Collegeport Articles

 

December, 1929
 


Collegeport High School Chronicle

 

Monday we begin a new month's work at school after having several days free for Thanksgiving. We don't know if we have too much to be thankful for, as we have not received our grades as yet.

 

We were not able to have the program that we planned for Thanksgiving because of the bad weather. In some ways we were real sorry as we were anxious to see how some of our amateurs would act on the stage.

 

Miss Ruth Mowery and Ella Maye Chiles enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinner at the ranch. Some of us really envy them. Many times, we find that the boys make fair cooks.

 

Miss Dorothy reports that she had a good time while in Houston. She says that it makes one feel good to be back with the old gang but that it gives one a mighty lonesome feeling when one strolls around the campus. The new faces cannot take the place of the old ones.

 

We learned that we have a real fisherman in our midst. Arthur Liggett reports that he has been making hauls of 25 pounds of red fish at the time. We know this to be fact as it has happened several times recently.

 

What shall we do if this rainy weather continues? We are going to have to learn to swim or get an airplane. But, where is the plane going to land?

 

The high school was glad to welcome back Mary Ethel to their midst. She has been ill for some time.

 

Leslie Lee spent the week-end at the Duffy ranch. He does make a good cowboy.

 

Ask Frances Belle how she likes for her friends to be put behind the doors. It does get rather embarrassing at times. Well, it was just a good joke, although we did not realize it at the time.

 

Mamie Franzen does not think that she will turn out to be a carpenter although she served her apprenticeship Friday. She often hit the wrong nail or no nail at all!

 

We are anxiously awaiting dry weather so that we ca get out on the playground to carry on our activities there. Although it is nasty out we have to spend most of our time on the grounds. Our teachers think that we get a sufficient amount of time in the classroom during study hours.

 

Rosalie Nelson spent the weekend with her aunt, Mrs. G. Braden, at Blessing.

 

The Daily Tribune, December 3, 1929

 


THOUGHTS ABOUT WHITE NECTAR

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

[Local information taken from longer article about milk.]

 

The Phoenix Dairy Company has opened a milk plant in Wharton with a capacity of 10,000 gallons per day. None of these towns present such a logical point for a profitable dairy industry as does Bay City and yet it seems to be marking time and dairymen all over the county are wondering why. When the dairy industry is well organized in this county the loss of a cotton crop once in five years will not be felt, for a living will be assured for every farm family. Well, anyway, it makes but little difference to us Homecrofters, for Mary Louise will be home in about 21 days and then we will all have a wonderful, happy, satisfying Christmas. The presence of our daughter is the only gift we desire.

 

"All night long I dream of thee,

As I sleep in my bed at night,

When the waves beat the shore soft and low

And the stars are like diamonds bright

Then I think and dream of thee,

In the morning as I stand upon my feet

I wonder will I pass the day and how,

While still I dream of thee daughter sweet."

--Fragments from Hack.

 

For Thanksgiving one of the items was a sauerkraut put up by the Guinea pig queen, known by some as Ora Luce Chapin and we can testify to its most excellent, admirable, choice, quality. We had some sompin' else as well and as Horace once said "Take as a gift whatever the day brings forth."

 

Dorothy Franzen teaching her pupils the use of the hyphen used as an example "bird-cage." Now said Dorothy: why do we place a hyphen in bird-cage?" The reply came from one bright youngster: "It's for the bird to sit on."

 

"Knowledge and wisdom far from being one.

Have oft times no connection.

Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men,

Wisdom in minds attentive to their own."--Cowper.

 

Being out of wood, the school closed on that bitter cold day Monday.

 

Gus Franzen reports as many as five hundred geese feeding in his cotton fields and I saw a bunch of twenty-five slide into the Pilkington Slough on morning.

 

Henry Ford, called to Washington, seemed to be a sort of a dummy. The other fellows thought all they had to do was to pass a few resolutions and go home and they did. Henry, foolish fellow, that he was, announced that he would increase production, decrease price to the consumer and boost wages and he did.

