A BIT OF HISTORY REVEALED
(FOREWORD: Some interesting history of early Bee County is gleaned
through letters written by the late Mrs. Sallie Wilson Gillett.
widow of the late Judge Roswell H. Gillett, which are now in
possession of her great‑granddaughter. Mrs. William Moser of
Beeville. One of the articles is as follows:)
By SALLIE WILSON GILLETT (Mrs. Roswell H. Gillett)
In the year 1858 1 came to what is now called Bee County. We
traveled by wagon from Gonzales, and on the way my brothers built a
little picket house for us to rest in. They dug a shallow well for
water, and from the pink clay they made a floor for the little
We stayed there a week then continued on our way. There were no
fences and the grass was like an endless sea, with islands of Live
Oak frees here and there. We had to go slowly so our cattle would
not tire. Finally we settled down by what is now Skidmore.
Now perhaps you would like to know how we lived in those days. Aunt
Biddy, our faithful slave, came with us and the work she did, with
so few facilities, was marvelous to behold.
In those days cattle were fat and from the tallow Aunt Biddy made
candles. We had to depend upon our friends in Gonzales to send us
beeswax to add firmness to the candles, as we had no bees. They also
sent us dried fruits, for we had no fences to protect fruit frees.
In the evenings Aunt Biddy would go out to get bones. She would boil
these in an ash hopper to make soap. During roasting‑ear time she
would shell the corn and put it in great tubs of water. The foam
would rise to the top and Aunt Biddy would skim off the loveliest
white billows of starch you ever saw.
Aunt Biddy was purchased off the block in Memphis by my
sister‑in-law’s father to be a wet nurse for her children. She had
lust arrived from Africa. My father bought a husband for her, but he
was a rogue and was later sold.
Her work was so good that my father never let her work in the
fields. One day she did work, piling up corn stalks, and she labored
so hard that my father fold her that she must never work in the
fields again. She was so willing, true and good. When news of the
emancipation came, Aunt Biddy was dying. We told her she was free
and she replied: "I am as free as I ever want to be.''
One hot afternoon I went down to the pens to play, and there I
beheld the strangest tall, shaggy beasts drinking wafer. I ran info
the house, and in my excitement no one could guess what I had seen.
Finally we found a picture of a camel in a book, and my beasts were
There were three Wilson brothers (my brothers), and three Allsup
brothers and one man called Jim Madray, whom everyone loved. We
stayed in Bee County and finally a few houses or shacks were built.
Then these people began to build more houses. Eventually we had a
tiny schoolhouse, with very few pupils, on the Aransas.
In those days we all loved one another and depended on each other's
help in times of sickness and trouble. Once when we were in danger
of a raid our neighbors came to take us to safety. There was the
loveliest bowl of cream in the kitchen and I couldn't bear to think
of leaving if, so I drank it. To this day, I can't abide cream!
SALLIE SCULL‑A CHARACTER
One of the most colorful characters Bee County ever had was a ranch
woman, trader, gambler, and pistol‑totter named Sallie Scull, who
lived at Dark Corner (Blanconia) during the 1850s through the 1870s.
Hobart Huson, in his masterful two‑volume ''History of Refugio
County,'' wrote a thumbnail biography of this remarkable woman.
using as authorities such writers as Judge W. L. Rea, Mrs. Sallie J.
Burmeister, Rev. 0. W. Nolan, Mrs. Moses Simpson, and John Warren
Hunter. Following is a condensation of some of the legendary reports
those scribes gave on Bee County's most famous gun‑woman:
Sallie Newson came from a respectable family. She married a man
named Scull, by whom she had two daughters. Following the death of
her husband, she accepted a man's responsibilities and competed with
men on a man's basis, asking no favors on account of her sex. She
established a horse‑trading business at Blanconia in the 1850s when
that settlement was part of Refugio County.
She did business on a large scale, trading horses from Mexico to the
Eastern States. She spoke Spanish like a native of Mexico and had
several Mexicans in her employ. She usually wore men's attire, rode
astride, and had a pair of six‑guns scrapped to her waist. She was
absolutely fearless, and on several occasions she went info Mexico
with no other protection than her pistols. At that time the country
was infested with bandits and cut‑throats and travelers were
frequently murdered. But Sallie was a marksman and could shoot with
Colonel John Salmon Ford wrote in his Memoirs: ''The last incident
at‑tracting the writer's attention occurred while he was at Kenney's
Tank and wending his way homeward. He heard the report of a pistol,
and raising his eyes saw a man falling to the ground and a woman not
far away from him in the act of lowering a six‑shooter. She was a
noted character named Sallie Scull. She was famed as a rough
fighter, and prudent men did not wittingly provoke her into a row.
It was understood that she was 'Justifiable in what she did on this
occasion, having acted in self‑defense.'' (The incident occurred in
Once Sallie learned that a certain man had uttered indiscrete
criticism of her. One day she met him, jerked out her gun, leveled
it on the man and yelled: ''Been talking about me, huh? Well you
dance, you blanketyblank . . . ! Dance!'' And he danced, until
Sallie felt he had paid for his indiscretion.
Sallie's second husband was named Robinson, who died. Her third
husband was Bill Harsclorff. Judge Rae wrote: ''Bill Harsdorff was a
tough customer himself. He is said to have killed Sallie down in the
Mexican country. He is supposed to have shot her with a shotgun from
behind a free, and to have thrown her body onto a brush pile and
covered it with brush. He is said to have taken off her money belt
and left the country.''
Sallie educated her two daughters in a boarding school in New
Orleans. One of the daughters was the first wife of Ben Barber of
Bee County, Mr. Huson related.
FLOODS ON COUNTY CREEKS
Past floods on Poesta Creek in Beeville and Medic, Creek near Pettus
have caused loss of life and severe damage to businesses and
residential property in the flood plain.
Poesta, Aransas, Talpacote, and Salt Creeks loin to form the Aransas
River, and Medic, and Blanco Creeks and their tributaries unite to
make the Mission River.
Major floods occurred on Peosta Creek in 1903, 1914, 1919, 1927,
1931, 1942, 1949, 1952, 1954, 1956, and 1967, according to a survey
made by the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, of Galveston in
Of these eleven major floods, the 1903 and 1967 cloudbursts did the
most damage and Poesta Creek in the Beeville area reached the
highest watermarks in the rivulet's history.
Although the five‑day rainfall that produced the September 27, 1967
flood (spawned by Hurricane Beulah) gauged thirty‑one inches of
moisture, the twelve‑inch cloudburst on July 3, 1903, which fell
within a period of about four hours, sent Poesta Creek to its record
high mark‑about one foot higher than the flood of 1967. Several
Mexican citizens of the Mineral City community lost their lives, and
all bridges on the stream were swept away by the torrential waters,
according to the Beeville Bee and Beeville Picayune. The rain was
general over Bee County, and all spans over Medio. Talpacote, and
Aransas Creeks also went downstream to join the bay wafers of the
Gulf of Mexico.
On October 25, 1960, a cloudburst fell in the northern part of Bee
County and flood waters inundated the business section of the Pettus
community, and a repeat performance occurred on September 27, 1967,
(Hurricane Beulah flood) when the town again was deluged.
Fortunately no lives were lost, although some residents were forced
to climb to the tops of their homes for safety. Property damages ran
into many thousands of dollars as the result of both floods, which
were overflows from one of the tributaries of Medic, Creek.
During recent years farmers and ranchers have terraced their lands
and as a result much of the wafer that normally would go down the
streams, carrying with if valuable fertile soil that is so essential
to the agricultural and livestock industries, is being absorbed by
the ground. Nevertheless, the Corps of Army Engineers has issued
''Floods greater than those of the past can occur. Hydrological
studies of past storms and floods on other streams in the region
with similar topography and physical characteristics indicate that
future floods on Poesta Creek (and the same can be said of all other
rivulets in Bee County) could be significantly more severe than past
floods. To begin a realistic program of flood damage reduction, area
residents must know the elevations that future floods can be
expected to reach land areas which may be flooded. These data are
POSTMASTERS OF BEEVILLE
If will be recalled that the first Beeville was located on the east
bank of Medio Creek, seven miles east of the present city of
Beeville. That was when Bee County was organized in 1858. The post
office, however, was called Medio Hill, and Michael Seeligson was
the postmaster. according to the 1960 edition of Texas Almanac.
In 1859 when the county seat was moved to a settlement which the
County Court named Maryville, and eight months later changed the
name to Beeville, Henderson Williams became the first postmaster.
The following served after Mr. Williams:
George W. McClanahan, N. C. Webster, T. Martin, Thomas R. Atkins, W.
M. Smith, A. C. Jones, August Klein, R. B. Skaggs, John W. Flournoy,
Walter Johnson, Mary E. Johnson, W. S. Howard, John W. Bell, John H.
Ezell, James T, Ballard, Ellis Quinn, Paul Mueller, Lock M. Adkins,
Dorothy Wilson Hancock, Dee Cherry Pagel, and Teal Adkins, the
POPULATION OF BEE COUNTY
Since Bee County was created in 1857 and organized in 1858, the
people who were living in this territory prior to that time were
listed in the counties from which Bee County was taken. The first
census (taken every ten years) shown in 1860 gave Bee County a
population of 910.
During the 110 year period, from 1860 to 1970. the population by
decades was as follows: 1860, 910; 1870, 1,082; 1880, 2,298, 1890,
3,720; 1900, 7.720; 1910, 12,090; 1920, 12,137; 1930, 15,721; 1940,
16,481; 1950, 18.174; 1960, 23.755, and 1970, 22,737.
The census fakers did not start with Beeville until 1890, and for
the first two fen‑year periods the town's size was listed as
''estimated.'' In 1890, the estimated number of people living in the
town was given as 1,31 1, and in 1900 it was 2,31 1.
The census takers were on the job from 1910 on, and gave Beeville
the following figures: 1910, 3,269; 1920, 3,062; 1930, 4,806; 1940,
6,789; 1950, 9,348; 1960, 13.81 1, and 1970, 13,240.
OLDEST BUSINESS IN COUNTY
The Beasley & Beasley law firm is the oldest business in Bee County
in terms of continuous operation. It was established in 1876 by John
Collier Beasley, who was born January 7. 1854, in Petersburg. Va.,
and came to Beeville in 1876.
Mr. Beasley graduated from the University of Virginia. In coming to
Texas, he stopped for a short while at Ennis, then went to Rockport,
where he taught school one term.
Arriving in Beeville, he began the practice of law, fen years before
the railroad came In 1886. He married Miss Annie Mary Gramman of
Victoria on December 7, 188 1. Mr. and Mrs. Beasley were the parents
of four sons, John R., Robert J., and Browne, and William Henry who
died in infancy.
For a number of years John W. Flournoy was associated with Mr.
Beasley in the practice of law and in the real estate business. and
they were largely responsible for the development of Washington
Street as the main business thoroughfare of Beeville during the
In 1904, his son, John R. Beasley, joined him in the law practice
and the firm name became Beasley & Beasley. In 1937, John C. Beasley
11, son of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Beasley, joined the firm.
The senior John C. Beasley died in 1937, and John R. Beasley passed
away on March 1, 1970.
Today, John C. Beasley 11 is the senior member of the Beasley &
Beasley law firm, and his son, John W. Beasley, a graduate of Saint
Mary's University in San Antonio, is associated with him. In 1975,
after graduating from Saint Mary's Law School, Tom Beasley, another
son of John C. Beasley, will join the firm.
Thus it can be seen that the Beasley law firm, ninety‑seven years of
age, is the oldest business (of continuous operation) in Bee County.
The Beeville Bee, a ''Parent'' of the Beeville Bee‑Picayune, was
established in 1886, and is the second oldest business in the county
at the age of eighty‑seven years.
HISTORY OF MINERAL CEMETERY
By Mrs. Myrtle Brandis Thames
In 1873 along the road between Oakville and Mineral City, about five
miles southwest of Mineral City, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Wright
homesteaded 160 acres of land and built a home and a store. There
were plans that this place would become a little town. It was on the
main road called ''Camino Real,'' from Mexico City and Matamoros to
Caravans of oxcarts hauling freight, with Mexican drivers walking
beside the carts, traveled this road often. Wright's store became a
community center and a place for weary travelers to stop and water
their oxen or horses. It seemed to be the beginning of a little
town. Near this would be a suitable place for a graveyard.
A member of the Wright family died. The family selected a burying
place under a big Live Oak tree east of the road and near their
home. Some time later Allen Young died and was buried beside the
grave of Mr. Wright. Old settlers fell of passing along the road in
a wagon and seeing these graves under the oak free. The third grave
was for Albert Wright. These three graves are located in what is now
the northwest corner of the Mineral Cemetery. The big oak free died
and has been cleared away. The three graves, unprotected by a fence
for over sixty years, have been lost.
