Bee County Historical Commission - Browse


A. V. Schvab

Description: Portrait of A. V. Schvab, a jeweler and operator of the Kohler Hotel. Hotel Kohler, built in 1932 was a three-story structure located at the corner of Washington and Cleveland Streets.
Date: unknown

Last Known Veterans of the 1836 Texas Revolution

Description: 1906 photograph of veterans of the Texas Revolution. Pictured are W. P. Zuber of Austin, J. W. Darlington of Taylor, Aca C. Hill of Oakville, S. F. Sparks of Rockport, L. T. Lawlor of Florence, and Alfonso Steel of Mexia. "We'll rally 'round the flag boys, we'll rally once more". The Texas Veterans Association, an organization of those who had served prior to, during, and immediately after the Texas Revolution, held its first convention in Houston on May 13–15, 1873, with about seventy-five veterans present. After 1876 the annual meetings, held in some seventeen different Texas cities, always took place in the week including April 21, San Jacinto Day. At the Goliad meeting in 1906 only six of the last ten known survivors of the Army of the Republic of Texas were present: William P. Zuber, Alfonso Steele, John W. Darlington, Asa C. Hill, S. F. Sparks, and L. T. Lawlor. The association dissolved in Austin on April 19, 1907, during its thirty-fifth annual convention. With its dissolution its work was taken over by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The stories of some of these men can be found in the Handbook of Texas.
Date: 1906
Creator: C.A. Major

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

Saturday Scene on Streets of Beeville Texas 1892

Description: The intersection of Washington and Corpus Christi Streets in Beeville on a Saturday in 1892. Located at this intersection is the three story Ellis Hotel. A small portion of the courthouse lawn is visible in the lower right corner of the picture. . Captain A.C. Jones, who owned property surrounding the Public Square, offered to donate a building site to anyone who would build a first-class hotel. Francis M. Ellis offered to move his hotel in St. Mary’s to Beeville. His hotel was dismantled with every board numbered, brought in large freight wagons, pulled by eight and ten-horse teams, and rebuilt at this intersection in Beeville. In the 1890’s a third story was added.
Date: unknown

Thompson Building 1892

Description: Photograph of the Thompson Building located on 108 West Corpus Christi Street across from the courthouse. The Thompson Building built in 1892 in the Victorian style, was the first brick building in Beeville. The building was built by grocer, J.C. Thompson (1836-1905) of brick from the Calavaros kiln near Elmendorf. Upstairs in 1892 was the law office of Lon C. Hill, who later founded Harlingen. The “Beeville Light Guard” was later housed on the second floor. Acquired in 1910 by Eureka Telephone Company, the building was Beeville’s communications headquarters from 1912 to 1920 for Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Company, and then for Southwestern Bell until 1957. In 1957 it was restored for the law offices of John N. Barnhart. Facing the courthouse, the proud old building displays a historical marker, and at the top of the facade, the date “1892”
Date: unknown

Early Picture of the McClanahan House

Description: This picture is of G.W. McClanahan’s first house in Beeville. George W. McClanahan was born in Craig County, Virginia in 1824. He graduated from Emory and Henry College in 1853, and came to Texas where he became the principal of Paine Female Institute in Goliad. In 1858 he resigned that position and moved his family to Beeville in 1859. He established a mercantile business on two blocks of land in the vicinity of present Klipstein Park. His son, William, born in January 1861, was the first Anglo child born in Beeville. When the county seat was moved from the Medio to Maryville (Beeville) Mr. McClanahan purchased some lots around the Public Square. In 1866 he moved his family to Corpus Christi where his wife died during a yellow fever epidemic in 1867. After his wife’s death, Mr. McClanahan moved back to Beeville with his four children, Mary, William, George, and James. He opened another store which he operated until his death in 1874. Mr. McClanahan and his wife taught school in his first store for children who lived in Beeville in 1860. Mr. McClanahan was a storekeeper, farmer and gardener, deputy clerk in the county clerk’s office, postmaster, land owner, and had a few head of cattle. He is known as the first merchant in Beeville. His store, built by Viggo Kohler, is preserved and maintained by the Beeville Historical Society, and is now located in the 200 block of Corpus Christi St. The inscription at the bottom of the picture says, "1st house built in Beeville by G. W. McClanahan. Storeroom built first and dwelling house later."
Date: unknown

The R. W. Linke Home

Description: Photograph of the R. W. Linke home located on 1011 North Avenue C. Originally designed in 1913-14 by F.W. Heldenfels, who was one of the architects of the Bee County Courthouse. Their daughter, Gertrude later lived there.
Date: unknown

Inside the McClanahan House

Description: Photograph of the parlor and entry way inside of the McClanahan house. The two story building was the first store erected in Beeville. George W. McClanahan operated a general merchandise store in the 1860's. He was one of the pioneer settlers in Beeville. The building was purchased by the Bee County Historical Society, moved to the 200 block of East Corpus Christi, restored,and is now known as the McClanahan House, home of the Historical Society.
Date: unknown

