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Collegeport Articles

January 1935


By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


Sunday being the last day of Mary Louise's vacation, we Homecrofters had the pleasure of entertaining at dinner Mr. and Mrs. John Fox of Palacios. Mr. Fox is a highway engineer of considerable renown, but his main reason for his distinction is the fact that he has earned the right to the degree of C. H. which means cheese hound. Well, anyway, now that I have explained who this bird is, I'll state that our old oaken board was a peach in its green and red studies, dishes more than seventy years, spoons made by my great grand uncle, more than one hundred years ago, cutlery used by my parents fifty years ago. But of course, all this was but the frame of the picture the table presented, for the main thing that interested the eye and tantalized the palate was a big pot roast cooked in mother's old iron pot. Boy it was some grand center piece and so you men readers may surprise your wives I give the recipe. It is an old time tried and tester and takes the wrinkles out of the tummie. First procure a fine hunk of meat with some fat on it and a bright red color. Marinate it in a spicy mixture using a teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Rub this all over the meat. Pour on a cup of vinegar (wine if you are lucky) and put the meat in a dish to soak for twenty four hours. Yes, Bill, twenty four hours if you desire tantalization. The next day put in your old iron pot, smear it with a spoon of mustard, a cup of brown sugar, put in about six or eight cloves of garlic, chop up three onions, a bay leaf, pour on a can of tomatoes, put in plenty of boiling water, put her on the fire and let her simmer about three hours. Let her just lay there in the pot and smile, no loud laughter needed. Twenty minutes before serving, introduce potatoes and cabbage and have a platter hot. In this place the meat and around it neatly place the spuds and cabbage. Don't wait, but go to it and boy if you don't have a dish fit to serve a king or even an editor or a second vice president, call on me for explanation.


It was a grand dinner party, with joy a plenty even tho it did mean that in a few hours our wonderful daughter would be on her way back to A. & M. It was the end of a perfect week even if I was compelled to witness the demolition of my glorious cheese which I did with regret and disgust. What I told the miserable wretch...first time in one's life one has a big crumbly, well aged cheese with whiskers three inches long, one has a prize.


One of our distinguished guests was Mr. Vernon King Hurd who is Chief Oil and Asphalt Inspector for the road work. Vernon was quiet, reserved, and knew exactly how to cheese it at the proper time which can not be said of some others.


I will state that the Mopac House is about completed and as soon as a chimney is built, a few things touched up and the building painted we will have the opening of a very fine house devoted to the happiness and pleasure of our people. The floor of cement has been prepared by a master finisher and is as slick as glass. No better building job in the county and a credit to the Forman Mr. Huey Linder, who is no kin to the Huey who is the Dictator across the river. Yard all cleaned up, walk repaired and all as slick as is milady when she greets her lover.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, January 10, 1935



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


Thursday, Raymond Hunt and Winston McKissick went to Houston to join the Navy. This is a fine ambition and those boys will be a credit to the national sea force. I asked Buster Hunt what he planned to do and he replied "I don't know now what I shall do but I know what I will not do." When asked what he would not do he replied "I'll not be a blacksmith." It would be a joke if when he enters the navy they put him next to a forge.


I noticed by reading the advertisements that one of the Bay City cafes served a free lunch with each bottle of beer. This shows progress and is a credit to the cafe, but in plain words informs people in foreign parts that Bay City is out of the doldrums and on the high sea to prosperity. When any burg begins to furnish free lunches, there is no depression. And by the way, I lunched Wednesday at a safe next door to the Keller office I dare [not] mention the name for fear of the blue pencil, but it is next door. There I was served with the finest RED HOT Rolls I have ever had from any cafe in America. They were not from the oven, as dainty and soft as an angel's breast, light as a morning zephyr, tasty as the honeyed kiss from the lips of a sweetheart and they are served twice each day. Get around there about 11:45 A. M. and you'll meet something to be remembered. And say boy that pretty girl brought a second helping. Don't know her name, but she was a sweet doll.


Tried to borrow some lunch money from the new county judge and he sent me to Charles Langham who he said held all the cash. Charles told me the safe contained less than fifteen dollars and he needed that himself. Eugene Wilson told me he would gladly aid me when as and if he got his first month's pay. Looks as though I am obliged to wait for my $200 a month pension. Wait until these guys ask again for my two votes.


The Woman's Club met in the Library Thursday in annual meeting. Much business was dispatched including the secretary's report for the year 1934 which showed that 1789 books had been let out and 965 people had visited the library and inscribed their names on the guest book. The treasurer reported that about one hundred dollars had been received and disbursed for community benefit during the year 1934. It being the time for the election of officers to serve for the next two years, ballots were spread and resulted in choosing for President, Mrs. Burton Hurd, for Vice President, Mrs. Roy Nelson, for Secretary, Mrs. L. E. Liggett, for Treasurer, Mrs. Frank King was re-elected. Ten voting members were present and twelve visitors. When anything of value is accomplished in this community it is a good guess to say that the Woman's Club did it. It was a very proper thing to elect Mrs. Hurd as president for she started the club and library more then a quarter of a century ago. Some call her the club's mother, but she laughs and claims that she is the grandmother and I reckon that is about correct for she has always been a grand club mother. Mesdames Liggett, Nelson, Clapp and King have been excellent aunties so one may rest assured that with such kin folk the club will have good care.


The B Square Sunday School class tendered a shower to Ruth Boeker Tuesday night. Ruth is a member of this class and although the birdies have not informed me when wedding bells will ring and I was not present, I am informed that some day soon we shall lose Ruthie. I am informed that the gifts were many, beautiful and useful.


The other day the wind blowing soft and gentle from the northwest meaning from Austin way it brought me this.


Department of Agriculture

State of Texas

J. E. McDonald, Commissioner

Mrs. Cora Young, Chief Clerk



January 11th, 1935



Mr. and Mrs. Harry Clapp

Collegeport, Texas


My Very dear and esteemed friends:


To day Mrs. Roe handed me your Christmas card and I am indeed grateful to you for so kindly remembering me, and I am wishing for Homecroft and the Homecrofters all that is good during the year 1935.


Mr. Clapp you have lived a busy and constructive life and your works and deeds will live on to encourage and enrich future generations.


Mrs. Clapp you are a dear sweet woman and I enjoyed being with you so much at College Station last summer and am still hoping to go fishing and crabbing with you and enjoy that fine meal you promised me.


You are both mighty fine and sweet and I would be delighted if you could be in Austin sometime and visit me in my office.


With all good wishes and the very kindest regards, I am,

Very sincerely yours,


J. E. McDonald

Commissioner of Agriculture


P. S. I received my card and thank you so much for thinking of me. I enjoyed meeting and being with you in College Station and hope to meet again.




Mrs. Young


Just a dandy whiff of the Christmas tide that sort of sets the pulse to an acceleration, brings joy and happiness and fills life with perfume.


Mopac House is receiving the finishing touches. Some kitchen fixtures to complete, glass to be puttied in, two doors to hang, painting and then this beautiful house will be ready for an opening. It has been a long, hard pull but thanks to George Harrison, the end is near. Proves the wisdom of "let George do it."


The Matagorda County Tribune, January 17, 1935



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


Monday morning a fog came down on Collegeport with a silence like the hush of morning prayer. It appeared to hug mother earth as if to protect her breast from the piercing rays of the rising sun. So dense was the fog that objects forty yards distant were indistinct and at fifty yards everything faded into invisibility.


Hark. What was that? Was it the sound of a church bell? Listen! I hear it again. It is naught but the school bell calling pupils to their lessons.


By noon it had disappeared to the place from whence it came and we enjoyed another summer day with a temperature around eighty.


John Merck is swelling around because he is the daddy of a ten pound son [John Maurice Merck]. Hazel is the sweet little mamma bird and she will make a grand and wonderful mother for she is not only very pretty, but has plenty of charm and an abundance of rare good sense, and with this she has ideals and ambitions. Don't worry about this kid for he will be well taught and will become a valuable citizen.


Mr. H. E. Miller left the Mopac job and went to Sandy Point to build a residence for Melvin Spoor.


Sunday night some miscreant broke into Mopac House, partly wrecked four windows, tore the step/stop? board from the new front doors, which he left open and left the back door open. Why any one would do such a deed is beyond me when the house is open every day for any person to visit. Just a case of vicious application of destructive vandalism. This fellow better watch out or he may get a charge of buck shot in the west end going east. The Collegeport Industrial League might pay ten dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person breaking and entering this property. This act of vandalism cost about $2.50 for labor to repair the damage and besides that the floor was scratched and it is unfinished so that damage cannot be easily repaired. We fear the marks will show through the final finish.


Two people have been canvassing this community offering for sale books in the interest of a religious organization that attacks the Roman Catholic Church and others of close kinship and some protestant organizations and accuses them of trying to take over our government and erect one under their control. There is just as much danger of the Roman Church accomplishing this as there is of the Baptist Church doing it or the Episcopalian Church and any other church. What is the use of waving a church aggression flag in the face of the people who are well satisfied with the privilege given to worship each one as he pleases.  As for me, I would rather have the Roman Church take us over than to have some of the others I might mention.


Members of this church signed the Declaration of Independence, they fought in every war, they paid out their dollars, they died on the battle field and in the hospitals and they have shown by their acts that they are Americans. Others have done the same, for whether we are Jews or Christians, we are all Americans and we all desire free speech, free press, free worship. Stop waving the flag.


The Bay View Bob Cats went over to Palacios, 32.6 miles distant, Thursday night and played basket ball with the Palacios school team. Result 27 to 9 in favor of the Cats. Friday night they journeyed to Bay City and returned with a score of 29 to 28 favoring the Bay City team. The Cats have played fourteen games and lost only two which is a very sweet average I'll say. These Cats sure do scratch when they have opportunity.


Thursday, I was invited to meet with the Kings Daughters and I was right there on time when the lunch bell tolled its cheering toll. The meeting was held in the Liggett home and was attended by perhaps forty women and two men. The table, as usual, was loaded with pleasure, gladness, rapture and bliss interpreted in food of many kinds from chicken, sausage, cold and hot meats, salads, pies, cakes and coffee. After the lunch was dispatched, us guests, two in number, departed not waiting for the religious program. We felt that we could go off some place and communing with God could thank Him for the bountiful luncheon that we had received. A splendid program was given, entertaining and instructive.