The oldest date on a tombstone is May 30, 1876. A four‑year‑old
child, Ada McChesney, is buried there. Other graves were located
east and south of this one. Some individual graves were enclosed by
an iron railing. Some family lots had an iron fence and gate around
them. When a person died, the men in the community dug the grave.
Sometimes they would work all night, faking turns at digging.
In 1877 the ''Mineral well'' was dug and Mineral City became a
thriving health resort. The town grew fast and was prosperous. The
Wrights sold their land and moved their store and house to Mineral
City in 1880.
When the railroad was built through Bee County, it was nine miles
east of Mineral City. Main roads were made parallel to the railroad.
The road from Oakville to Mineral City was not used much any more.
When pastures were fenced there were too many gates to open. A lane
was built along property lines to prevent cuffing off anyone's
pasture. That is why there are so many corners in the lane southwest
of Mineral. The old road was changed to a lane about one mile east
of the graveyard. There was no road to the graveyard and no gate in
the lane fence nearest there. This road was so rough and overgrown
with brush that it could hardly be traveled. The men of the
community decided they would have to repair the road.
They met with axes, grubbing hoes, and teams With scrapers and made
the road wide enough for one wagon or car and leveled the roughest
In 1924, Harold Yoward deeded seven acres of land to the Mineral
Cemetery Association. Otis Harris volunteered labor and a hired
group, built a fence around the cemetery, made a circular driveway
through if, and made a lane from the burial ground to the public
road. There were double gates in this lane fence to let the cattle
through on the day of a funeral. An oil company made an improved
road which passed near the south side of the cemetery. Mr. Harris
obtained permission for the public to use this road and he installed
a cattle guard in the southeast corner.
In 1934 plans were made to dig a wafer well. Robert Thames used a
forked switch to locate the wafer sand, which he found at a depth of
75 feet. The well was dug by hand with a drop auger. A hand pump was
installed and a year later a windmill was erected. Several years
later a cistern was added.
The first annual Memorial Day service was held in 1953. Galloway
Funeral Home furnished a tent for shade and brought some chairs. The
people realized the need for a pavilion. Otis Harris took up
collections, and the pavilion was built and ready for use by the
next Memorial Day. Mineral Baptist Church donated benches, and
tables were built on which to place the delicious food for the
dinner that followed the morning service. Later, money was donated
by Dee Maley, Jesse Garner and Sam Copeland to pay for having the
pavilion ceiled. Mr. Harris planted cedar trees which grew to form a
wall, making the building shady and cool.
Since 1953, Memorial Day services have been held in the pavilion
each year, with congregational singings, a talk, reading of the
names of all who have been buried there since the preceding Memorial
Day, and the annual business meeting of the Mineral Cemetery
Association. A picnic dinner follows the program.
PRESIDENT TAFT VISITS BEEVILLE
Beeville was honored by having one President of the United States
deliver a short address as his train made a ''whistle stop" at the
S.A.&A.P. depot here in 1909.
President William Howard Taft, the fwenty‑seventh President of this
country, was scheduled to appear at the rear end of the Presidential
Train when he was en route to La Quinfa, headquarters of the huge
Taft ; I Ranch, for a visit with his half‑brother, Charles Phelps
Taft. But when the train rolled into Beeville the President was
asleep, and because he had experienced a frying day, his attendants
would not awaken him.
Since automobiles in this area were scarce at that time, Sid Hall
and A. F. Rees were asked to fake their cars to Taft and chauffeur
the Presidential Party around the Gulf Coast area. Colle Hall drove
one of the cars and Mr. Rees the other. Jacob M. Dickinson,
Secretary of War under President Taft and the only Democrat member
of the cabinet. was in the party.
When apprised of the fact that he had wandered to dreamland and
failed to make his appearance in Beeville, the President contacted
friends here and promised to make the talk on his return trip. The
hour set was around nine o'clock at night.
A large crowd was present when the train pulled into the city and
came to a stop. People came as near to the car as they could get so
they could hear every word the distinguished visitor had to say. I
was an enthusiastic member of that group.
The President was scheduled to deliver a five‑minute talk on a
subject of his choice, but he was sidetracked by a man in the crowd
whose conversational prolixity was simulated by a few swallows of
After the Chief Executive had apologized for having taken a side
trip to the Land of Nod when he passed through Beeville a few days
previously, the inebriate in the gathering around the observation
''Bill, what do you think of the Postal Savings Bank?''
