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Riceville Community

Riceville was a small settlement near Lake Austin which existed for some ten to fifteen years. By 1922 most of the settlers had left the area. The settlers came from Kansas and Oklahoma because of a land promotion deal. A town was laid out but never developed other than a school and a few farm homes.

Families by the name of Bell, Gay, Gruntier, Branstetter, Hollingshad, Tice, Peterson, Rats, Hester, Woverton, Aginew, Stewart, Poole, Orchard, White, Vandover, and Joshland settled in the community. They farmed rice, cotton, and corn, and used the canal system in the area which was developed at that time.

Matagorda County built a school for the children of the families. Mae Werlla taught school in the small building for a short period of time. During this period a group of Amish families moved into the area some three miles from Riceville and had their own school.

Charles Branstetter, who grew up in Riceville, attended the school. His family moved from the Riceville community in 1924.

Written by Charles Branstetter, Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, p. 395

News-Farmer's ability to accept an invitation from Trustee Branstetter to attend the closing exercises of the Riceville school and the dinner given in honor of their highly appreciated teacher, Miss Amy Jacobson, of Collegeport, was a keep disappointment. The editor intended going up to the very minute--the train left him. Nice idea, these school entertainments, particularly the manifestation of appreciation of the hard-worked teacher.

Matagorda County News and Midcoast Farmer, April 24, 1914


Of Riceville Public School--Splendid Dinner--Appreciated Teacher.


Riceville is four miles southeast of Wadsworth on the main road from Wadsworth to Lake Austin.


Riceville school house was built by P. J. Branstetter and R. H. Tice, and has been used for school purposes the third year.


Rice school has been increasing in numbers and interest and status largely due to the capacity and efficiency of the popular teacher, Miss Amy Jacobs.


The third term closed on the 22nd of April, and the occasion was a pleasant and profitable event in the history of that community. While the teacher drilled apt pupils into appropriate exercises, the trustees and patrons prepared the necessaries of a good dinner, and made the noon and the afternoon a delightful social addition to the closing exercises--Complimentary to the much-loved teacher.


After the review work in the school for the forenoon, the patrons began arriving. First there were Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Branstetter, Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Tice, Mr. and Mrs. L. Jameson, and others each bringing a well filled basket. The dinner was enjoyed by pupils as well as patrons and visitors.


About noon, Mr. J. L. Ladd, of Bay City, arrived in time to partake of the dinner, and favored the assembly with an interesting short speech, encouraging the evident interest and progress in public education, and commending the work which has been accomplished by the teacher and trustees, and incidentally touched on his acquaintance with the old Branstetter family back in Missouri.


Then came sacks of oranges, the treat of Wm. Derenger, and two big cans of ice cream, which were highly enjoyed; and everybody left hoping to enjoy such another time at the close of the next school year.


The program prepared by Miss Jacobs and so well carried out by the pupils was as follows:


Recitation--By Charles Branstetter.

Recitation--By Birda Branstetter.

Reading--By Goldie Darringer.

Dialogue--By five girls and one boy.

Recitation-By Zula Johnson.

Reading--By Roy Tice.

Recitation--By Pearl Branstetter.

Song--By four girls and two boys.

Recitation--By Lula Jameson.

Recitation--By William Arnold.

Dialogue--By seven girls and three boys.

Recitation--By Clint Arnold.

Song--By the School.

Recitation--By Campbell Jameson.

Song--In Germany, by R. H. Tice.


Matagorda County News and Midcoast Farmer, Bay City, Friday, May 8, 1914



Quite a crowd witnessed the interesting and well rendered program at the Riceville school Friday, April 28. Despite the fact that the children were few and small, the program was quite lengthy and each number rendered in an exceedingly pleasing manner. We will not comment or praise each number separately, as they were all fine, and the words of praise said about one could be said about all. Both teacher and children are to be congratulated upon their success.

The following is the program:

Opening address--Charles Branstetter.


Recitation: Southern Politeness--Clara Bell Jones.

Recitation: Sixty Years Ago--Birdie Branstetter.

Dialog: Visitors from Story Land--Pansy Jones, Ada Jones, Mary Lee Bell, Ozella Jinks, Harold Jinks.

Recitation: Washed Ashore--C. Branstetter.

Recitation: Catch the Sunshine--Beryl Bell.

Song: Good Advice--By Girls.

Recitation: Moving Day--Ada Jones.

Recitation: Being Polite--Harold Jinks.

Dialog--The Best Plan--Beryl Bell, Ozella Jinks, Pearl Branstetter, Harold Jinks, Charles Branstetter.

Recitation: Who Made the Speech--Mary Lee Bell.

Dialog: How the Quarrel Began--Ozella Jones, Birdie Branstetter.

Recitation: My Best Friend--Jadie Branstetter.

Recitation: Harold Best Friend--Harold Jinks.

Recitation--Daisy Bell.

Recitation: Reverie in Church--Ozella Jinks.

Dialog: The Minister's Call--Ozella Jinks, Beryl Bell, Birdie Branstetter, Charles Branstetter.

Song: Texas Land--School.

The Matagorda County Tribune, May 5, 1916


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Mar. 22, 2008
Mar. 22, 2008