Saturday, Mr. Taylor, County Relief Administrator, and Mr. McIntosh, Engineer for the State Board of Control, visited Collegeport and inspected Mopac House and much to the delight of the miserable wretch who entertained them, they expressed pleasure and satisfaction as they viewed the building from kiver to kiver. They were very much surprised to see the library all a shinin' with its 1600 books. Few towns can brag of such a splendid free public library. It is the result of twenty five years work of devoted women.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, January 22, 1935


Collegeport Woman's Home Dem. Notes


The Home Demonstration Club met at the Community House Monday afternoon, Jan. 28.


The club adopted the constitution and by-laws suggested by the committee which drew them up. A few changes were made in selecting demonstrators for the year. Mesdames J. O. Prunty and Jones were elected to serve as farm food and supply demonstrators. Mesdames Carl Boeker and Dean Merck as yard demonstrators, and Mrs. Frank King as bedroom demonstrator. Mrs. Anna Crane gave the council report. Mrs. Dick Corporon, who had charge of the afternoon's program, discussed pictures of noted artists and American Must Choose.


From now on the club will hold its meetings in the community house except when the demonstrators have their meeting.


The following members were present: Mesdames Frank King, Dick Corporon, Anna Crane, Jerry Lashbrook, Louis Walter, Carl Boeker, Roy Nelson, Henry Guyer, J. O. Prunty and Dean Merck.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, January 31, 1935



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article about Mr. Clapp's hometown in the 1870s.]


I am informed by a little eight year niece that Gertrude Hunt is married and that her "old man" is rich and has two race horses and a hound dog. All the lucky man needs now, is a shot gun and a fish pole and he will be fixed. Gertrude's little niece is my informant and it may be child's chatter, but again, there may be some truth in the tale. Gertrude is by far the prettiest girl turned out from this community and we hope for a long and happy life and a few kiddies.


Ella Mae Chiles now Mrs. William Watterman of Bryan, Texas. She is now the mother of a beautiful little girl named Susan Chiles Watterman. If the kid grows up with half the pep her maw always had, she will be full of pepper sauce. Ella Mae was one of the bright pupils in the local school.


Sunday the 20th was the last of twenty perfect days. That evening about 4:30, down came a blustering norther with a forty mile gale, heavy rain that quickly froze, covering grasses, trees and flowers with an ice coating that looked like crystals of diamond dew. Temperature Monday down to around 14 which is some cold down here in the sunny southland. Gone were the flowers, the budding trees, the luxuriant gardens with their lettuce headed, onions, spinach, cabbage. All wiped out in an hour. Cattle on the range froze and died along the fence rows. The tide went out with a rush so that only the channel was left. Thousand of fish were picked up so chilled they could not wiggle their tails. One boat picked up a thousand pounds. Oysters on big reefs were there for the gathering and many a bushel taken. As I looked at the narrow channel, I thought that perhaps the state highway commission were planning to wait until the bay filled up to Collegeport and then they might build a road across the bay. It was the coldest weather since the storm of 1924.


I read in the paper that a steel bridge is being built near Palestine at a cost of $100,000. One end is twenty feet above the proposed road and will require a long twenty foot fill. The other is fourteen miles from a highway and the report adds that it will be at least three years before connections will be made. Now here between Palacios and Collegeport is a site that is ideal. All it needs is the causeway and two communities now separated by 32.6 miles will be only a five minutes drive apart. The pavement can then be extended right east on high ground to connect with No. 60 at Matagorda going through that town on a street 130 feet wide. Wonder how long we, meaning I and the miserable wretch, must wait before we will be permitted to walk across the causeway to attend services at St. John's Chapel.


Seventy eight men working on the seawall and two on Mopac House. Waiting for paint and then for the opening of this fine house for community pleasure. It will be a monument to our precinct commissioner for without his friendly aid, his contact and influence with strong men, there would be no Mopac House.


Children now growing up will tell their children "This is the House that George Built." And yet before the "Ides of March" in 1936, there be some who will forget George and there be some who will not forget.


The Collegeport Bob Cats trooped to Port Lavaca Saturday and engaged the local team in basket ball. My informant was unable to give the score, but told me that the Cats won a certain number of games. I don't know whether the trophy was a solid gold cup or a diamond belt, but my dictionary tells me that a trophy is "anything taken from an enemy and preserved as a memorial of victory."


Anyway, we have a trophy. On their return they were entertained by Coach Elliott Curtis with an almost midnight supper.


Writing about dogs makes me wish you folk might see Jimmy crawl on his belly and at last turn on his back for a tummy rubbing. Never saw a pooch do that trick in the same way. If I place a bit of candy between my lips, he will take it in a dainty way and never touch my lips. Great pooch even if Carrie Miller Whitehead does say he looks starved. She don't appreciate pedigrees four miles long.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, January 31, 1935



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