Apparently paying no attention to the disrespect that had been shown
the head of the United States Government, Mr. Taff said he favored
the project, and expounded on the subject during the remaining three
minutes of his allotted time. Then the whistle blew, and the
President gave the people who had assembled a cordial farewell as
the train departed.
Although Mr. Taft was the only President of the United States to
visit Beeville, Lyndon Johnson came here on numerous occasions
during the time he was serving as United States Senator, but never
returned after he had assumed the duties as head of this government.
WOUNDED IN MEXICO
Thomas Collins, maternal grandfather of Rae Wood (Mrs. Amos) Welder,
was born in 1816 in Armah County, Ireland. When a young man he
sailed for Nova Scotia and after a short time spent there he went to
New York for a while before sailing for New Orleans. In 1846 he
joined General Zachary Taylor and his 3,000 soldiers who had been
stationed on the Nueces River to do battle in Mexico.
Major General Winfield Scott was in command at the Baffle of Molino
del Rey and when the fortress of Chapulfepec was stormed and
captured on September 12 and 13, 1847, Thomas Collins was wounded in
the leg by a saber thrust. The young Mexican cadets at the fort were
trained in saber fighting. Collins was sent back to the United
In 1850 Thomas Collins and Sarah Howellton were married in New
Orleans. They went to Matagorda and started a sheep ranch. Thomas
extracted salt from the wafers of the Gulf which he took in a little
boat and sold in Corpus Christi. While on one of his trips during
the Civil War days some of the Northern soldiers raided the ranch.
taking the sheep and killing the chickens.
In 1878 after a storm had wrought devastation to his home and ranch
at Matagorda, Collins moved his family to some land near Pettus. His
children, including Martha (Mattie) born in 1675 (mother of Rae Wood
Welder), walked miles through tall grass and brush to attend the San
Domingo School, the first [!‑I Bee County. The children often hid in
the brush from Mexican bands‑.
Thomas Collins died on January 27, 1884, in Pettus.
ASKING FOR A DATE
In the 1870s if a young lady was fortunate to have an admirer she
would receive a requesting note for a date like this: Compliments of
Mr. Joe Doe to Miss Katie Blank, and respectfully solicits the
pleasure of seeing her home this eve ‑ Conveyance to be buggy or
Just as it may suit your pleasure.
ADVERTISEMENTS IN 1886
The first issues of the Beeville Bee in 1886 were made of
advertisements, most of them from San Antonio merchants, and stories
from other towns, states and countries. There was velocal news. The
newspaper did carry notices of the quests registered at the Brown
Hotel and Ellis Hotel. Some of the guest; were from Kansas City, New
Orleans and Beaumont.
One of the articles was entitled, What To Do With Our Girls, in
which It was stated that salesladies received $3.50 per week and
their feet got fired standing all day. They could be hired as
servants on ranches. Women in newspaper offices were a nuisance.
However, the writer knew one woman who was the best proofreader he
had ever known. ''What to do with our girls? Marry them!''
Dr. D. M. Thurston's, Physician and Surgeon. ad ran regularly in
each issue of the Bee in 1886, as did the ad for C. S. Phillips,
The following are a few of the regular advertisements appearing in
the Bee for the first year: Thos. Brundrett, agent for Hallaclay
windmill', John Impson, contractor & builder‑, Eclipse windmill
J. T. Byus & Co., dealers in groceries, dry goods, hardware. Highest
cash prices paid for wool, hides and cotton. Mineral City. Later
this store was sold to Fred B. Malone.
W. B. Hatch‑General Store, Papalote. Groceries, dry goods, boots and
shoes; farm, ranch, and railroad supplies.
R. B. Skaggs‑Druggist & Stationer. Dealer in patent medicines,
druggist sundries, fancy goods. paint, wallpaper, books, and
'jewelry. Agent for Cottonplant stoves and Hawks' crystallized
spectacles and eye glasses.
T. J. Skaggs‑Dry Goods Emporium. Staple and fancy goods, millinery
and confectionary. Carpets, matting a specialty.
Don Teas‑dealer in staple and fancy groceries, furniture, crockery,
tin ware, etc. Quick Sales and small profits is my motto. New
McCollom Building, Beeville.
Meals and bed‑each 25 cents. Mills Restaurant. Barbershop and
bathroom in connection. St. Mary's Street opposite Clare's Stable.
C. P. Morris, Professor of Penmanship, who taught all over this
section of the country, had a class in Beeville in 1886.