The Campo Santo

Description: Located off the Refugio Highway 202, the Campo Santo burial ground is not accessible to the public. The old cemetery is located on the head right of 1829 settler Jeremiah Toole of New York. Toole’s isolated oak-log home stood on the San Patricio-La Bahia Road. His family was in constant danger of attacks from Indians and invading armies.
Date: unknown

Rialto Theater

Description: Photograph of the "Front of Rialto Theater, Beeville" as stated at the bottom of the photograph. The Rialto Theater was built in 1922, as the flagship for the 22-theater chain owned by H.W. Hall and family. After a fire in 1935 destroyed the interior, the theater was remodeled in an Art Moderne style by the original architect, W.C. Stephenson and the theatre architect John Eberson, famous for the Majestic Theater in San Antonio. The first radio station in Beeville was located in the threatre's second story. KFRB took to the airways in December, 1924. Local and neighboring town's talent entertained listeners as far away as Oklahoma City. Months later, interest died, and the station ended its broadcasting.
Date: unknown

Inside of Rialto Theater

Description: Photograph of the interior of the Rialto Theater. The Rialto Theater was built in 1922, as the flagship for the 22-theater chain owned by H.W. Hall and family. After a fire in 1935 destroyed the interior, the theater was remodeled in an Art Moderne style by the original architect, W.C. Stephenson and the theatre architect John Eberson, famous for the Majestic Theater in San Antonio. John Eberson (1875-1964) was a Romanian born American architect best known for movie palace designs in the atmospheric theatre fashion. Eberson attained national and even international acclaim for his atmospheric theatres, many of them executed in exotic revival styles, including Italian Renaissance, Morrish Revival, and others. He specialized in depicting outdoor settings with no formal walls, and made the whole auditorium a gigantic stage set that enveloped the whole audience. He became renown in 1923, when he designed the Holblitzelle’s Majestic Theatre in Houston, the world’s first “atmospheric theatre”.
Date: unknown

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

The Paul Bauer Home

Description: Photograph of Paul Bauer's home located on East Milam. Bauer and Son was an established saddler which existed in Oakville, Goliad, Yorktown and Beeville. The founder of the Bauer Saddle Shop, Frederick Bauer, a renowned saddler in Germany arrived in Galveston in 1855 and opened his first saddler in Yorktown. The Bauer’s made their famous Bauer saddles for over one hundred years, and worked in several Texas towns before settling permanently in Beeville. Paul Bauer was listed as a saddler in the 1910 City Directory, and his son, Fred, was listed in later directories through 1948. Fred’s saddle shop was located at 328 North Washington St. The last Bauer saddle was made by Fred in 1950, the year he died.
Date: unknown

Al Marsden Home

Description: Photograph of Al Marsden's home located on 211 East Jones. The home was bought from W.S. Gaddy, Baptist Minister, and moved from the center to the side of the block. It was later owned by Mrs. Eldridge Adair and the R.M. Royals.
Date: unknown

Portrait of Berkley Klipstein

Description: Photograph two women standing on either side of a portrait of Berkley Klipstein. B. W. Klipstein was a Beeville banker who served on the committee to expand the railroad to Eagle Pass and the Valley. In 1893, he boarded the train in Beeville to visit the world's fair, the Columbian Exposition in chicago.
Date: unknown

The W. E. Madderra Home

Description: Photograph of W. E. Maddera's, superintendent of Beeville's school system, home. As superintendent of the Beeville school system for 34 years, William Eldridge Madderra (1870-1936) was responsible for much of the development of the town's early educational programs. Madderra, for whom a local school building is named, purchased this house in 1907, three years after its construction, and lived here with his wife, Donna (Irwin), until his death. The house features late Victorian detailing and a three sided-bay to the right of the porch. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1983.
Date: unknown

Commercial National Bank

Description: Photograph of the Commercial National Bank in Beeville Texas. Beeville’s second oldest bank, Commercial National Bank was organized on January 11, 1893. It was during this meeting that officers and directors were elected and the capital stock was set at $50,000, or 500 shares at $100 each. The bank opened for business on May 15, 1893. Dr. L.B. Creath, a retired doctor who had moved to Beeville from the Austin area some years before; and D.C. Stone were listed as the Commercial’s organizers. Dr. Creath served as the bank’s first president and Stone served as its cashier. Following the organizational meeting, the bank’s first building was erected on the northwest corner of the courthouse square, at the intersection of Washington and West Corpus Christi Streets. The original building was razed when a new one was erected in 1965, but when it was built it was considered to be “one of the most substantial and modern bank buildings in the county.” The trimmings were made of Pecos red sandstone and Burnet granite and the interior had furniture of antique oak and brass mountings and openings. The vaults were made by the Hall & Marvin Safe and Lock Co., and being encased in solid masonry were considered to be absolutely burglar-and fire-proof. Because of droughts and the "panic' of the 1890's, the bank experienced many difficulties from its beginnings until 1900 when the county finally had a banner crop year. Under the leadership of John W. Flournoy, who served as president from 1898 until his death in July, 1916, and new supporters, the bank flourished from then on. On October 1, 1999, Commercial National Bank was sold and became First Prosperity.
Date: unknown