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German Colony

Extensive Improvements
Mr. Claude Jester Will Build Houses on Matagorda County Land

Mr. Ab Haslam has contracted with Mr. Claude Jester to build quite a number of houses for him on his land at Collegeport, Matagorda county, and Mr. Haslam will leave at once with several Corsicana carpenters to push this work.

Corsicana Daily Sun, December 23, 1911

Texanische Golfküste
[Texas Gulfcoast]

Das Land der Erfolge fur den Deutschen Farmer
[The Land of the Success for the German Farmer]


Copyright 1915


Claude W. Jester


Jester Land Company
27 Pine Street
 New York City, New York


In 1915, Claude W. Jester of New York, attempted to relocate German farming families to a colony in Matagorda County near Collegeport. The pictures on this page are from a promotional brochure distributed by Mr. Jester. The actual brochure, which can be viewed at , includes these photos with captions and well as other persuasive information encouraging farmers to move to Matagorda County. Unfortunately, the colonization never occurred apparently due to the recent onset of World War I.      More about Mr. Jester.

The wording in the brochure is in old German type and would require expert translation to be included here. If anyone would be interested in assisting with the translation, please email.

Claude W. Jester

Collegeport Land & Water Company

Visit Collegeport

Party of New York Capitalists Will Look Over Recently Purchased Lands

Hon. George T. Jester and his son, George T. Jr., of Corsicana made a brief visit to Galveston Thursday. They left in the afternoon to join at Houston Claude W. Jester, the representative of a New York syndicate, and a party of Northern capitalists en route to Collegeport, Tex. The company which Governor Jester’s son, Claude W. Jester, represents has purchased 15,000 acres of land, including part of the Townsite of Collegeport, from the Burton D. Hurd Land Company. Included in this purchase are some of the finest lands in Matagorda County. This rich land lies between the Colorado and Trespalacios rivers, and when placed in a high state of cultivation will be among the most valuable in Texas. It is generally believed that some important business ventures and enterprises will soon be inaugurate in the Collegeport country at an early day. With a small amount of dredging at the mouth of the Trespalacios this stream can be made a part of the intercoastal canal, and will give this section direct water communication with Galveston.

Galveston Daily News, Friday, May 24, 1912


Claude W. Jester of Corsicana was here on business from Friday till Sunday.

Burton D. Hurd, Hon. Theodore Harris, Claude W. Jester, E. H. McVey and W. B. Martin, Jr., left here Sunday noon by automobile for Blessing en route for Houston on business in connection with business of the Burton D. Hurd Land Co. They all went to Dallas Monday night.

Matagorda County Tribune, July 4, 1913


Miss Emma Smaha of Red Oak, Ia. , a sister of Mrs. Matt Pierce, who has been spending a month in Collegeport, left Monday morning on her return home. She is much in love with Collegeport and spoke highly complimentary of this attractive place as a delightful summer resort.

Miss Sutherland of Wymore , Nebr. , who spent two or three weeks visiting Mr. F. E. Shires' family near Citrusgrove, departed Monday morning on her return home.

Mr. Claude W. Jester of Corsicana came in Sunday by auto from Blessing and is spending a few days at the Collegeport on business.

Matagorda County Tribune, August 29, 1913


Mr. Claude W. Jester came in Friday last and was here several days on business as trustee of the Hurd Land Co.

Matagorda County Tribune, September 26, 1913 .


The power two-mast schooner, the "Sterling," loaded with cotton for Galveston, came to our dock last Thursday noon and took aboard four commercial men bound for Matagorda City. The Intercoastal Canal is now quite liberally patronized, owing to the much less cost of the water transportation.

Drainage and road bonding our district is the great topic of interest with our citizens with no prospect of a change until an election is called and settled by a vote of the people. Some are in favor of drainage only; some for roads only and some for both. It looks now as though that the territory may be divided into two districts and drainage voted in one and roads in the other, the dividing line being the Collegeport canal from Halsby's south.

Mr. Hill, a son of Wm. Hill, while picking cotton last Friday, was bitten by a rattlesnake. His prompt action in securing our local physician, averted a probably fatal result. Aside from three days of excruciating pain, the victim is doing fine and was at work again on last Monday. The reptile was hidden under a bunch of cotton and gave no warning of its presence and the first known was when it struck Mr. Hill's finger.

Mr. Claude W. Jester of Corsicana came in last Friday and will probably be here for some time looking after the affairs of the irrigation company.

Matagorda County Tribune, October 17, 1913


Mr. Claude W. Jester spent Monday in Bay City on business.

Mr. W. C. Hubbell of Des. Moines , Ia. , was an arrival at Hotel Collegeport on Tuesday, looking over the properties which the Jester Company are improving and renting to cotton farmers.

Matagorda County Tribune, February 13, 1914


Mr. Claude W. Jester went to Houston last Saturday on business and possibly will go to Corsicana before returning here.

Matagorda County Tribune, February 27, 1914


Last week's Matagorda County News has the following concerning the sale of the Collegeport properties at trustees sale on the 7th.

The townsite and all the lands belonging to the company which have been advertised for sale under Trustee deed, were sold at the court house door Tuesday noon and bid in by Claude W. Jester for his associates, holders of the first mortgage. The company will be re-organized and Mr. Claude W. Jester it is said will be the president of the new company, and with ample capital will push improvements to the extent of first making Collegeport the ideal dairy country in fact, as it is naturally so well adapted to be. Farmers will be aided in the purchase of dairy cows, and truck gardens, canneries, and hogs, and everything that goes to make the ideal farm, garden and industrial community will be given a helping hand. The town is beautifully situated and the lands surrounding are as fertile as any to be found in the entire state.

Palacios Beacon, April 17, 1914


Eight Thousand Acres of New Land Being Put Into Farms
by Jeter Bros.


Engineer Gustafson was back from Collegeport Monday, for a few days. Mr. Gustafson is camped down on Oliver Point where he and his force are subdividing 8,000 acres of good farm lands for the southwestern State Realty Company, operated by the Jester Brothers of Corsicana.


Mr. Gustafson says they are putting in good improvements, real good tenant houses, with artesian wells, and barns, etc., and expect to sell after the first of the year.


This is the way to develop a country. This way some alleged real estate men have of selling land at top prices, or rather top double prices, and having the buyers to improve it, is ruinous to the farmer and the country, even if it is profitable to the dealer who thus imposes upon the buyer.


Matagorda County News and Midcoast Farmer, September 18, 1914


Among the guests registered at the "Hotel Collegeport" the past week were Col. John N. Simpson and Mr. Royal A. Ferris of Dallas, Mr. Featherston of Weatherford, Mr. L. E. Beadle of Beadle, and Mr. Jester of Corsicana.

Matagorda County Tribune, November 13, 1914


To Have a Good Colony of German Farmers.


Mr. G. M. Magill is in receipt of a late letter from Mr. Claude W. Jester of New York City, stating that he is now organizing a good colony of German farmers to move to their Collegeport lands during the coming month of November.


Mr. Jester thinks that they will perhaps get 50 families to start with and then by next year they will be able to secure sufficient to settle all their lands in the Collegeport country.


It will be remembered that the Jester syndicate took over from the Hurd Company about 17,000 acres of Hurd Company lands in the Collegeport country, being the lands mostly formerly owned by the Pierces of Blessing.


Mr. Jester seems to feel much encouraged over the good price of cotton and the general favorable business outlook.


Just let the good work go on.


Matagorda County Tribune, October 29, 1915


Claude W. Jester left Wednesday morning via Southern Pacific for Houston to be gone several days on pressing business.

Matagorda County Tribune, September 22, 1916

Late Governor's Brother Is Buried

CORSICANA, Texas, Feb. 17.--Funeral services were held here Tuesday for Claude Jester, Corsicana native but a resident of new York City fifty-four years, who died in New York.

He was a brother of the late Beauford H. Jester, former Governor of Texas, and a son of the late George T. Jester, Corsicana, one-time Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

Surviving are his mother, Mrs. George T. Jester, Corsicana, and a sister, Mrs. Clay Johnson, Fort Worth.

Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery. The rites were conducted by Dr. Chet C. Henson, pastor of the First Methodist Church.



Copyright 2013 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

May 17, 2013
May 17, 2013