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Collegeport Articles


August, 1933

Thoughts About The Writers Conference
By Harry Austin Clapp

The Texas Writers Conference was called to order this morning with over sixty writers from all parts of Texas. Papers large and papers small were there to take their parts in a movement which is to have great influence in and among the rural population of the state.

Mrs. Nell Bentley also stopped the show with her number “How Would Public Education be affected by reducing the number of grammar grades and shortening high school to three years?” After her address had been delivered round table discussion followed which almost became a riot so diversified were the different opinions.

H. A. Clapp of Collegeport smoothed the troubled water with “Thoughts About a Voice.” After adjournment the writers were invited to meet with the Lions Club in Bryan. Monday night the campus was filled to overflow with eager men and women, and kiddies having the happy time of their lives. About 8 p. m. they assembled in the big auditorium and were entertained with pictures and an address by President Roosevelt which through the use of amplifiers was heard to all parts of the campus.

Talking to O. B. Martin, extension director, he said that when the cotton plan first came up he was doubtful but that the more it was studied the more clear he saw the wisdom. He thinks that the big thing of greatest value is not the cutting down of the cotton acreage but the final development of a moment by which the farm will become more nearly a self supporting unit.

Matagorda County Tribune, August 1933?


By Harry Austin Clapp


A most happy and pleasant visit with Dr. T. O. Walton, president of Texas A. & M. College this morning. I knew him when he was a county agent and have watched with interest his advancement to district agent, assistant state agent, state agent, assistant director of extension, director of extension work and to president of this, the nation's greatest A. & M. College. I knew him when he could boast of no degrees and I know him now, when he is showered with degree honors. He has been a guest in my home and perhaps because of that, I have been so interested in his career. One of the finest men I have ever known; one of the most successful in his chosen work; one of the most affable and approachable; one of the sort men learn to love. The T. O. Walton of this day is the result of intense study and application and adoration to his life work. When I was with the extension service, he was my chief and the days I served under his direction were the happiest days I have lived in Texas.


Tuesday night Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Connor gave a lawn reception at their home on the campus. A. B. Connor is director of the experimental stations. I knew him when he was not and I know him now, when he is. When he was a student, he was called "Bugg Connor" because he was so interested in the life and habits of bugs. His success and advancement simply tells us that becoming intimate with bugs and sticking to the bug's house, brings a man to success. It was a brilliant affair Tuesday night and the lawn was filled with the beauty of Texas. Chivalry was also present in considerable numbers. As I passed down the reception line, I was gratified to see how many who used to know me when, still remembered me. As I advanced down the line I noticed that the men began to have "fisheyes" and I knew that I was mixing with scientific bugs and at last I met a man with supreme fish eyes which told me I was in the presence of the high bug man. He backed up as though he thought I planned to hold him up. Hunting bugs makes a fellow sort o' suspicious. Those who have not become intimate with this great college have no idea of its extensive influence. For example, here this week, we find three thousand farm folk intent on acquiring information they may take home to be used for their own families and those of their neighbors. It is safe to estimate that this influence, received here this week, will effect the lives of the one hundred thousand farm people. The writers' conference today was strictly a woman's day as shown by the program.


"Reaching the Farm Women by Demonstrations," Bess Edwards, extension service.

"Reaching the Farm Home by the Press," Minnie Cunningham, extension service.

"Knowledge is Not So Mysterious After All," Ethel J. Roe, state department of agriculture.

"Heart Throbs," Ethel O. Hill, president Jefferson County Federation of Women's Clubs.


My good pals, Cora B. Moore and Claire F. Pollard were present to swell Matagorda County exhibit. It is a grand sight to see the girls with their dresses of many colors in line to march to the mess hall. This is one session they are all interested in, for the college feeds abundantly and deliciously and no visitor cares to miss the dinner bell.


The pages of the Tribune expanded to an eight page paper and would not be sufficient to record the story of this short course.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, August 3, 1933


17 Miles of Railway Will Be Abandoned

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 – The Interstate Commerce Commission Wednesday authorized the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railway to abandon seventeen miles of line between Buckeye and Collegeport.

“There can be no doubt,” the commission said, “that continued operation of the branch would impose an undue burden on the applicant and on interstate commerce.”

The evidence showed the line had been operating from 1927 to 1931 under an average deficit of $34,411 annually.

Dallas Morning News, August, 3, 1933


By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article with more about the Short Course held at Texas A. & M. College.]


