas Federation of Women's Clubs. They were meeting
in Beeville under the sponsorship of the Rosetta Club.
In January 1964 the Home Arts members celebrated their fortieth
anniversary with a tea. They are making plans for celebrating the
fiftieth year in 1974. Mrs. F. M. (Carrie) McKinney and Mrs. L. N.
(Lena May) Connally. both charter members, and Mrs. John (Ina)
Teague are on the Planning Committee.
The Past‑Presidents of the Home Arts Club besides Mrs. Lucas are:
Mrs. W. H. Miller, Mrs. F. M. McKinney, Mrs. C. M. Poff, Mrs. W. C.
Binford, Mrs. R. A. Hall, Mrs. S. R. Davis, Mrs. F. M. Simmons, Mrs.
C. E. Hall, Mrs. W. G. Gayle, Mrs. A. F. Sonberg, Mrs. L. N.
Connally, Mrs. R. S. VanSickle, Mrs. A. H. Geiselbrecht, Mrs. Hance
Hamilton, Mrs. A. C. Andrews. Mrs. Joe M. Barnhart, Mrs. John
Teague, Mrs. A. J. Frels, Mrs. R. J. Findley, Mrs. Glenn Prine, Mrs.
R. W. Dwigans, Mrs. C. L. Cox. Mrs. Grover Impson. Mrs. Toscoe
Knight, Mrs. Thomas Wroten and Mrs. Camp Ezell.
Mrs. J. R. McGuffin of Dinero was installed as president with Mrs.
W. R. Custer as vice president in May 1973.
WEDNESDAY LUNCHEON CLUB
The Wednesday Luncheon Club was organized in the home of Mrs. J. R.
Scott on May 8, 1924. The officers elected were Mrs. T. B. Knight,
President; Mrs. Lonnie Borrourn, Secretary; Mrs. C. M. Poff, Critic;
Mrs. J. R. Scoff, Parliamentarian, and Mrs. 1. F. Cherry, Press
Reporter. The motto chosen was, ''Count that day lost whose low
descending sun views from thy hand no worthy deed done.''
The object of the group was as follows: To stimulate and improve the
mind and further those plans which tend toward the general good of
the community and country as a whole. Interesting programs are
presented each meeting.
The charter members were Mrs. R. L. Atkins, Mrs. M. W. Bates, Mrs.
Lonnie Borrourn, Mrs. 1. F. Cherry, Mrs. L. L. Griffin, Mrs. T. B.
Knight. Mrs. S. B. Malone, Mrs. S. C. Mitchell, Mrs. C. M. Poff,
Mrs. George A. Ray, Mrs. Leroy Roberts, and Mrs. J. R. Scott.
Mrs. Lonnie Borrourn had the first luncheon meeting of the club in
her home. The luncheons were held at first in homes of the members,
and later in Hotel Kohler on the second Thursdays of the month. The
club now has the luncheon meetings at the Country Club.
In 1931 the Wednesday Luncheon Club was federated by the Texas
Federation of Women's Clubs. The members have always been interested
in the safety programs, especially for children. The club donated
playground equipment for Flournoy Park, cooperated in cleanup
campaigns for Beeville, and planted trees and shrubs. It has also
had a student loan fund and scholarship fund. Regular contributions
are made to FISH.
Two charter members, Mrs. T. B. Knight and Mrs. Lonnie Borrourn, are
still active. Mrs. Knight wrote the club's song.
Mrs. Clyde Hebert is the president and Mrs. Joe Wade is the incoming
The Beta Club was organized as a study group in 1930 at the home of
Mrs. Sidney Hall with Mrs. Henry Hall as hostess. Mrs. Howard
Lancaster was the sponsor. Mrs. Studeman was the organizer. Entrance
fee was $39.95 which included the purchase of books required for
reading. Louise Hunter was president and the other officers were
Dolores Mitchell, Alleene McNeill and Norma Laski. Besides the
officers the following were charter members: Mary Welder, Mae
Forgason, Monna Ray, Ann Reed, Irma Jenkins, and Gladys Hall.
The members met the second Friday of each month for a luncheon and
program. They met for many years at Hotel Kohler and now meet at the
Country Club. 'One of their civic projects was contributing to and
being one of the sponsors of the Youth Center.
The present officers are Inez Spielhagen, President‑, Charlene
Ramirez, Vice President; Mary Bills, Secretary; Hal Adair,
Treasurer, and Doris Jackson, Reporter.
BEEVILLE KIWANIS CLUB
The Beeville Kiwanis Club was organized on May 9, 1935, and since
that time the members have been avidly engaged in civic work. The
Kiwanis Club of Alice sponsored the birth of the local club.
Jack Hathaway was the first president, and serving with him were
Nick Karl, Vice President‑, Otto Schvab, Secretary, and Bert L.
The charter members were: Bill Algea, Bob Atkinson, J. B. Arnold,
Gene Bagley, John Blackburn, Harold Buckler, J. P. Deer, Hubert
Degosserie, J. D. Doufhlf, J. P. Foster, Charles Galloway, Paul
Granberry, Paul Hart, Jack Hathaway, Rev. Sam B. Hill, R. J. Hintz,
Arthur Holland, H. Leroy Hunt, Nick Karl, Charles Kimbrough, Ellery
Marsh, M. T. Marsh, Jack Nowery, A. G. Oresching, Brook Pagel, W. E.
Potter, Joe Ramirez, Glen D. Smith, George Serur, Otto Schvab, Hugh
Stephenson, Robert Taylor, Dean Wilson, Coy White, Bert L. Wright,
Reese Wade, Douglas Hermes, Eugene McCann, Norman Hobrecht, Donald
Von Dohlen, G. G. Ware, and Louis Woerndel.
The past‑presidents of the club are: Jack Hathaway, 1935; Walter E.
Potter, 1936; Douglas Hermes, 1937; Curtis Walker, 1938; Hal
McCombs, 1939; Charles Galloway, 1940‑, Paul Schulz, 1941 ‑, H. E.
Tolliver. 1942; Jack Cafes, 1943; Cliff McCall, 1944; Irvin Boothe,
1945; Hoyt B. Hamilton, 1946; Donald McDonald, 1947; Edward M. Neal.
1948; Kirk Bennett, 1949; Mr. Bennett was transferred by his company
and his term was completed by Edwin A. Diebel; W. C. Dahlman, 1950;
Gerald M. Workman, 1951 ‑, Warren H. Peterson, 1952; Dr. John
Hester, 1953; Malcolm G. Slay, 1954; Richard Rudeloff, 1955; Floyd
Parsons, 1956‑, Mr. Parsons moved from Beeville and his term was
completed by Rufus Landers; S. R. Wofford, 1957; Dr. Allen Lasiter,
1958; Raymond Powell, 1959; Jack Megason, 1960; N. B. Tanner Jr.,
196 1 ; Milton Trlica, 1962; Monroe Finke, 1963; Bill Phillips,
1964; Arno Gold, 1965; Stephen Fey, 1966; John Galloway, 1967; H. L.
Mullins, 1968; Jon Newton, 1969; Richard DeBolf, 1970; Duane Baker,
197 1; Buddy Hahn, 1972; Mr. Hahn resigned and his term was
completed by Mack Workman; and Ben Geisler, 1973, the incumbent. Dr.
Bill Conrad is president‑elect, and he and the other officers will
be installed in October.
The Beeville Kiwanis Club has had members who have distinguished
themselves in the councils and functions of Kiwanis International.
The club has furnished three lieutenant governors for the
Texas‑Oklahoma District: J. C. (Jack) Cates served in 1945. Charles
Galloway in 1952, and Rufus Landers in 1965. Mr. Galloway was a
member of the vocational guidance committee for Kiwanis
Each year the local club stages a Kiwanis Karnival around the
Courthouse Square for the purpose of raising money to finance the
various projects that are sponsored by the organization.
During the thirty‑eight years that the club has been active,
literally hundreds of constructive plans for betterment of Beeville
and Bee County have ended in fruition.
The Kiwanians have stressed programs to help underprivileged
children. For several years they paid for milk for school children
who were unable to buy it; they built and maintained a lighted
softball park; they sponsored a Boy Scout troop; in 1947 they were
among the leaders who promoted the building of the Youth Center in
1949 they sponsored a county‑wide youth baseball program which led
to the organization of the Little League and Pony League in Bee
County; in 1957 the club sponsored the first annual Junior Olympics.
In 1937 the Kiwanis Club started a beautification plan for Beeville,
and this continued for several years. The Kiwanians assumed
responsibility for the publicity of the early shows and sales of the
South Texas Hereford Association, and in 1939 they staged a campaign
that helped get city mail delivery for Beeville. In 1944 the club
began its sponsorship of the Girl Scout Day Camp.
In 1946 the club held the first annual Easter sunrise service with
the aid of the Beeville Ministerial Alliance, and in 1950 the
members began the observance of National Kids Day. They organized
the Beeville Key Club for boys in 1952. To assist in the education
of indigent children, the Kiwanians have provided funds for reading
glasses for those whose vision is impaired.
The club raises between $2,500 and $3,000 each year to finance the
BEEVILLE ACTIVE TWENTY‑THIRTY CLUB
Beeville Active Twenty‑Thirty Club No. 297 was organized on June 26,
1947, with Bob Crawford as president. The first meeting was held in
Zarape Cafe. Members are men between the ages of 20 and 39 years.
Projects sponsored by the club through the years include the
electric football scoreboard at Beasley Stadium, Safety Sallys at
school crossings in Bee County, placing trash cans on the streets of
Beeville, providing a public address system for the Little League
Ball park, sponsoring two Little League teams each year, and
donating equipment to the Fire Department and to the Beeville
The club also sponsors individual projects to aid in all charity
drives. In April 1965 a check for fifty dollars was given to the Bee
County Public Library. Each year the club donates to the
Twenty‑Thirty International Project Deaf Fund.
There are many past‑active members in Beeville‑those who have passed
the age of 39 years. Some of the early members who have 11
outgrown'' the membership age qualification include Raymond E.
Eissler, Bill Pagel, Kenneth Harrell, Terry Glick, Jim Lundschen,
Charles Reineke, Eddie Bertram, Scott Bledsoe. Monroe Finke, and Guy
Many of the records of the club were destroyed by the high waters of
Hurricane Beulah in 1967, but following are the names of some of the
past‑presidents of the club: Chuck Denman, Kenneth McClintock, Bob
Baer, Charles Sikes, Johnny Kircher, Jerome Boenig, Albert Henry,
Richard Isaacks, Leroy Hadwin, Mike McWhorter, P. F. Malek, Raymond
V. Eissler, Pat Wells and Dwayne Bradley, the incumbent.
Present officers are: Dwayne Bradley, President; P. F. Malek, Vice
President; Mike McWhorter. Secretary; Charles Cox, Treasurer and
David Hurst, Sergeant‑at‑Arms.
BEEVILLE LIONS CLUB
The Beeville Lions Club was first organized prior to World War 11,
but had to disband during that time because most of the members
enteredthe various services for the defense of the country.
The club was reorganized December 3, 1948, at a meeting in Hotel
Kohler. Fourteen men were present, but by charter night, March 10,
1949, a total of 36 men signed the charter issued by Lions
International. The Woodsboro Lions Club sponsored the local
organization, and Arthur Mabray was the organizational president.
Other presidents, and the order in which they served, were: Jack A.
Baird, Walter Boenig, Jimmy Gardner, Edwin Turnipseede, Stephen Fey,
Sam McCarty, George Hovey Jr.. C. A. FdIke, George Frels, Jack
Wallace, Jack Love, Eddie Hamilton, John S. Baker, Dr. Norman
Oliver, Darnell Allen, Jack Love, Jack Wallace, Rev. Doyle Morton,
Eddie Bertram, Calvin Evans, Bobby Lane, Floyd McClung, Jerry
Daniels, Paul Wilmouth, and Bill Moody.
The first major project was the purchase of an eye‑testing machine
which was presented to the schools of Bee County. The club has
helped crippled children attend the Texas Lions Crippled Children
Camp in Kerrville, has given glasses to underprivileged children,
provided milk for indigent youngsters at school, purchased an
audiometer for schools, raised money to build a lighted ball park
for the youths of the community, and has sponsored many other worthy
projects for the good of the people.
Among their best‑known fund‑raising systems are the Christmas Seal
sale, the broom sale to help the blind, the light‑bulb sale, and
stacie entertainment. Ninety per cent of the money raised from the
sale of brooms is sent to the blind people who manufacture the
The local club celebrated its twenty‑fifth anniversary with a dinner
at Gilberto's Restaurant on Saturday, March 3, 1973. The honored
guests were Jack Love, the only active charter member of the club,
and Bernard McWhorter and Jimmy Hicks, both of whom joined the club
a few weeks after the charter was delivered. All three are
Paul Wilmouth recently completed his term as District Governor of
2‑S4, Lions International, and Jack Love is a past Deputy District
Each year since the beginning of Little League baseball in Beeville
the Beeville Lions Club has sponsored at least one of the teams.
The new officers who will assume leadership of the club in July are:
John Richardson, President; Dr. Fritz Oelrich, Vice President; Jerry
Daniels, Second Vice President; Bobby Moya, Third Vice President;
Paul Wilmoth, Secretary‑Treasurer; Eritis Rivera, Tall Twister; Bud
Riblet, Lion Tamer, and Jack Love, Zaki Sailba, John Reeves, Steve
Fould, and the president and vice presidents are members of the
Board of Directors. The newly elected officers will assume their
duties on July 1. Bill Moody is the outgoing president.
BEEVILLE GARDEN CLUB
The Beeville Garden Club held the first meeting at the home of Mrs.
R. J. Beasley. It was organized December 8, 1953, with Mrs. C. A.
Sullins as president. Serving with her were Mrs. Dudley Dougherty,
Vice President; Mrs. Camp Ezell, Second Vice President; Mrs. J. K.
Blue, Third Vice President; Mrs. Allen Lasiter, Secretary; Mrs. J.
M. Goodman, Corresponding Secretary‑, Mrs. Ben Geisler, Treasurer;
Mrs. Alex Cowie, Reporter, and Mrs. John Rossi, Parliamentarian.
The club was federated in 1955 with the National Council of State
Garden Clubs. The purpose was to learn and to act; to beautify both
home and city.
The first money‑making project of the club was a Betty Crocker Cake
Mix sale. This was held annually for several years. A flower show
was the highlight of the club annually for more than ten years. A
Christmas arrangement show was sponsored before the holidays every
year. The members planted shrubs and oleanders at the Youth Center,
Courthouse Square, library and frees in school yards. The club
sponsored the yard of the month project.
The group presented a Blue Star Marker which is located on the
southwest corner of the Courthouse Square. It was dedicated April
24, 1957. The wording on the marker follows: ''National Council of
State Garden Clubs Blue Star Memorial Highway. A tribute to the
Armed Forces that have defended the United States of America.
Sponsored by the Beeville Garden Club in cooperation with the Texas
Highway Department and the Texas Garden Clubs Inc.''
The past‑presidents are: Mrs. C. A. Sullins, 1953‑1956; Mrs. 0. B.
