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Collegeport Articles

April, 1935


By Harry Austin Clapp


One of the first men I met when I came to Collegeport in 1909, was a man whom at first I considered rather eccentric or aberrant, but as I came to know him better I found that the old fellow had thoughts of his own and when occasion called for an expression was able to do so.


Jed Prutz was his name and he boasted that he was "foalded and rared up right along Pilkington Slough." Jed is tall, thin, lean of flank, strong as a young bull. His hair is a beautiful silver white and his big walrus mustache hangs down on both sides in a generous manner, tinged yellow in the center from continuous drippings of tobacco spittle. His eyes are a washed out blue, but impress one as being like a smoldering fire and when occasion demands, his eyes flash and it is time to begin retraction. I wanted to see Jed and talk things over and so I went down on the slough to his shack and there I found his old woman doing her daily stunt of keeping groceries in circulation by doing her daily washing. When I asked for Jed, she took a stick out of her pocked, dipped into a snuff box, painted her gums and said "I jest don't know where at is that old scout. He were around abouts a bit ago. Reckon he's gone a fishin'! Yes, that's where he is fer his fish pole is gone."


Acting on her advice, I walked along to [the] slough and at last found the old boy stretched out in apparent slumber. Three fish poles stuck in the bank and a line fastened to his toe. Jed was enjoying life and I hesitated to rouse him but at last I called "Hey Jed."


Jed opened his faded blue eyes, spat a stream of juice into the slough where it formed little brown circles and raising up on one arm he said "Well lookee and see who's here." To get things started, I asked how the fish were biting and he replied "they don't bite worth a damn and nothing else is worth a damn. I know I don't own a bit of propty and pay to taxes and expected to keep my mouth shut, but it looks to me jes as if the govement was going to hellanback givin' out this here relief work and free groceries. Of cose it don't mean a doggone thing to me soas long as the old woman can git a few washins' every week, but I jest natural worry about the other fellows and whut the'ell do when the government shuts down, for shut down she must sum day. This thing of handin' out money hain't goin' to last much longer and then sum of these boys got to work for grub."


As I started to say a word, he snapped out "now you just shut up doggone it ontwill I get all this offen my mind." Not even can the government keep a payin' out. They got to stop sometime all this here alfabet foolishment. They tried to make sum folks leave whut they called margarine land. Did they move? Not soas eny budy kin see. So them brain busters envented this here sand storm to make em move outen their lands and they moved lessen they was sanded in soas they caint move. I say the government is just goin' to fur with all this foolaroun."


Out of all this mess kums one idee thet suits me. Thet is Old Doc Townsend's two hundred dollar idee. Me and the old woman kin use our four hunderd fine. Fust thing we do is to git tickets to Houston. I here a feller kin get a good bed for two bits and grub for fifteen cents. You bet your life we deestribit our two hundred right smart away.


"Look at our own fellers up to Austin. Did you ever see such a bunch of talkers and doin' nuthins'? Makes me wish for a unilateral state government with about twenty-six half baked fellers. Such a bunch couldn't do worser. They had been haulin' down ten skin a day and doin' nothing cept to do whut they calls discuss. I say ef folks want to bet on a hoss race, let em and effen they wants to play marbles let em. Them as don't, kin keep out. Now my idee is thet taxes is eatin' us up. I mean them thet pays taxes and that don't mean me. Theys jest got to be let up on this here taxin' business.


Here the old boy sat up and went into action for he had a bite and after a bit landed an eight pound red and having it staked out began another syllabus.


"Now jest look here at this burg. It started out to be some burg and look at it now. Effen it don't git that there cussway, this burg is sure blowed up for Ben Mowery caint never start that hamburger joint soas his wife kin make enuf money fur Ben to live easy on. Ben is sure gittin' nervus over that situatin'."


Jed took from his hip pocket a big slab of plug and bit off a big hunk and with a grin he said "See how ezy I bit thet off? Well it's a funny thing, but a year ago kum next month, Doc Sholars yanked out all my crop uv snags and fixed me up with some chiny teeth. They did fine fur a spell and then begin to hurt me when I et so I went to Doc and he took em out and found two watermelon seeds which must have bin there sence last summer melon time and one uv them hed sprouted. I hate to think of what would hev happen to me effen Doc hadn't found em in time. I can chaw easy now. Wall after all is sed and dun we got to live down here along this slough where fishin' is good and the best oysts in the world kin be had fur the takin'."