 

Stanley Wright has 57 calves growing fine and half ready for the market, all prime stuff.

 

A price list from the Carnation Farm offers some young Holsteins at from $400.00 to $2000.00 per head. Some price but then they are "The Breed that Leads."

 

Cities are reaching out and annexing adjacent territory, hoping to boost their census enumeration. I suggest Bay City take in Palacios and other near by communities and thus make a showing.

 

Quail season is on and E. L. Hall is wondering who borrowed his dog, Sport.

 

Celery, head lettuce, cookies, cakes, fruit and other luxuries at the Bachman store.

 

Dorothy Franzen taking advantage of the few days' vacation goes to Houston where she will attend the Rice Whoopee and on to the A. & M. Thanksgiving game.

 

An editorial in Labor states that the Chicago schools will suspend for lack of funds. Eight hundred employees are to be dismissed altogether, 3,200 others given a 60-day furlough without pay and the schools closed for two months probably, December and January. Labor pronounces it the most shocking and disgraceful thing reported from any American city for many years.

 

The League called off its regular meeting this week because of the bad roads, cold and rain.

 

The Woman's Union will hold their annual banquet and oyster supper Friday night, Dec. 6. Confederate money will not secure discounts at this sale.

 

Here is a short poem which disgruntled cotton farmers might cut out and paste in their hats and when everything looks black and fruitless as hell, read it over:

 

"Keep a-goin'!

If you strike a thorn or rose

Keep a-goin'!

If it hails or if it shines

Keep a-goin'!

'Tain't no use to sit and whine

When the fish ain't on your line;

Bait your hook and keep a tryin'--

Keep a-goin'!"

--Anon.

 

The Daily Tribune, Tuesday, December 3, 1929

 


THOUGHTS ABOUT SHUTTING THE GATE

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

[Local information taken from longer article.]

 

It is well to know that the Tribune is a home religious paper and that its editor is a stickler for the truth, so in relating this episode I will attempt to stay inside the truth. Arthur Liggett is developing into a great fisher and it is nothing for him to pull in from fifty to eighty pounds of red fish at one pull. The other day he brought in something like one hundred pounds be it more or less. I think less, but anyway he gave one to the miserable wretch and when dressed and with head and tail off, measured fifteen inches. Must have weighed less than fifty pounds.

 

The miserable wretch stuffed it and spiced it with generous portions of garlic, peppers and we had one grand fish dinner. The next day she served fish cakes and then fish chowder and no wonder that when we said prayers at night we asked blessing and further success to Arthur, the fisherman.

 

Then Dorothy Franzen had to come out all dressed up in a Swedish peasant costume, which made her more charming than ever.

 

Monday the mercury went way down in the last row and sat down at 24 degrees and we all shivered.

 

Homer Goff drifted in Saturday night and at 4 a. m. Sunday, accompanied by Mr. McKinnion and Mayor Domo, left for Houston.

 

We are filled up with visitors this week for here comes Glenn Dale Welsby and baby son.

 

Look, who is this? Why, it is Fleming Chiles and wife and Fleming, Jr., and I always like to see these young folks return home with additions for that is what keeps the old world agoin'.

 

Large flocks of blue cranes fly across every day. I counted fifty-seven in one bunch. The breast of a blue crane is a very good dish to place before any king.

 

The Woman's Bazaar went off in fine shape. Many fine articles were on sale at fair prices. Oysters in any style, served with many kinds of pie, coffee and cake and the result financially was pleasant.

 

A fine set of dishes was on sale and I advised Dorothy Dick to buy them but Dick Dorothy [Corporon] had just invested his spending change in a new Chevie, so they had no coin for dishes.

 

Monday night was cold and blustery. The north wind blew a gale and the mercury down to freezing. This was outdoors, but inside the Liggett home all was warm, cozy, hospitable, being the fifteenth anniversary of this worthy couple.

 

"Thou hast sworn by thy God, my Agnes

By that pretty white hand o' thine

And by a' the lowing stars in heaven.

That thou wad aye be mine!

And I hae sworn by my God, my Agnes,

And by that kind heart o' thine,

By a' the stars sown thick ow'er heaven,

That thou shalt aye be mine."

With apologies to Allan Cunningham.

 

This is what was said fifteen years ago, and now comes the crystal anniversary. Invitations were written with white ink on crystal cards and the color scheme was green and white with chrysanthemums predominating. Place cards were crystal wedding bells inserted in the tops of green marshmallows each bell bearing in white letters the name of the guest. Brilliant electric lights were shaded in green and white. The table spread with snowy linens, sparkled with cut glass and glistened with silver.

 

As a crowning piece to the color scheme, the bride was dressed in gown of a beautiful shade of green. The following guests were present: Mrs. Helen Holsworth, Mr. Mason S. Holsworth, Mr. and Mrs. Gustave Franzen, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Nelson and the Misses Rosalie and Ethel Nelson, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Austin Clapp, Mrs. Edward Lindwood. Of course, the bride and groom were present, as were their accumulations during the past fifteen years in the persons of Arthur Liggett, Roberta Liggett and Master Milford Austin Liggett.

 

As for the menu, it was all the most fastidious gastromer could wish, beginning with roast stuffed capon, mashed potatoes, cranberry gelatine squares, creamed oysters in patty shells, celery, wonderful sweet pickles, salad, hot rolls, green pine apple sherbet, angel food bride's cake and coffee, and surmounted with miniature figures of a bride and groom. When the latter was served, Mrs. Harry Austin Clapp rose and gave a toast to the bride in these words:

 

"Love be true to her

Life be dear to her,

Health stay close to her,

Fortune find what you can for her,

Search your treasure house through and through for her,

Follow her footsteps the wide world over,

And may her husband always be her lover."

 

After dinner the bride donned glasses and lo, Ethel Spence was present and played the accompaniment, while Misses Rosalie Nelson, Roberta Liggett and Ethel Nelson sang for the guests.

 

Gifts of crystal from their loving friends were in evidence a plenty. The guests departed wishing Mr. and Mrs. Lester Liggett a long and happy life. I have attended many similar affairs but none more brilliant, satisfying, or exquisite. I and the miserable wretch went home and we listened as our Edison played for us: "The End of a Perfect Day."

 

The Daily Tribune, December 10, 1929

 


Thoughts About a Saga of Collegeport

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

“And then the blue eyed Norseman told

A saga of the days of old.”

                                                  --Longfellow

 

A saga of Collegeport properly begins generations ago, when all these lands were covered with roaming herds of cattle and the home of a few, very few, people, but for the purpose of this tale it goes back to about the year 1906 when a man on horseback rode over its expanse and with ambitious eye visioned its future. Allowing his horse to graze, he folded his arms and stared at the brilliant scene. He did not see the landscape. His eyes were projecting visions. He saw nothing but tall grass up to the belly of his horse, clumps of huisache, groups of grazing cattle and driving all day he came upon but one wandering cowman. In his future reaching eye, however, he saw, farms with men busy putting in crops, roads, radiating from all parts of the territory, women singing at their work, children laughing at play. He saw schools, fine homes, a railroad and other evidences of progress. In his mind he laid out the country into blocks and the blocks into large and small farms and on a delightful bluff overlooking the bay he saw a town occupied with a busy, happy contented people.

 

Came a surveyor in the year 1907 who ran lines across the country with a compass and these lines were transcribed onto blue prints. The bell was tolling for a long occupied pasture land and the day of cowmen and cattle was passing.

 

For my purpose in this tale the time begins when I read an advertisement in the Chicago Tribune, which called me to the Marquette building where I met a man whose presence inspired confidence, and so I signed up and on January 24, 1909 , I first gazed upon what was to be Collegeport.

 

Collegeport, like Gaul , is divided into three parts, viz: the originals, those who lived here before 1909, the old timers, those who settled here during the years 1909 and 1914, and the new comers, those who arrived since 1914.

