James Robert Gusman (March 3, 1862-November 30, 1944) and Bettie Amanda Harrington (July 26, 1864-July 18, 1948) were married on January 12, 1887, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. They lived in Weimar, Texas, until they moved to Bay City in 1911, where James managed the Colorado Canal Company for George Herder of Weimar. James was the son of James Donaldson Gusman and Alizira I. Duke Gusman, who were married on April 18, 1861, in Columbus, Texas. Bettie was the daughter of Samuel Johnston Harrington and Adelia Harriet Jarmon Harrington, who were married on August 27, 1861.
James and Bettie met in Weimar, Texas, when she was visiting her uncle. During the four-year engagement, Bettie worked on her "hope chest" and trousseau. James took a business course at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He saved enough money to build a house, and then wrote Bettie that the house was ready for her to select the furniture. This devoted couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on January 12, 1937. They were the parents of seven children, all born in Weimar.
Mary Alizira "Mamie" Gusman (March 21, 1888-August 11, 1981) was a "born" teacher. She taught in the public schools for forty-five years, forty-three of which were in the Bay City schools. She taught in the Sunday School of the First Methodist Church for fifty-seven years. Mamie loved every child she taught and seemed to find way to bring out the best qualities of each one.
Lula Delia Gusman Ammann (July 31, 1889-February 22, 1978) married Charles D. Ammann of Weimar on October 25, 1911, shortly after her family moved to Bay City. They owned a dairy farm about two miles north of Weimar. Both were active workers in the Methodist Church throughout their lives. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on October 25, 1961. Lula's husband died on January 5, 1963, and she moved to Bay City to live in the family home until her death.
Wylie Harrington Gusman (November 12, 1891-October 13, 1893) died of scarlet fever.
Cooper Hill Gusman (October 6, 1894-November 27, 1991) was graduated from Weimar High School in 1911, and in 1912, did post-graduate work in Bay City High School The following summer he took a business course and then began working for the county engineer, E. N. Gustafson. In 1926, the first concrete streets in Bay City were built around the courthouse square, and Cooper was the surveyor for that job. In 1927, he became a civil engineer for V. L. LeTulle Irrigation Company. He was with the irrigation system for thirty-four years. After retiring, he spent a year as a consultant. He supervised the construction of several pumping plants, and the one in Lane City, Texas was named for him.
Oliver Herbert Gusman (November 23, 1899-November 14, 1991) was an outdoor person who loved animals and nature. He began purchasing cattle while working at Stinnett's Confectionery, where he was employed for about twenty years. During that time, he was also a Ford automobile salesman, and kept several markets supplied with meat. In 1929 he bought a dairy from Harvey Sapp. In 1942 he retired from the dairy business, but continued raising beef cattle. He developed a subdivision out of his dairy lands south of Cottonwood Creek, where Marguerite and Oak Drive streets are now situated. On June 2, 1929, Herbert married Maney Ester Vest, a Bay City school teacher. She died on October 25, 1964.
Richard Clifton Gusman (December 28, 1904-July 23, 1984) was graduated from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, in 1927. He did post graduate work at Columbia University while he was working in New York as an advertising manager. In 1933, he returned to Bay City to make his home and was in the road construction and the oil leasing business. Richard enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces in World War II. On August 22, 1944, Richard married Florence Beatrice Craddock of Austin, Texas. In April of 1947, Richard was elected mayor of Bay City and held that office until he retired in April of 1979. In 1980 the City council made him Mayor Emeritus. On October 23, 1982, the Richard C. Gusman Park situated on Avenue G between Fourth and Fifth streets was dedicated. Scrapbooks containing records of his activities from college until his death are in the Matagorda County Historical Museum.
Ethel Virginia Gusman (August 27, 1908-April 14, 2002) was graduated from Southwestern University in 1929. She later received a Master in Education degree from the University of Houston. She taught school for thirty-nine years in the Boling Independent School District. She retired from teaching and became assistant director of the Bay City Service Center. She was active in the First Methodist Church and in community activities. She was named the 1980 Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Woman of the Year, and the 1974 Outstanding Senior Citizen of Matagorda County.
The Gusman name stops with this generation.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume 11, pages
187 - 189
J. R. Gusman Dies At Home Here Thursday
Mr. J. R. Gusman, 82, years, 7 months and 22 days, died at his home here Thursday evening at 9:40, following an illness of several months. Weakened by a siege of dysentery during the epidemic here in the spring, Mr. Gusman never regained his strength and was bedridden for the past several months.
A resident of the city here since 1910 when he came to Bay City with the Herder interests from Weimar, Mr. Gusman had worked here for years with the irrigation company. He retired from active business years ago. A member of the Masonic lodge of Weimar for over fifty years, he recently received from that club, a plaque honoring him for his more than half a hundred years membership. Mr. Gusman had been a life long member of the Methodist Church.
He was well loved and respected by the many people of the community, all of whom called him their friend. He was keen of wit, and he enjoyed his many friends, many of whom he played checkers with up until his recent illness.
He is survived by his wife, to whom he had been married fifty-eight years. Also surviving are three daughters, Miss Mamie Gusman of Bay City and Miss Ethel also of Bay City and Mrs. Lulu Arman [Ammann] of Weimar, Texas. Three sons, Cooper, Herbert and Richard, also survive. They are all of Bay City. Three sisters, Mrs. Bell Long of Ft. Worth, Mrs. Ellen Murphy of Palestine and Mrs. Sarah Walker of Ballinger; one brother, Oliver S. Gusman of Houston, also survive.
Funeral services from the Taylor Bros. Funeral Home will be held Saturday afternoon at 1:30, with the Reverend Harry Rankin of the Methodist Church officiating. The body will be carried overland to Weimar for burial where the Masonic Lodge will have charge of the services at the grave. The Methodist minister there will officiate.
Matagorda County Tribune, December 7, 1944
[buried Weimar Masonic Cemetery]
Funeral Rites Held This Afternoon For Mrs. Bettie Amanda Gusman
Funeral services were held this afternoon at 2 o'clock for Mrs. Bettie Amanda Gusman, relict of J. R. Gusman who died in 1944, who passed away here at the Matagorda County hospital, early Sunday morning. She had been ill about two weeks. The services were held from the First Methodist Church with Reverend Mouzon Bass officiating. Members of the Wesley Class were pall bearers. The services were in charge of Taylor Bros. and the body was carried overland to Weimar for interment. Rev. McDonald will officiate at the services at the grave.
Mrs. Gusman had been a resident of Bay City for 37 years. She and Mr. Gusman and her family moved here in 1911 from Weimar and Mr. Gusman was engaged in the mercantile business.
Born in Texas near La Grange in 1864, Mrs. Gusman moved to Tuscumbia, Alabama when very young. She was the daughter of Mr. Samuel Johnston Harrington, a native of South Carolina and a graduate of the University of Virginia. Her mother was Adeila H. Jarmon, a native Texan. She was a graduate of Baylor University at Old Independence.
When a young woman, Betty Harrington returned to Texas from Alabama for a visit and met James R. Gusman. They were married in Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1887. They lived in Weimar from 1887 to 1911. They had been married 57 years when Mr. Gusman died. For years they were awarded the flowers at the Wesley Bible Mother's Day program as the oldest couple present.
Mrs. Gusman is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Charles Ammann of Weimar, Miss Mamie Gusman and Miss Ethel Gusman of Bay City. Also surviving are three sons, Cooper, Herbert and Richard. One sister, Miss Adelia Harrington of Tuscumbia, Alabama, also survives.
The Daily Tribune, July 19, 1948
"Miss Mamie" Gusman Dies
Mamie Gusman, 93, a pioneer teacher in Matagorda County and resident of Bay City since 1911, died Tuesday morning at her residence.
"Miss Mamie," as she was known by her friends, had taught school for 45 years, with 43 of those years in the Bay City School system.