This community sent a delegate in the person of Mrs. Hunt. It cost about eight dollars worth of information to give to our people, it will be just too bad for her and next year we will send someone who can bring home something of value. In my opinion, she returns so heavily loaded with new ideas that she will find it difficult where to begin unloading. It was a very  wonderful week and we, meaning I and the miserable wretch, after receiving splendid hospitality from the Jackson's, the Persons, the Wilcox's attending delightful receptions, brilliant banquets, were glad to be home again and hit the husks by 7:30 p.m.


Mr. Rege Creede, Mrs. Oscar J. Wilcox and Miss Lois Wilcox of Bryan were midweek guests of the Homecrofters Miss Lois is a teacher of history in the Bryan High School. At the writers and county superintendents' banquet I was the guest of Mrs. Claire Pollard a delight I did not anticipate, but my hostess found first class seats with splendid service and where we could easily hear the speakers. The miserable wretch ran away with a handsome man and I saw her no more. At the banquet we were surprised and delighted to find Frances Mayfield, one time our county health nurse. She was there as a delegate from the state health department to attend a section devoted to health work.


Saturday night Major Vernon King Hurd, Sr., received wire orders to report at Camp Bullis for a two week's training course. Camp Bullis will have at least one upstanding, intelligent, studious officer, during the encampment.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, August 10, 1933



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


The Matagorda County Christian Endeavor Society met here Monday night with an attendance inside of one hundred seventy-five and twenty-five more parking and necking on the outside. In my opinion, there are few Christians. Many are endeavoring to be Christians, but few attain the Christ reflection, therefore the society is rightfully named Christian Endeavorers. I was not present, but I know the refreshments were delicate and delicious, for I was present when Rosalie Nelson, the local president ordered the material. No one as delicate and delicious as Rosalie could fail to provide something delicious.


My lost friend, Mrs. Evaline Marshall, the county president was not present. I guess she has become discouraged trying to Christianize me and for that reason stayed at home. Don't give up Evaline, for I am like you, trying to be a Christian. A splendid program was given and the evening was very enjoyable. I am informed that the attendance was the largest ever held in this county. It is a splendid organization and doing a wonderful work among our young people.


This week I received the final decision of the Interstate Commerce Commission on docket 9615 being the request of the St. Louis Brownsville and Mexico Railroad Company for permission to abandon the Buckeye-Collegeport branch. The railroad in this case was represented by Herbert Fitzpatrick, Frank Andrews, Robert H. Kelley and Harry R. Jones and the protestant by A. Harris, H. A. Clapp, Eugene J. Wilson, W. E. Davant and A. R. Stout. The final order was signed by Commissioners Meyer, Brainard and Mahaffie. The testimony was submitted June 9, 1933 and decided July 27, 1933, and is effective thirty days after that date. Tariffs may be canceled upon notice to the commission and the public by giving ten days notice. It is signed by the commission, Division 4, George S. McGunty, secretary. This action spells finis for our railroad and it is at liberty to abandon service and tear up the tracks at will. It already has authority from the Texas Railroad Commission to substitute a once a week service in place of the present daily service. We will soon be living at the end of a "nine foot sidewalk" and it is strictly up to us whether continue to do so or by becoming active in the construction of the viaduct, begin to live on a through route and with splendid rail and postal service via the Southern Pacific. Up to this day the Collegeport Industrial League has been handling this matter with little aid and it will welcome assistance from any of our people who are interested in discontinuing a situation which causes unhappiness, inconvenience and irritation. The irritant may be removed if proper efforts are used and with its removal will come happiness and convenience.


"All things come to him who waits.

But here's a rule that's slicker;

The main who goes for what he wants

Gets it all the quicker."


A lady in the Boeker store the other day asked for an article and Carl Boeker informed her that it was not in stock, so she asked "do you suppose that other old codger in the other store has it?" Therefore Carl Boeker and Vern Batchelder are two old codgers.


The good ship "State Ship" tugged at her moorings as if anxious to cope with the raging seas. At last cast off, she drifted with the tide and was under way. All seemed fair and a good passage promised when suddenly the cry of fire was heard and the mate shouted "the ship is on fire. All overboard." Among the passengers were two ladies, two boys and a guinea pig from this place. The pig was placed in a coffee pot and with the pot in one hand and a child in the other one woman jumped into the raging sea. When she came to an upstanding position, she found that with effort she could keep her nose above water for she was built like a delicious dumpling. The other woman was built on taller lines, something like a noodle, so she grabbed a suit case and the other child and found that she could keep her head out of water. While the crew were busy putting out the fire, the two women waded ashore and thus saved not only their own lives, but the lives to two children and a guinea pig. Not every fire at sea concludes so well.


