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  Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
 Collection: Rescuing Texas History, 2009
Barnard E Bee and wife, Anne

Barnard E Bee and wife, Anne

Date: unknown
Creator: unknown
Description: Barnard Elliot Bee attorney, soldier, and statesman, was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1787. He was the son of Thomas B.Bee who was a member of the Continental Congress, and was Justice of the U.S. Circuit Court of South Carolina under President George Washington. In 1836 Barnard E. Bee and his family moved to Texas and settled near Houston. He served as Secretary of State under David G. Burnet’s ad interim government, and escorted Santa Anna to Washington DC after the Battle of San Jacinto. During the Republic of Texas he served as Secretary of State under Sam Houston and Mirabeau B. Lamar. He also served as the Republic’s minister to Mexico and the United States. In 1846 he returned to South Carolina where he died in 1854. He was the father to Confederate Generals Hamilton P. Bee and Barnard E. Bee, Jr. Bee County was named for him in 1857 at the request of his son Hamilton, who served in the Texas Legislative from 1849 t0 1859. A THC marker is located in front of the Bee County Courthouse in his honor.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County College Drawing

Bee County College Drawing

Date: 1980
Creator: Lewis, Richard
Description: Print of a Bee County College in Beeville, Texas. The print depicts a quadrangle on the college campus surrounded by buildings and lined with trees. The original watercolor was created by Richard Lewis. In 1965 the voters of Bee County named the entire county as a college district and issued bonds in the amount of $1,500,000 for a junior college. One hundred acres of land was donated for the college campus by the widow of A.C. Jones, Mrs. W.M. Thompson, W.W. Jones II, and Mrs. H.B. Hause. In the fall of 1967 the first classes of Bee County College were held. Today the college is named Coastal Bend College and includes campuses in Beeville, Alice, Kingsville, and Pleasanton.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Courthouse 1912

Bee County Courthouse 1912

Date: unknown
Creator: unknown
Description: Photograph of the Bee County Courthouse built in 1912, and located on the courthouse square at 105 W. Corpus Christi St. Lady Justice, who stands atop the clock dome was designed W.C. Stephenson. Mr. Stephenson and F.W. Heldenfels, both local architets, built the courthouse. Four Corinthian columns grace its north entrance. A south annex was added in 1942. The courthouse was completely remodeled in 1949-1950, when an elevator, air-conditioning and eleven rooms were added with Robert Beasley as the architect. In 2006 during another large scale restoration, features original to the courthouse, such as the rotunda and district court balcony, as well as the details of the tile and marble, were carefully restored. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2000, the courthouse is part of the Texas Historical Courthouse Preservation Program, and is on the National Register.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Courthouse, 1912

Bee County Courthouse, 1912

Date: unknown
Creator: unknown
Description: Postcard showing the Bee County Courthouse built in 1912. The Bee County Courthouse was built in 1912 by local architects W.C. Stephenson and F.W. Heldenfels. It is the county’s fourth courthouse. Recorded as a Texas Historical Landmark in 2000, the county courthouse is part of the Texas historical Courthouse Preservation Program. In 2006, after a large scale restoration, a rededication ceremony took place. Features original to the courthouse, such as the rotuda and district court balcony, as well as the details of the tile and marble, were carefully restored. After being repaired and regilded, Lady Justice was returned to the top of the courthouse in 2005. Unlike most representations of Justice, this lady reigns from her top-of-dome perch, not with a blindfold, but with her eyes open. W.C. Stephenson sculpted Lady Justice. The Courthouse is also on the National Register, and is located on the courthouse square which borders Washington, Houston, Corpus Christi, and St Marys Streets.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Courthouse After a Snow

Bee County Courthouse After a Snow

Date: unknown
Creator: unknown
Description: Photograph of the Bee County Courthouse after a rare snowfall. Note the A4 Skyhawk jet on the courthouse lawn. The jet, which was once assigned to the Lexington (World WarII aircraft carrier now docked in Corpus Christi as a WWII floating museum.), represents the importance of N.A.S. Chase Field to Bee County. The base trained naval aviators for WWII, Korea and Vietnam. In 1957 it was chosen to start swept-wing jet training for the first time in the Navy. The first F9F-8 Cougar jet aircraft arrived on board on March 14, 1957. The base has since been closed, but the jet is still displayed on the courthouse square as a symbol of Bee County’s role in major U.S. conflicts. In 2009 volunteers from Sikorsky Aircraft Maintenance and Coastal Bend College students from the college aviation maintenance course cleaned, repaired, and painted the jet with Sikorsky providing all of the supplies.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Courthouse and World War I Cannon