"Sumday we'll hev thet cussway, two or three oilers and then we all will sit pretty." Pulling in anther fish and looking t it with a fisherman's satisfied look he said "Well, boy, I got to get back to the shack so Prue can git busy on some dinner fur me. I hain't et a thing sence morning. Effen I don't bring in a fish or two the old woman gives me hellandcomeback. Come aroun' again boy and I'll tell you something else." The last I saw of Jed he was going on down the slough carrying his dinner and talking to himself.


I used to call our county health nurse "our ubiquitous nurse" but now that she is elsewhere and not here I must cease using the term. So far as I know her last call was January 15. She used to call once each week but now it appears she makes quarterly visits. Tonsils need sewage, adenoids need chopping, teeth need cleaning, itch is increasing my brain needs treatment, for the right lobe beginning to skip. Wish she would come on down and play round here a bit.


Sunday morning at 12:20 a wind of hurricane velocity visited us. It was accompanied with brilliant lightning, detonating thunder that shook the earth and a heavy fall of rain. Considerable minor damage done to roofs and outbuildings. My friend Andy came over in the morning to see us and he said "All I could do was to pray and the Lord answered my prayer and saved us all." Isn't it grand to have faith in prayer. Hope Andy prays next time he goes a fishin.'


Some farmers got the seed in just before the rain, others wait until after. Hope both win out with an abundant harvest for this county needs a generous crop this year.


The board of trustees of Mopac House met Tuesday, March 26 and transacted the following business: Rules and regulations for the use of the house were adopted. Informal affairs, civic meetings using auditorium only by day no charge. For entertainment given for profit ten per cent of the gross receipts with a minimum charge of one dollar. For use of the auditorium and kitchen with lights the charge will be one dollar for four hours and twenty cents for each additional hour or fraction of an hour.


If used for community dinners, the Kings Daughters or similar affairs during the day there will be no charge. If used at night for banquets or other evening entertainments of similar nature, the charge will be one dollar for the first four hours and twenty cents for additional hours or fractions. This price includes heat, light, janitor. Those using the kitchen will be required to supply oil fuel for stove. Those using the house shall pay for all loss, breakage or damage to the house or equipment. The secretary shall be custodian of the furnishings and equipment of the house and shall be empowered to inventory the same and collect for losses or damages to house or equipment.


The house will be opened about the first of May with a luncheon served by the Collegeport Woman's Club at fifty cents. Proceeds from the luncheon will be used to buy new books for the library. This is an opportunity for our home folk to show their appreciation of the library.


I have been informed that the little daughter which came to brighten the R. K. Thompson home weighed one hundred and thirty-six ounces and her name is Barbara Lee. This will give the dealer an idea of the size of the babies we produce at the east end of the causeway.


That reminds me that the causeway, which many believed was too dead to be revived, is now sitting up and asking for nutrients. If the folk on the west end and the folk on the east end will just make up their minds to comprehend, cooperate, coordinate and cohere before we realize it work will have begun. And I am of the opinion that there will be a swell location for a cold drink emporium and eat shop right near the post office. Some one will grab it. Right at the east end is a location for a filling station, tourist camp, lunch stand.


When a dog loves a fellow there is nothing he will not do for the loved one. Now Jimmy knew that we were out of meat, so he just treks up to the Boeker Grocery and Meat Market, opens the display case, grabs sixteen inches of sausage and starts for home. Just as he arrived at the door and freedom, Carl Boeker detected the theft and gave a warning yell that startled Jimmy into dropping the sausage. Us Homecrofters must needs go with out sausage, but we think more of Jimmy. I raise his price one century.


Another fine letter this week. "A mutual friend has advised me of the wonderful work near completion you have been doing in the way of building a community house. I was also advised that you are in need of funds for the purchase of table ware, etc. for your dining room. So, in this connection I am asking for the privilege of contributing a small amount to this end and want you to know that this small contribution is freely given because of the love and respect I have for you two good people and in memory of our old association in your community." Enclosed was a check for five perfectly good dollars and the letter was signed by our one time County Agent, R. W. Persons. Such letters fan the glowing coals of memory into a blazing, warming flame of happy recollections and we think that after all this is a good old world. R. W. Persons is one of my old time, tried, dependable lovable friends and this letter goes to way of others, in my memory box of old and precious lace.