Miss Mamie was born in Weimar, Texas March 21, 1888. She received her formal education from Sul Ross State, Southwest State and the college in Denton.
In 1911, she moved with her family to Bay City and began teaching the third grade in the Old Jefferson Davis High School with Professor R. E. Scott as superintendent of schools.
She retired from the public school system in 1954.
In 1913 she joined the First United Methodist Church, then known as the Methodist Episcopal Church South, under the pastorate of Rev. J. F. Carter.
She immediately began teaching in the children's division of the church's Sunday School and taught for 57 years retiring in 1971 at the age of 83.
"Miss Mamie's devotion and love for her church, home and small children is the cherished legacy for all those whom she taught and all who were privileged to know her, " Mary Belle Ingram, a long-time friend, said.
"Faithful to her church, her enthusiasm and joy were contagious. She cared for small children everywhere and because of her love and devotion she was able to take that fragile spirit of childhood and weave it into a meaningful life in the real world."
Being active in the community also, she was a member of the Eastern Star and AARP.
Surviving her are her three brothers, Cooper, Herbert and Richard Gusman and her sister Ethel Gusman and a host of friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p. m. at the First United Methodist Church on Thursday with Rev. Leroy Stanton officiating.
Interment will be at Weimar [Masonic] Cemetery at 4:30 p. m. Thursday. Contributions can be made to the First United Methodist Church.
The Daily Tribune, August 11, 1981
Miss Mamie Gusman
Miss Mamie Gusman, 93, pioneer teacher in the Bay City Schools, died at her residence in Bay City Tuesday morning, August 11, 1981. Miss Mamie came to Bay City in 1911 as a teacher and taught in the public schools for 43 years before retiring in 1954. A member of the First United Methodist Church, she taught in the children's division for 57 years retiring in 1971 at the age of 83. Survivors include: brothers, Cooper, Herbert and Richard Gusman; sister, Ethel Gusman. Pallbearers will be Albert Younts, Barton Johnson, J. P. Graham, George Yeager, Michael Shannon and Carey Smith. Honorary pallbearers includ John Cherry, A. S. Dierlam and Abe Cornelsen. Funeral services will be held Thursday at 2 p. m. at the First United Methodist Church with Reverend Leroy Stanton officiating. Interment will follow at the Weimar [Masonic] Cemetery in Weimar. Contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church. Arrangements with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
The Daily Tribune, August 11, 1991
Mamie Gusman, a pioneer teacher in Matagorda County, was born March
21, 1888, to James Robert and Betty Amanda (Harrington) Gusman in
Weimer, Texas. She received her formal education from Sul Ross
State, Southwest State, and College of Industrial Arts in Denton.
Mamie moved with her parents and family to Bay City in 1911 and
began teaching third grade in the Jefferson Davis School, with
Professor R. E. Scott as superintendent of schools. She retired from
the public schools in 1954. "Miss Mamie" taught school for 45 years,
with 43 of those years in the Bay City school system.
In 1914 Mamie Gusman joined the First Methodist Church, then known
as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, under the pastorate of the
Reverend J. F. Carter. She immediately began teaching the children's
department of the Sunday School and taught for 57 years retiring in
1971 at the age of 83.
Miss Mamie was a member of Eastern Star and the American Association
for Retired Persons. She was given a lifetime membership in the PTA.
Miss Mamie died August 11, 1981, and was buried in the Weimer
Cemetery, Weimer, Texas.
Vivian Harrison Wier, Historic Matagorda County,
Volume I, 1986
Mamie Gusman, a pioneer teacher in Matagorda County, was born March 21, 1888, to James Robert and Betty Amanda (Harrington) Gusman in Weimer, Texas. She received her formal education from Sul Ross State, Southwest State, and College of Industrial Arts in Denton. Mamie moved with her parents and family to Bay City in 1911 and began teaching third grade in the Jefferson Davis School, with Professor R. E. Scott as superintendent of schools. She retired from the public schools in 1954. "Miss Mamie" taught school for 45 years, with 43 of those years in the Bay City school system.
In 1914 Mamie Gusman joined the First Methodist Church, then known as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, under the pastorate of the Reverend J. F. Carter. She immediately began teaching the children's department of the Sunday School and taught for 57 years retiring in 1971 at the age of 83.
Miss Mamie was a member of Eastern Star and the American Association for Retired Persons. She was given a lifetime membership in the PTA. Miss Mamie died August 11, 1981, and was buried in the Weimer Cemetery, Weimer, Texas.
Vivian Harrison Wier, Historic Matagorda County,
Volume I, 1986
Mayor Gusman's Sister Dies
Lula Gusman Ammann, 88, of Bay City, died in her home this morning following declining health.
She was one of Bay City Mayor Richard C. Gusman's three sisters.
She was born and raised in Weimar and lived there until her early adulthood when she and her family moved from Weimar to Bay City.
Before moving to Bay City she became engaged to Charlie Ammann and after residing in Bay City for a brief period she returned to Weimar to be married.
Her husband, Charlie Ammann was a farmer and dairyman in the Weimar community and both were very active in church affairs and were life-long members of the First United Methodist Church of Weimar. Mr. Ammann served as a church trustee for many years before his death in 1963.
Mrs. Ammann taught Sunday school in the Weimar church until moving to Bay City to be with her family following her husband's death.
The Gusman family has maintained a close relationship throughout the years and on Mrs. Ammann's return to Bay City, she took up residence in the Gusman family home with her sisters, Miss Mamie Gusman and Miss Ethel Gusman who are both retired teachers with the Bay City Independent School District. The family including Mayor Richard Gusman, Cooper H. Gusman and Herbert O. Gusman still gather together for Sunday dinner in the Gusman family home located on 6th Street.
Mrs. Ammann will be returned to Weimar for funeral services scheduled for Thursday at 3 p. m. at the First United Methodist Church in Weimar. She will be laid to rest next to her husband of many years at a Weimar cemetery [Weimar Masonic Cemetery].
The Daily Tribune, Wednesday, February 22, 1972
Funeral services for Cooper H. Gusman, 97, of Bay City will be held 10 a. m. Saturday at the Taylor Brothers Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Jim Welch officiating. Burial will follow 2 p. m. Saturday at the Masonic Cemetery in Weimar.
Mr. Gusman was born Oct. 6, 1894, to James Robert and Betty Amanda Harrington Gusman in Weimar and died Nov. 27, 1991, at Matagorda General Hospital.
He graduated from Weimar High School in 1911 and in 1912 did post-graduate work at Bay City High School. After taking a business course, he began working for the county engineer, E. N. Gustafson. The first concrete streets in Bay City were built around the courthouse square in 1926, and Mr. Gusman was the surveyor for that job.
Later, he became a civil engineer for V. L. LeTulle Irrigation Co. and remained with the irrigation system for 34 years. After retiring, he spent a year as a consultant. He supervised the construction of several pumping plants, of which the Lane City Pumping Plant is named in his honor.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church. On May 14, 1991, he received the 70-year Masonic Service Award as a member of the Bay City Lodge 865. He was also a 32nd-Degree Mason. In addition, he was a member of the local Arabia Temple of the Arabia Shrine Temple of Houston.
Survivors include a sister, Ethel Gusman of Bay City, and several cousins.
Pallbearers will be George Yeager, Albert Younts, Randell Webb, Earl Eidlebach, Norman Truede and Felix Quintanilla.
Honorary pallbearers will be A. S. Dierlam and Hugh Strickland.
Arrangements are with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home, Bay City.
The Daily Tribune, November 28 or 29, 1991
Funeral services for Oliver Herbert Gusman, 91, of Bay City will be held 2 p. m. Saturday at the Taylor Brothers Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Jim Welch officiating. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Van Vleck.
Mr. Gusman was born Nov. 23, 1899, to James Robert and Betty Harrington Gusman and died Nov. 14, 1991, at Matagorda General Hospital.
Mr. Gusman was a longtime resident of Bay City, having lived here since 1911. He was an outdoors person who loved animals and nature. He began purchasing cattle while working at Stinnett's Confectionery, where he was employed for about 20 years. During that time, he was also a Ford automobile salesman, and kept several markets supplied with meat. In 1929 he bought a dairy, and in 1942 he retired from the dairy business, but continued raising beef cattle. He developed a subdivision out of his dairy land south of Cottonwood Creek, where Marguerite and Oak Drive are now situated. He married Maney Ester Vest, a Bay City school teacher, who died on October 25, 1964. He died on her birthday.
Survivors include a sister, Ethel Gusman of Bay City; a brother Cooper Gusman of Bay City; and his housekeeper of 45 years, Rosa Lee Taylor.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Maney Vest Gusman, who died in 1964.
Pallbearers are Eugene Scott, Len Greebe, Herbert Greebe, Clint Roberds, Albert Younts, and J. R. Dabney.
Honorary pallbearers are Gardner Serrill, Michael Shannon, Scott Richardson, Jack Rice, Raymond Ilseng, Ed Hufstetler, M. W. Nash, Bill Green and George Yeager.
Arrangements are with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home, Bay City.
The Daily Tribune, November 15, 1991 Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham
By Sheri Denton
A true representative of the good will found in Bay City and Matagorda County passed away Sunday surrounded by family and friends.
Miss Ethel Gusman died at the age of 93, but lived a life few others can imagine.
Widely known as the service center lady, Gusman served for decades at the Bay City Service Center, seeing to it that there were no scheduling conflicts and that the former U. S. O. building remained a landmark this city can be proud of.
In fact, one of her last achievements was successfully lobbying for a new wooden floor for the center's auditorium.
"Miss Gusman was the service center," said Bay City Mayor Charles Martinez, Jr. "Without her, the center would not be what it is today. She was a very dedicated volunteer and we will miss her.
It didn't take long for the news of her death to spread since Gusman played a part in so many community activities.
If she wasn't at the service center, she could probably be found at the Matagorda County Museum. She was a charter member of the museum and served on the board of trustees since 1978.
"One of my fondest memories of Miss Ethel was when she came into the museum while we were setting up the railroad exhibit and she showed her bicep muscles and said, "OK, I'm ready to start moving display cases," recalls museum director Cynthia Tobola.
"She was in her 90s--of course we wouldn't let her actually move the heavy cases, but she did take out the Windex and cleaned every one of them. She was such an asset to the museum."
Gusman taught third grade students for 47 years at Newgulf Elementary.
She met one of her best friends, Victoria Elder, riding a train from Bay City to Boling, where she began teaching.
The pair lived together for 32 years and were lucky to have jobs that paid them $105 per month during the Depression, according to Elder's niece, Mary Sheeran.
"Newgulf was a booming town back then. It had an innovative school compared to others close by," Sheeran said.
But when Gusman started teaching in Boling, she taught in muddy boots in a church classroom, said Sheeran.
"Miss Ethel and Vic (Elder) would always come home on the weekends by train, but sometimes they hitched a ride with a friend who had a Model T," she added.
Sheeran said Gusman and Elder spent years reminiscing about their days living in the teacher's dormitory in Newgulf and how all of them seemed to have birthdays in August or September.
"That made them Virgos," said Sheeran, "and so the group became known as The Virgins."
Women who were married weren't allowed to teach before the war, Sheeran added.
"Miss Ethel was like family. My grandchildren thought of her as a grandmother too," she said. "Every Christmas, she always remembered to give the grandchildren money with the amount determined by which school grade they were in.
Gusman also was a Sunday School teacher for 57 years.
Though she never married or had children of her own, Gusman showed motherly love to all who knew her.
"Ms. Ethel taught me and many others what it meant to be a good person," said Sharyl McDonald.
"She loved her family, friends, church and community. She gave unselfishly of her time to many organizations. I will miss her."
Gusman, the sister of long-time Bay City Mayor Richard Gusman, earned the title of Woman of the Year in 1940, but there would be many more years of active service to her community to come.
August 27, 1998 was proclaimed Ethel Gusman Day in honor of her 90th birthday.
That day she said she was happy to receive a video of the birthday party so she'd have something to remember it by when she was old and in a rocking chair.
But Gusman never made it to the rocking chair. She continued her service up until the end.
"She is perhaps the most selfless person I know," said friend Henrietta Krumholz. "She's probably the most dearly loved of anyone in Bay City and most definitely dearly loved by me."
Miss Ethel Gusman
Miss Ethel Gusman, 93, of Bay City died April 14, 2002 at Matagorda General Hospital. She was born August 27, 1908 in Weimar, Texas to the late James Robert and Bettie Amanda Harrington Gusman. The youngest of six children, three girls and three boys, she was the last surviving member of the Gusman family.
"Miss Ethel" as she was lovingly called, endeared herself to an entire community through her involvement in service to her family, church and community. Her love, compassion and joy with friends, and all who knew her were caught up with the magic of her soul, which gave grace to her daily living. Her desire for excellence was contagious, and all who worked with her witnessed this overflowing life of joy she lived each and every day of her ninety-three years, six months and 17 days.
Miss Ethel came to Bay City with her family when only three years of age. She graduated from Jefferson Davis High School in Bay City in 1924, and Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1929. She taught third grade in the New Gulf ISD for 39 years retiring in 1958. While teaching during those early years, she would return home by train on the weekends to attend church with her family and teach Sunday School to three year olds; a position she held until her death, a total of 72 years. She has been an active member of the First United Methodist Church for over eighty years and served on various committees, namely: Heritage Committee, Education Department and Administrative Board and wherever she has been asked.
In 1969 after retirement she became assistant director of the Bay City Service Center, and then director, a position held to the year 2002. The Service Center, formerly built as a U. S. O. building erected in 1941, has been taken care of by Miss Ethel and today it looks as neat inside as when opened 62 years ago. Each year she coordinated at least 1500 meetings and worked with more than 300 groups of citizens.
She was a member of Mary Rolph Marsh Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and worked on many projects involving the youth of our nation. A member of the Matagorda County Historical Commission, and Historical Society, she assisted in gathering research material and kept the scrapbooks for these organizations. A member of the County Museum Association, she has not only given many volunteer hours, but assisted financially.
Her love and devoted attention to handicapped children and to the elderly at the nursing homes was done quietly and without fanfare but the lives she touched in those families will go on forever.
An entire community of friends now expresses love and thanks for what you have done to make where we live a better place. God has blessed us with your life among us. Now, we ask God's richest blessing on you.
Survivors include; one cousin, Michael Shannon of Houston; and her housekeeper of 59 years, Rose Lee Taylor. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Richard Clifton, Oliver Herbert and Cooper H. Gusman; and by sisters, Mamie Gusman and Lula Adelia Ammans.
Funeral service will be 10 a. m. Wednesday, April 17, 2002, at the First United Methodist Church with the Revs. Pauline Harvey and Paula Behrens officiating. Interment will be at 3 p. m. at the Weimar Masonic Cemetery in Weimar, Texas. Pallbearers will be Joe DeLoach, Loy Sneary, Nate McDonald, Michael J. McGehearty, George Yeager, Lamar Evans and Louis Wagner.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Mike Wade, Taylor Steves, Joel Morrow, Fred Walker, Glen White, Abe Cornelsen and Pete Arnold. Memorials may be made to the Matagorda County Museum Endowment Fund, 2100 Ave. F, Bay City, Texas, 77414.
Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.
Bay City Tribune, April 17, 2002
Photos from Weimar Masonic Cemetery in Weimar, Colorado County, Texas courtesy of Find A Grave Volunteer #47638110 Texnative
Copyright 2012 -
Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
Dec. 5, 2012
Dec. 26, 2015