Search billions of records on

The Matagorda County Tribune
Collegeport Article
November 3, 1931


  By Harry Austin Clapp


Talking to Jed Prutz the other day, mentioned our school and Jed blew a few smoke rings in the air and said: "I hain't never yet saw but one bizness that didn't begin at the bottom and thets the well bizness" and said he "our school iz the same way." Jed Prutz told the exact truth, for our school did begin at the bottom, for the first attempt at holding a school, was in a small tent, about 10 by 12 feet, one teacher and two pupils.


The teacher must have been a brave soul and I am sorry I have no record giving her name. God bless her if she is living, and if not may the same God rest her faithful soul. In April 1909 the Collegeport Industrial League was organized and at its first regular meeting held April 30, 1909 the principal business was the organization of a school district. Those present had a vision of a first class rural high school but conditions prevented. Too much local jealousy. In order to have a basis on which to assert our right to have a school district, a scholastic census was made. Counting all children in the community those on their way from northern homes, those who expected to move in during the summer, the following were listed in the census: Russell, Vaughn, June, Laura and Florence Mott, Carey Knight, Ray Turner, Barbara Turner, Kenneth House, Leota Miller, Dwight Sholl, Carl Judin, John Pierce, Charles Elmer, Archie Larkin, Irving Hale, Floyd Maples.


Not one of the families represented in this list are here now, all having moved back whence they came. June 24, 1910 , the League took the initiative in arranging for a special school tax, and later for the voting of bonds for the erection of the present brick building. December 10, 1910 , the League started a movement to form what became known as Bay View Consolidated school district No. 26. In 1910 R. E. Coffin came and taught six weeks in the Gulf Coast College and finished the term in the new church. He had one assistant and eighty pupils. In 1911 he taught in the church building with two assistants and one hundred kids. Then came Booth, Laslie, Kilpatrick, Miss Margaret Holsworth, Etheridge and Laslie. They were followed by Miss Luther and then Coffin came back for two years and he followed by Thomas Hale who taught eleven grades for the first and only time and under him my daughter finished the eleven grades. Mr. Harbison spent the past two years as superintendent and I think that brings us up to date.


Early this year, the trustees of the Culver, Simpsonville, Citrus Grove and Collegeport schools co-operating with the county board of trustees began work towards bringing about a consolidation of those districts and the organizing of a first class consolidated rural high school. This plan is now in operation and is known as the Bay View Consolidated Rural High School District No. 26.


The Simpsonville building was moved in and erected just west of the brick building and this affords rooms for the two primary grades. The De Moss building has been erected east of the brick building and has been equipped as a laboratory building, affording the pupils opportunity for science and chemical study and experiments. The three buildings form a school plant pleasing to the eye and one with which the patrons may have pride. The state board of education asked for more ground for athletic field and agricultural work and the Collegeport Fig Orchards Company generously made a gift of ten acres joining the old campus which is known as Van Wormer Field. The Collegeport Industrial League gave the board permission to use such part of its block as is not occupied by the library so that the school now has outside the former campus about twelve acres of land for athletic and agricultural purposes.


On the old campus and the new field teeter boards, swings, bars, basketball, junior and senior baseball, tennis grounds, a quarter mile running track, discus and javelin throwing grounds, trail and sand pit, pull up bars and nearly every sport equipment that is used in school athletics is being installed. The faculty this year consists of T. P. White, B. S., permanent certificate, superintendent; Beryl Bell, B. A., permanent certificate; Dorothy Franzen, B. A., permanent certificate; Frank J. Balusek, first class elementary, permanent certificate, principal; Vera Williams, permanent certificate, elementary; Marie Nestor, permanent certificate and Louise Walter, B. A., permanent certificate.


Never during the past have teachers, pupils and patrons been so interested in the school work. About $300 has been raised by solicitation among merchants, patrons and non-resident land owners and this fund is being used for improvement and equipment of the play grounds. The basketball teams and baseball teams have been provided with nice uniforms with B. V. H. S. in green letters across the front and a proper number on the back of the suits. The school board feels that Van Wormer Field should be fenced before wet weather arrives as stock running at large and they do in spite of a law forbidding. Such stock will ruin the improvements made on the ground and destroy the track and play courts and the money expended on such improvements will prove a loss. In my opinion a new day is here for pupils who have the privilege of attending the newly consolidated school. We now have a four-year high school which the board and faculty are classifying as rapidly as possible and are asking the state department of education for accrediting. This will require time and labor but it is hoped that by the end of the 1932 session the problem will be solved and Bay View High School will become an affiliated school. This may be accomplished by harmony among patrons, teachers and trustees.