Smith, 1956‑1957; Mrs. R. J. Findley, 1957‑1958; Mrs. Dale Roberson,
1958‑196 1 ; Mrs. Charles Gresseff, 1961‑1962; Mrs. Paul Schulz,
1962‑1964; Mrs. Kenneth Harrell, 1964‑1965‑, Mrs. Toscoe Knight,
1965‑1967; Mrs. Archie Roberts. 1967‑1969; Mrs. Carl Malone,
1969‑1971; Mrs. Leila Daley, 19711973. Mrs. Dick (Edith) Scoff is
the incoming president.
BETA SIGMA PHI
The Pi Theta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi was organized in Beeville in
1954. It was sponsored by the Delta Delta Chapter of Corpus Christi.
The first meeting was held in the home of Mrs. H. L. Daughters with
Mrs. Lorraine Coleman as president.
The chapter members were civic minded, especially along health
lines. For several years a milk fund was established for Ann Burke
School. Medical attention for children was a prclect. A Valentine
ball was started in 1955 and was a brilliant affair each year with a
queen chosen to reign.
The Chapter became inactive in 1971.
BUSINESS WOMEN'S GARDEN CLUB
The Business Women's Garden Club of Beeville was organized on March
21, 1957, In the home of Mrs. 0. B. Smith, who was president of the
Beeville Garden Club. The primary object was to learn basic rules
for yard and garden work.
The Bougainvillea was the flower selected and the officers were:
Mrs. Mattie Freeman, President; Mrs. Elna Alexander, Vice President;
Mrs. Frances Finke, Second Vice President; Mrs. Lillie Belle
Sommerville, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Dora Fehlis, Corresponding
Secretary; M s. Isabel Becker, Reporter, and Mrs. Gertrude Chesnutt,
Treasurer. The meetings are held in members' homes on the third
Thursday of each month.
The club has had flowers and shrubs planted at Memorial Hospital and
trees on school yards. Money has been given to Bee County College
for landscaping. The present project is placing concrete fables and
benches with overhead shade at roadside parks here. The women
sponsor the Yard of the Month program.
The past‑presidents are: Mrs. Mattie Freeman, Mrs. Harold Finke,
Mrs. Bernard McWhorter, Mrs. Myrtle Barber, Mrs. Ross Parflow, Mrs.
Ross Sommerville, Mrs. C. C. Becker, Mrs. Bernard McWhorter, Mrs. C.
C. Becker, Mrs. V. Garrison. Mrs. Maude Warren, and Mrs. Ben Geisler.
The Beeville Soroptimisf Club, an affiliate of Soroptimist
International, received its charter on March 16, 1958, at a meeting
held in the Rose Room of Hotel Kohler.
Miss Mary Wofford was elected president but the following week she
was married to Frank Daley and had to resign her office since she
moved to another city. Mrs. Lee R. (Mary) Meyer was elected to fake
her place and actually served as the first president of the club.
Other officers serving with her were: Miss Becky Evans, Vice
President; Mrs. Carol Palmer, Secretary; Mrs. Emma Finke, Treasurer,
and Mrs. Jewel Taylor and Mrs. Carrie McKinney, Directors. Regional
delegates were Mrs. Virginia Phillips and Miss Becky Evans.
There were twenty charter members, and five are still active: Mrs.
Irene Byrne, Miss Becky Evans, Mrs. Winifred Goodwin, Mrs. Carrie
McKinney, and Mrs. Carol Palmer.
Officers for 1972‑73 are: Mrs. Patsy Schmidt, President; Mrs. Anna
Lee Lackey, Vice Prescient; Miss Becky Evans, Second Vice President;
Mrs. Inez Stuart Treasurer; Mrs. Margaret McKennon, Recording
Secretary; Mrs. Mildred Rader, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. Margie
Routh and Mrs. Carol Palmer, Directors; Mrs. Lois Dallas and Mrs.
Daisy McGrew, Delegates; and Mrs. Doris Galloway, Alternate
Delegate. There are twenty-eight members.
The late Mrs. Fay Cox. a charter member, started the Golden Age
Club, and the Soroptimists serve as hostesses for the December
meetings of the senior citizens.
The club has sponsored many projects, including: Helped with the
oral Polio Vaccine, Sabine vaccine, and tetanus drives, sold United
States flags for downtown stores and homes in Beeville, gave
television set to Memorial Hospital and record player to retarded
children's school, provided money to help several boys and girls to
attend school, contributed money for gift to the Tuberculosis
Hospital patients, furnished fruit for Huber Manor Nursing Home
patients. assisted in the community clean‑up campaign, helped buy
equipment for the City Ambulance Service, and donated to the United
Fund and the U. S. 0., and the club gives a scholarship for Bee
County College's Licensed Vocational Nurses School each year. Also
the Soroptimisfs sponsor the S Club for high school girls.
Past‑presidents of the organization are: Mary Meyer, Emma Finke,
Irene Byrne, Anna Lee Lackey, Margie Routh, Daisy McGrew, and Inez
The Soroptimist pledge: "I pledge allegiance to Soroptimist and to
the ideals for which it stands: The sincerity of friendship, the toy
of achievement the dignity of service, the integrity of profession,
and the love of country. I will put forth my greatest effort to
promote, uphold and defend these ideals for a larger fellowship in
home, in society, in business. for country and for God.''