Bee County Courthouse and World War I Cannon

Date: unknown
Creator: unknown
Description: An early photo of Bee County’s Fourth Courthouse built in 1912 by local architects W.C, Stephenson and F.W. Heldenfels. Note the WWI cannon in front of the courthouse. During the First World War the US Cavalry trained at the Cook (now Dugat) Ranch and the Army Air Corps trained on the Nutt land (Capehart). Several Bee County men were WWI veterans and thirteen made the supreme sacrifice for their country.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Courthouse Drawing

Bee County Courthouse Drawing

Date: unknown
Creator: unknown
Description: A pen and ink drawing of the Bee County Courthouse, contributed by the Latchum family. Lady Justice sits atop the clock dome. She was designed by local architect W.C. Stephenson, who also built the courthouse. Four Corinthian columns grace its north entrance. A south annex was added in 1942. The courthouse was completely remodeled in 1949-1950, when an elevator, air-conditioning and eleven rooms were added with Robert Beasley as the architect. In 2006 during another large scale restoration, features original to the courthouse, such as the rotunda and district court balcony, as well as the details of the tile and marble, were carefully restored. Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2000, the courthouse is part of the Texas Historical Courthouse Preservation Program.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Courthouse: Early View from the Houston Highway

Bee County Courthouse: Early View from the Houston Highway

Date: 1912
Creator: unknown
Description: Photograph of the Bee County Courthouse while it was still under construction. The three-story courthouse was built by W.C.Stephenson and Fritz W. Heldenfels, and still in use today. Note the barbed wire fence seen in the foreground. Before this courthouse was built, barbed-wire (called bob-wire by cow punchers) proved to be a great benefaction to the ranchmen. It put an end to the cattle drives up the Chisholm Trail to Kansas, and brought an urgent need for a railroad through Bee County. This need was met by the SA&AP railroad through Beeville in 1886.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Courthouse's Lady Justice Lowered for Repairs, 2001

Bee County Courthouse's Lady Justice Lowered for Repairs, 2001

Date: 2001
Creator: unknown
Description: Lady Justice, sculpted by W.C. Stephenson, is lowered from atop the clock dome for repairs after Lauron Fischer and her fellow 4-H’ers raised $30,000 for the lady’s rejuvenation. The restorations were done by the Dallas Museum of Art. In March of 2005 Lady Justice was returned to the dome. Unlike most representations of Justice, this lady reigns from her top-of-the-dome perch, not with a blindfold, but with her eyes open. Stevenson called his Lady Justice an “enlightened justice” a representation of what Justice should be. He thought the lady should have both eyes open to see who might be trying the tip the scales of justice one way or other. She has the mandate of the law (“scroll of records”) hanging on a staff in her left hand and the torch of knowledge in her right. She is made of zinc and covered with a coating that resembles copper. Since Stephenson gave permission to make copies of his work, there may be other “Stephenson Justices” scattered throughout the country.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission
Bee County Jail, 1893

Bee County Jail, 1893

Date: unknown
Creator: unknown
Description: Postcard of the "Bee County Jail, Beeville Texas" 1893. The first Bee County jail was built in 1874 west of the courthouse on the courtyard, or public square. Prior to its completion, prisoners were guarded by private citizens who were paid by the county. Nineteen years later, in 1893, this new jail was built. The first jail, a wooden building whose jail cells were lined with cast-iron material, was moved and is now preserved on the grounds of the Sheriff’s Office at 1511 E. Toledo. This second Bee county jail was completed in January of 1893. It was a two-story brick structure that, for almost half of a century, stood as a symbol of Bee County law enforcement. It was torn down and a new facility was built in 1936. In 1989, it was replaced by the present modern jail on Toledo Street.
Contributing Partner: Bee County Historical Commission