When I visited Bay City the last time several asked "Why don't you give a dance the night the Mopac House is opened?" The same question was asked in Palacios several have propounded the same here. To them all I reply "why I will take it up with the board of administrators and report. Fine idea to have another the night of the day and one each month during summer. I am fishing around for an orchestra so wait with patience and we shall see what we sha__ the dance floor, good lights, musical ___ make for a nice affair.


Elliott Curtis [lives?] where dwells the ostera [virginianas?] that are nineteen or less inches long and are plump and white and sweet. I have never [ever enjoyed?] luscious toothsome, savory oysters as he brings in. Saturday I obtained what perhaps will be the last two quarts for the season ___. I inform the reader that oysters run 45 to 50 to the quart and that these run 25 to [30?] to the quart one will have an idea of the size. In no place on this globe [can be?] found finer oysters than those here in Collegeport.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, April 4, 1935


Collegeport Home Demonstration Club


The Woman's Home Demonstration Club met at the Community House, Thursday afternoon, March 26. The meeting was called to order by the president, Mrs. Frank King. The members voted to pay all of the club bills. The AAA program was discussed.


The following were present: Mesdames Frank King, J. O. Prunty,
Roy Nelson, Rena Wright, W. Jones, Anna Crane, Boeker and Dean Merck.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, April 4, 1935


By Harry Austin Clapp

Several have asked why we call our new community house MOPAC HOUSE and from where did we get the name. Mopac is the nickname of the Missouri Pacific Railway Company just as the Katy is nickname for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas. The Missouri Railway Company gave the old depot and freight station to the Collegeport Community in December 1933. The building has been wrecked, the material moved to a block of ground owned by the Collegeport Industrial League and erected into a fine community house. This houses the Woman's Club Library, provides a reception room, a kitchen and an auditorium. It is a well and strongly constructed building not one 2x4 timber being used every rafter and studding being 2x6. Mopac House will be opened Saturday, May 4th, 1935 at one o'clock in the afternoon with a luncheon which will be served by the Woman's Club at fifty cents. The proceeds to be used for the purchase of new books for the library. A splendid speaking program is being arranged with Mr. Roy Miller of Houston, A. D. Jackson of the Texas A. & M. College and others as principal speakers. It is hoped that Palacios will be well represented with a speaker who will take up the causeway project. Preparations are being made to serve 150 at the luncheon. At night a dance will be held to which the people of the county are invited. We hope the parents will attend and enjoy the dancing along with the young folk. MOPAC HOUSE will be open house May 4th.

The Palacios Beacon, April 11,1935, Harry Austin Clapp Scrapbook 3

Thoughts About What They Say
By Harry Austin Clapp

They say that one of our teachers who has a certificate granted by another state, has been refused a certificate in Texas and for that reason has received no part of her contracted salary since December. In spite of that, this teacher has stood by the game and has taught her grade every day and I doff my sombrero to this young lady as being a loyal scout.

They tell me that during the one hundred years just past 76,000 lives were lost in marine disasters. That is sure a terrible death toll for the sea to take, but statistics gathered by the Travelers Insurance Company, tell us that in the United States in the past three years, motor accidents caused the death of 96,300 persons. In the year 1934 36,000 were killed and 882,000 suffered personal injury. What is the use of having a war when we can kill them off faster with autoes? Instead of asking European nations to cease war, instruct them in the use of the auto as a killing agency. It keeps the population down, kills and maims in such a refined manner, that people hardly know it.

A fellow told me that R. A. Kleska, county tax collector said that women who in applying for a poll tax, confessed to forty years now boldly declare themselves to be over sixty. This, so they can claim to be officially in line for the Doc Townsend two hundred per.

They tell me that some folk in town use postal cards for their correspondence thus saving two cents on each communication. They do this, but at the same time they are cutting down post office receipts and hastening the day when our post office will be abolished and our address will no longer be Collegeport, but R. F. D. Palacios. Every time we use postal cards we are hastening the day. Every patron of the office should rent a box and they should in other ways aid in boosting the post office receipts, instead of cutting petty corners that at last means we cut off our own nose.

