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Martin Hotel - Nuckols Hotel

Telephone Number 16 in 1909


John V. and Sarah Jane Nuckols Family

On the southwest corner of the square in Bay City there was once a large, two story frame structure known as the Nuckols Hotel. This hostelry bore the name if its owners, John V. and Sarah Jane Nuckols, and served as a "home" to the travelers coming in and out of Bay City for many years. During the devastating storm of 1909, it served as headquarters for those helping with relief work in the storm stricken area, and the Nuckols girls cooked and served meals, dried wet clothing, and provided what help they could for the weary storm victims. In happier times, the hotel was filled with young people from the Matagorda and Wharton areas who came “to town” for balls in Hamilton Hall and for social and cultural events. The landmark was destroyed on February 8, 1945, in a spectacular fire that threatened the south and west sides of the square.

Many businesses had their beginnings in the rooms at the Nuckols Hotel. Ronald Batten began his Singer Sewing Machine sales in a downstairs room, and later moved across the street to open Batten's to carry on the sewing machine business; and later a ladies' dress shop. J. T. Spoonemore tells of coming to Bay City around 1939 and opening a printing shop in a room on the northeast corner of the building. Later Spoonemore's Office Supply moved from its Avenue G location back to the corner where it began, and the modern building located there was owned by the Spoonemores.

John Volero and Sarah Jane Cline Nuckols came to Texas from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, around 1880, settled around Hillsboro, and remained there until 1900 when they moved to Wharton County. John farmed in the area and Sarah operated a rooming house in El Campo. In 1905, Sarah Jane bought the Nuckols Hotel, formerly named the Martin House (built in 1900 and managed by Mr. McKenn), in Bay City, and the family moved to a new home. John died in 1916, and Sarah Jane in 1920. They were buried at Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City. Several of the girls operated the hotel for a short time, and then sold it to the Badouh family.

John and Sarah had a large family, seven girls and two boys: Ida, Trannie, Beulah, Andrew, Etta, Harvey, Carrie, Willie, Clyde and Nora.

Two of the girls, Carrie and Trannie, chose to continue to make their homes in Bay City, while the other children scattered to various parts of the United States. Carrie married E. A. Erickson, and they had two daughters, Beulah and Margaret. Trannie married Zac W. DeLano, and they also had two daughters, Maurine and Mary Jane. These four granddaughters of John V. and Sarah Jane Nuckols continued to make their homes in Bay City.

Maurine DeLano Cole, Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 380

North side - 1912

In January 1939, Ronald and Tillie Batten with their daughter, moved to Bay City from Victoria. Mr. Batten was a salesman for the Singer Sewing Machine Company. In February they opened the Singer Sewing Center in the Nuckols Hotel which had closed some years before. The business was operated in the hotel building until November 1940 when they moved the business into the Long Building across the street at 2227 Avenue F.

Nuckols Family in Front of the Nuckols Hotel

Standing l to r: Ida, Trannie, Beulah, Andrew, Etta, Harvey, Carrie and Willie
Seated l to r: Sarah Jane, Clyde and John V.
Daughter Nora, was living in Beaumont at the time of the picture and was not present.


6th Street




Nuckols Hotel Fire 1945
Courtesy of Matagorda County Museum

$50,000 Fire at Bay City Blanks OPA Rent Record

BAY CITY. Feb. 9. (U. P.)--A fire which took place yesterday leveled the old Nuckols Hotel, Bay City's oldest building and last remaining wooden structure on the town square, destroyed the rent control registrations of 4,000 houses and apartments in Jackson, Matagorda and Calhoun Counties, it was disclosed today.

Total damage, including that to the nearby LeTulle Building, was estimated at $50,000.

Area rent control headquarters were located on the lower floor of the two-story hotel building. The fire,, believed to have originated from an oil stove, demolished the old two-story hotel building, despite the efforts of fire fighters from Bay City, El Campo, Wharton and West Columbia.

The blaze gutted the upper floor of the two-story brick LeTulle building, destroying valuable law books and other property in attorneys' and doctors' offices.