Friday came Mary Louise after an absence of eight months. Sunday she left for the return trip. A vacation of forty-eight hours. Every hour was filled with joyousness and ecstasy, but altogether too short.


Friday we were entertained by the George Harrisons and Sunday by the Mrs. Patricia Martyn family. Mary Louise feels quite peppy because her employer, Major Phelps, is now Colonel Phelps. Perhaps this promotion is a result of the NRA codes which places Mary Louise on a thirty-five hour week and boosts the boss into command of a regiment. Our daughter has departed and us Homecrofters now begin marking the calendar until Christmas tide. Well, anyway, we, meaning I and the miserable wretch, had a delightful week-end even if we could not walk over the viaduct to service at St. John's Chapel.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, August 17, 1933


Girl Reserve Week In Collegeport

Miss Bell our sponsor came down from Wadsworth on Saturday on the following Tuesday we had a picnic lunch and in the afternoon we had our Girl Reserve meeting.

In our meeting we decided that while no one was sent to Casa del Mar we would take the seven dollars and all the Girl Reserves go to Oyster Lake and spend the week-end. We also decided to give a bridge and forty-two party at the warehouse for the purpose of building up our fund for the winter activities.

Our meeting adjourned and we went home very enthusiastic over our future week.

On Friday afternoon eight Girl Reserves and Miss Bell met at the Farmer's Storage with their packs on their backs ready to be off for Oyster Lake. At 3:30 we left on Adams truck. Noel being the driver. We reached Oyster Lake very much jolted. We stayed from Friday until Sunday noon. When we returned on trucks brought down by some young people the evening before. Every girl reported a splendid time even though we did have such visitors as mosquitoes, sandcrabs, oystershells and stinging nettles.

We also had our bridge and forty-two party on which we cleared six dollars and fifty cents. We thought this very good for the time.

Thus our Girl Reserve week ended. Which each and every girl regretted was over.--Rosalie Nelson

Matagorda County Tribune, August 17, 1933


By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article about a mass meeting in Palacios in the interest of the Causeway-Intracoastal Canal-Seawall.]


About three weeks ago Collegeport was honored by the coming of a new citizen in the person of Mr. Dean Franzen Merck. I have not had the pleasure of meeting him, but hope so for am anxious to hear from his first impressions of one of the Twin Cities By the Sea. His coming was no unusual event, for his grandparents on the Merck side, but to those on the Franzen side was. Dean is the first one to place Gustave and Ellen Franzen in the glorious lodge of grandparents. Had Dean informed me when he would arrive, I should have stayed at home to give him welcome. His mother is Dorothy Franzen, a Collegeport product, and a former teacher in our school. His father grew up in this community and well known as a splendid young man. I trust that he will like life here so well that he will induce brothers and sisters to come also. I congratulate Aunt Mamie as well as the uncles and the entire family on this new arrival.


Wednesday night, we, meaning I and the miserable wretch, were working on a jig saw puzzle and about ready to dump into the husks, when the lights of an auto flashed into the room and soon we found that we were to have a party with Mrs. Patricia Martyn, Dr. and Mrs. B. F. Orme and Dr. Leonard Male. Dr. Orme is in charge of malaria control work and Dr. Male is a sanitary engineer both with the Texas health department. We had a very happy time because they brought the liver. The party broke up about 12 a.m. and now we are ready for another.


The Collegeport delegation to the Causeway-Seawall-Canal meeting at Palacios last Friday consisted of Gustave, Ellen and Emma Franzen, Seth W. Corse, W. H. Boeker, Harry Austin and Louise Clapp. That is all, but I am proud that we could produce that many Collegeports. Guess the balance are in the satisfied list.


It is with a sad heart that I announce the passing of the Eisel family from Collegeport to Houston. It is a splendid family and I shall miss them for we had many a happy hour. I shall miss the two fine girls with their bright happy faces and sparkling talk-talk. I shall miss my red head, especially on dark nights. I shall miss the olive flower day by day and hope she keeps her promise of a letter each week. I ask God to be with them, guard them from evil, keep them sweet, clean, wholesome and enable them to be of service to others. Harry Eisel, Sr. has accepted a fine position with one of Houston's best firms.


