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S.A.&A.P./Southern Pacific Depot in Beeville

Description: Photograph of the S.A.&A.P./Southern Pacific Railroad Depot in Beeville. The marker for the railroad in Bee County is on the site of the old depot. On June 14, 1886, the first San Antonio and Aransas Pass train arrived in Beeville to a cheering crowd. The arrival of the railroad to Bee County came after Uriah Lott, the man responsible for building the S.A.&A.P. railroad, made a formal railroad proposition to Frank O. Skidmore, a wealthy stockman on the Aransas River, asking for a $100,000 bonus to bring the railroad to Bee County. Mr. Lott appealed to stockmen interested in hauling their cattle to market. The committee in charge of raising the bonus was made up of A.C. Jones and John W. Flournoy. In January 1886 Sheriff D.A. T. Walton showed Mr. Lott around Bee County by buggy, and the committee informed him that they had already raised $55,000. Uriah Lott then headed his railroad through Bee County. After the takeover of S.A.&A.P by Southern Pacific in 1925, the depot became an S.P. station. In 1958, the depot was razed, and the last train left Bee County in 1994. Before the railroad all freighting was done by wagon, and most of it came from Saint Mary's on the coast. D.B. Stafford was the first depot agent for S.A.&A.P. and later the first agent for the S.P. Railroad.
Date: 192u
Item Type: Photograph

Aerial View of Bee County College

Description: Photograph of an aerial view of Bee County College. 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 II, and her three living children, 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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Albert Praeger Home

Description: Photograph of Albert Praeger's home located on 613 South St Marys Street. Albert Praeger was born in Victoria in 1864. He moved to San Antonio with his family, where he attended school and later trained as a tinsmith. In 1892, as a newcomer to Beeville, he married Miss Elizabeth Webber of Beeville, and opened a tin shop on the courthouse square in 1893. In 1906, Mr. Praeger, a successful and respected businessman, built a new brick building on the corner of Corpus Christi and Washington Streets. He built a second story for storage of large items like windmills, wagons, and buggies. He also installed the town’s first elevator, which was driven by hand.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Allsup House in Beeville

Description: Photograph of the T.H.Allsup house built in 1860 in the Aransas community. T.H. Alsup erected the house, then went to Goliad where he married Miss Caroline Smith. He and his bride made the trip home by horseback.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Bee County Courthouse 1912

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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Bee County Courthouse and World War I Cannon

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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Bee County Courthouse Drawing

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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Bee County Courthouse: Early View from the Houston Highway

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.
Date: 1912
Item Type: Photograph

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

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.
Date: 2001
Item Type: Photograph

Beeville Opera House

Description: The Grand Opera House was a three-story building located on the corner of Washington and Bowie Street. Owners were A.F. Rees and E.J. Kinkler. Murray Eidson was the manager. His family owned the 1880's opera house located on the courthouse square. The Grand Opera House opened in January 1908 with W.B. Patton in a comedy, The Slow Poke. Admission prices were 75 cents, $1, and $1.50. There was a balcony, and four boxes, or loges. Some of the best dramas, comedies, and musical plays that came south were shown. William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous "Prince of Peace" address in the Opera House. People came from Goliad, San Patricio, Live Oak, Karnes, and Refugio counties, and Beeville became an entertainment center. The Grand Opera flourished for about eight years, but with the coming of movie theaters attendance begin to drop, and many of the big stage shows stopped coming south. In December 1919 a fire destroyed the building.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church

Description: Photograph of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church congregation standing outside in front of the church before their Sunday Services. The church was organized in 1884. Behtlehem Baptist is the oldest African-American congregation in Beeville. Charter members included Matthew Broadus, Peter Flannigan, L. Broadus, Martha Bess, M. Peters, Salanas Davis, and Edna Canada. Served originally by a circuit pastor, the congregation held Sunday services in a schoolhouse donated by Captain A.C. Jones. The church purchased land from Jones and built its first sanctuary in 1893. In 1926, the original white-frame structure and its two towers were replaced by a larger, but smaller structure. The church has been replaced several times since then, including its most recent construction in the 1980’s. It is located at 108 North Burke Street.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church Historical Marker

