Matagorda County Historical Commission

Matagorda County For Kids


Matagorda County Calendar


Members of the

Matagorda County Historical Commission
PO Box 275
Blessing, Texas 77419-0275


Ona Lea Pierce, Chairman

G. W. Franzen, Vice-Chairman          
Eileen Ackerman, Treasurer          Jackie Jecmenek, Secretary

Judith Allen
Floyce Brown
Jerrilyn Capers
Faye Cunningham
Ross Cunningham
Freda Daniel
Anthony Doubek

Bobbie Gaspard
Michael George
Carol Sue Gibbs

Gertrude Hardy
Carol Ann Huitt

Jackie Jecmenek

Donna Johnson

Henrietta Krumholz
Alicia Waters

Israel Armstrong


Eileen Ackerman
Natalie Hansen

Ona Lea Pierce



Shirley Brown



Ray Horton


G. W. Franzen


Alyne Cox
George Deshotels

Joe Faye Deshotels
Kary Havard

Craig Hlavinka
Zia Miller



Deann Griffith



Bonnie Benson
Colleen Claybourn

Edith Gower

Mary Johnston

Margaret Lynn
Vikijane Mosier



Barbara Smith



Mike Henderson
David Holubec




Drive By History
Join us for a tour of historical markers.
City of Matagorda Vine Grove Christian Church Confederate Monument
Selkirk Island Berean Missionary Baptist Church Buckeye
Battle Island Bay City Methodist Church Little Bethel AME Church
John Duncan Bethlehem Christian Church Site Of Early Bay City School
Dale-Rugeley-Sisk House Old Matagorda Post Office

Morton-Salyer Home

Samuel Rhoads Fisher St. Peter's Baptist Church D. P. and Louise Moore House
Matagorda Cemetery Masonic Lodge # 411 Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
Benjamin & Esther Randall Wightman F. Cornelius House

Midfield Methodist Church

Fisher-Sargent-Gottschalk House Grove Hill Missionary Baptist Church First United Methodist Church of Palacios
Jane McManus Old Palacios Hotel (Luther Hotel) Old Palacios Hotel (Luther Hotel)
Ira Ingram Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church Bethel Baptist Church
Seth Ingram Mother Zion Missionary Baptist Church

Albert Clinton Horton

Matagorda County - 1836-1936 First Baptist Church of Bay City First Christian Church of Bay City
Maj. George Morse Collinsworth

St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church

Palacios Pavilions
Dr.Albert Moses Levy Pilkington Slough Ranch First Baptist Church of Palacios
Richard Royster Royall Ashby-Wilson Creek Community Palacios Cemetery
Early Texas Freighting Site of Hilliard High School Hotel Blessing
Sinclair David Gervais Culver Home Cates-Price House
Old Hawley Cemetery Bay City Post Office (Matagorda County Museum)

Price-Farwell House

Caney Post Office First Presbyterian Church of Bay City Texas Baptist Encampment Grounds
Matagorda Lodge No. 7 A. F. & A.M. Holy Cross Catholic Church Eastview Cemetery
Sargent Cemetery St. Mark's Episcopal Church Blessing State Bank
Elliott's Ferry St. Francis Catholic Church First Presbyterian Church of Palacios
Christ Episcopal Church Bay City U. S. O. Building- Service Center Holman House
Matagorda Methodist Church Cedarvale Cemetery Clemville Community
Daily Tribune & Matagorda County Tribune Old Bay City Bank


Yeamans-Stallard Home Philip H. Parker VFW Post 2438 Collegeport Cemetery
Hawkins Lake Home Site Of Early Bay City School A. B. Pierce Home
Grimes Cemetery D. P. and Louise Moore House First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport
Deming's Bridge Community Hensley-Gusman Home Smith Plantation House
Matagorda, C. S. A. Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Kilbride-Barkley House
Confederate Defenses At The Mouth Of Caney Creek Midfield Methodist Church Lukefahr School Community
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Morton-Salyer Home R. J. Hill Building




National Register Designations

Hotel Blessing
Blessing Masonic Lodge

Bay City
U. S. O. Building
Hensley-Gusman House
Southside Historic District
Bay City Post Office
Holman-Allen House

Matagorda Cemetery

R. J. Hill Building

Luther Hotel
Price-Farwell Home


Certified Local Government

Historical Marker Dedications

Holy Cross Catholic Church - 2007
Grimes Family Cemetery - 2008
Lukefahr School Community - 2009
Pilkington Slough Ranch - 2009
St. Peter's Catholic Church - 2009
St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church - 2010
Buckeye - 2012
The Luther Hotel - 2012
Blessing Masonic Lodge # 411 A. F. & A. M. - 2012


History Appreciation & Preservation

2008 Preservation Awards
2008 Collegeport Centennial Driving Tour
2009 Preservation Awards
2009 History Appreciation
2010 History Appreciation & Preservation