 

The five years beginning with 1909 were golden days of the community, for it was during that period, the railroad came, the post office was opened, a bank established. People came fast and soon the town boasted of twelve business houses, a weekly newspaper, The Collegeport Chronicle, a splendid hotel, two big rooming houses, fine residences along the bay shore and the principal street. Then came the days of retroversion. People began to turn back from whence they came. Some of the older ones died after trying to snatch back some of their youth, jaded ones who were getting a thrill out of what they called pioneering, disillusioned ones who tiring of the effervescence of home seeking. These left. Some others stayed and are still here living a contented life.

 

Old timers, do you remember with what pride you used to listen to the wonderful music produced by the Collegeport band? Do you remember those boys? L. E. Liggett, business manager; Mr. Harsh, director; Abbot Kone, cornet; Donald Travis, cornet; J. Walters, clarinet; Carl Judin, Clarinet; G. Yeamans, baritone; C. Yeamans, bass; A. Morris, snare drum; Geo. Martin, bass drum; Ora Turner, alto; Joe Paine, alto; George Corporon, slide trombone.

 

In 1911, Mrs. Emma B. Ruff of Houston offered to build a canning factory provided we would subscribe $10,000 in stock. We decided to wait until Dr. Van Wormer would build one without so much encouragement.

 

Came those who are here now whose names it is not necessary to mention, but also came Smith, Travis, House, Sholl, Knight, Judin, Pierson, Miller, Kone, Gaumer, Van Ness, Spence, Palmer, Olsen, Morris, Sicks, Hurd, Sr., Sterling, Darling, Lipsitt, Glasser, Herbage, Livers, Adams, Sweet, Dierke, Lake, Leach, Jones, Brown, Wilkinson, Pfeiffer, Cobb, Ives, Black, Clark, Aucutt, Harrington, Delaplain, Gableman, Kanht, Grimes, Sellers, Wilder, Carey, Maples, Hutchison, Hoffhines, Sarchet, Hansel, Elmer, Pridgeon, Mott, Price, Edwards, O’Kane and a host of others whose names my memory does not recall.

 

Now as I look back I regret those halcyon days of Collegeport. I recall the night we met to organize our first school district and count all the children then living here and those whose parents were planning to come we had about ten names and so the first school was opened in a small tent about where the library stands now, with a devoted teacher whose name I do not remember.

 

Mrs. Elmer started the first Sunday school, in the Mott grocery store, with Chauncy Brown as superintendent and H. A. Clapp as assistant. The assistant was needed, as we had as many as six or seven members. I can hear Mrs. Elmer’s voice as I write, singing, “Bringing in the Sheaves.”

 

Then there was the Dena H. What memories the name brings to us as we think of the many happy trips on that gay ship from the Collegeport dock to Portsmouth and a royal dinner with the O’Neals.

 

Mrs. O’Neal still preserved the old register and a perusal of its pages will bring back to one many happy thoughts of the days that are gone forever. How about the pavilion, the land company provided with its promenade, its dancing floor, its bath rooms and facilities for water sports.

 

There is was, that Mary Louise took her first swimming lesson and as I took her into the water she clung to me like a leach from fear. Now she dives and swims like a seal. Remember the building of the fine hotel, the opening of the townsite with the two bands and after a banquet in the dining room, two hundred people dancing on the gallery and in the lobby.

 

There being no postoffice or railway, our mail was brought from Palacios and deposited in a box on the beach and each one selected his own mail. Groceries came from the same source. We all felt quite swell when the postoffice was opened with Howard Sholl as postmaster and the day the first train arrived, the town turned out in full force.

 

Everyone suffered from the citrus fruit and fig bug and many acres were set out and for a time it looked as though Collegeport would bull the fruit market. No one counted much on the dairy cow or the sow or hen. Note the change, for now they are the standby for the payment of the grocery account.

 

Only a few things are mentioned but they will serve I hope to bring back happy memories to those who are now in foreign parts.

