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Collegeport Articles

May, 1935

Thoughts About Mopac House

By Harry Austin Clapp


No person is able to realize the scheming, planning, devising ways, the miles of travel, the countless conferences, telegrams, telephones that has brought about the erection of Mopac House. No one but George A. Harrison, who is commissioner of precinct three, address Palacios, but lives in every corner of Matagorda County and a large section of Texas. His contacts and his smiling, easy-going methods, brought results.


Many appear to give me credit, but I was only the Marcelina who held the end of the rope. I picked up a few stakes, but George Harrison tied the ropes and drove the stakes. Don't let any one forget that this is the truth. Without that man block 105 would still contain only the little white library building.


Well, anyway, Mopac House is here for the pleasure and profit of the community. The beautiful Kundinger sign swings merrily in the breeze and all appears to be just about Jake or maybe Bill. Saturday, May 4 at one o'clock in the p.m. the house will open with a luncheon served by the Woman's Club at fifty cents per. Proceeds to be used for the purchase of new books for the library. This day for the first time I had a peep at the menu and it looks as though Old Man Depress had a can tied to his tail and he might be seen scooting down the country road. Here it is: Shrimp cocktail a la Carlton with Juliana sauce; embossed crackers with Kraft-Phenix Old English cheese, meat loaf with Creole sauce, fresh stringless beans with sour dressing, potato chips, hot finger rolls with butter, variety pickles, jellies, gelatin fruit plate with whipped cream, angel food cake, coffee admire. Tables will be beautifully decorated with flowers and streaming vines.


Mr. Riddle, general manager Kraft-Phenix Cheese Corporation writes me "I shall be very glad to send you some Old English cheese to be served at the opening of Mopac House. We want you to say that you know cheese when you ask for Kraft Creamed Old English. I am writing Mr. Gallimore our store manager at Victoria suggesting that if possible he attend the opening and join in the festivities." I am informing your folk that if Old English was the only item on the bill it would be worth the visit just to take a nibble. Well, all right for that which came from Coon Island up the river. We have so many head liners on the program that I hesitate to name any one first. E. O. Taulbee will do the roasting and then follows a string of glittering, scintillating talks by such as George Harrison, Roy Miller, James Gartrell, Reverend George Gillespie, A. D. Jackson, R. W. Persons, E. C. Baker, A. B. Duke, Missouri Pacific Lines, Judge Oscar Barber, Eugene Wilson, Mrs. Burton D. Hurd. Mrs. Hurd permits Burton to speak about a minute giving welcome.


Reverend Paul Engle asks the blessing of God on those present, on the community and the house.


Impossible to write personal invitations but every one is invited to come that 4th day of May. At night from 8 to 12 we will dance away all care and trouble and be happy skipping about the floor. The price of entrance will be twenty-five cents for each male person with the girl friend. Of course the other girls are invited and they will be made welcome by the very attractive hostess. Just remember that although it is 32.6 miles from Palacios that a hard road runs from that place to the door of the Mopac House and the same situation exists from Matagorda and Bay City so fill up the gas tank, use plenty of lube, and supply water and roll on rubber to Collegeport and help the community to have a happy, joyous day, a day which is the culmination of years of dreaming.


Saturday the Girl Reserves with chaperons, mamas and teachers journeyed in the Joe Frank school bus to Freeport for a play day of the district. They returned tired but happy and report a perfectly marvelous time. That is some thing that may always be had at Freeport. It is a real play place.


Friday in spite of the heavy rains, the library let out thirty books and twenty guests registered. Bay City from reading Mirth, has a job getting money for a library. No trouble raising funds for baseball, football, softball any other ball. For the library the tenth part of a cent. For play, big round dollars. Wonder why?


Mr. and Mrs. Fred Law (Beryl Bell) were visitors in Collegeport last week end and received greeting from their many friends. Mrs. Law says as between living near Alvin and at Collegeport, she prefers the latter place as there is something here that makes one wish to return. Mrs. Manford Foster when she left here shed tears of regret for said she "there is nothing much in Collegeport but still there is something that makes me sorry to leave and I would enjoy coming back to Collegeport." Nearly every person who lives here feels this something that attracts, allures and charms. It is the same thing that gives a person what is called "It." Most people have a desire to return and drink again from the waters that flow from our deep wells. Mrs. Barbara Hale is home and with her parents for a short time and I regret to inform the reader that this fine girl is enduring much suffering. All her friends pray that she may soon have some permanent relief.


Missouri Pacific Lines

Houston, Texas

April 19th.


Mr. H. A. Clapp

Collegeport, Texas


Dear Sir:


In connection with your celebration on the 4th our magazine editors are very much interested in having a picture of "Mopac House" and it occurred to them that if you have a photographer in that section in advance of May 4th, they would appreciate it if you would arrange to have the necessary photographs taken so that they could be used in a story subsequent to your celebration.


Yours very truly,

D. P. Pace

Industrial Commissioner


I read with interest the article by Mr. Clarence Ousley which appeared in Thursday's Tribune. It stated that oleomargarine was a fine spread for those who could not afford butter. This is not fair to oleo, for it puts it in the poor man's class. Oleo is a pure, clean, nutritious food, for the rich man as well as the poor man. It is easily digested and a good builder. It should be used more, not because it is cheap, but because of its food value. When I lived in Chicago, I used considerable of this product. With each pound came a capsule of coloring matter and I worked the oleo over into golden blocks. Clarence Ousley is one of our best informed men and a brilliant writer and I know him well. I knew C. O. Moser, when. But that is another tale. I have traveled with him, used same room, eaten with him, spoken on same platform and he is all Mr. Ousley says that he is. Texas may be proud of these two men.


Mary Louise attended Easter service at St. Mark's, San Antonio and reports that there was neither sitting or standing room. There is no depression in San Antonio judging by the number of Easter hats. She says "if the churches would put on a good show every Sunday there would be no complaint about attendance."


Two well rigs are being erected south and west of town. One derrick is 125 feet high and the other 135 feet. Both of steel. Friday twenty-eight truck loads of material arrived and stacked on the ground. About twenty-five men are at work clearing up the ground and getting sump pits dug and foundations ready. One truck brought in many large steel girders about fifteen inches wide on which floors will be laid.


Friday we enjoyed a heavy rain fall which was needed but none of us enjoyed the brilliant electrical discharges and heavy thunder detonations which accompanied it. About two inches of rain fell during the forenoon and now as my friend Andy says "if the farmers do not make a crop it will be their own fault."


The Matagorda County Tribune, May 2, 1935



  Harry Austin Clapp Sees Dream Come True With Community House Completed


Ed. Taulbee Is Toastmaster For Occasion


Harry Austin Clapp and his dreams were rewarded Saturday when Mopac House was dedicated and formally opened to the community of Collegeport. It was a great day in the lives of those who have built the town of Collegeport and a great day for the people of Matagorda County to know that such people who put service of community above self make up this fertile county.


Mopac House was planned, visioned, and materialized through the untiring efforts of the author of "Thoughts," none other than the inimitable Harry Austin Clapp. This thought and deed, none of the many speakers present Saturday at the banquet failed to mention. The name Mopac House comes from Missouri Pacific. The material in the house was donated by the Missouri Pacific railroad when the railroad was abandoned and the tracks to Collegeport removed. Labor was furnished by the relief administration and others who gave of their time and work. The Mopac house has been built to adjoin the library and give to the people of Collegeport a community place suitable for most any occasion. A new reading room adjoins the library, a large banquet room, new and clean, concrete floor is so arranged that dances, entertainments, bridge games, most any sort entertainment can be held.


E. O. Taulbee of Bay City acted as toastmaster.


The banquet, served by the ladies of the city, began at 1 o'clock :


Harry Austin Clapp opened the meeting by asking Rev. Paul Engle of Bay City to deliver thanks that through His help the Mopac House had been completed.


A word of welcome to the more than one hundred present was delivered by Mr. Burton D. Hurd, the founder of Collegeport and a man who believes that this section of the state will some day come true. Mr. Hurd gave a few remarks relative to the history of Collegeport, the depression beginning there immediately following the war, the removal of the railroad, the hotel's abandonment and removal. He paid a great compliment to his friend and fellow townsman, Harry Austin Clapp and stated that he believed the construction of Mopac House would be the upturn in the history of Collegeport.


Mr. Taulbee spoke at length lauding the work of Mr. Clapp and he also introduced the group of Bay City people who were present. The Bay City visitors included Judge Oscar Barber, Mrs. Barber and daughter, Miss Marjorie, Reverend Paul Engle and wife, J. S. Mansfield, Bob Bevers, John Reynolds, Eugene Wilson, G. A. Taylor, J. W. Gartrell, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hale, Carey Smith. Several from Palacios and Matagorda were also present.


Toastmaster Taulbee, called George Harrison, Jim Gartrell, Ed Baker, Judge Barber, Eugene Wilson, Jack Barnett, S. A. Gillimore of Victoria , Reverend Gillespie of Palacios for talks.


Addresses of welcome and words filled with a spirit of optimism were given by Mrs. Harry Austin Clapp and Mrs. Burton D. Hurd. These ladies who have lived in Collegeport since its beginning, they who have worked for the cultural advancement of the little city, bubbled with pride that a new home was now theirs in which various accomplishments may be attained.


Mr. A. B. Duke, personal representative of Mr. H. R. Stafford of the Missouri Pacific railroad expressed his appreciation at being present and stated that he felt a great pride in that the company he represented had been honored by having the community house named "Mopac" and that they were glad to have donated the material that came from the depot, torn down when the railroad was abandoned.


Mr. R. W. Persons, first county agent in Matagorda County gave many accounts of the county and its people he knew 19 years ago.


Mr. A. D. Jackson of A. & M. College was generous in his praise of this section of the state and felt some day that the great resources of this county would be developed.


The high lights of the meeting came when H. A. Clapp, himself spoke. One could feel that he was walking on air that what he had so long worked for had been accomplished. Mr. Clapp gave credit to the completion of the Mopac House to Mr. G. A. Harrison and he gave sketches of the difficulties that arose before the community house was finally completed. Mr. Clapp read letters from any others he had invited to attend the opening but were unable to be present.


Following the banquet the floor was cleared for a big dance that night to complete the celebration.


Matagorda County Tribune, May 9, 1935, Harry Austin Clapp Scrapbook 3

Collegeport's Mopac House Has Opening



The heart of Harry Austin Clapp of Collegeport was made glad last Saturday afternoon when Mopac House was dedicated and opened. Over 100 guests from Collegeport and the surrounding district were present at 1 o'clock to partake of the banquet which was served by the Collegeport ladies. These good women know how to serve a banquet. They have done it often before, and it is needless to say that the appointments were in excellent taste.


There were many visitors from Bay City and the surrounding towns. Those present from Palacios were Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Barnett, Carlton Crawford, John Fox, G. A. Harrison, daughter Miss Marian, Dr. and Mrs. J. R. Wagner, Rev. G. F. Gillespie, E. A. J. Seddon, Dr. John Fewkes and Mrs. J. W. Dismukes.


Rev. Paul Engle of Bay City gave the invocation and dedication prayer. Mr. Harry Austin Clapp took the Chair and read apologies for absence. Mr. E. Taulbee was Toastmaster. The building was at one time the Missouri Pacific depot at Collegeport. When the Railroad ceased to operate the depot was donated by the Missouri Pacific Railroad for a community house. The idea of moving it and using it as a community center originated with Mr. Harry Austin Clapp. He it was who asked for the building from the Railroad Company. He it was who worked unceasingly through all the months to have it moved beside the High School. It is now a handsome and commodious building consisting of a banquet room with concrete floor suitable for public meetings and dances; a library; and a kitchen--waiting only for paint which has already been donated. Part of the labor was donated by the Relief Administration largely through the good offices of Mr. George Harrison, County Commissioner , to whom Mr. Clapp gave much praise for the untiring interest he showed. The address of welcome was given by Mr. Burton D. Hurd. The toastmaster called on Mr. A. B. Duke, representative of Mr. H. R. Safford of the Missouri Pacific railroad. Mr. Duke told us that Mr. Safford was very glad to donate the building and expressed pleasure on behalf of the Railroad Company that the building had been named Mopac. Mr. George Harrison then addressed the meeting and expressed his gratitude to the people of Collegeport for their support throughout the years and his delight that he had been in a position to help in this community effort. He looked forward to the time when there would be a Causeway joining Collegeport and Palacios, thus bringing the two towns close together, and expressed his determination to work wholeheartedly for it. Mr. Ed Baker, County Commissioner from the town of Matagorda , also looked forward to the time when this link in the Hug-the-Coast road from Palacios to Orange would be completed via Collegeport, Matagorda and Freeport . He too would be glad to devote all his efforts to the consummation of this project. Mr. A. D. Jackson of A. & M. College addressed the meeting, spoke in high praise of the possibilities of the district, and looked forward to the time when Collegeport would be the center of a thriving agricultural section. Addresses were also made by Judge Barber, Jim Gartrell and Eugene Wilson of Bay City ; S. A. Gallimore of Victoria ; and J. F. Barnett and George F. Gillespie of Palacios.


Mrs. Burton D. Hurd and Mrs. Harry Austin Clapp spoke on behalf of the ladies of Collegeport, and were no whit behind the men in their ability and fluency as speakers. Last of all, Harry Austin Clapp, addressed the meeting. He was received by the audience standing as a mark of appreciation. He read letters of apology from those who were unable to be present. In giving an account of the initiation and carrying to completion of the Community House he called himself a visionary. Communities like Collegeport and Palacios need visionaries like Harry Austin Clapp, men who possess not only vision but also energy and enterprise to make their vision real. "Where there is no vision the people perish," and the result of one man's vision was seen on Saturday in the Mopac Community House.


Mr. Clapp himself would not wish to take all or much of the credit, and so he expressed in glowing terms his gratitude to all who had helped. They visitors from Palacios came away glad that one more link had been forged in the friendship between the two towns, and looking forward to the time when the Causeway would reduce the distance between the two towns from 32.6 miles to 3 miles.   Reporter


The Palacios Beacon, May 16, 1935, Harry Austin Scrapbook 3



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


As I locked the Mopac House door Saturday night at 12 midnight, I thought of Eddie Foy at the World's Fair singing "After the Gates are Closed." What a boy was Eddie Foy! What a clown was Eddie Foy! What a tender, soft heart beat in his breast! Eddie Foy I wonder where you are. I feel that you are close to the throne and so this day I am writing some rambling memories of Mopac Day.


In the first place, I missed "Little Bright Eyes" and wondered where she was. Then came this from my good friend of many years.


Houston, Texas

May 6.


Dear Harry:


I must tell you how sorry I am that I missed your party last Saturday on the occasion of the opening of Mopac House. I fully intended to give myself the pleasure of being with you, but was detained at the national capital and did not get back to Houston until yesterday morning.


With warmest good wishes,

Sincerely your friend,

Roy Miller


And here is another good scout who writes me from Houston.


Texas Soap Manufacturing Corporation

May 4


Dear Mr. Clapp:


Your kind invitation to be present at the opening of Mopac House is duly received and I appreciate your thoughtfulness in remembering me for this occasion. It would be a very great pleasure indeed for me to be with you and all your good people, but I find it utterly impossible to make the trip.


With kind personal regards to Mrs. Clapp, yourself and the others,


I am Yours very truly,

James W. Sartwell


From Topeka, Kan.


Dear Friends:


Congratulations upon the achievement of Mopac House. Now prayers may be concentrated upon the causeway.


Best wishes.


And this from a Texas reader who was present: "Word's can't begin to tell you what a marvelous, good, grand, happy time I had at the Mopac House opening and I am sure you know what a good time I had from start to finish. The house is opened and opening was a howling, grand and glorious success and none could have dreamed of anything better. I had not the slightest doubt but that it would be a success."


Also in my mail I have several chances to send to folk I have never heard of the sum of ten cents with a promise I'll receive about $1500, some time. Well as the fellow says "ten cents is ten cents" so I'll keep it, but 4.5 loaves of Johnnie's Bread and we, meaning I and the miserable wretch, will dunk said bread in our coffee.


Collegeport possibly may never be much of a business town, but it is possible to make it a real playground, if the people are willing to stand together and offer what the great majority of folk desire. The Missouri Pacific has issued a beautifully framed card which bears the words "The Winner Never Quits, The Quitter Never Wins." It might be well for our quitters and slackers to adopt this slogan and turn in now and aid in building and cease their work of tearing down everything except their own feeble inventions. And my good colored friend was there Saturday and when I asked what he thought of the day he replied "it peers to me to be the inventionist thing I ever see."


Mrs. Ruby Hawkins, our efficient and accommodating county clerk sends a note of regret. She had to attend the May Fete. Returning the deed from the Collegeport Industrial League to the Mopac House Foundation, she writes "This is complimentary." Shows she desired to help Mopac by asking for no recording fee and so we give many thanks. I missed my "Vice" more than it is possible to express. It tried to be as decent as is possible in the absence of my only "Vice" who always keeps me on the guess.


Saturday night, May 4, a man approached me. A man who has known this community for years and a man who has a vision which reaches into the past, covers the present and strides way out into the future. Said he, "Mr. Clapp, this is a very fine party. In my opinion Mopac House will prove to be of more community benefit than the railroad ever was. I believe it will tend to change the viewpoint of many of our citizens and that it will improve and strengthen the morals of our youth and will be the upward turning point in community life."


Things to look forward to: Collegeport Day, the 26 anniversary with a big get together community dinner. In the afternoon from two to four, Mopac House will be open for a children's skating and play party. Miss Ethel Nelson will be the gracious hostess. Mr. Cherry will conduct the play. Saturday night, May 25, Mopac House will be open for another dance to the tunes of Merton Smith's Midnight Ramblers. At midnight they ramble to Bay City. Tuesday night, May 28, the Rt. Reverend Clinton S. Quin, Bishop of Texas, will preach in Mopac House. Thursday night, May 30, Mopac House will be used for the senior class banquet.


From what I have heard, every one was very happy to see present at the opening, Mrs. Tom Hale (Barbara Fulcher). Poor child, although so afflicted, she keeps her cheery smile and sunny disposition. I know she enjoyed the affair to the limit and her presence added to my personal joy.


Friday morning at 5 o'clock, Superintendent Cherry left for San Antonio taking as his guests the senior class. They plan to visit the Alamo, the missions, Brackenridge Park, City Auditorium and other interesting and historic places.


This year has witnessed the completion of two very important community projects. Both were largely the work of a man whose name I will no mention because I fear to cause him further embarrassment. The first is the sea wall. This distributed several thousands of dollars to local labor and it offers protection to bay shore property from erosion and eating away of the bluff by the always hungry sea waves. This is all good. The other important project is the completion of Mopac House which was opened Saturday, May 4, 1935.


This, in some respects, is of more value to the community than the sea wall, for it will prevent erosion and the eating away of moral fibre in our youth and give them wholesome amusement and at the same time contribute to the comfort of the entire community. Thus we have these two projects both erected for the same purpose, viz: to prevent further destructive erosion.


To Mr. E. O. Taulbee I give thanks for his work as toastmaster at the Mopac opening. He did three fine things, viz: he started the demonstration for the causeway, then he told the audience about the Intracoastal Canal and last, but by no means least, he told us of the arrangement made for paint for the Mopac House. These three things pleased his hearers and so we give hearty thanks to our official toaster, the man who is aiding in the accomplishment of things in Matagorda County.


Ed Taulbee is such a lovable, willing patriotic citizen that one can not help but absorb some of his enthusiasm for a greater and better country. As a toastmaster, he is a superlative. In my opinion, the destiny of Matagorda County rests on the shoulders of such men as Ed Taulbee. He is now president of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce and as he believes in telling the world of our section, we may look forward to a publicity campaign that will prove of value. This is just a special bouquet for my friend Ed Taulbee.


Mopac House has another nice gift of a lamp all loaded and ready to shoot. This from Mr. and Mrs. Vern Batchelder. Mighty fine for use when all other lights grow dim and we thank the donors for this useful gift.


Saturday, May 11, Raymond "Busters" Hunt left for Houston to report to the navy headquarters. Tuesday he goes to San Diego for a training course until assigned to some ship. Raymond was one of the best students the local school has turned out, always at the head of the class. He will be a credit to the United States navy and will acquire a valuable education. He plans to study and make application for entrance to Annapolis and we may some day see Buster with gold stripes on his sleeve.


The Woman's Club met Thursday in regular monthly meeting, gave Mother's Day program, transacted routine business, checked up on receipts and costs for the Mopac opening and find the club with a right smart sum with which to purchase new books for the library. For this they give thanks to those who were present and they feel sorry for those who stayed at home.


Missouri Pacific  Lines

Houston, Tex.

May 10, 1935


Dear Mr. Clapp:


This will acknowledge your letter of the 9th, which I have read with much interest.


I was indeed pleased to know that our representatives created such a fine impression when they were with you on the 4th and I know it was a real pleasure for them to be there. Messrs. Duke, McDonald and Andrews have told me of the very pleasant occasion and I am sorry that I could not be there due to absence which was unavoidable.


With kindest regards and best wishes I am sincerely yours,


H. R. Stafford

Executive Vice President

Missouri Pacific Lines


Missouri Pacific Lines

Houston, Tex.,


May 9, 1935


Dear Mr. Clapp:


I want to again tell you how much Messrs. McDonald, Andrews and myself enjoyed being with you and the people of Collegeport and their friends last Saturday. I told Mr. Safford on his return about the splendid meeting and luncheon you had. He was very pleased to know of its success.


With best regards


Yours very truly,


A. B. Duke


The Galveston-Houston District Board Meeting of the Houston Y. M. C. A. was held at the BayTex Hotel in Bay City, Saturday the 11th. Mesdames Batchelder, Nelson, Liggett, Clapp and Cherry and Miss Ethel Nelson attended from this place. In the absence of the secretary, Mrs. Liggett was chosen as secretary pro tem and ably filled the position. At the election of district officers, Mrs. Liggett was honored by being elected vice president. This woman, much loved by those who know her, is a rare worker in all religious and civic projects. She gives freely of her time and talent and is in all things thoroughly dependable. What she does is well done. Her official acts as vice president will reflect credit on the Y. M. C. A. which is to be congratulated in its selection of this worthy woman. I trust that the school board will decide to renew the contract of Sue Mansfield. She has the education, she is a fine teacher, she has won the hearts of the pupils and she has endeared herself to those who know her. She enters heartily into civic projects and is valuable to our community.


Collegeport Day, May 25 with a big community dinner. At night a dance and there are three who are not wanted, the man who needs liquor to have  good time, the gate crasher, the spie who comes to criticize and magnify the cad. We want the others from "night about" and from "over yon."


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, May 16, 1935



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


My daughter, Mary Louise, wrote these words the 10th: "This is a note to tell you on Mother's Day I love you--and that you are the best mother in the world. You are so sweet and good and unselfish--together with all the good qualities anyone could wish for. Don't forget that I brag about my mamma to every one."


Of my own mother I am able to use the same words. While it is wonderful to have such a child, isn't it just as wonderful for a child to have such a mother? Our thoughts ramble, from that first mother of legendary fame across the ages to the present day beautiful madonna whom we reverence.


Saturday, May 25, Collegeport Day with a community dinner at noon. From two to four, Mopac House opens for the children to skate and play. The same night Mopac House opens for dance with Merton Smith's Royal Texans. Foundation trustees hope that fathers and mothers will attend to dance if they wish or to look on and visit. Some more of that delicious cold drink will be there, a few barrels more or less. Sunday the 26th, the baccalaureate sermon for the senior class will be delivered in the church by Reverend Deutsch of the Bay City Presbyterian Church.


Monday night the 27th, the Girl Reserves will serve a banquet to the senior class in Mopac House. Tuesday night the 28th, the Rt. Rev. Clinton S. Quin, bishop of Texas, will deliver a sermon and at its close address the senior class.


The Mopac light plant has been installed and is ready for use. Mopac House was lighted with electricity the first time Monday night, May 13, 1935.