Description: Photograph of the historical marker for the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in front of the modern day Bethlehem Baptist Church. The church was organized in 1884. Behtlehem Baptist is the oldest African-American congregation in Beeville. Charter members included Matthew Broadus, Peter Flannigan, L. Broadus, Martha Bess, M. Peters, Salanas Davis, and Edna Canada. Served originally by a circuit pastor, the congregation held Sunday services in a schoolhouse donated by Captain A.C. Jones. The church purchased land from Jones and built its first sanctuary in 1893. In 1926, the original white-frame structure and its two towers were replaced by a larger, but similar structure. The church has been replaced several times since then, including its most recent construction in the 1980’s. It is located at 108 North Burke Street.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Buelow House

Description: Photograph of the Buelow House located on 211 East Fannin Street. It is a Victorian styled two-story house. Mr. Buelow built this Victorian turn of the century home for his New York actress bride, aunt of Mrs. Carl Heldenfels. A.V. Schvab purchased it for his family when he came to Beeville in 1906. In later years it was occupied by Ann Schvab Reed.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Buggy Scene

Description: Photograph of women sitting on horses and in horse-drawn carts in Linke Grove, currently called Veterans Park. The horse and buggy was the chief means of travel at the turn of the century. In 1908 the first automobile appeared in Beeville. Gradually the horse and buggy were replaced with the automobile. In 1911, the first airplane, a Curtis, appeared in Beeville.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Buying Sewing Supplies in an Early Skidmore Mercantile

Description: Photograph of women and one man in an early Skidmore Mercantile store. Some of the early mercantile stores in Skidmore were the Farmers Mercantile Company in Skidmore in 1912 owned by John Galloway Jr. His store included Ford cars, seeds, hardware, dry goods, ready-to-wear and a complete funeral service and could care for the needs for anyone “from the cradle to the grave”; W. R. Miller’s Dry Goods Store, where the first telephone switchboard was set up; and M.J. White Store. The devastating fires in the early 1900’s destroyed most of these mercantile stores.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

A. C. Jones Home

Description: Photograph of the A. C. Jones home located on 611 East Jones Street. The house reflects early 20th century Baroque-style architecture with large formal rooms , eight fireplaces, hardwood floors, and high ceilings. Philanthropist and supporter of local schools, Mrs. A.C. (Jane Field) Jones (1842-1918) built the house on this site after Captain Jones’ death in 1906. Governors and other Texas leaders were welcomed here. Located on the hill where the college stands today, the first and much grander A.C. Jones home was sold to John Flournoy and moved into town by mule and wagon. It stood facing Flournoy Park until it was razed in 1946.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Camp and Helen Ezell Home

Description: Photograph of Camp and Helen Ezell's home located on 1313 West Flournoy. A settler's "box" home, board-and-batten construction. Lumber is Florida long-leaf pine from a house torn down in Old Saint Marys by Robert A. Ezell. The house has three chimneys; one served as flue for the dining room fireplace and kitchen stove. Ezell (1845-1936), a stonemason, built at this creek site in 1892. His wife, Sarah jane, daughter of the the influential legislator L.B. Camp, was born at Mission San Jose, San Antonio. Camp Ezell, a historian and Beville Bee-Picayune editor, and wife Helen can be seen standing on the porch of the house.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Cattle Round Up On the Brown Ranch

Description: Photograph of cowboys herding cattle on the Ed Brown Ranch. The Brown family has been in Bee County for several generations. Austin II's great grandfather operated the mercantile store on the square in town. Austin I, his son, was in the bulk fuel business. As a wholesale dealer for Magnolia, which later became Mobil, he delivered kerosene and gasoline to farm families with a wagon and team. Every time he made a dollar or two, Austin Brown I bought a little piece of land. He began putting the ranch together in 1924. The headquarters operation, where their preconditioning facility is located, is in Bee County, but they lease several other ranches in South Texas. Early on, like many South Texans, the Browns ran Brahman cattle. In 1945, Ed bought some registered Hereford cattle from a man in the area. He began crossing these Herefords with the Brahman cattle and ended up with a "tiger stripe-looking animal," Austin says. "My grandfather found out right quick that the first cross (F-1) was one of the best animals ever developed for Texas." Eventually the Browns phased out the Brahman cattle altogether and began building their Hereford program. Today they continue to maintain a base herd of 200 registered Hereford cows.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Chambliss Home

Description: Photograph of the Chambliss home located on 403 South Tyler. The house was built by F.G. and Louanna Chambliss in the 1890’s, on property once owned by the first medical physician in Beeville, Dr. Leander Hayden. Dr Hayden came to Beeville from San Antonio in the 1850’s. The house was later occupied by Miss Sara Chambliss. Fred G. Chambliss was judge of the Thirty-sixth Judicial District from 1912-1919. Judge Chambliss was active in the formation of the Citizen’s Party, a political party formed in Bee County in the 1920’s by Protestants and Catholics to break the the KKK's hold on the county’s politics. Mrs. F.G. Chambliss (Louanna W.) was the daughter of Joseph Wilson, who settled on the Aransas in 1852 where he engaged in the cattle business. Mrs. F.G. Chambliss was a charter member and past president of the Rosetta Club. She was an early member of St. Philips Episcopal Church (1888). Chambliss Hall, a large room with kitchen facilities connected to the west side of the church, is named for Mrs. F.G. Chambliss and her daughters, Mrs. J.T. (Dorothy) Hall, and Miss Sara Chambliss.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Cleo Ray Home

Description: Photograph of Cleo Ray's home located on 312 South Kathleen. Robert Nutt, Sr. built the house, and then sold it to John Timon who added the porches. The John Wilson family was the next owners. They removed the kitchen and dining wing from the main building to make servant quarters at the rear of the lot. Mrs. Ray was Clara Elizabeth Wilson. The home is now owned by Mark and Debbie Parsons.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

The Cook Home

Description: Photograph of the Cook home located on 1001 West Cook Road, built by John Cook himself. Born in 1846, in a Texas-bound wagon train, cattleman John Cook fought in the Civil War at age 17. He married Frances Miller in 1866. The cooks lived in a rock house nearby until their tarried Victorian mansion was wired for electricity and completed in 1897. In 1918, the U.S. Cavalry established a camp here..
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Cook Home

Description: Photograph of John Cook's Victorian style home. Built by John Cook, who was born in 1846 in a Texas-bound wagon train; at 17 he was in the Civil War; in 1866 he married Frances Miller. They first lived in rock house near this site. With his son, R.J., John Cook contributed much to area cattle industry, he raised fine registered Herefords. The house was erected 1897 of select long-leaf pine placed to catch Gulf breezes. Each room opens on a porch. It has 4 fireplaces, with mantels of mahogany, maple, oak. The architecture is Victorian. It was later owned by the Dugat and Warner Families. The house was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1966
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Dedication of Marker for Saint Rose Cemetery in Beeville, Texas

Description: Saint Rose Cemetery was designated a Texas Historical Cemetery during a dedication ceremony in August 2008. Dr. Barbara Welder, chair of the Bee County Historical Commission, spoke at the dedication which was attended by Lawrence Oaks, Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission. This historical African American burial ground was formally deeded in 1921. However, some burials took place prior to that; with the earliest known burial being that of a former slave, Nancy Williams, dating from 1901. Among the prominent individuals interred here are Mose Lott and Allen Canada, the two men who built the first Beeville schoolhouse for African Americans; several veterans of conflicts dating back to World War I; and Mrs. Mary Canada, who was a mediator between the black and white communities during the “incident free” desegregation of the Beeville Independent School District.
Date: August 2008
Item Type: Photograph

Dick Scott Home

Description: Photograph of Dick Scott's home located on 710 South Saint Mary's. At the end of the first decade of the twenty century, W.C. and Zella Buerger built the large two-story house. In 1915, the Buergers sold the house to a nephew of Captain A.C. Jones, John R. “Dick” Scott and his wife, Sudie. Later owned by O.D. and Sylvia Rudeloff and then by Mrs. Lois Mueller, the grand old mansion was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Cruz Alaniz, Sr. in 1958. In the late 1990’s, their daughter-in-law and son, Olga and Luis Alaniz, restored the old Scott house, where they enjoyed its close proximity to their business, Alaniz and Perez Garage, just across the street.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph