INTRODUCTION

By FRED C. LATCHAM JR.
Publisher Beeville Bee-Picayune and Vice President Beeville Publishing Co., Inc.


If ever there was a work of love, this volume on Bee County History has to be the ultimate. Camp Ezell left his rural hometown of Beeville in the I 930s to travel and work on newspapers from the East Coast to the West Coast, but he returned while still a young man in the 1940s to the place he loved best—Beeville. He then spent twenty-seven years as editor of the Bee-Picayune before retiring in 1972.

He and his good wife, Helen, have spent more than a year compiling the historical facts which he has set down in this book for posterity. We are indeed fortunate to have such a chronicle and also to have such a devoted author who would not repeat others’ tales without first proving their authenticity.

It has been my pleasure to work with Camp for over twenty years and to see first-hand his keen interest in his native community. His background gives him a unique ability to complete the enormous undertaking of compiling this history. Born before the turn of the century in Beeville, he has seen it grow from a country town into a pleasant city.

It has been his good fortune to watch the change from motorized to space travel and the other technical advancements of this century which have affected his home community, as well as the rest of the nation. Thus his history begins with the first settlers and records the years up through World War II and the coming of NAS Chase Field. It continues through the glorious sixties which brought Memorial Hospital and Bee County College, and the stirring seventies with the completion of the by-pass, and the present rosy outlook for Beeville and Bee County.

Every Bee County community, church, civic club, social club, and organization has been chronicled in this history. Many of these have made significant contributions and Helen Ezell has worked with her husband to write the histories of organizations which she has spent many years serving.

There is no question in my mind that this book will serve this area for years to come as the most complete and authentic history of Bee County one could wish to have.

It is difficult to put into words the thanks this community owes the author, his wife, and those who have assisted them in their labor of love. We are indeed fortunate to have such a devoted member of our community who was trained for his task by his many long years in the newspaper business.