Wednesday night at the church the senior class of 1935 will hold commencement exercises. A full week with seven events in five days.


Saturday we trekked to Van Vleck and attended the meeting of the County Federation of Women's Clubs where I delivered an address "Thoughts About the Origin of Mother's Day." In spite of the strong gale and falling rain, fifty women from all portions of the county. The business session closed at noon and then the members and guests were served with a bountiful and dainty luncheon during the while entranced by the melody supplied by Manuel Hernandez and his orchestra. After lunch, reports were delivered by Mrs. Patricia Martyn, county health nurse and Mrs. Leola Cox Sides, home demonstration agent. Then followed a program of music, readings, chalk talks and an address. One could not look into the animated faces of the women, without being impressed that this group of women are intent on doing things for the elevation of the standards of living in Matagorda County. It is such a splendid work, that the men might well take notice and be perfecting a similar organization emulate the example. I took the miserable wretch along because without her as an attraction, folk would scare notice me. She is the light by which I am illuminated. Without her along, it is me for the bushes. I met so many fine women friends that I am unable to mention them all, but I was pleased to see my "Vice" and to realize that she was on the ground once more, where I hope she stays until last week in July. Last time I heard from her, she was sitting on top of the Empire Building's flag pole having her foto taken. She makes a right smart knob for the end of that pole. The visitors from this place were Mesdames Liggett, Clapp, Miss Roberta Liggett, Miss Sue Mansfield and the writer, all of whom took the ride by courtesy of Mrs. Liggett. The women of Van Vleck over did themselves in their generous hospitality and all went home filled with the sweet savor of the Van Vleck folk.


Missouri Pacific Lines Magazine

Houston, Texas


May 15, 1935


Dear Mr. Clapp:


Your letter of May 8, addressed to Messrs. Duke, McDonald and myself, thanking us for being present at the opening of Mopac House. I have been out of town and I see that Mr. Safford and the other gentlemen have noted your letter and as I was the last to see it, I am taking the liberty of acknowledging the same. I want you to know that we of the Missouri Pacific Lines really appreciated the hospitality of the Collegeport homefolks. I have received the picture of the old station taken 24 years ago and have developed the new pictures and have selected several to run in the next issue of the magazine which comes out July 5. Don't be surprised if some of us fellows knock on your door around 2 o'clock in the morning ready for a fishing trip. As for the "rest," the wicked never get "rest" so that is out with us.


Yours very truly,


W. L. Andrews

Field Editor


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, May 23, 1935


Coming Events At Collegeport
By Harry Austin Clapp

Saturday May 25th, marks the 25th birthday of the town of Collegeport. The usual community dinner will be served at noon. Bring a sandwich and one for another fellow and throw in. Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4 Mopac House will be opened for the children to skate with Miss Ethel Nelson as hostess. Saturday night Mopac House will open for a dance with Merton Smith’s Midnight Ramblers doing the tooting. Monday night the 27th, Mopac House will be the scene of the Senior class banquet tendered by the Girl Reserves. Sunday night the 26th the Baccalaurette sermon will be delivered. Tuesday night the 28th, The Right Reverend Clinton S. Quin will deliver a sermon and at the close address the Senior Class. This in Mopac House. Wednesday night the 29th Commencement exercises for the class of 1935. To all of these the folks from “nigh about” and from “over yon” are cordially invited. The electric light plant has been installed in Mopac House and the place will be brilliantly illuminated. Seven big events in five days. Come on over you good folks from Palacios, Bay City, Matagorda and other parts and joy with us.

Palacios Beacon, May 23 1935


By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


The gale that struck this section last Friday night did considerable damage to roofs and light buildings. The barometer down to 29.65 which was within six points of the low during the storm July 35, 1934. Tide rose at least six feet and covering the sea wall eroded considerable of the bluff. One more course of blocks would be of great value.