The Beeville Academy, designed for students of both sexes, opened in
September 1886 with 78 pupils.
Mrs. H. B. (Jeanne Jones) Hause has in her possession many
handwritten letters from C. P. Huntington to her great‑grandfather,
Captain A. C. Jones, concerning another railroad line coming into
Beeville. The letters were written between 1888 and 1892. C. P.
Huntington lived in New York and was world‑wide known as the head of
the Southern Pacific Railroads.
SOME NEWS ITEMS OF 1890s
In December 1896, Carl Rankin, a prosperous farmer, living just west
of Beeville, gathered 2.500 bushels of sweet potatoes from 15 acres
which he had planted. He was selling them for 50 cents a
In July 1897, Robert Ezell (father of this writer) in sinking a well
on the Thomas Welder Ranch brought up pieces of bones of a mastodon
from a depth of 65 feet.‑Beeville Bee.
In January 1898, R. J. Cook purchased, at $2 an acre, 5.000 acres of
land 14 miles west of Beeville, near Clareville, and embracing Mulas
Hills and into Live Oak County.‑Beeville Bee.
D. Swickheimer sold the remaining 5,000 acres of his land in Bee
County to J. C. Wood of Beeville for $3.75 per acre.‑Beeville Bee.
Mayes & Agee, druggists, sold hammocks at $1.25 and $2.25. "Poetry
is in the gentle swing of the hammock.'' Beeville Bee, 1898.
Will Benning had a shoe‑shine box at Smith & Stapleton's Barber Shop
and would call at anyone's home to do polishing.‑Beeville Bee 1898.
Some people, mostly druggists, were concerned about cancer in 1898.
On May 5, 1898, patriotic speeches were made by local Mexican
leaders in the Opera House which was gaily decorated with American,
Mexican and Cuban flags in commemoration of the victory of the
Mexican patriots over the imperialists at Puebla in 1866.‑Beeville
Bee, May 6, 1898.
AFTER THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
The engagement of Miss Genevieve Tarlton was announced by her
father. Judge D. B. Tarlton, to J. R. Dougherty, Austin, March 24,
The following items are from the files of the 1911 Picayune: The
Courthouse excavation laborers getting $1.25 per day struck for
$1.50 . . . Sweet and Irish potatoes, also apples, came into town by
the carloads, either sold at the railroad tracks or at the grocery
warehouses . . . A carload of heaters came in for W. 0. Potter & Son
in January which sold for $1.50 up . . . At the Cut‑Rate Cash
Grocery Store, A. Q. Knight, owner, one could buy 100 pounds of
Irish potatoes for $2, coaloil for 15 cents a gallon, smoked bacon
for 18 cents per pound and soap ‑ any kind ‑ brought 25 cents for
six bars . . . J. H. Thompson & Sons sold 16 pounds of sugar for $1
. . . On June 2, 1911, the Beeville Creamery turned out 1,161 pounds
of buffer‑the largest amount for any week of the plant . . . In
December the City Dads were concerned about the women in their
velvet shoes having to step in the mud downtown. They also advocated
a concrete crossing in town for the cows to cross . . .
Beeville was determined to get rid of the auto speed fiend. An
ordinance was adopted which reduced the minimum speed from fifteen
miles to eight miles per hour. Fine $5 to $100. Auto hogs are
breeding trouble San Antonio Republic, June 22, 1911.
There were few sidewalks in Beeville, but in 1912 work began on
30,000 feet of cement walks and free delivery of mail started.
The following notice appeared in the Picayune, June 21, 1912: ''BIG
BARN HOP dedicating Sid Smith's model farm west of Beeville some
eight miles‑on evening of Friday. June 28, 1912. Proceeds to buy
furniture in Smith Schoolhouse‑ready for use next school term.''
A carload of cans came in on August 1, 1912, for R. B. Jones,
Grocer. The cans were sold to the members of the canning clubs.
Dog taxes‑August 1, 19 11 to July 3 1. 19 1 2‑must be paid by June I
to the City Secretary. Male $1, and $1.50 for female.
In early 1913 Dan Troy, county clerk, announced that in 1907 there
had been 179 marriage licenses, but in 1912, being leap year, there
were 211 marriages.
In 1913 ladies' long coats could be bought at the local stores for
$2.25 to $5. Boys' knee pants sold for 25 cents to $1.60, corsets 85
cents to $2, and colored silk petticoats for $2.98. ,
By 1913 the Beasley family had bought four automobiles. Mother
Garrett made fresh yeast every week for sale at her home or at
Musseff's. Everyone thought that one owed if to one's self to be
well dressed. A bill was introduced in Austin for 125 days of
schooling per year instead of 55 days which had been required for
"J. Frank Dobie of Beeville, who is attending Columbia University in
New York, was awarded a $ 150 scholarship for making the top grade
in English. ''‑Beeville Picayune, October 1913. Frank Doble's
parents moved to Beeville while he was attending Southwestern
University at Georgetown. Later he became professor of English at
the University of Texas and conducted a popular class in ''Life and
Literature of the Southwest.'' Mr. Dobie spent a year as a visiting
professor of English at Cambridge. His books are gems of legends and
folklore. At his death he left his estate outside of Austin to be
used by writers and artists.
In 1931 during the depression, ground meat was 15 cents a pound, a f
In ree‑ ' pound roast was 45 cents and a haircut was 30 cents. Today
in 1973 the prices have zoomed for everything. These are sale prices
at a local store: Bacon, 83 and 99 cents a pound; shoulder round
roast, $1.15 per pound, and extra‑lean ground round meat is $1.49
per pound; potatoes, a five‑pound bag 79 cents, and chicken is 45
cents a pound. Barber shops charge $2.00 for haircuts and beauty
shops ask $3.50 for a shampoo and set.
In 1934 when Mr. and Mrs. Reese Wade entered Beeville for the first
time he stopped their car while they looked with amazement at the
sky full of windmills, for it seemed every yard had one. The city
waterworks and electric pumps have replaced most of the windmills in
the town, but the county is still doffed with them. In the 1890s
Beeville was called, ''A Forest of Windmills,'' Windmills were
shipped here by carload lots during that time.
DURING RECENT YEARS
From 1961 to 1972 Raymond Eissier gave a free Thanksgiving dinner
the Friday following Thanksgiving at the auction at Blueberry Hill
for approximately 1000 people. Roberts' Antiques holds an auction
occasionally of fine antiques and interested people come to bid and
buy from miles around.
Rev. Jess M. Lunsford received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree
Saturday, May 19, 1973, conferred by Mary Hardin‑Baylor College at
Belton. Dr. B. C. Brown of the First Baptist Church received his
honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Howard Payne College in
Brownwood on August 2 1, 1959. Dr. Carroll Jones had the honorary
degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred on him by the University of
Corpus Christi on May 29, 1961. The three men are Baptist ministers.
The president of Bee County College, Grady C. Hogue, received an
honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Corpus Christi
August of 1972.
''What God Hath Wrought,'' History of the Blanco Baptist
Association, 1873‑1973, written by Mrs. Carroll (Cora) Jones. is
being published and will soon be released for sale.
Mrs. Ruth Hardcastle, head of the Cosmetology Department of Bee
County College, in the three years that classes have been held in
beauty salon work, has prepared 60 graduates to successfully pass
the State Board examination. There have been no failures.
Lloyd Gregory, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Gregory, was
born and reared in Beeville. He was for many years managing editor
of the Houston Post and a long‑time advertising executive in
Houston. For the past 25 years he has been chairman of the
Battleship Texas Commission and it was through his influence that
the ship was anchored in the Houston Ship Channel near the San
Jacinto Battleground. At the observance of the 137th anniversary of
the victory baffle giving Texas her freedom, Mr. Gregory was honored
'in a ceremony for his efforts. Lloyd always comes home to attend
the annual reunion of his 1916 A. C. Jones High School graduating
COMMANDING OFFICERS OF CHASE FIELD
(I June 1943 to present)
I June 1943‑22 July 1943 .... ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ LCDR. George T.
22 July 1943‑5 Aug. 1943 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑ LCDR.
E. S. Spangler
5 Aug. 1943‑13 June 1945 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑
.‑.CDR. A. R. Nash
13 June 1945‑7 March 1946 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ LCDR. W.
7 March 1946‑Chase Field was placed on a caretaker basis due to
reduction in training. Six officers and 90 enlisted men made up the
command. LCDR. W. A. Mathews was relieved by LCDR. A. L. Rausch as
14 Aug. 1952‑Navy paid $100,000 to Beeville for Chase Field.
Personnel on board Chase Field included 6 civilians, I secretary and
LT. W. J. Colins.