Victoria Advocate, February 9, 1945



Interior of the
Nuckols Hotel

Taken before December, 1907

Grandmother Nuckols
(Sarah Jane Cline Nuckols)
Carrie Nuckols
Beulah Nuckols
Hugh Eidman
George Serrill
Nora Nuckols


J. V. Nuckols

1847 - 1916

Mr. J. V. Nuckols, proprietor of the Nuckols Hotel of this city, died this morning after a few days illness and will be buried in Cedarvale Cemetery tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 o'clock.

Decedent was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, July 30, 1847. On July 7, 1868 he was married to Miss Sarah Jane Cline,  to whom were born ten daughters and two sons. There are eight daughters, two sons and the widow surviving.

When only 16 years of age Mr. Nuckols entered the civil war in a Kentucky regiment on the side of the South.

In 1878 Mr. Nuckols moved to Texas, settling in Hill County, and later moved to El Campo. From El Campo the family moved to Bay City about ten years ago and entered the hotel business which has been very profitable.

Those of the surviving children who live here are Mesdames Z. Delano, Hugh B. Eidman and Mrs. C. A Erickson. The others live at other places in the State and have all been notified of their father's death.

The Tribune extends its deepest sympathy to the bereaved ones.

Matagorda County Tribune, November 3, 1916

Mrs. Sarah J. Nuckols

1852 - 1920

Mrs. Sarah J. Nuckols, relict of J. V. Nuckols, died suddenly at her home in the Nuckols Hotel, this morning at 3 o'clock, having been stricken with neuralgia of the heart.

Last night she was as lively as usual and gave out no intimation that anything was wrong with her. In her usual friendly and busy way she was busy with the hotel duties, mingled with her children, enjoyed the phonograph music and retired in her usual spirits. At about one o'clock she called Mrs. Erickson, a daughter, who a few minutes later called in a doctor. Just after 3 o'clock she passed away.

This ended a most useful and successful life of a good woman, a loving mother and wife and one who had made all out of life that can be crowded into an active one.

Some fifteen years ago Mr. and Mrs. Nuckols moved to Bay City from El Campo and engaged in the hotel business, which they followed successfully. Mr. Nuckols died some time ago, but Mrs. Nuckols continued the business.

Decedent was a mother of twelve children, nine of whom survive. These are Mrs. Willie Young, of Model, Colorado; Mrs. J. H. Young, of Itasca, Texas; Mrs. J. W. Todswer, of Beaumont; Mrs. J. B Sutherland of Alice; Mrs. Z. W. Delano, Mrs. C. A. Erickson and Mrs. H. B. Eidman, of Bay City, and Messrs. H. A. Nuckols and H. E. Nuckols of Bay City and Waco, respectively.

She was 69 years of age and a devout member of the Methodist Church.

The funeral will be held from the hotel [with burial] in Cedarvale Cemetery where her remains will be laid to rest by the side of her departed husband tomorrow afternoon at 4 o'clock.

The sympathy of The Tribune is extended the bereaved ones.

The Daily Tribune, Saturday, June 5, 1920

Arrivals at the Nuckols Hotel

From Saturday's Daily

Matagorda County Tribune

October 13, 1911

B. M. Siddel, Kingsville

R. S. Colline, Houston

M. Moses, Houston

F. Munguardo, Dallas

W. B. Scusing, Yoakum

W. N. Nail, Houston

M. G. Noel, Waco

C. H. Branditz, K. C.

K. C. Martin, Wharton

Jessie Martin, Wharton

E. W. Hutchinson, Houston

C. J. Wildman, Palacios

H. L. Gilbert, Palacios

J. A. Miller, Palacios

Jno. [John] M. Thompson,  [Bay] City

G. G. Kelley, Wharton

Chas. Castleman, Richmond

B. Blakeley, Houston

W. B. Vincent, [Bay] City


October 11.