Yesterday I went down to our big rose hedge. There it stood as it has for years defying destruction. Its dense green foliage showed character. All over its greenness sparkled the beautiful white Cherokee roses. They looked like the reflection of stars on the bosom of a quiet dark green sea. I picked a large quantity and we filled several vases with the bloom. They were beautiful and filled the room with a delicate perfume. In a few hours, the white petals began to droop and curl. In the morning, the floor was strewn with the fallen petals leaving only the big white yellow center button. Wild flowers, handsome as they are do not readily submit to change. As I looked at the fallen petals, I thought how like attempts to move a soul into strange environment. Like the flower, the soul irks and struggles against the change and confinement. It droops and sheds tears of homesickness. A soul like a flower does best where it is rooted. In most cases it is almost a crime to compel a soul to be cut off from the parent stalk and deprived of parent care. Often it dies from disappointment. Its petals fall to the floor. The savor of a beautiful soul is lost to the world. The white rose petals which covered the floor seemed like showers of blessings to come to our home.


Thursday night, Sue Mansfield staged a hay ride but there was no hay and no wagon for the hay and as it turned out eleven occupied and hung onto a small "Koop" and rode about the burg, evidently from the shouts and screams having a great time. Douglas Whitehead just returned from Arkansas, furnished the auto.


Friday night, Mrs. Liggett tendered a dinner to the senior class and the faculty. Beautifully decorated tables and a menu fit for King George or even Franklin D. When one has the privilege of sitting at the Liggett table, one is subject to congratulation. About fifteen were served.


Saturday our folk and their neighbors celebrated the 26th anniversary of the town. For one reason unexplained, folk appeared to think this was an unusual occasion for the attendance which is usually around 150 this day met the 200 mark. Former residents from several parts of the state came to pay their respects to their former home. The dinner was served cafeteria style and it required 42 feet of tables [to] hold the bountiful spread. I counted ten varieties of meats and from that one was able to select vegetables of many kinds, salads, jellies, jams, pickles and table 14 feet long was stacked with many pies and cakes. The coffee made by that old time expert the maker of those Famous Carrie Nelson Noodles was the sort that lingers in memory long after the last drop.


Mrs. Burton D. Hurd gave a short announcement after which H. A. Clapp invoked the blessing of God. A pronounced feeling of neighborly feeling was present which was evidenced by the hearty greetings. I was pleased to see my old time sweetheart Frances Eisel now Mrs. Ross Chitwood. She looked like about two million dollars payable in gold of the present weight and fineness. After Frances married, I took over Elizabeth, the red bird, but she evidently has passed me up for some sweeter and young guy. A, la, la! Such are the disappointments of love the fickle dame. After dinner, Mopac House was opened for the children to play and skate. Note the word children. But here comes all the others including grandma and grandpa and the house was filled. Outside the men had two horseshoe games going and two quoit games going. Few of the kids had skates, but those who were fortunate enough divided so most of them skated on one foot. That made no difference so long as the fun went on. It was a real play afternoon and justified the construction of Mopac House. In the evening, Merton Smith's Royal Texans supplying the rhythm attracted about 200 people, half being spectators while the other half danced to the fine strains of the musicians. More than sixty-five bought dance tickets. This dance brought the best of the dance lovers from all over the country. Bay City came in generous numbers and Palacios turned out a goodly crowd among them being Dr. and Mrs. Wagner, Mrs. Aimee Hall, Judge Gray and his party of six. Many of the men were of the substantial business looking quality men from 40 to 60 years of age and they all had a splendid time. The women were real lookers, well dressed or undressed as the case may be, but each one had what the modiste requires. It was a very fine affair, an enjoyable gathering. At midnight Home Sweet Home was the number and so ended Mopac's second dance. The next will be held Saturday night, June 29 with the Royal Texans.


Sunday night Reverend Paul Engle, rector of St. Mark's Church of Bay City, came down accompanied by Mrs. Engle and daughter, Mary Wilson Engle. His business was to conduct a service in honor of the senior class and deliver the baccalaureate sermon. About 150 were present and listened to the very high class address delivered by Reverend Engle. Our folk have in the past listened to many such addresses but the one delivered Sunday night was received with special delight and interest for it covered several subjects which are at present vexing our citizens and problems which the senior class and others of similar age will be compelled to solve.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, May 30, 1935




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Jun. 21, 2005
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