23 Nov. 1953‑Chase Field was designated as a Naval Auxiliary Air
Station with LCDR. S. M. Tharp, Jr., appointed Officer in Charge.
I April 1954‑2 July 1954 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CDR. William
2 July 1954‑18 July 1954 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT.
W. L. Wiclhelm 18 July 1954‑27 Aug. 1954
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CDR. William H. Keighley
27 Aug. 1954‑14 July 1956 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑
CAPT. H. M. Avery
14 July 1956‑1 July 1957 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT.
Arthur B. Sweet
I July 1957‑15 July 1958 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ __ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
CAPT. T. D. Harris
252 HISTORY OF BEE COUNTY
15 July 1958‑1 Sept. 1959 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ _ ‑‑‑
CAPT. G. H. Duffy
I Sept. 1959‑7 Sept. 1961 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
CAPT. Sam E. Clark
7 Sept. 1961‑17 Aug. 1963 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT.
R. F. Trudeau
17 Aug. 1963‑23 Sept. 1965 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Joseph
23 Sept. 1965‑23 Aug. 1967 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑ CAPT. Walter
23 Aug. 1967‑8 Sept. 1967 ‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑ CDR.
Aubrey L. Gibson
8 Sept. 1967‑31 March 1969 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ CAPT. Gerald E.
31 March 1969‑14 April 1969 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑_ CAPT. Joseph
14 Apr. 1969‑23 July 1971 ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑ CAPT.
Hal B. Stewart
23 July 1971‑8 Sept. 1972 ‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ ‑‑‑‑ CAPT.
Robert P. S rm1fh
8 Sept. 1972‑presert _C;A P I. Robert E. Ferouson
PLA~,~ IN NOTRE, DAME, CATHEDRAL
Joyce Jones wif‑ cT' Lieutenant Colonel Robert Jones
au‑hter‑i r ‑law c' 11 e Rev, Dr
~ I) , and Mrs. Carroll Jones of Beeville,
p~a~ ' ~e(` a v,‑ogram on t,‑)e marnril pipe organ in Notre Dame
Cathedral in Par's Sunday morning, May 27, 1973.
(NOTE: errors in text
due to scanning of document)
The organist, who is booked in the United States by Community
Concerts Association, is on a concert tour of Europe, but her first
performance was at the famous Catholic cathedral which was completed
in 13 13??.
Joyce Jones Is a daughter of Mrs. Frank Gilstrap and the late Mr.
Gilstrap of George West. She started piano studies under Miss
Josephine Canfield of George West. Later she turned to the organ and
has studied with some of the great teachers of the United States,
Germany, and France. She gave a recital in Beeville several years
ago. Her husband is a chaplain in the United States Army.
DISTINGUISHED ROSICRUCIANS VISIT BEEVILLE
Helen and I have been members of the RcQ~cri.lclan order (A.M.O.R.C.)
for more than forty‑five years. We are botl[~ p,~s‑‑masfers of the
Philadelphia Lodge and i served twenty years as Grc~ri_‑' ‑.cuncilor
of the South western States for the Grand Lodge at San Jose, During
the years we have been in Beeville we have had some distinguished
Rosicrucian officers as guests in our home, including: Ralph M.
Lewis, Im I perafor of the world‑wide order, and Ms. Lewis of San
Jose; Dr. Albert Doss of Cairo, Egypt, a past‑master of the Cairo
Lodge who has become a naturalized citizen of the United Staies and
is now a pracflc'lng psychiatrist in Ra
leigh, N. C.; the Rev. Dr. William C. Clark of Lindsborg, Kan., who
suc ceeded me as Grand Councilor; Harold Stevens of Mayville, N. Y.,
Grand Councilor for the Northeastern States, and Mrs. Stevens; and
hundreds of Rosicrucian members, from throughout the United States
as well as from foreign countries. All of the officers were
favorably impressed with Bee ville and Bee County.
THE END OF THE STORY
This is the end of the verbal Historical Story of Bee County, Texas.
The next forty pages will be a recapitulation of the annals of the
county in picture form.
This has been the biggest assignment I have ever attempted, yet if
has also been the most interesting and enjoyable writing task during
my sixty‑two years of writing experience.
I am deeply indebted to my wife, Helen, who has been a tremendous
help, and to the many people who have loaned pictures and offered
historical items for consideration. Without the help of friends a
work of this kind could never become a success.
I hope that you like it!
CAMP EZELL, the Author