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Hugo and Hattie Kundinger

"Mr. Hugo & Miss Hattie"

More Kundinger Photos

Memories of Mr. Hugo & Miss Hattie

A Tribute to Hattie & Hugo Kundinger

Family of George, Sr. & Clara Hubert



Hugo and Hattie Kundinger

Hugo and Hattie "Miss Hattie" Kundinger lived in their home attached to their Drug Store on Oyster Lake Road about a mile east and south of Collegeport. The Drug Store was famous in the area for its marble soda fountain and for its "ice cream" tables and chairs. The soda fountain had a carbonated water faucet growing out of the marble counter like a tree, curving up gracefully and becoming a lamp. They had a buzzer hooked up on the door so when opened, the buzzer sounded off in their living quarters. Mr. Hugo died in 1952 and Miss Hattie continued to run the Drug Store.


In 1959, Leon Hale of the Houston Post interviewed her for his column. Following are some quotes from the column:


"I can't get parts for this fountain equipment any more," said Miss Hattie..."That faucet won't fizz any more, you see. And when I run out of carbonated gas I put the tank on a set of rockers and mix it up."


Miss Hattie came with her family in 1908 to Collegeport, when it was being developed. "Burton D. Hurd was the main developer of Collegeport." Miss Hattie said: "When the town was beginning, Mr. Hurd would take people around, show them this piece of land and that piece, and stop and gather everybody around him and make a speech. My, how that man could talk. That's his home down there, the black one, close to the Post Office. Mr. Bob Smith from Houston bought it and had it remodeled."


"Lots of people think Collegeport was blown away by a storm. No such thing. We've had storms, but I don't know of a single building that ever blew down.


"Why, we had three hotels here at one time, and a big pavilion on the bay, and three lumber yards and the Missouri Pacific Railroad and about 1000 people. We had a basket lunch at the pavilion one day, with a table for each state, and there were so many people at the Kansas table I had to sit with the Texas folks. The reason Collegeport went down, the rice land played out, and the farmers left and took all the young folks with them. They came back and started the rice up again in 1922, and learned to fertilize it, and now they keep it in rice. The hotels are gone now. Man named Weborg, Albert I think his name was, tore down his hotel, hauled it to Houston and rebuilt it just as it was here.


Leon Hale asked, "What would you do, Miss Hattie, if a hurricane came whistling in, aimed right at Collegeport?" "Why," she said, "I'd just button up and stay right here."


September 11, 1961 Hurricane "Carla" destroyed Miss Hattie's Drug Store and home. The tidal wave washed away and damaged the property. She built a small home with attached garage on her store property and lived there until her death, May 23, 1964.


Where, now, can you get a real "soda?" Where can you sit in a curved back chair at a tiny round table in a drug store, windows and doors open for ventilation, dust from the southeast breeze on the floor the smell of old medicines and coke fizzing in your nose?

Colleen Claybourn - 1984

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 297-298

Collegeport Tea Will Pay Tribute To Mrs. Kundinger

Mrs. Hugo Kundinger, fondly called "Miss Hattie" by the young and old of Collegeport, will be honored by the Collegeport Woman's Club with a tea Sunday in the home of Mrs. and Mrs. Dean E. Merck from 3 to 5 p. m.

Recently retired as post mistress of the Collegeport Post Office, Mrs. Kundinger, 72, is well known for her unassuming concern and ever present help to others in need of a neighborly hand.

The Woman's Club is paying tribute to Mrs. Kundinger for her staunch support of club projects and everything for the community. She retired as post mistress in February and has been replaced by Mrs. L. C. Smith.

All of "Miss Hattie's" friends are invited to attend the tea.

Palacios Beacon, April 12, 1956

Collegeport News

By Jackie Bullington

Mrs. Hugo Kundinger, so fondly known to all as "Miss Hattie," had her open house Sunday with a large turn out of her many friends. Eighty-two guests registered. Attending from out of town were her niece Vedena De Wald, of Woodsboro, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. Jack Morton, Houston; Mrs. Alvin Johnson, Bill James, Louise; Mr. and Mrs. John Ackerman, Mrs. A. R. Matthes, Blessing; Mr. and Mrs. H. S. White, Tootsie Kerbow, Dorothy McKelvy, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Williams and family, Bay City; Mrs. Jesse Derrick and children, Waco, and Mrs. Joe Lucas, El Maton.

"Miss Hattie, one of the old timers of Collegeport, came to this vicinity in 1918. In 1922 she married the late Hugo Kundinger and they ran the Collegeport Drug Store until September 11, 1961 when "Carla" paid us a very unwelcome visit. The drug store was a gathering place for young and old alike who stopped in for one of "Miss Hattie's" malts and to swap a few stories. Due to her age, "Miss Hattie" decided not to try to build back, so she has retired. This wonderful old drug store with the friendly atmosphere will be sadly missed.

Palacios Beacon, August 2, 1962

Sodalicious Ice Cream

Miss Hattie inside of the Pharmacy.

The Collegeport Pharmacy's specialty was Mr. Hugo and Miss Hattie's "Sodalicious Ice Cream."

This is the recipe as it appeared in the 1956 Collegeport Cookbook and reprinted in the Collegeport Treasures Cookbook in 2003. The compilers of the first cookbook, after finally convincing Miss Hattie to give them the ice cream recipe, always suspected that she withheld one secret ingredient. Chris Murat, great-granddaughter of Hugo's sister, Clara, has finally solved the recipe mystery. She said Hattie reduced the amount of milk by one pint and substituted it with heavy cream.

Friday was the seventh anniversary of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Kundinger, sometimes known as Hugh and Hattie and about fifty people, young and old gathered at the Collegeport Pharmacy to do them honor. Cakes and drinks and good cheer brought comfort to these old people.

The Daily Tribune, December, 1929



Juliette Halfen painted this picture of the Collegeport Pharmacy. She entered it in the county fair contest and won a blue ribbon. Miss Hattie is behind the counter serving Evis Blackwell something good to eat. 




Collegeport Special
Pure Coke, lemon syrup, 4 drops of liquid
phosphate, carbonated water and ice

Brown Cow
Milk, chocolate with a little ice

Red Cow
Ice, milk & cherry flavoring

Coke Float
Ice cream and Coke


Cecil Morris & "Frenchy" in front of Collegeport Pharmacy.*

Mr. Hugo and Miss Hattie*

Miss Hattie on the Pharmacy porch.*

At left
In front of Collegeport Pharmacy*

l to r - Unknown, alligator, Mr. Hugo in back, Unknown

The seven foot alligator was found near the Haisley Farm in Collegeport 1936.

Maples [Mapes?] Boys (left), unknown man (middle), Kay Legg (far right)
Taken from a scrapbook donated by Fay Smith Soli, daughter of Lizzie Will Morris Smith.



Vincent  R. & Sarah Ida Haisley in front of their home east of Collegeport.
Hattie's home until she married.

home of the Haisley family and later the W. B. Williams family. Photo was taken on January 14, 1982.

The house is no longer standing as it was burned in 2003 by vandals.

Mr. V. R. Haisley is one of the progressive farmers of that district. He has rice, cotton, corn and several forage crops, with peach and fig orchards, and an air of contentment and prosperity about the spacious dwelling and well-kept grounds.

The Matagorda News and Midcoast Farmer
, Friday, September 12, 1913

Collegeport Activities


Monday night a party was given at the manse in honor of V. R. Haisley, one of the oldest agricultural settlers in the Delta. Mr. Haisley is a vigorous man despite his 73 winters which have left his locks somewhat faded but his eyes still bright and his attitude very optimistic. He has one of the finest homes and one of the best kept premises in the Delta. He plans to raise 10 acres of hegari and 10 more acres of Sudan grass for feed this year, provided enough of the birds that ravish feed crops can be disposed of to make his crop harvestable. All of Mr. Haisley's old friends and new wished him a happy and prosperous birthday and many more.


Mr. Haisley, besides being one of the most prominent citizens in the community for many years, an officer in the Community Church, which is one of the oldest in the United States, and a charter member, has raised two children in this country, one of which is Mrs. Hugo Kundinger, wife of the druggist and a leading citizen, and Hailsey Mills, a nephew. Mrs. Haisley, his wife, was one of the liveliest young ladies at the party despite her many years; however, Mrs. Haisley won't tell many of the young men her age--and one would underguess it considerably to judge by her activeness.


At their home the Haisleys have a fine fig orchard, garden, cows, hogs, rose bushes of many  varieties, and there is perhaps no farm in the Delta with so large a variety of flowers, native and imported. Their place is decked with palms and they have peach trees, pear trees, shrubbery and a large dewberry patch. Mr. Haisley has a modern milk separator and has a nice income from milk, butter and eggs.


In all community affairs Mr. Haisley has always been a leader or else a faithful follower when there was anything of vital importance at stake. He has maintained in his home and with his neighbors that old fashioned spirit of hospitality and neighborliness for which the South is famous. He came from Kansas to this country.


A large birthday cake was made to honor him, Miss Lena Corse being the culinary artist. His many friends ate at banquet with him and blessed him for his faithful citizenship, kindly brotherhood and keen foresight for the good of the Delta he loves so well.