They say that if our non-resident property owners do not look after their property they are in for trouble, for they say, that several hundred townsite lots have been fenced in for pasture without the knowledge or consent of the owners and without the payment of rental. Also they say that men have likewise fenced in blocks of ten, twenty, fifty and more acres using it for pasture and crops and this also without the knowledge or consent of the owners and without the payment of rental. Some men, so they say, have even gone so far as to render such lots for taxation in their names and have in some instances occupied the ground for as many as ten years and at this time proclaim they own it and warn others to keep off. This is of course just a plain racket that should be condemned by fair men. Anyway, they say, that non-resident owners better be looking after their property. They tell me that at least one of the teachers could not resist the temptation to stick her nose into local school politics. Teachers are here for a year or perhaps two and they have the right to vote under the law, but when they interest themselves in politics for the purpose of keeping a job they just go too far.

Teaching used to be a vocation and teachers were a part of the community but now it is a job to be kept until a better one is offered. The recent bond issue was placed in jeopardy because of such pernicious political activity by teachers and yet there be some who continue to insert their nose into the flame. Every word here printed was suggested to me by other men and women. Not one thought is original. Just shows that folks are beginning to think about some things that are of a destructive nature and so they say many things to me that they do not say publicly or even before the buzzards roost in front of the post office. As I am one of the buzzards I hear many things they say.

Several old time friends of Collegeport have shown their interest in Mopac House by sending in gifts of money with which a purchase may be made for dishes or tableware. The other day came a box from Mrs. Charles Duller, Blessing, which contained seventy-two green glass sherbet dishes. This handsome gift for the Mopac kitchen was sent in memory of Mrs. Seth W. Corse, the mother of Mrs. Duller and who was one of the original organizers of the Collegeport Woman’s Club and for many years its president. It was a beautiful and thoughtful gift and thankfully received. Frank Ives, St. Louis, sent a set of silver table ware a service for six. Mopac had previously received two similar gifts so the kitchen now has four sets of a silver service.

Another sent in a gross of water glasses. Another was a green enameled dish pan.

Rege Creede of Bryan sent us a thirty inch white enamel sink. R. W. Persons of College Station sends five dollars for table ware and so forth and so on and after while we will have met our objective which is a complete table service for one hundred guests. Mopac House will have its opening Saturday, May 4 at noon. Luncheon will be served at one o’clock sharp by the Woman’s Club at fifty cents the proceeds to be used for buying new books for the library. A splendid speaking program is being arranged and we hope that our friends at the capital and at the other end of the causeway will visit us that day as well as friends from other portions of the county. Plans are under way for a dance the same night but of this later news will be more reliable.

April 3rd, I picked the first dewberry of the season. Just one but well grown and with vines well loaded a good berry harvest is promised. My friend Andy fishing in the slough landed a gar that was about five feet long. He dressed the fish out and pronounced the meat very palatable. I’ll take flounder or sheepshead for my fish diet.

As organizer of birthday parties the Ben R. Mowerys are in the super class. Their last stunt was the birthday party in honor of Mrs. Fred Goff. There is nothing remarkable in the fact that this lady was born on the 6th day of April, 1862. The remarkable thing is that she beat me about seventy days and also that Harry Houdini the great magician was born the same day but twelve years later. When one investigates birthdays one is quite certain of finding some interesting coincidence. Well, anyway, this lady has grown to maturity and earned the right to be called grandmaw by those who know her best. The Mowerys sent out the call and promised to make gallons of strong coffee and they did. Guests supplied the eatables in most generous quantities and about sixty friends of the young lady assembled to eat, to congratulate, to wish many returns of the day. Some gifts were brought among them being a very handsome mop from Mrs. Gustave Franzen. We all know what a mop is, but this was a very artistic instrument, handsome enough to hang on the wall as a trophy. The mop is a wonderful thing, cultivate good muscles and handsome arms and if some of our girls would start in and learn how to wring a mop in a musical manner they would develop long slender fingers, strong wrists and beautiful arms. Dish washing, helping mother, is also splendid exercise and develops a strong character much quicker than daubing paint on faces and wearing slouchy hose. I am not writing this for Mrs. Goff’s benefit for she for many years has been familiar with the mop and the dish pan and that is one reason why at the age of seventy-three she is hale and hearty and able to enjoy life and the presence of her many friends as they come to show their respect and regard. One of the happy incidents of the day was the presence of her son Homer and his family who arrived from Houston just as the dinner bell rang. The Homer Goffs have the reputation of never being late when the gong rings.