 

Last week my copy mentioned that Gerald Merck, wife and baby boy were here for a visit and that Glenn Dale Welsby and wife were here also. The fellow who manipulates the keys on the type machine ignored the Merck copy and then stated that Glenn Dale Welsby and baby boy were here. In as much as Dale was married on the day before Thanksgiving, the announcement is a trifle previous. Some day it is hoped he will come with his baby boy.

 

Arthur Soekland shipped five crates of superlative fat capons this week, and Mrs. John Gainesborough Ackerman sent out a big bunch of turks. The Fred Robbins ranch shipped out eight cars of short yearling calves in a special train.

 

Some thief, while Seth Corse was busy reached in the delivery window of the postoffice and swiped the postal scales. A serious offense.

 

Gus Franzen drove in Thursday and from his car dumped out fourteen school kids. Shows what a Ford can do.

 

At last, Oscar Barber has made his wants known. The miserable wretch swears she will vote for him but as for me, I dunno until I have talked the matter over with Oscar. It is my humble opinion that Mr. Kleska should be retained in his office for several reasons, the foremost being that he is a very proficient collector.

 

A downpour of five or six inches of rain Tuesday postponed land breaking for some time. Balance of the week, “good old summer time.”

 

I feel sorry for George Harrison. It seems that he told his girls that every time they made the honor roll in school he would honor them with a cash deposit and here come Ruth, Naomi and Marion all in the honor roll and George will have to come across if I know those girls.

 

The woman’s club held its annual Christmas party at the Boeker home with a regular tree loaded with gifts for each member.

 

Old friends of the Sims family are delighted to know that they have arrived for a stay of several weeks and are at home in their Bay shore domicile. They left Detroit with a temperature of four below and arrive here with the mercury flirting with eighty. Mr. Sims began shedding heavy underwear and overcoat at Tulsa and by the time he arrived here was in his B. V. D.’s over which he wore the customary clothing. They brought with them Miss Mabel Berger from Tulsa . Miss Berger should be counted as an old timer for she bought land here in 1910. She also owns several lots in town and is planning extensive improvements on her home, located at the corner of Central Street and Avenue E.

 

Mrs. Crane, manager of the Bachman store, has a tempting display of toys surrounding a Christmas tree all located in one of the show windows.

 

The Collegeport Pharmacy is all dolled up with mistletoe, holly and yupon and an extra fine display of gifts. This display will in no way detract from the quality of hot and cold drinks he draws from his fountain. Hugo has not only made a reputation as an oyster chef, but is known far and wide for being a prince of good fellows.

 

My copy last week mentioned that among those present at the Liggett dinner was Mr. Edward Linwood Hall. The typer made it read Mr. Edward Linwood. Mr. Hall is the man who owns and operates the Portsmouth special between this burg and the city, twenty-five miles from the Bay.

 

Mrs. Seth W. Corse and Mrs. Carl Boeker attended as delegates from the local club, the County Federation meeting at Blessing. They report that turkey, dressing and gravy were delicious.

 

A letter from Mr. James Ford executive director better homes in America , Washington , D. C., requests that Mrs. Harry Austin Clapp act as chairman of the local board. If better homes means more and better noodles, I am for it strong.

 

Louise Walter comes out in a nifty dress of black and white check, big red tie and a bright red coat. Makes her look like a cardinal, but anyway she is a bird.

 

The Daily Tribune , December 17, 1929, Harry Austin Clapp Scrapbook 2, pp 38 & 39

 


Former Residents of Collegeport Writes

C. W. Rutherford, who made his home in Collegeport, a number of years, but has been in Nevada, Mo., the past two years, in order to be near his relatives and to look after his farms in that state, and Kansas, in renewing his subscription to the Beacon this week, has this to say that might be of interest to our readers who knew him and Mrs. Rutherford: “Dear Editor, As my time is about out for your papers I am sending you a check for another year’s reading, as we can’t get along without the Beacon. My wife looks for it every week and reads it before any of the others. It is just like getting a letter from a friend. We still own our farm at Collegeport, and think it is the best place in the United States to live and would like to be there now, too cold up here, nine months of winter and three of fall. We are hoping to make a trip down there in the spring. The good roads will make that part of Texas the garden spot of the earth.”