Matagorda County
7th Grade Field Trip

O. H. Herman 7th Graders

Historic Texas Cemeteries

Collegeport Cemetery
Grimes Family Cemetery
Matagorda Cemetery
Midfield Cemetery

Hawley Cemetery

Preserve America


Cemetery Surveys



Matagorda County Officials


County Judge
Nate McDonald


Dan Putska


Kent Pollard


James Gibson


David J. Woodson


Helpful Links

La Salle Projects

Matagorda County Certified Local Government

Matagorda County Genealogy

Matagorda County Historical Markers

Preserve America Community


County Historical Survey Committee Meets In Bay City

The Matagorda County Historical Survey Committee met Saturday, April 6, at the Service Center. Mrs. Arthur Harris called the meeting to order, the minutes were read and approved.

Mrs. I. E. "Jack" Rice, gave a report on the monuments of Matagorda County. The post office of Deming's Bridge was discussed. It is believed that it is one of the oldest in the county, if not the oldest. [Note: Matagorda and Caney were the oldest being established May 22, 1846. Deming's Bridge Post Office was established June 22, 1858.]

The Committee voted that a letter be written to the Texas Historical Association, asking them if it is possible to start some type of move to bid on and buy the Lewis W. Kemp Collection of Texana and keep it in Texas.

Stationery will be purchased for the Survey Committee, with the name of the organization, the officers names and their addresses to be printed on it.

Mrs. Dean Merck, treasurer, was authorized to put all committee monies received from dues payment and otherwise, in a bank.

It is the desire of the Survey Committee to put into print the facts of Matagorda County History.

Mrs. Lawrence Gwin has presented to Committee a photostat copy of the Topography report on Matagorda County taken from the records in Austin, Texas.

The next meeting will be July 6, place to be decided later.

Those attending the meeting were Mrs. Arthur Harris, Bay City; Mrs. Ello Werlla, Sargent; Mrs. Dean Merck, Collegeport; Mrs. Harry Dawdy, Ashwood; Mrs. R. R. Traylor, Matagorda; Mrs. Ward McNabb, Matagorda; Mrs. A. B. Pierce, Blessing; Mrs. G. C. McElrath, Markham; Mrs. Jack Rice, Bay City; and Miss Ural Lee Sanford, Bay City.--Mrs. G. C. McElrath.

Palacios Beacon, April 18, 1957

County Historical Survey Committee

Matagorda County Historical Survey Committee

County Judge J. J. Spurgeon appointed 12 persons to the Matagorda County Historical Survey Committee in the fall of 1956. The late Mrs. Arthur Harris, Sr. served as the first chairman.

The purpose of the Committee was to work to familiarize the people of the county with the importance of promoting and preserving history in the County. The Texas State Historical Survey Committee directs the county in its projects.

In 1963, a new survey committee was appointed by the Judge with Mrs. Richard Gusman as chairman. Following Mrs. Gusman's death in April of 1966, Mrs. Howard C. Ham was reappointed to serve again for the 1969-70 year over the 60 other members that Judge Austen H. Furse named to serve on the committee board.

While continuing to function under the leadership of the State committee the MCHSC has been recognized as a valuable assistant to the organization and founding of the other two historical agencies in the county and to the recognition of historical work in the area.

Matagorda County Historical Society

The Matagorda County Historical Survey Committee and the Texas State Historical Survey Committee decided in 1959 that there was a need for an organization that would be opened to all interested persons.

As a result, the Matagorda County Historical Society was formed in that year for the purpose of including the citizens of the county in the promotion work being planned by the two historical survey committees.

The late Mrs. Arthur Harris was elected the first president, and Mrs. Lee Hall Pierce of Blessing is now serving as the Society's president.

Matagorda County Historical Museum Association

Because of two successful Historical Exhibitions sponsored by the Matagorda County Historical Society, the county historical agencies felt that they needed a historical museum.

The Bay City Council granted the use of the "Old City Hall" at 1824 6th Street for the County Historical Museum. The building interior was re-decorated and adapted for use and the museum was opened in the fall of 1966. Mayor R. C. Gusman was the first Museum Board chairman.


The three historical organizations presently operating in Matagorda County are all working in unison toward one goal--to preserve and promote the history of Matagorda and all the rest of America.

Twenty-one historical medallions and markers have been placed in the County by these three units. In Matagorda, one may find markers at Christ Episcopal Church, Dale-Rugeley-Sisk Home, the Old Post Office, Methodist Church, The Samuel Rhoads Fisher Grave Site, the Jane McManus Dream Colony Site and the Culver Home.

The Daily Tribune, August 22, 1969


Copyright 2005 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Feb. 1, 2005
Jan. 10, 2013