Now take me for instance, I was born June 16, 1862 and Gustaf V of Sweden was born on the same day of the month, only four years sooner. Isn’t life after all a wonderful thing? Birth, growth, physical, mental, maturity, the age of leaf shedding, the passing into the shades across the river.

They many friends of Ruby Lee are delighted with the news that she is now on the gain. Ruby Lee is a fine young girl and a credit to the community. I hope soon to joke with her once more. Mrs. Tom Hale or in other words Barbara was here last week visiting her parents and I had the pleasure of seeing her. I was delighted to see her looking so well and cheerful. She looks like a well ripened peach and such she is for Barbara has always been peachy. Hope she will be able to be present May 4. Mopac House will be opened as heretofore announced May 4, 1935 with a luncheon served by the Woman’s Club, and those who attend will not only be satisfied in a gustatorial way but enjoy a program of unusual merit. Several prominent speakers will be there. And by the way we have arranged for a hard surfaced road from your door to Mopac’s door so fear not if winds blow and rains do pour. Saturday night, May 4 a dance will be given to which all are invited young and old. We hope the parents will be present, dancing if they desire or sitting on the side lines on comfortable seats.

Sometimes during the next month or six weeks the Right Reverend Clinton S. Quin, Bishop of Texas will hold an evening service in Mopac House the exact date will be announced later. The many friends of the Bishop will receive this news with delight.

School election Saturday was noticeable for the lack of interest. Not more than twenty votes cast. No one appeared to care who was elected. I am informed that Roy Nelson was returned and A. Johnson selected for the other victim. Collegeport day comes on Saturday, May 25. I hope that on that day I shall absorb a bundle of those golden delicious Carrie Nelson Noodles.

Matagorda County Tribune, April 11, 1935?


By Harry Austin Clapp


On Saturday, May 4, 1935, Collegeport's new community house known as Mopac House will be opened at one o'clock in the afternoon with a luncheon served by the Collegeport Woman's Club and the tickets will cost fifty cents each. These tickets figuring on the basis of our depreciated dollars amount to about thirty cents. A very interesting program is being arranged and several prominent men will speak, among them being Mr. Roy Miller, Mr. A. D. Jackson and Mr. R. W. Persons of the Texas A. & M. College. The toastmaster will be that master of toasts, Mr. E. O. Taulbee. All this for the small sum of fifty centimes or the half of a dollar or so the ordinary many may understand, just four bits.


This week, I have been informed that some of our local burghers are what is called "griping" at the cost. I confess that I was ignorant of the meaning of the word "gropon" so I looked it up and I find that it means "to suffer griping pains; pinching and spasmodic pains in the intestines; pinching distress; griping poverty."


After reading all of this I tremble at the awful indictment. Suppose we review the situation and see if there is any reasonable cause for these griping intestinal pains. About twenty-five years ago Mrs. Dena D. Hurd conceived the idea of a public library. She gathered about her a few souls who liked the idea. Some of them are with her this day. They started the library and although for years it had no home it has grown until now it has about 1600 books. A few years ago the Collegeport Industrial League bought a block of ground near the school house and also bought a small bungalow. This was moved onto the lot, improved with sheet rock and paint, furnished and since then the library has enjoyed a permanent home. During the last fifteen months, the league has secured possession by gift from the Missouri Pacific Railway of the old depot and this has been wrecked and from the material has been built a substantial building for a community house known as Mopac House. This building is 92 feet long and 25 feet wide and furnishes excellent quarters for the library, a reading room, a kitchen and an auditorium. The library has always been free to the people of the community and yet many do not appreciate the labor, the loving labor that it has cost. Only a few women have been faithful. It is time to give them thanks and the opportunity is here. Now is an opportunity for the people of this community to show their appreciation of a community house that has not cost them one penny. Every bit of material, every hour of labor, has been paid from government funds. No one has been asked for a cent and no one has paid a cent except FOUR MEN WHO HAVE STOOD BY to the end.