Palacios Beacon, December 19, 1929
 


Thoughts About Critics
By Harry Austin Clapp

[Local information taken from longer article.]

Often I have wondered just what a treasurer was. I of course, knew that he had some thing to do with a treasure. I find then that a treasurer is “an officer who receives public money arising from taxes and duties, takes charge of the same and disburses it upon order made by proper authority.” This is what Charles Langham, our present County Treasurer has done and because he had done this work well and faithfully he seeks to retain the office. I have little sympathy with a voter who would turn out a faithful officer, just because he has served a certain term. Keep the good ones, the proficient ones, at work is my idea of good government and so this day of Christmas, 1929, I am thinking that my two votes will help to keep Charles Langham in charge of the public monies.

Santa Claus was mighty good to me this year. All my children aided in filling my stocking to overflow and as the day ended with a big turkey feast, I thanked God that he had given me such wonderful children and such a dear grandchild. I cannot enumerate the many gifts and remembrances from all parts of the United States. They brought joy and happiness to us. Two gifts stand out because so unexpected. The Tribune remembered me generously with a tool that will keep me thinking of Carey and his force for many years and then came a big box of those Carrie Nelson Noodles with a letter telling me of the regard the maker has for me. I shall preserve the latter and as for the noodles come around about Sunday and look through my window and watch noodles depart for their destination. The thought that prompted Carey Smith and Carrie Nelson to remember me is the thing that lights the candle of love and lights in one’s soul. It burns bright for me this day and will continue for a year and a day. Of course the greatest gift that came to I and the miserable wretch was the home coming of Mary Louise and to our great joy the tyrants who rule over her office told her to stay a full week. You folks who have children coming home know how happy we are.

“To me she is like a sweet flower in the morning
I touch her face hour by hour to be sure
That same face will be with me in the evening
That my sleep restful and secure.

She is my one great weakness,
And as I kiss her lips and hand
I am no longer faint and lonely
We look at each other and understand.”

--Fragments from Hack.

Gus Franzen knows all about it for he had all his children at home and so his face is wreathed with smiles of happiness. Mrs. Merck had her brood with her accumulations of grandchildren and so she too was happy. Say, boy, isn’t this a great old world?

At the Christmas festivities held in the Community house about two hundred people gathered. Clifford Franzen took the part of Santa and distributed gifts to every child. None were forgotten. After the distribution he passed through the audience and every one was soon munching a big red apple. A program of songs, recitations and stunts provided by the school pupils supplied amusement a plenty and so passed Christmas Eve.

December 26, represented the sixteenth birthday of Ruth Mowery and the old saw of “sweet sixteen” but half expresses the deliciousness of Ruthie. She is a bright and shining star and she possesses the prettiest and daintiest pair of, O, well, what’s the use of going farther, so long as you know what I mean.

Friday was the seventh anniversary of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Kundinger, sometimes known as Hugh and Hattie and about fifty people, young and old gathered at the Collegeport Pharmacy to do them honor. Cakes and drinks and good cheer brought comfort to these old people.

Saturday Margaret Holsworth, who returned this week from her duties as teacher in the Chicago schools, gave a bridge party which was attended by the phemmie elite and eclaire of the village.

Paul Braden was a guest at the Homecrofters for dinner on Thursday, and by the way he ate I am under the impression that he has entirely recovered from this late indisposition.

I acknowledge that Clifford Franzen made a fair Santa Claus but at that he never can fill stockings as some of our girls can.

This is the last spasm, convulsion, agitation, disturbance, the Tribune readers will be bothered with this good year of 1929 and so I write the last line of the last string of the last bundle of slum I wish you all a very Happy, Happy, New Year. The miserable wretch joins me in this and bids me tell you that she has survived the distress and suffering of living with me and will try it out again for 1930.

The Daily Tribune, December, 1929
 

 

 

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Sep. 3, 2008
Updated
Sep. 21, 2010
 

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