After the Causeway-Seawall-Canal meeting was over I was with a dozen others a guest of the Palacios Chamber of Commerce at a delightful luncheon. Over the fish, chicken, salads, coffee, the discussions at the meeting crystallized into a practical plan to carry on the work before the highway commission, the Texas legislature and the federal government. I came home that night elated, peppy, encouraged and by it I am enabled to go ahead with some plans to further our interests.


One of the bright spots of the day was the privilege of meeting Roy Miller's son, a tall, bright-eyed, alert young man with his Masters Degree from the Texas U. and now with the Texas Weekly. No wonder Mr. and Mrs. Miller are proud of their son. O, well there are three more.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, August 24, 1933



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article about schools and colleges.]


Saturday an election of much importance was held in Texas. It was non political and non religious, but the result was so far reaching that it effects the lives, pocketbooks and thought of every man, woman and child in the state. The local election passed off smoothly, there being no riots, no angry words, no condemnation of the election board. Without these excitements, it was a dull day for the board. One woman, as she prepared to vote looked up and said, "I am a mother and I am not in favor of the use of liquor. I wish to protect and guard my children from its evil. It may seem strange to you, that feeling as I do, that I vote for repeal for the sale of 3.2 per cent beer in Texas and in Matagorda County, but I have studied the matter carefully and I believe I am voting not for liquor, but for temperance." This is the vote on the Collegeport box:

County Home Rule amendment 29 for, 4 against.

State Issue of Bonds 31 for, 6 against.

Homestead amendment 33 for, 3 against.

Repeal Eighteen Amendment 31 for 6 against.


I am greatly surprised at the vote in this box, for Collegeport has always been dryer than a squeezed dish rag hanging in the sun. The only explanation is that people are simply satiated with the results of "the noble experiment" and are willing to try anything. They wish to eat and drink as they please, in a legal way and without molestation or fear of becoming criminals. In this community, it is just a revolution. The only thing I fear is that the pyramid of taxes placed upon the manufacture, distribution and sale of this legal beer, will be so heavy that it will become impossible to price it to the consumer low enough so he will feel able to use it. Every time a man blows the foam from a stein, he pays heavily. Few men will pay twenty-five cents for a bottle of beer, when he can make it for one and a half cents. Thus home brew will prosper. This appears to me to be only one of the problems that will have to be solved. If this beer is non intoxicating in fact, as congress has declared, why tax it out of use.


The King's Daughters served a lunch and bake sale and cleaned up a nice little sum to add to their exchequer.


This box as a rule has about 70 poll tax payers, but his year it had only 26 which accounted for the small vote. I do not know of a dealer in this burg, who can afford to pay the fees required for the sale of three-point-two, hence we must redouble our efforts to build the viaduct, so that we may walk over it to our Twin Sister City By the Sea and thus be enabled to bury our faces in the foamy suds.


We, meaning I and the miserable wretch, may also walk to service at St. John's Chapel.


The Collegeport Woman's Club certainly are entitled to have the one eyed cable in their club room for at their last meeting they adopted the following resolutions:


Whereas, Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of the United States has placed before our people a plan intended to relieve certain distressing conditions under which our people have struggled for the past three years and whereas the president asks the support of every individual living in these United States now therefore be it resolved by the Collegeport Woman's Club in regular monthly meeting assembled that we will as individuals and as a civic body pledge to the president our support in his efforts to ameliorate, improve and better present conditions and we further resolve that we will support the NRA movement in its every phase and urge our merchants to adopt the proposed code and that we will so conduct our business affairs that we may be worthy of displaying the consumers emblem in our homes. Resolved that a copy of these resolutions be sent to Mr. Hugh S. Johnson, administrator of the president's plan and that a copy be made a part of the minutes of our meeting held in Collegeport, Aug. 10, 1933.


The above resolutions were adopted by unanimous vote at the regular monthly meeting held August 10, 1933.--Mrs. L. E. Liggett, secretary; Attest: Mrs. Harry Austin Clapp, secretary.


It has been a tough week, but next will be turrible for I must go to Bay City and sitting in Doc Sholars chair, employ patience while he inserts a pair of ice tongs and hauls out a tooth which has given me service for nearly seventy years. The worst part of the deal is that Doc will also extract one dollar from my meager and diminishing roll. Ho mum. And a bottle of rum, but 'tis a cruel and heartless world. If I survive will write another screech next week. Most readers will hope I die in the hot chair up in Doc's northeast room. Maybe it would be best after all. If the worst comes, hope some of you folks will kindly look after the miserable wretch.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, August 31, 1933




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