Everything has been a free gift, thanks to one who is interested in this community and although he makes his home across the causeway, he has been big enough to spread out and by his contacts aided in giving us this beautiful house. Mopac House will be opened May 4 with a luncheon that will cost fifty cents. Those of our home folk who attend will not only be served with a bountiful luncheon which will cause cessation of those griping pains, but will be supporting the library, showing their appreciation and providing the Woman's Club with funds for the purchase of needed new books. Many of those who are griping think nothing of spending several dollars per week for a drive to Bay City for a show, but they gripe at the thought of buying a square meal and giving support to the library. Few of us are poverty stricken when it comes to going to shows or dances, but when it comes to giving a penny for the support of a church, a library or a community house, they at once are stricken with severe intestinal pains. This community has received much and it has given little. Now is the time to show appreciation, esteem, regard, for the efforts of a few faithful women who have stood by this people for a quarter of a century. We have asked our friends in Matagorda County to come May 4 and play with us. Can it be possible that, for the paltry sum of four bits of home folk will refuse their hospitality and be willing to stand on the road side holding the horse while the elephants go by? This is your library. Mopac House is yours. Come out May 4. Show that you appreciate what you have. Eat good food, listen to splendid talks and while enjoying these things be happy in the thought that at this late day you have the chance to aid the project in a small way.


The Bay City Chamber of Commerce gives notice that because San Jacinto Day falls on Sunday the 21st, the day will be observed on Monday.


Quite as important an event also happened on that day, but the world will not postpone the celebration because it comes on Sunday. Sunday is the day we celebrate as the day Jesus rose from the dead.


Mr. Weaver of the Weaver Manufacturing Co., Springfield, Ill., was here Saturday trying to locate some lots he owns. If he was successful, he no doubt found them fenced in and used for pasture.


I see by the papers that Texas will receive about forty-eight million dollars from the Washington government. That's a lot of money and should go a long ways fixing up highways. Now if we can get the highway commission to set aside just one-third of one cent for each of those forty-eight millions, we will have plenty of money with which to build the causeway. One third of one cent! That is not much to ask for and those who are interested on both sides of the bay and over at Matagorda should begin to get restless and hustle around a bit.


The county health nurse made her quarterly visit to Collegeport Thursday and attended the regular monthly meeting of the Woman's Club. She gave a very instructive talk about health work in Matagorda County. Her next visit will be about the 18th day of July. Tonsils, adenoids, itch, athlete feet and concordance of the distebtion area will just have to wait until then for relief and advice. We trust that Mrs. Patricia Martyn will be here on May 4 at the opening of the Mopac House and we also have hopes that Mrs. Leola Cox Sides will be present and dust off some of the Mopac House dust catchers.


The speaking program for Mopac Day so far as may be announced will be as follows: Reverend Paul Engle will ask God's blessing on the house; Burton D. Hurd will give welcome to the guests; E. O. Taulbee of Bay City will act as toastmaster; Roy Miller of Corpus Christi, A. D. Jackson and R. W. Persons of College Station will be the principal speakers.


A representative of the Missouri Pacific, with Eugene Wilson, Judge Oscar Barber, George A. Harrison, Homer Trimble, James G. Gartrell, Glenn Taylor, Mrs. Dena D. Hurd, president of the Woman's Club and others will give short talks. As the program shapes up, further announcements will be made.


Senator T. J. Holbrook has promised to address the assemblage if his legislative duties will permit. We hope also to have a representative of the state highway commission. Reverend James Aiken has been invited to give a short talk and deliver the closing prayer. The tables will be beautifully decorated with graceful roses and other flowers. The ladies of the Woman's Club are making an effort to make this an event in the life of the community.


Vernon King Hurd, who is with the Stewart Construction Co. of Corpus Christi, spent the week-end with his parents. Vernon is rapidly acquiring a good knowledge of road construction. Collegeport has reason to be proud of this young man.


Emma Franzen called on me Saturday for a drink of water. She had been picking dewberries until she had mucho sed. Nice girl Emma.


Master Dean Franzen Merck sports about town in full length trousers. In a short time he will be using shaving cream.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, April 18, 1935



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article about his great-grandfather.]


Reverend Paul Engle was here Tuesday in Holy Week and gave the communion to the "Isolated" which means us Homecrofters and Sue Mansfield.


Missouri Pacific Lines

Houston, Texas, April 15th


Dear Mr. Clapp.


This will acknowledge and thank you for your kind invitation of April 9th (which has just come to my personal attention, due to an extended trip from the city) to attend the opening of Mopac House on May 4th.


Unfortunately, I shall be out of the state at that time, but I shall be very glad to ask Mr. A. B. Duke, a representative of the executive department to attend this function and take whatever part you desire of him in the way of speaking, etc. I am sure this will be a delightful affair and I am sorry I cannot be with you.