Matagorda County Tribune

October 13, 1911


F. F. Woodruff, St. Louis, Mo.

Jas. [James] Harrison, Chicago

J. H. Hines, Bryan

J. R. Walker, Louisville, Ky.

Mr. Taylor, Eagle Lake

C. H. Branditz, K. C.

P. O. Adams, Cameron

N. Fernest, St. Louis

H. Freeman, Dallas

C. E. Trefler, St. Louis

W. T. Ash, Dallas

J. B. Bowman, Houston

S. Ray, Houston

W. H. Jackson, Atlanta, Ga.

A. C. Wiltlins?, Beaumont

O. Parmeter, Detroit

H. Howlin, Kingsville

T. J. Madern, Houston

W. H. White, San Antonio

W. M. Beard, Ft. Worth

Theo Partlow, Houston

Fred Caldwell, San Antonio

J. W. Craw, Houston

A. _. ______, Houston


Sunday Oct. 8

Matagorda County Tribune

October 13, 1911


Y. F. Mossep, San Antonio

H. K. Dickinson, Houston

I. T. Dickinson, Houston

D. W. Means, Mexia

E. E. Bateman, Palacios

W. Waldo, Houston

W. G. Lane, Lane City

Aubrey Lane, Lane City

J. B. Sutherland, [Bay] City

W. R. Taylor, Fulton, Mo.

J. C. Jopling, Wharton

S. L. Ray, Richmond, Mo.

T. J. Brown, Richmond, Mo.

E. C. Kell, Richmond, Mo.

K. Garsage, Richmond, Mo.

W. Waldo, Houston

C. L. Dinkseley, Houston

J. B. Brown, Houston

Jas. [James] Ray, Houston

Wm. [William] Haas, Sherman

Fred Haas, Sherman

H. H. Jackson, Houston

W. H. McMeans, Houston

A. H. Baker, Portland, Oreg.


Oct. 12.

Matagorda County Tribune

October 13, 1911


J. M. Dugan, Houston

W. T. Fore, Houston

F. Caldwell, Houston

A. B. Connor, San Antonio

G. C. Holmes, Houston

G. A. Pride, Chicago

H. W. Bonner, Galveston

J. J. Gillispi, Houston

J. B. Weems, Houston

R. Retzliff, Houston

H. W. carver, Houston

H. D. Hurd, Houston

J. H. Speed, Houston

E. R. Glayln?, Houston

E. W. Hutchinson, Houston

S. D. Snodgrass, Temple

J. L. Kochley?, Houston

J. H. Shay, Omaha

W. P. Sondr__, Corpus Christi

J. W. Craw, Houston

Mr.? S. G. Morer, Francitas

W. M. Beck, Houston

J. B. Parmeter?, Detroit

O. Parmeter, Detroit

E. T. Fore?, Houston

C. D. Jarrat, Jacksonville

__. __. Drew, Portland

Tuesday, Oct. 9

Matagorda County Tribune

October 13, 1911


Perryman S. Moore, Palacios

T. J. Cleminger, Houston

Byron Williams, Palacios

Clifford King, Red Oak, Ia.

L. Z. Moreland, Wharton

H. L. Marsh, N. Y.

S. Montgomery, Houston

C. W. Comualy, Cuero

J. R. Beck, Houston

C. L. Stoy, Houston

Sol. Bromberg, Galveston

C. N. Brown, St. Louis

H. C. Spraifer, Schulenburg

L. S. Spraifer, Schulenburg

O. R. Spraifer, Schulenburg

J. T. Evans, Houston

T. E. Egg, El Campo

F. Wharton, Chicago

F. S. Judson, Chicago

Harry Dings, Uvalde

O. R. Dunham, Galveston

October 16th.

Matagorda County Tribune

October 13, 1911


I. N. ________, Brownsville

E. T.? Fore, Houston

E. J. Tyre, K. C.

T. J. Weyman, Yoakum

S. Montgomery, Houston

J. W. Castleton, Dallas

O. Gerard, Houston

H. Camet?, Houston

R. M. Langram, Dallas

F. R. Williford, Houston

C. H. Hugh, Houston

T. J. Keen, Houston

L. E. Beadle, Beadle

L. H. Schwaykerf?, St. Louis

Mr. Yerxa, Buckeye

J. H. Terry, Dallas

D. P. Williams, Dallas

G. a. Pride, Chicago

E. H. Church, Boston

H. d. Hurd, Houston

Mr. Spencer, Houston

Mr. Mulling, Houston

T. L. Mullins, Houston

M. Schlessinger, San Antonio

L. B. Thompson, Angleton

H. H. Harrison, K. C.


From Tuesday's Daily

Matagorda County Tribune

October 13, 1911


R. M. Breeden, St. Louis, Mo.

I. Z. Mooreland, Wharton

Mr. Gorman, Buckeye

Chas. [Charles] F. Reech and wife Chanute, Kan.

J. M. Barnes, Waco

A. M. Mansur, Victoria

M. Joseph, Victoria

J. E. Miffle, Va.

M. Gosney, Houston

E. Swinford, Houston

B. L. Vineyard, Houston

J. J. Stigget, Houston

Mrs. J. V. Hinkle, Brazoria

Mrs. J. V. Gibson, Angleton

A. C. Graham, St. Louis

S. N. Urrey, N. O.

B. M. Sidell, Kingsville

R. M. Collius, Houston

H. Moses, Houston,

J. W. Crate, Houston

J. C. McNaut, Kingfisher





Letterhead at top and this return address courtesy of Bobbie D. Dykes

Final Rites Conducted For Mrs. Delano, 75, Tuesday Afternoon

Funeral services for Mrs. Trannie Jane Delano, 75, were held Tuesday from Taylor Brothers Funeral Home chapel, with the Rev. James E. Savoy of Lufkin officiating. Burial was in Cedarvale Cemetery.

A member of the Episcopal Church, Mrs. Delano was a Bay City resident for 46 years. She passed away Sunday morning at Matagorda General Hospital.

She was born October 12, 1876, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her Bay City residence was 3214 Eighth Street.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Ashley Etie of Bay City and Mrs. Bryan Cole of Lufkin; five sisters, Mrs. J. H. Young, Mrs. Beulah Eidman and Mrs. Clyde Wallace of Hillsboro, Mrs. Cary [Carrie] Erickson of Bay City, and Mrs. L. L. Chipman of Longview Washington; one brother, H. A. Nuckols of San Antonio.

Daily Tribune?, February, 1952

Funeral Services For Zac Delano Held Tuesday

Funeral services for Zac Warwick DeLano, 59, were held Tuesday afternoon at 7 o'clock from the Taylor Brothers Funeral Home with the Rev. Paul Engle of St. Mark's Episcopal Church officiating.

Mr. DeLano died at the family residence on September 1 after an illness of some duration. He was operator of the Alcove Confectionery for many years and in this business made many friends. He was one of Bay City High School's greatest boosters.

Mr. DeLano is survived by his wife, Mrs. Trannie Nuckols DeLano; two daughters, Mrs. Maurice Reed and Mrs.. Ashley Etie of Bay City; three sisters, Mrs. Zoe D. Fowler of Los Angeles, Mrs. Ted Shanan of Monrovia, Calif., and Mrs. Walter Mote of Stratton, Nebraska; one brother, Zen DeLano of Philadelphia.

Pallbearers were H. F. McAllister, J. W. Harris, John Hutchison, J. W. Ingram, Vic Driscoll, and O'Neal Etie. Burial was in the Cedarvale Cemetery under the direction of Taylor Brothers.

Matagorda County Tribune, September 5, 1940




Thursday afternoon a quiet wedding was solemnized in the parlors of the Rice Hotel in this city, Rev. Hatfield officiating. Miss Nora Nuckols of this city and Mr. J. W. Todswer of Eagle Lake were joined in the holy bonds of matrimony. Immediately after the ceremony the happy pair took the train for Houston. The News extends congratulations.--El Campo News.

Eagle Lake Headlight, 18 December 1903

[J. W. Todswer July 10, 1974 - January 23, 1919 buried Magnolia Cemetery,  Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas.]


Carrie Nuckols Erickson
'Miss Carrie' Frontier Leader Dies in Hospital

Bay City--Funeral services will be held for Mrs. Carrie Nuckols Erickson, 87, on Friday, January 13, 1978, at 2 p. m. at the chapel of the Bay City Funeral Home, Rev. Milton E. McWilliams will officiate and interment will be in Cedarvale Cemetery.

Mrs. Erickson died at Matagorda General Hospital Wednesday morning, after a lengthy illness. She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Beulah Heard, and Mrs. Margaret Callaway; and one sister, Mrs. Clyde Wallace, of Longview, Washington.

She had been a long time resident of Bay City, having moved here in 1905 with her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. John Nuckols, four sisters and two brothers, John Nuckols had purchased the Martin Hotel and his family made it their home and renamed it the "Nuckols Hotel."

The hotel was the center of social activities in Bay City for many years through the 20's, but it was destroyed by fire in 1945.

"Miss Carrie," as she was known to a host of friends, met and married Charles Alfred Erickson in 1910. He, Erickson, was a young attorney with the firm of Styles, Krause, and Erickson, later to become Erickson, Bell & Keen, and the same offices are now being continued by Russell Law. Mr. Erickson preceded his wife in death in 1951.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Erickson were very active in community affairs of Bay City, including the schools as well as the city. Mr. Erickson was a long-time member of the school board, and chamber of commerce, and both were active many years in working with the P. T. A. During World War I years both were quite active in Red Cross affairs.

Mrs. Erickson was a lifetime member of the Order of the Eastern Star, having "gone through all the chairs," served as Worthy Matron, and as Deputy Grand Matron. Her lifetime membership was an award made in recent years.

A member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Mrs. Erickson took part in most of her church activities. She was one of the 5 women who started the Thrift House, which is very much a part of the women's activities today. She gave much of her time, helping Mrs. D. M. Curtis at the Thrift House until her health failed some five years ago. She excelled in cooking and handwork, and the Episcopal annual bazaar always had a variety of her very finest efforts in both areas.

Always interested in young people, she lived to see any number of boys and girls who had a helping hand from her, grow into fine young men and women. In helping, she was a part in promoting many of Bay City's longest lasting civic and cultural advancements through the years. She has definitely been one of Bay City's Most Outstanding Women.

The Daily Tribune, January, 1978

Final Rites Are Held For C. A. Erickson Prominent Attorney

Final rites were held here Thursday afternoon for C. A. Erickson, 62, prominent Bay City attorney, who died January 9 at the Matagorda General Hospital. Burial was in the Cedarvale Cemetery.

Mr. Erickson retired from active law practice several years ago.

He was a member of the well-known law firm, Styles, Krausse & Erickson. Before retirement the firm had changed its name to Erickson and Bell, of which C. R. Bell is still a member and which has added another attorney, George R. Keen.

Mr. Erickson was an active civic worker, including work on the school board and in the Bay City Rotary Club. He was also a Mason and a Shriner.

Survivors include his widow, Mrs. Carrie Erickson; two daughters, Mrs. Beulah Heard of Longview, Washington, and Mrs. Margaret Calloway of Alton, Illinois; one brother, George C. Erickson of Lake City, Minnesota.

Matagorda County Tribune, January 11, 1951


On December 7, 1910, Frank Edwin Bell and Nora Lee Schmerber boarded the train locally known as “The Red Fish Special” in Matagorda, Texas, to travel to Bay City, Texas to be married. They took a horse-drawn carriage from the depot to the court house. Elizabeth Schmerber, mother of Nora, came with them to give her consent and witness the marriage. The honeymooners spent the night in Bay City at the Nuckols Hotel, and then returned to their new home at Stewart Switch below Wadsworth where Frank was employed by the Stewart Canal Company.


Mr. W. T. Swinford, of Wortham, Miss., and Miss Rosa Parks, of Palacios, were married at the Nuckols hotel at Bay City Thursday of last week, by Rev. Morrison, the Baptist minister of the county seat. The bride is a most charming young lady, the daughter of Mr. John S. Parks, and sister of photographer Clyde Parks of this city. She has many warm friends in the city who join in extending their best congratulations and wishes for happiness and prosperity always. The young couple will reside at Palacios for a short time, and then go to the home of the groom in Mississippi.

Palacios Beacon, April 4, 1913

Nuckols Family Genealogy

Pictures courtesy of Matagorda County Museum


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Apr. 6, 2006
Sep. 20, 2013