Matagorda County Tribune, April 23, 1926         

I am unable to close the chronicles of the week without mentioning the birthday party given Monday in honor of Mrs. V. S. Haisley, who on that day reached the seventy nine mile mark. About forty ladies were present to testify to their friendship for Mrs. Haisley. She came here in 1909 and has been closely identified with church and civic work since that time.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, September 29, 1932

On the thirteenth day of April, 1853, a little baby was born. At last it took form and became known as a Haisley. Last Thursday it reached the eightieth mile stone so about fifty went out to the Haisley home to congratulate V. S. Haisley and to show him their respect. They found that eighty-year man out in the field planting corn. Soon he changed his corn planting clothes for this party clothes and appeared before his guests. No drooping shoulders for that man. Head erect, eyes bright and alert, he looks to the future without fear. The Haisley family came here in 1909 and although they have had considerable gray with the sunshine, they have taken life as it came and won. Today they enjoy the respect of all who know them and so we were all glad and happy that we might gather together as friends and neighbors and celebrate the day. The table gave no sign of depression, for it was loaded with good food of every character. Coffee made by our community coffee maker, ... Carrie Nelson. A short period of devotion led by Mr. William Schubring of Houston and the party dissolved to their homes. Just one more enjoyable affair.


The Matagorda County Tribune, April 20, 1933

Mrs. Hugo Kundinger Selected Collegeport's 'Woman Of Year'

Beautiful spring flowers placed at vantage points throughout the Dean E. Merck home  in Collegeport made a beautiful setting for the tea honoring Mrs. Hugo Kundinger Sunday afternoon, April 15, [1956] from three to five o'clock.

The Woman's Club of Collegeport recently named Miss Hattie "Woman of the Year" for the many services which she has rendered to her community. She recently retired as postmistress.

The club presented the honoree with a carnation corsage and a leather purse.

Over seventy guests were registered and received by Mrs. Dean E. Merck, Mrs. Hugo Kundinger, Mrs. Fred Law, president of the club, and Mrs. L. C. Smith.

The young matrons of the community, Mesdames John Merck, Jr., James Slone, Pat Richman, Jr., and Eugene Fitzpatrick and Misses Constance Law and Joy Corporon served delicious cookies, mints, nuts, punch and coffee.

Out of town guests were Miss Hattie's niece and her family, Mr. and Mrs. Burr DeWald, Vedena, Mrs. Johnny Pace and Mrs. V. R. Wazell from Aransas Pass; Mrs. E. M. Huitt, Mrs. William Slone, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Ham and sons and Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Cobb of Bay City; Robert Keszler, Mrs. Pat Richman, Sr., Mrs. E. I. Chiles, Sr., Mrs. Eugene Fitzpatrick and Stephen of Palacios; Mrs. E. A. McCune, Mr. and Mrs. M. Jack Martin, Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Dean F. Merck of Houston; Mrs. Harvey Foster of Ashby and Clifford Franzen of Buffalo, Texas.

Mrs. V. R. Haisley Called.

Mrs. V. R. [Sarah Ida] Haisley was born near Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York, Sept. 18, 1853 and passed away at the age of eighty years, five months and eight days.

From there she migrated to Nebraska, with her parents. Later as a widow with a small daughter she moved to Kansas and proved upon a claim there.

In 1895 she was married to Mr. B. V. Haisley who survives her. She is also survived by three step-daughters whom she raised, namely, Minnie of Cumberland, Ohio; Dena of Colby, Kan.; and Hattie, the wife of Hugo Kundinger of Collegeport. She also raised in her home the children of Mr. Haisley's sister, Haisley Mills of this place; Velma of California and Luke who died May 18, 1909.

The Matagorda County Tribune, January 4, 1934 

Haisley Family
Hattie May Haisley Kundinger, Hugo Kundinger, Faye DeWald,
V. R. Haisley, Mrs. Haisley and Haisley Mills


Friends and relatives mourn the death of one of the oldest settlers of Collegeport, Mr. V. R. Haisley. Mr. Haisley, who was almost 89 years of age, died at his home Wednesday night, March 4th.

Funeral services were held Friday evening at the Community House, and were conducted by Rev. Gillespie of Palacios. The burial was in the cemetery at Palacios.

Relatives who were present were Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Kundinger of Collegeport, Mrs. J. L. Wolfe of Kansas, Mr. Haisley Mills of Collegeport, and a niece and her husband of Aransas Pass.

The Daily Tribune, Thursday, March 12, 1942


V. R. Haisley


Vincent Ridgley Haisley, son of John and Sarah Haisley, was born in Greenville, Bond County, Illinois, April 13, 1853. He passed away at his home in Collegeport, Texas, March 3, 1942, at the age of 88 years, 10 months and 21 days.


When but a young lad he moved with his parents to eastern Iowa.


On Jan. 1, 1879 he was united in marriage to Clara Rummel. To this union, one son and three daughters were born. The son, Frank, died in infancy.


His wife passed away October 18, 1889.


In 1890 he traveled to Colby, Kansas, in a covered wagon, and there left his three little girls with his sister, Mrs. Rufus Mills while he sought work in Colorado. October 25, 1891, he was married to Mrs. Ida Swezey. In the spring of 1909 he moved with his family to Collegeport, Texas, where he has resided ever since. He was a kind and loving husband and father. Always a hard working man; never complaining; cheerful and ready to lend a helping hand; which won him many friends.


Early in life he united with the Methodist Church and as long as he was able he took an active part in church work and greatly enjoyed doing so.


Mrs. Haisley and the eldest daughter, Mrs. Minnie Moore, preceded him in death. He leaves to mourn his passing two daughters, Mrs. Hattie Kundinger of Collegeport, Texas; Mrs. Dema Wolf of Colby, Kansas; one stepdaughter, Mrs. Ruth Woods of Loveland, Colorado; his nephew Haisley R. Mills of Collegeport, who so faithfully cared for him in his declining years; a niece, Mrs. Velma McDonald of Berkeley, Calif.; seven grand children, other relatives and a host of friends.


Funeral services were held from the Collegeport Church with Rev. George F. Gillespie officiating. Burial was in the Palacios Cemetery under the direction of the Palacios Funeral Home.


Palacios Beacon, March 12, 1942

Funeral Services For Hugo A. Kundinger Held Here Wednesday

Funeral services for Hugo A. Kundinger, 81, a pioneer of the Collegeport area, were held here Wednesday afternoon at the Palacios Funeral home.

Born December 2, 1870, in Chicago, Mr. Kundinger came to Collegeport about forty years ago. he was well known as an old timer and merchant there. He died Sunday.

Survivors include his widow, Mrs. Hattie Kundinger, a sister, Mrs. Amanda Glazebrook of Chicago.

Palacios Beacon, Thursday, January 17, 1952

Kundinger, 79, Dies Saturday


Photo of painting
by Jeanette "Sisty" Williams Angelo

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon for Mrs. Hattie May Kundinger, 79, of Collegeport, who passed away in the Nightingale Hospital in El Campo on Saturday.

She was born October 18, 1884, in Iowa and had been a resident of Collegeport since 1909. She was a retired postmistress of the Collegeport Post Office and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of that city.

Funeral services were held Sunday at 3 p.m. from the First Presbyterian Church with interment in the Palacios Cemetery with Rev. Richard stone officiating.

Survivors include one sister, Mrs. Jack Wolf of Coldy, Kansas; one step-sister, Mrs. J. E. Wood of Woodsboro, Texas, one nephew, Wilbur Moore and one niece, Mrs. Burr D. DeWald.

Pallbearers were Dean Merck, R. L. Corporon, Gustave Franzen, Gerry Wells, Thomas Holsworth, Billy Halfen, Verner Bowers and Robb Wells.

The Daily Tribune, May 25, 1964



Collegeport , Texas , August 20.--The tornado which visited this place Monday night was preceded by a brisk norther which blew all day Monday. That evening the wind gradually changed to west and then southwest by north from which direction it blew nearly all night, accompanied by heavy rain. Those who lived here during the 1909 storm estimated that the wind blew about 60 miles per hour. Considerable damage was done. Many small sheds and outbuildings were blown over. The new $10,000 school building was unroofed, also the Sholl block and several houses lost a portion of the roofs. All private docks and bath houses were destroyed and the T-head of the municipal wharf, also the bath house portion of the pavilion was strewn along the beach.

Many motor boats, sloops and schooners were washed high and dry on the bank and some carried inland along the Pilkington Bayou a distance of half mile. V. R. Haisley's barn was destroyed, causing the loss of one horse. Several silos were also wrecked. The rice crop harvested and being harvest[ed] was badly damaged and it is estimated that at least half the crop is ruined. In many places the ripe grain was threshed out of the standing heads to such an extent that the ground was white with grain.

Matagorda County Tribune, August 27, 1915

Wedding picture, picture of Miss Hattie at the top and photos with *s are courtesy of Chris Murat, great-granddaughter of Hugo's sister, Clara Kundinger Hubert.

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