With kind regards, I am,


Cordially yours,


H. R. Safford

Executive Vice President


Those who attend the opening of Mopac House on May 4th will hear some very interesting talks that will be of interest because they will be discussions of ideas that effect local conditions. Mr. E. C. Baker, commissioner of precinct 2 will be present and speak on the causeway project.


Mr. and Mrs. Austin Oberwetter and Mrs. John Logan of Houston drove their new V8 down Tuesday and were entertained by the Burton D. Hurds at luncheon. They drove back the same afternoon.


Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the monthly meetings of the Kings Daughters, but was delighted to sit at a table with two very charming school teachers who enchanted me with their brilliant conversation. I also had the pleasure of meeting Miss Margaret Ann Holsworth, who has the same soft eyes as her mother.


Mary Louise spent the week-end in San Antonio with her many friends. She observed Good Friday at St. Mark's as well as the Easter service on Sunday. That girl never forgets her parents down by the sea shore, so we received a telegram with Easter greetings. It is a great thing for a child to have great parents, but greater for the great parents to have a great child.


Thursday at a called meeting of the Woman's Club with Mrs. King, chairman of the social and finance committee present, final plans were made for the luncheon to be served to those who will be our guests at the opening of the Mopac House Saturday, May 4th. I don't know about the menu, but it starts off with shrimp cocktail and ends up with some of Mrs. Carrie Nelson's coffee. Leave it to Mrs. King and Mrs. Nelson to fix up the middles.


The teachers of the school had an egg hunt Friday for the pupils and the Little Pals of the Girl Reserves. Some of the kids found as many as ten eggs. Wish I might have found about two hard boiled eggs.


Sue Mansfield is out just two hundred and twenty frog skins because she did not go to the show at Bay City Thursday night. For that much money I would take my bed of husks and camp in the theater, and share the husks with Sue if she would split on the findings.


Saturday I received an Easter card from a wonderful girl who teaches in the Moline, Illinois schools. It carried a poem.


"These seeds bear my Easter greetings,

Plant them and care for them too.

Then you'll bring many surprises

And an old-fashioned garden for you!"


On the other leaf I found a flower covered envelope filled with flower seeds. I am planting them on this Easter day and soon I'll have my garden spraying into the air, the perfume of the sweet young girl who sent them to me. Seeds for an Old Fashioned Garden. A very dear and wonderful remembrance from a dear wonderful girl. Isn't life wonderful?


Read an advertisement in one of my magazines thus: "We don't tolerate careless appearance. Sloppy sox are out. The careless dresser usually is a careless worker. Carelessness is more dangerous than ignorance." No girl or woman of culture or refinement will appear in public with sloppy sox. Few legs in this burg will show any charm in the natural. Some that have no appeal in their nakedness may assume a charm when clothed with good, well fitting hose. Why girls insist on throwing away some of the enchantment that God gives them by exposing lean, skinny, sometimes dirty legs well scared with chigger bites and berry scratches is beyond my comprehension. And again these horrible waves they arrange for their hair. The straightest hair may be made a delightful setting, but these waves which every one knows are artificial. O, forgive me, but it's the truth.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, April 25, 1935


Come to Our Party
By Harry Austin Clapp

Saturday May 4th, 1935, Collegeport’s new community house known as Mopac House will be opened by one o’clock in the P. M. with a luncheon served by the woman’s club at fifty cents. Proceeds to be used for the purchase of new books. That master of roasts E. O. Taulbee will have charge of the roasting. Reverend Paul Engle will give the opening prayer. Principal speakers will be Roy Miller, of Corpus Christi, A. D. Jackson and R. W. Persons of College Station, A. B. Duke the personal representative of H. R. Safford, Executive Vice President of the Missouri Pacific. Burton D. Hurd will welcome the guests. Short, snappy talks by George Harrison, James Gartrell, Glenn Taylor, Judge Barber, E. C. Baker, Mrs. Burton D. Hurd, President of the Woman’s Club. At this meeting it is the intention to give emphasis on the necessity of taking some immediate action towards designation and construction of the causeway. Several will speak on that subject. We are asking the people of Palacios to visit us that day and play in our yard. The invitation is for the good folk across the bay. The night of the 4th Mopac House will be open for a dance to which every one is invited.

Palacios Beacon, April 25, 1935


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