Bee County Historical Commission - Browse

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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
Item Type: Photograph

The Sid Johnson Home

Description: Photograph of Sid Johnson's home located on 811 North Buchanan. . Formerly owned and occupied by Agnes Mae Johnson Nichols.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

General Barnard E. Bee, Jr.

Description: This portrait of Barnard E. Bee, Jr. in his military uniform hangs in the McClanahan House in Beeville. Barnard E. Bee, Jr. was the son on Anne and Barnard E. Bee, Sr. (for whom Bee County is named) and was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824. He moved to Texas with his family in 1836, but later returned to the east and graduated from West Point. He served with honors in the Mexican War. In 1861 he resigned from the US Army and joined the First South Carolina Regulars, a Confederate regiment of artillery. While assigned to the Army of Virginia at Manassas Junction, Bee is given credit for ordering his men to “Rally behind the Virginians! There stands Jackson like a stonewall!”. He fell mortally wounded at this First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run, and died on July 22, 1861. His is buried at Pendleton, South Carolina. He was the brother of Texas Statesman, Hamilton Bee.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

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
Item Type: Photograph

Confederate Veterans Reunion

Description: Photograph of Confederate Veterans at a reunion in Beeville in the late 1890's. Texas furnished about 75,000 soldiers to the Confederate cause. Even though Bee County was only three years old in 1861, many men from the county served the Confederacy. Some died for it. When the war started there were seventy slaves in Bee County. There were many hardships for the citizens of Bee County during the War. A severe drought in 1863 and 1864 made it hard for the people of the county. There was not enough corn to supply local needs. Coffee was not available. Some made a substitute coffee out of parched corn, rye, okra, beans, and even potatoes. There was no sugar available. Calico was worth $50 a yard in Confederate money. Corn cobs were burned and the ashes was used for soda. For medicine, those who were ill used herbs, roots, and bark of certain trees. Women carded cotton into fluffy wads, spun it on spinning wheels into thread, and wove the thread into corse cloth. In 1865 the war ended and the men came home.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Kimbrough's Jewelry Store Early 1900's

Description: Shown in the picture are Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Kimbrough in front of the Kimbrough Jewelry Store and New south Land Co. Soon after 1900, Claude L. and Beatrice Menier Kimbrough left their home in Mississippi and came to Texas for relief of Mr. Kimbrough’s asthma and emphysema. They arrived in Beeville in 1905 and opened a jewelry store on the corner of Washington and Bowie streets. The Kimbrough’s and their children, “Bee” Kimbrough and Claude L., Jr., “Skeeter”, remained in Beeville for the rest of their lives. Bee’s husband was oil man, Marion Young.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Railroad Depot in Bee Country

Description: The marker for the railroad in Bee County is on the site of the old depot on West Bowie and North Madison Streets. 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 SA&AP by Southern Pacific in 1925, the depot became a Southern Pacific 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 Marys on the coast.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

McClanahan/L.F. Roberts Dry Goods

Description: McClanahan/L.F. Roberts Dry Goods. Now located at 206 E Corpus Christi Street, the McClanahan House is the oldest business structure in Beeville. The building, the second store built in Beeville by George W. McClanahan, was erected around 1867 on the east side of the courthouse square, near Poesta Creek. The house served as general store, lodging house, and post office. It was built in the pioneer western style, with southern porches. McClanahan was Beeville’s first merchant; he was among the first to buy auctioned lots in the newly formed town of Beeville in 1859. McClanahan also served as schoolteacher, postmaster, county clerk, innkeeper, and Sunday school superintendent. After McClanahan’s death, L.F. Roberts purchased and operated the store for many years. In 1962, the building was purchased by the Historical Society for $600, and moved to its present site. The building is still the “home” of the society, and meetings are held there.
Date: 1880~
Item Type: Photograph

Mrs. Lymas (Johnnie) Langley, Jr.

Description: Photograph of Mrs. Lymas Langley, Jr. standing beside the dedication marker of her husband Lymas Langley Jr. The marker says "Beeville Volunteer Ambulance Service Building Erected 1971 Dedicated in Memory of Lymas Langley, Jr."
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Public School In Pettus

Description: Postcard of school children standing in front Pettus school. In 1892 this one-room schoolhouse, 18’ by 24’, was built in Pettus. It had two windows on the north side and two windows on the south. The boards on the inside of the east end were painted black to be used for a blackboard. The only door was to the west. The benches were home-made and the children brought their own lunches and water to drink. Miss Evelyn Hardeman was the first teacher and she had 13 students in grades first through fourth. As the community continued to grow the school was classified as a third-class high school in 1912. In 1917 or 1918, a stucco school building was erected
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

Swan Store in Normanna

Description: Photograph of a group of men of the Swan Store in Normanna. Mr. and Mrs. C.I. Swan and family moved from Illinois to Normanna in 1889. For many years they were leaders in the community, and he is known as the “father of Normanna”. Mr. Swan served as county commissioner of Precinct Two for several years. Mrs. Swan taught in the Normanna Public School. She also organized the Normanna Country Woman’s Club, the first country club to federated in Texas. He died in 1918, and she in 1935. The store in the picture was owned by John Swan. Pictured from left to right are Dayton Roberts, James W. Robinson, Jim Sheive, Jim Moore, Sam Bridge, Dolph Garner, Henry Nutt, John Swan, Kay Smith, Mr. Lawrence, and Llywelyn Roberts (barefoot boy).
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

R.J. Bradford Store in Nomanna

Description: Photograph of a store built by R. J. Bradford in Normanna. The words "R. J. Bradford Dealer in General Merchandise" can be seen above the awning.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Street Scene in Skidmore Early 1900's

Description: Photograph of the corner of Patricio and Fourth Street in Skidmore in the early 1900's. Some of the stores along the right side of the street are the Magnolia Saloon, U. S. Post Office, and the Confectionery and Ice Cream Parlor. Fires in 1900, 1916, 1918 and a devastating fire in 1919 destroyed most of the businesses in Skidmore.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

American Legion Post 818 and Lymas Langley, Jr.

Description: Photograph of commander Lymas Langley Jr. burning the note for Legion Hall Post 818. American Legion Post 818 was named for an African-American man, Charles Major Lytle, who was killed while in defense of his country in World War II. The late Judge James R. Dougherty, prominent Beeville attorney, oil producer and philanthropist, donated several lots on which to build a Legion Post Hall. He also donated some money to help pay for the construction work. The post was completed in 1952 on West Hefferman St. The members sold barbecue dinners and paid out the indebtedness. The post was organized in 1946 with sixteen charter members. Lymas Langley Jr. as the first commander. Son of noted cowboy, Lymas Langley, Sr., Lymas Langley, Jr. was also a charter member of the Board of Community Council in 1965. He, along with George Hodges and Willie Walker, were in charge of the 1925 "Juneteenth" celebration, and he operated a restaurant on West Corpus Christi St. After Langley died in 1971, Camp Ezell, in his book The Historical Story of Beeville, Texas noted that Lymas Langley, Jr. was the most effective peacemaker of Bee County and the seeds of wisdom, understanding and kindness he instilled in whites, blacks, and people with Spanish surnames will live indefinitely.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Snowfall at the Leverman House

Description: Photograph of the Leverman House after a snowfall. In the 1920’s, Fritz Leverman, owner of the Ideal Meat Market, and Jim Ballard were natural comedians who lifted their customer’s spirits with their stories. Mr. Leverman also served as Fire Chief.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Bee County Courthouse After a Snow

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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Home Place on the Farm

Description: Photograph of life on the Rendleman Farm. The farm is an example of a typical South Texas farm with a windmill, cistern, a shop, and barns or sheds.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Allen Canada

Description: In 1876, Stephen Canada conducted a school for Black Americans in his store seven miles above Beeville. After lumber from the old Methodist Church was donated for a school for Black American children, Stephen Canada and Mose Lott were the carpenters who built the school at 107 Burke Street. In 1931, a new school was built for Black American children. This new school was named the Lott-Canada School in honor of these two men. In this picture Stephen Canada is standing with three children from the Cox family.
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

Twin Mills Swimming Hole

Description: Photograph of Jessie McKinney, Buck McKinney, Virginia Rensler, and another individual sitting at the edge of the Twin Mills swimming hole.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Map of Pettus

Description: Document of a hand-drawn map showing where the first four schools in Pettus were located. The first school appears to be behind John Pettus' home, the namesake for Pettus. Aside from the Pettus homestead, the map is a bird's eye view of a grid consisting of thirty-six different blocks. The third school is in block thirty-one, the second school is in block seventeen, and the fourth school is outside of the grid, close to block fifteen. There are two thin lines that are drawn halfway down and across the page that represent a railway.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Paul Bauer and Son Saddle Shop, Beeville

Description: Photograph of three men standing inside of the Bauer Saddle Shop located at 328 N Washington St. 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. The last Bauer saddle was made by Fred in 1950, the year he died.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph