OLD MATAGORDA POST OFFICE
By Kathleen Tatum
The old post office at Matagorda, Texas, was built by
Cyrus R. Sharp, as a general store on land he purchased from John
Plunket and Charles Dale, September 2, 1837. They in turn bought the
land from Elias R. Wightman, August 14, 1837, it being a portion of lots
two and three given to him by the Proprietors of the City of Matagorda,
July 6, 1835.
The building, facing Fisher Street, was built with hand-cut lumber of
yellow pine and wooden pegs for nails. There are water marks halfway up
the ceiling, where it has withstood storms and floods for 150 years. It
being situated on the southwest one half of lot 2, block 7, tier 2, in
the town site of Matagorda.
The store was sold a number of times and some of the owners were Albert
Wadsworth, James H. Coleman, Charles A. Bullard, Jacob Clauder, William
D. Barbour, John Clauder and Edward Kilbride.
When Galen Hodge retired as postmaster, June 10, 1882, Andrew August
Duffy, Jacob Clauder’s brother-in-law, became postmaster and opened the
post office in Jacob’s brother, John Clauder’s store and next door he
opened a funeral parlor.
The post office and general store as well as the funeral parlor
buildings were owned by John Clauder, when he died April 11, 1890, and
Andrew August Duffy was named administrator. Clauder had purchased the
store from his landlord, William D. Barbour, July 1876. The inventory of
the store, all housed together with the post office consisted of
everything from coffee, flour, sugar, fine calico and lace by the yard,
to linen handkerchiefs, fine gold watches, shoes, boots, guns, seeds for
planting, horse collars, saddles, and harness for horses, as well as a
lot more items. The inventory consisted of six pages.
Edward Kilbride, a nephew, bought the two buildings and its contents
from the other heirs and Andrew August Duffy continued to be postmaster
and undertaker. In October 1, 1894, Duffy bought the two buildings and
land from Kilbride and continued to serve as postmaster until his
retirement, October 16, 1904, when his son, Amos Emery Duffy took
Amos Emery Duffy ran the post office and funeral parlor until his
retirement, July 18, 1933, serving twenty-nine years. It was after his
retirement that the postal service rented the funeral parlor, too.
The new post office opened across the street, December 11, 1964, on the
corner of Fisher and Caney. It was after this date that the Duffy estate
gave the old post office building to the town of Matagorda. The men of
the community moved the building three blocks west to the city park and
it now rests on the corner of Fisher and Laurel, facing Laurel. The men
restored the wooden porch floor to the best the old timers could
remember, for it had been destroyed by the 1942 storm.
MARKER TO BE REDEDICATED
Matagorda – The old post office in this coastal
community will receive another Texas Historical Marker during a special
The original marker, dedicated in the mid 1960s, was stolen, according
to Kathleen Tatum of Wadsworth who did much of the research for the
marker. This ceremony, to begin at 10 a.m., will be to rededicate the
Old Matagorda Post Office. In order for a new marker to be erected,
Tatum had to go through the entire application process with the Texas
Several dignitaries will be in attendance including Amos Edward Duffy,
the grandson of Andrew August Duffy, the postmaster who added the post
office to what was once a general store.
Giving the dedicatory address will be Ryan Beason, great-grandson of
Ruth Ward, past postmaster in Matagorda, and Karen Yeamans, the current
postmaster, will unveil the marker. Geraldyne Havard will read the
inscription on the marker.
This post office building was originally located across the street from
the Masonic Lodge in Matagorda. After the new post office was
constructed, the Duffy family gave the old building to the Town of
Matagorda which then moved it to the historical park a few blocks down
The original marker was a small one mounted to the building. The new
marker will be larger and mounted on a pole, Tatum said. Jan
Aikens, The Daily Tribune, Thursday, June 3, 1993
The rededication of the Texas Historical Marker for The Old Matagorda
Post Office was held June 5, 1993. The Old Matagorda Post Office is
located at the corner of Fisher and Laurel, Matagorda, Texas.
OLD MATAGORDA POST OFFICE
THIS STRUCTURE WAS BUILT PRIOR TO 1872 ON
A TOWN LOT PURCHASED BY CYRUS R. SHARP IN 1837 LOCATED SEVERAL BLOCKS
EAST OF THIS SITE. CONSTRUCTED OF HAND-CUT LUMBER AND HELD TOGETHER WITH
WOODEN PEGS, THE BUILDING HOUSED ONLY A GENERAL STORE BEFORE POSTMASTER
ANDREW AUGUST DUFFY ADDED THE MATAGORDA POST OFFICE TO ITS FUNCTION IN
1882. HIGH WATER MARKS NOTICEABLE ALONG THE INTERIOR WALLS ARE BELIEVED
TO BE THE RESULT OF STORM AND FLOOD DAMAGE. THE STRUCTURE WAS MOVED TO
THIS LOCATION AND RENOVATED FOLLOWING THE OPENING OF A NEW POST OFFICE