PAN AMERICAN ROUND TABLE
The Pan American Round Table of Beeville was informally organized in
late 1963 when Mrs. James R. Dougherty called a meeting of several
women who were to form the nucleus of the new group. Under her
guidance and inspiration, the group was granted a charter by the
state organization and began meeting regularly in January 1964.
Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday from September
The Beeville Table is affiliated with the Alliance of Pan American
Round Tables, with chapters established in all the countries of the
Their object is to further knowledge and interest in the social
life, institutions and customs of the peoples of the American
nations and to promote good will and understanding among them to
provide the mutual knowledge, understanding and friendship among
their to foster movements toward a high civilization, especially
those affecting the women and children of these countries.
The Beeville Table has granted a scholarship to Bee County College
to the outstanding Mexican‑American girl graduate of Jones High
School each year since the college opened in 1967. The group has
also donated many books on Latin‑American history, art and culture
to the Bee County Public Library, and has awarded a Spanish‑English
dictionary to the high-ranking Spanish student in Jones High School
Directors of the Table have been Mrs. Dudley Dougherty, Mrs. Hugh
Grove, Mrs. Henry Hall Jr., Mrs. Fred Ldfchdm, Mrs. Lon Cartwright,
Mrs. Warren LeBourveau, Mrs. H. E. Lancaster, Mrs. W. D. McCarty,
Mrs. Robin Pettus and Mrs. Dan Conoly Jr.
JUNIOR SERVICE LEAGUE
The Junior Service League was organized in 1963 in the home of Mrs.
L. R. Hollingsworth Sr., with Mrs. Hollingsworth as the organizer.
The program is Community Service. Mrs, Dudley Braly was the first
The members have assisted in Community Concerts drives and have been
hostesses for the Artmobile when it comes to Beeville each year and
for the Golden Age Club. The money they have raised from bake sales,
rummage sales, style shows, an antique show and a four of homes has
been used to help restore the McClanahan House,
Besides Mrs. Braly, the following have served as president: Mrs.
Jack Pasley, Mrs. John Matthews, Mrs. George Blackmon, Mrs. Layton
Adams, Mrs. Ellsworth Handy, Mrs. John Martin, Mrs. Kenneth
McClintock. Mrs. Dudley Braly. and Mrs. Budgie Humberson. Mrs. Eddie
Dunn is the current president.
The Beeville Optimist Club was organized November 21, 1968, with
thirty‑seven charter members. The Pleasanton club sponsored the
local organization. The objects of Optimist International and their
constituent bodies are to develop optimism as a philosophy of life:
to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs;
to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for
international accord and friendship among all people, and to aid and
encourage the development of youth.
The charter members were: Otis Barker. Peter T. Blackburn, Albert P.
Calati, John Elder, Terrence E. Glick, Marvin W. Jones, Dalton
Leatherman, Ernesto C. Martinez, Rollie M. Royal, James Sheehan,
Barry H. Watson, Wayne Wissnaf, Jess A. Young, James Ray Bissett, J.
S. Blankenship Jr., J. A. Christensen, Joe A. Garcia, D. P. Hill,
Hoyt Kesfler, Bill McKennon, W. L. Miller Jr., Olin Sanders. Larry
H. Stroud, Jim Wilkerson Jr., C. C. Wofford, Gary V. Black, Derrell
M. Bryant, Arland Cowart, Lupe P. Garza, Stephen Huntington, Lymas
Langley, Jimmy D. McKnight, Jimmy C. Ramirez, Bernie Sandoval,
Kermit Turner, R. E. Williams Jr., and Raymond A. Wrinkle.
The first project of the club was selling Christmas frees. Bonham's
Food Store offered the club their entire shipment of frees to sell
on a fifty-fifty basis. The Optimists realized $500 on their first
free sale. This money was used for youth projects. They sponsored a
boys' oratorical contest and took the winner to San Antonio to
compete in the zone event.
Stephen Huntington did such an outstanding lob as
secretary‑treasurer of the club that he was chosen as a field man
for Optimist International. He is now in charge of the records
division of the head office in St. Louis, Mo.
In the fall of 1972 the club's motto, ''Friend of the Boy,'' was
changed to ''Friend of Youth.'' This was the first year Optimist
International permitted girls to enter the oratorical contests.
Sixteen contestants entered and thirteen competed for scholarships.
Students from the Pettus and Pawnee schools entered and Billy Hawke
of Pettus walked away with the honors in the boys' division and
Kathy Staples, also of Pettus, was the winner in the girls'
division. Billy Hawke won third place in the zone competition in
Corpus Christi and Kathy was fourth runner‑up. In the Zone 11
competition, the Beeville club won first place in the girls'
division and second place in the boys' division. The winners are
given a $500 scholarship to any college of their choice on the
Terry Glick was given a life membership in the Beeville club at the
first district board meeting held in Victoria in November. At the
second board meeting held last February in San Antonio, Mr. Glick
was presented a three‑membership tie‑tack for being the first member
in the south‑central district to bring in three new members in the
Optimist year of 1972‑1973. The Optimist year starts in October and
ends in September. The presentation was made by Phil McCardwell of
Louisville, Ky., president of Optimist International.
The newly elected officers of the Beeville club are: Clinton B.
Richey, President; Terry Glick and J. D. Staatz, Vice Presidents,
and Michael Jones, Secretary‑Treasurer.
The past‑presidents of the club are: D. P. Hill. Otis Barker. J. A.
Christensen, D. P. Hill, D. P. Hill, and Chester F. Sparks.
RIO MEDIO CHAPTER D. R. T.
Several pre‑meetings were held at the home of Mrs. George Tait with
Mrs. Tait as the organizing president before Rio Medio Chapter of
the Daughters of the Texas Republic was chartered on February 20,
1969. The officers elected were: Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen, President;
Mrs. R. J. Welder, Vice President; Miss Ida Campbell, Second Vice
President; Mrs. William B. Moser, Chaplain; Mrs. C. B. McWhorter,
Recording and Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. Howard Fish, Treasurer,
Mrs. W. R. Stubbins, Press Reporter; Mrs. Cecil Ballard. Historian,
and Mrs. C. S. Harris, Parliamentarian.
The objects of the organization are as follows:
1. To perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who
achieved and maintained the independence of Texas.
2. To encourage historical research info the earliest records of
Texas, especially those relating to the Revolution of 1835 and the
events which followed; to foster the preservation of documents and
relics‑, to encourage the publication of records of the individual
service of the soldiers and patriots of the Republic. and other
source material for the History of Texas.
3. To promote the celebration of Texas Honor Days: Lamar Day,
January 26; Texas Statehood Day, February 19; Texas Independence and
Flag Day. March 2; Alamo Heroes Day, March 6; San Jacinto Day, April
21; Stephen F. Austin's birthday, November 3; and Founders Day,
4. To secure and memorialize all historic spots by erecting markers
thereon; and to cherish and preserve the unify of Texas as achieved
and established by the fathers and mothers of the Texas Revolution.
The Chapter meets four times a year in April, September, November,
The charter members are: Mrs. Robert B. Allen (Mary Gay McWhorter),
Mrs. B. A. Baker (Sarah Anne Tedder), Mrs. Cecil Ballard (Maurice
Bradford), Mrs. Gene Banks (Margaret Jane Barber), Mrs. George
Blackmon (Gayle Irby), Mrs. Robert Bocquet (Myrtle Rosebrook), Mrs.
Dudley Braly (Diana Dugafl, Mrs. Kay Crowell Calaway. Miss Ida
Louise Campbell. Mrs. L. N. Connally (Lena May Hodges), Mrs. Frank
Daley (Mary Ellen Wofford), Mrs. Wayne Dirks (Ida Mary McGuffin),
Mrs. Howard Fish (Josephine Shay), Mrs. James M. Goodman (Martha
Iris Gill), Miss Martha Illene Goodman, Mrs. Cal Green (Birdie
Persia Porter), Mrs. Larry Hamilton (Mary Elizabeth Miller), Mrs. J.
A. Handy (Maurine Bradford), Mrs. C. S. Harris (Lena Elizabeth
Welder), Miss Mary Clare Harris, Mrs. Kenneth S. Harvey (Marilyn
McNeill), Mrs. Richard A. Henault (Mary Ann Collier), Mrs. J. W.
Hitchcock (Sara Harris), Mrs. R. L. Hollingsworth (Eleanor
Campbell), Mrs. V. T. Irby (Dora Alberta Seymour), Mrs. Norman
Jennings (Nella Jo Sawey), Mrs. Clyde F. Lacy (Lena Mary Connally),
Mrs. H. B. Long (Nella Fae Bradford), Mrs. John Matthews (Betty
Gayle), Mrs. C. B. McWhorter (Ernez Skaggs), Mrs. Jack Miller (Doris
Barber), Mrs. William B. Moser (Margaret Miller), Mrs. Robert Norton
(Louise Wilson), Mrs. Mona Seymour Nuft (Mona Irene Seymour), Mrs.
Robert Pearce (Mary Ellen Voss), Mrs. Travis M. Powell (Avis
Barrow), Mrs. Joe C. Ramirez III (Mary Ellen Handy), Mrs. John B.
Roberts (Marjorie Aleene McNeill), Miss Marii Roberts, Mrs. Will Roy
Sanders (Stella O'Reilly), Mrs. Sarah Kay Handy Schuster, Mrs.
Vincent Seger (Darah Behethaland Gayle), Miss Gladys Emma Smith,
Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen (Inez McKinney), Mrs. William R. Stubbins
(Lee Ann McWhorter), Mrs. George Talf (Lucille Barber), Mrs. Mary
McGuffin Taylor, Mrs. Robert Turner (Christine Miller), Mrs. R. J.
Welder (Mary McCurdy).
Past‑presidents are Mrs. Eric J. Spielhagen and Mrs. C. S. Harris,
and Miss Ida Campbell is the president in 1973.
Operation Concern was organized in June 1971 by a group of citizens
deeply interested in combating the narcotics problem, especially
among the youth, a problem which is prevalent throughout the world.
Edward N. Jones was the chairman. The group consisted of
representatives from schools, churches, law offices, clubs and
officials in 32 towns in Bee, Refugio, Karnes, Goliad and Live Oak
The main objective of Operation Concern of Beeville is to study,
plan, coordinate and promote the prevention of drug abuse and to
educate the public about drug abuse in the City of Beeville and
NAS Chase Field cooperates with Operation Concern by furnishing
films, slides, tapes and information on drugs and related sublets.
The trained counselors and the Field's Counseling Service give their
The Bee‑Live Oak‑McMullen County Medical Society, Memorial Hospital,
the Bee‑Picayune. the Board of Education of Beeville Independent
School District. Dr. Grady Hogue, president of Bee County College,
Frank Atkins, manager of the Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Dudley Braly.
District Judge Joe Wade, Malcolm Slay, all the druggists, the city
and county officials, Humberto Saenz, Dr. John Hester, and the
majority of the business and prominent people in Bee County are
vitally concerned and support this organization for the good of its
youth and their families.
Dr. John Hester and Edward N. Jones serve as advisers and Rev. Don
Cureton is the new chairman.
BEEVILLE NAVY LEAGUE
The Beeville Council of the Navy League was organized in 1955 with
C. R. Gordon as the first president.
The purpose of the organization is to promote good will between the
personnel at Chase Field and the citizens of Bee County. Social
events are held periodically.
Mr. Gordon served two terms as president. Succeeding him and the
years they served were the following:
Dr. Ernest Miller, 1957, Dewey Pieraff, 1958; Robert Noguelra, 1959;
Judge Joe Wade, 1960; Fred Lafcham, 1961; M. L. Clewis, 1962, George
Spikes, 1963; Edward N. Jones, 1964, Burke Ellwood, 1965‑, Dr.
Dudley Braly, 1966; Richard Lucas, 1967, William B. Moser, 1 968, H.
C. Brinkoeter, 1969; Dr. John Hester, 1970; Fred Lafcham, 1971‑, and
Laurie D. Hunter, 1972 and 1973 (incumbent).
The FISH Organization was formed by an Episcopal Church group in
England with the objective of neighbor helping neighbor in
emergencies. It quickly spread to other groups in many countries.
FISH was organized in Beeville on February 17, 1972, with Rev. Tony
Salisbury as chairman and Mrs. Richard DeBolt and Mrs. Evan Dean as
assistants. Rev. Don Curefon is the present leader.
FISH is a 24‑hour emergency assistance service with members
volunteering for baby sitting, transportation for shut-ins,
housework for the III and for other emergency needs. Teenage
volunteers read regularly to the blind. Each issue of the
Bee‑Picayune carries a notice similar to the following: Call FISH‑A
neighbor to help you in your emergency can be reached at the FISH
VFW POST ORGANIZES
The Veterans of Foreign Wars organized a county‑wide post in
Beeville during late January 1973. There had been a VFW group in the
county some years past, but if had disbanded for lack of leadership.
The organizational meeting was held at Yougeen's Lounge. and the
following officers were elected: Gene Holland, Commander Jimmy
Myers, Senior Vice Commander; Paul Campbell, Junior Vice Commander,
Bill Roberts, Quartermaster; Ernest Cude, Chaplain; Presley
Roberson. Judge Advocate; and Jim Brady, Bill McGrew. and Sherman
Thirty‑two members signed the charter, which was officially
presented to the organization when the officers were installed.
MUSIC THROUGH THE YEARS
In 1878 Major W. S. Dugat and wife came to Beeville. Mrs. Dugat, who
was educated in piano and voice in Philadelphia, began to teach both
voice and piano. She taught her own talented children and in the
1890s and early 1900s the family organized an orchestra.
The Ezell Brothers' Orchestra was popular here and over South Texas
during the same years. E. L. Faupel and children, Robert, Letfle and
Stella, taught music. Stella Faupel Oder was teaching piano and
guitar until her death a few years ago. Sam Ezell in 1906 was rated
the second best violinist in the state and years later was
instrumental in adding band work in schools of South Texas. Ramon
DeLeon, flutist, had a dance orchestra and taught various
instruments to students from the early 1900s until his death about a
Chatauquas came to Beeville in the early 1900s. In 1907 musicals
began appearing at the Grand Opera House. George Beever, violinist,
organized a band under the sponsorship of the Beeville Fire
Department in 1933. Schools throughout the county have good band and
choral groups. Everett McAulay is head of the Fine Arts Department
of Bee County College and is the college band director. Mrs. Anita
Krueger is piano instructor.
Fayette (Red) Camp of Corpus Christi held a weekly class in piano
here in the 1960s. Mrs. Ruth Lindsey, mother of Mrs. George
(Dorothy) Brown, taught piano in the 1950s and early 1960s and Mrs.
Henry (Cecelia Brauer) Miller, Mrs. Allee Nuff, Mrs. Flossie Thomas
Dleqel, Mrs. B. C. Brown and Mrs, Wallace Plafner were piano
teachers for many years. Mrs. 0. D. Rudeloff, Mrs. Dewey Granberry,
Mrs. Lucille Kinkler, Mrs. Alice Moore, Miss Nettle Brown, Mrs.
Blucher Love and Mrs. Jack Powers now teach piano. And the Sisters
of Divine Providence at St. Joseph's Catholic School have taught
piano through the years.
The San Antonio Symphony Orchestra has appeared here six times, five
under the auspices of the Civic Music Association which brought many
great artists of musical fame to Beeville. For the last nine years
the Community Concerts Association has presented many musical
programs, including concerts by Richard Tucker, Metropolitan Opera
tenor; Dorothy Kirsten, Metropolitan soprano; Mitch Miller and his
group. and many others.
George Spikes became local president of the Community Concerts in
1964, a position he held until his death. Mrs. H. B. Hause succeeded
him as president. Mrs. Teal Adkins is vice president; Camp Ezell,
corresponding secretary; Mrs. Reese Wade, recording secretary, and
Mrs. R. J. Findley is treasurer.
In 1949 the Beeville Music Club was organized with Mrs. George Brown
as president. In 1955 the club was reorganized. again with Mrs.
Brown as president. The presidents following her were: Mrs. E. Y.
Seale, Mrs. Warren Peterson, Mrs. P. D. Laughter, Mrs. Jack Felts,
Mrs. P. E. Davis, Mrs. B. C. Brown, Mrs. Jack Megason, Mrs. E. B.
Etheridge, Mrs. S. W. Cather, Mrs. John W. Henshall, Mrs. P. E.
Davis, Mrs. Wallace Plafner and Mrs. John W. Henshall.
MANY ARTISTS IN BEEVILLE AREA
Art was taught here during the 1890s and early 1900s by Miss Nettie
Abernathy, who married Duke Marsden. Mrs. Amos Welder, nee Ray Wood,
has a painting done of herself at the age of two by this artist.
In October 1896 the Dallas News had the following reference to the
exhibits of the well‑known Beeville artist at the Dallas Fair: ''The
Madonna and Child, and Morning, by Mrs. G. W. Greathouse of Beeville
are productions of rare beauty and merit which must be seen to be
appreciated. These paintings are now in the art department of the
Ellie (Mrs. A. C.) Wheeler taught art in her home studio from 1944
until her death in the 1960s.
In 1954 Gladys (Mrs. J. K.) Blue and Helen Y. (Mrs. Camp) Ezell were
instrumental in bringing Simon Michael of Rockport, Texas, to teach
a Friday morning class in Beeville. Mr. Michael, a renowned artist
and teacher, studied in the great art schools of this country and
studied and taught art in Paris, France, for eight years. After
thirteen years of instructing private classes here he joined in 1967
the Fine Arts Department of Bee County College where he continues to
give art instruction. Mrs. Bobble Warwick and Waverly (Mrs. Don)
Lewis also have taught art at the College. Shirley (Mrs. Alex)
Kibler and Dolores (Mrs. Stephen) Horwood have classes in art there
also. Ernez (Mrs, Bernard) McWhorter has held classes in crafts at
the College and in her home.
Mona (Mrs. Scott Jr.) McNeill has had both children and adult art
classes for a number of years. Marjorie (Mrs. Bill) Whitenton
teaches an art class. Helen Y. (Mrs. Camp) Ezell had a children's
art class for eleven years and assisted Simon Michael In teaching
children for four years. H. W. (Bus) Ellsworth teaches special
classes in his studio on the Orangedale Road. Elizabeth (Mrs. Paul)
Schulz teaches china painting.
The Beeville Art Guild was organized in May 1964 with thirty‑seven
members with Ila E. Richardson Rothlisberger as president. The
presidents following her have been Nancy Frye, Lillye Dell Cox,
Elizabeth Schulz, Helen Y. Ezell, Patricia Ruebush, and Rea Groves
is the president for 1973‑1974.
Every year during the Fall Rodeo the Guild sponsors a large area
judged Art Show which is open to all artists, including Guild
members and nonmembers, in the area. Cash awards and ribbons are
Local artists who have been recognized or received awards for their
work outside of the Beeville shows are as follows: Ellie Wheeler.
Mona McNeill, Helen Y. Ezell, Lillye Dell Cox, Elizabeth Schulz,
Freddie and Bus Ellsworth, Marjorie Whitenton, George Pinter,
Georgia Bedwell, Ila E. Richardson Rofhlisberger, Annafair Buffs,
Anna Lee S. Brown, Waverly Lewis, Rea Groves, Esther Barnhart,
Jeanne Jones Hause, Pat Dougherty, Allen Hardy, Charyl Kennedy
Dragoo, and Ernez McWhorter. Elizabeth Schulz has exhibited her wild
flower series at the Witte Museum in San Antonio and in other South
Texas towns. Ernez McWhorter was Artist of the Month in Corpus
Christi with a one‑man show.
The Fine Arts Department of Bee County College holds regular art
exhibitions of local and out-of-town artists. The Episcopal Guild
has had three annual art shows of out‑of‑town artists. The Rosetta
Club has sponsored art exhibitions and children's art shows. The
First National Bank for the last five years has sponsored an
exhibition of masterpieces from the Country Store Art Gallery of
Mrs. H. B. (Jeanne Jones) Hause has been the sponsor of the
Artmobile of South Texas for a week showing in Beeville of great art
for the last four years. The Artmobile with the fine paintings is
financed by Mrs. John (Mae T. Dougherty) King of Corpus Christi and
New York City. Mrs. George Spikes and the late Mr. Spikes'
collection of treasured Colonial art has been exhibited several