The Little Red School House had its day. A day of romance. It served well, but the world makes progress and the end is here. No longer does it have a place, but instead splendid rural institutions that comply with advanced requirements. Those misguided folk, who cling to the little local school, with one teacher have had their day and no longer will they in their ignorance be allowed to hinder educational advance. No one is able to stop progress. The world advances and willingly or unwillingly we are drawn along in the march for better advantages for our children. I have sent letters of solicitation to about 125 non-resident land owners, former residents, and former teachers, foolish enough to think they would be interested in aiding this work, but up to date, only one former resident, Geo. Duckworth, has replied with a check. Only two non-resident land owners have replied with a check. I am forced to believe that the non-resident owners are perfectly willing that we should go ahead improving the community so that they may sit back and reap a benefit increased values. I hope they all take the Trib. and read this tale. Every morning at eight o'clock three trucks roll in bringing the kiddies for school work and at three-thirty in the afternoon they are carried safely back to their homes. You may bet your last dollar that we are advancing.


The miserable wretch planned to elope with a prominent county official, her destination being San Antonio but the gay boy failed to keep his engagement and therefore I am the gainer for I have my fine wife another week. The week started out quite all right, for a thirty-six cylinder came into our yard and stopped in front of our drawbridge and there we found Judge and Mrs. Holman, who are always sure of a hearty welcome to Homecroft and with them Mr. Clayton Smith, wife and little daughter. Mr. Smith is in charge of the Wadsworth Ranch and although here for only a short time is delighted with the country and its opportunities for home building. Well, anyway, we spent about two hours in delight, enjoyment, and delection, with our old time friends and the new ones.


Carl Boeker tries to comply with social requirements so feeling the need of a week-end he drove to Collegeport the last of last week. He was accompanied by his father, brother Hubert and Uncle George. They returned to their home at Petersburg, Ill., Tuesday. Mr. Boeker, Sr., is one of the outstanding, progressive, prosperous farmers, who early in life determined that the farm should not only support his family but acquire a surplus. This it has done, for he always lived inside the farm. Any man can do the same in this country if he wishes. Whenever a farm supports the family instead of the family the farm, prosperity beams upon that farm.


I am glad to welcome Mr. and Mrs. George S. Welsby into the Grand Amalgamated Order of Grandparents, for I read in the birth notices of the San Antonio papers that a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Dale Welsby. A boy is only a little man, but a girl is another thing. Anyway the Western Union prints on its delivery envelopes "When a boy is wanted ask the Western Union." Well, anyway, I congratulate the father and gentle little mother and the grandparents on both sides that another American has arrived in town.


Under date of October 22 a Kansas City woman reader of this great religious paper writes "I am a reader of your thoughts in Bay City Tribune and enjoy your bits of news of Collegeport occasionally. Was particularly interested in the last issue your mentioning the proposed viaduct." Thanks for this nice bouquet but why put a sting in the tribute by using the word occasionally? You should read the Tribune every time it arrives and read it from "kiver to kiver" as my mother read her Bible. Occasionally means "occurring at times but not constant or regular." Regular reading is what gets the meat out of the Trib. The oftener I consume those satisfying Carrie Nelson Famous noodles, the more I am convinced that Carrie Nelson is the premier creaturess of this community. In hope she lives as long as I do so ever and anon I may absorb some of them there noodles.


Our senior and junior basketball teams went to Markham Friday all dolled up in their natty uniforms and tried out some of the dope given them by Coach Balusek. The dope was not quite strong enough for the score was 19 to 16 for seniors and 6 to 3 for juniors. They took along a big bunch of rooters lead by Frances Eisel and I am telling right now that had I been on the Markham team and cast my eye on Frances with her glowing face the score would have been reversed. All right some time Markham will come here and receive its drubbing. Tobacco in any form never clicks with athletes and it slows up mental development work and has no place or use during adolescence. If the school board are wise they will forbid smoking in the school buildings or on the school grounds. This is the time to put a stop to a practice that is being encouraged. And the writer is a smoker of R. J. R.  When boys reach a maturity if they wish to smoke why I say smoke but do not retard mental and physical development during the years when nature is bending every effort to promote growth. Men make smoke but smoke never made a man. One boy in particular already has taken on the appearance of a centeles semispinosus commonly called a Streaked Tenrec.


The Daily Tribune, November 3, 1931, Harry Austin Clapp Scrapbbok, 3


Copyright 2005 - Present by Bay City Newspapers Inc.   All rights reserved

This page was created Jun. 23, 2005 This page was updated Jul. 5, 2005