Bee County Historical Commission - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

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

Skidmore High School in 1929

Description: Postcard showing the Skidmore High School in 1929. This modern seven-classroom school was built with a large auditorium and library after the old high school was condemmed in the late 1920's. Professor R.J. Gladney was superintnedent then. This high school was used until the present one was built in 1953, when a larger high school became necessary.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

Educational Day at Bee County Fair, 1912.

Description: Photograph of educational day at the Bee County Fair in Bee County, Texas in 1912. The photograph was taken from a high vantage point overlooking the large crowd of school children and teachers holding up banners. Beeville Superintendent W. E. Madderra is visible in the central foreground standing in front of the large crowd. The Fair was a speculator event in Beeville until its demise in 1933.
Date: 1912
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

Ellen O'Toole Corrigan

Description: Photograph of Ellen O'Toole Corrigan widow of John Corrigan. In 1826, Ellen's father, Jeremiah O’Toole, rode horseback from New York to the Aransas Creek after he heard that Irishmen could get land grants from the Mexican government. By 1831 he had 12,000 acres on the Aransas Creek six miles east of present Skidmore. Mr. O’Toole’s brother and his family later joined him. In 1848 Ellen married John Corrigan, and the settlement was name in his honor. Several times the settler had to flee because of attacks by Indians and Mexican raiders. Ellen Corrigan and her brother, Martin O’Toole, donated the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in 1871. Campo Santo Cemetery still exists on private land.
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

Inside of an Early Skidmore Mercantile

Description: Photograph of a group of men inside of a mercantile store in Skidmore. One of boys behind the counter is J. J. Jenkins. 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

Saint Mary's Academy 1916

Description: Photograph of the students that attend Saint Mary's Academy in 1916. Saint Mary’s Academy was opened in the fall of 1896 by the Sisters of Divine Providence as Beeville's first parochial school. Within a year a large two-story day and boarding school were added. Fire destroyed the academy building in December of 1930. St. Joseph’s School was built on the same location (400 N Tyler St). In 1996, Our Lady of Victory Catholic School and St. Joseph’s combined to form the new St. Mary’s Academy on the same location as the early founding school.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Skidmore Mercantile

Description: Photograph of the inside of Skidmore Mercantile. 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

Sullivan and 4th Street in Skidmore Early 1900s

Description: Photograph of the corner of Sullivan and Fourth Street. There are stores and shops along the street, such as "Skidmore Drug Co.," "Restaurant & Baggage Room," and "W. R. Miller Co. General Merchandise." Dr. I.N. Thompson's office was located in the Elite Hotel. A devastating fire in 1919 took its toll of Skidmore. A large block of business houses burned to the ground at the time, and it is thought to have started in an empty saloon. Businesses burned in this fire were the Elite Hotel, W.R. Miller’s Dry Goods Store, Andy Tedford’s Saloon, Gus Staples’ Garage, Howard Faupel’s Barber Shop, M.M. White’s Store, Mrs. Murray’s Café, Midway Saloon, Galloway’s Confectionery, Kemp’s Tailor Shop, a millinery store, Borcher’s Hardwar Store, and Ed Crow’s Palace of Sweets Confectionery, featuring the first popcorn machine and the first moving picture show in the back of the store.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

First State Bank, Opera House and Tuell Drug Store Skidmore, Texas

Description: Photograph of First State Bank in Skidmore. In 1907 this two-story red brick building was built which housed the bank, a drug store and the Opera House. The top story featured a large stage and was used as a movie house for theatrical plays and dances. On the ground floor adjacent to the bank was a drug store which was operated for many years by Rupert Tuell. In 1929 the bank closed its doors after the Wall Street crash. The Opera house continued to be the scene of home talent plays and other entertainment including movies. As the building became old and frail it was condemned for usage, and finally vacated.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

The McKinney Home

Description: Photograph of the McKinney home located on 211 East Cleveland Street. Built by Robert and Phoebe Porter McKinney on their ranch in northern Bee County in the 1890’s. It was torn down, the boards were numbered, and it was rebuilt again at its present location. The house was occupied by Frank McKinney, former Tax Collector of Bee County
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Inside a Confectionary in Skidmore

Description: Photograph of the inside of a confectionery in Skidmore. At one time Skidmore had two confectionary stories. One was called The Little Gem Confectionary, which was owned and operated by John Galloway. The store sold fish, toilet articles, stationery, Coca-Cola and sundry other items. It was also used for Mr. Galloway’s office since he was the Justice of the Peace. Another confectionary store in Skidmore was Ed Crow’s Palace of Sweets Confectionery, featuring the first popcorn machine and the first moving picture show in the back of the store. Both stores burned in the devastating fire in 1919 that took its toll of Skidmore.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Early Skidmore Hotel

Description: In 1890 Thomas R. Atkins started a hotel in Skidmore and for eleven months published the first newspaper, the Skidmore Pioneer. In 1894, Atkins traded his Skidmore hotel to J.K. Street for the Beeville newspaper, the Picayune. Other Skidmore hotels were the Commercial Hotel, owned by Mr. and Mrs. R.S. Summerville; the Elite, where Dr. I.N. Thompson had his office; and the Benham Hotel. As with most of the early businesses in Skidmore, they were all destroyed in one of the several fires of the early 1900’s and were never rebuilt.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Mrs. Mary Canada

Description: Mary Lee Pettus Canada’s obituary. Mary Lee Canada was a respected resident of Beeville for more than sixty years. Born in Goliad on September 26, 1884, Mary Lee Pettus married Elvy Canada in 1909 and moved to Beeville. She was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church and was the first Worthy Matron of the Golden Leaf Chapter # 593, Order of the Eastern Star which had been organized in Beeville in 1928. She and Elvy had one daughter, Alma Hampton, who worked the summers in the fields to earn money for her first tuition at Guadalupe, a school for blacks in Seguin, and taught school for forty-two years. Mary Lee Pettus Canada died on June 20, 1964.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Skidmore School 1916

Description: The first school in Skidmore was a three-room wooden structure and Professor L.W. Bell was the superintendent. In about 1909 the old school building was abandoned and this large two-story red brick schoolhouse was built closer to the street. The building had four wings, built in the form of a cross. This red-brick building was condemned in the late 1920’s and razed in 1929. It was replaced with a seven-classroom that had a large auditorium and library. In the 1950’s space became a problem, and in 1953 a new high school and gymnasium was completed
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

The Rees Home

Description: Photograph of the Rees Home,500 East Corpus Christi Street. Later owned and occupied by the family of Richard McCord.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

John F. Pettus Homestead

Description: Postcard of the John Pettus Homestead, the name sake of Pettus, Texas. Virginian, John Freeman Pettus, was one of Stephen Austin’s original “Old Three Hundred” settlers. Mr. Pettus’ land grant was in Goliad, but he bought thousands of acres near what is now Pettus in north Bee County because he needed more grazing land. He paid 25 cents to $1.25 per acre. In order to watch his stock Mr. Pettus built an adobe one-room cabin with a chimney. Here he lived for approximately twenty years, but went home on weekends to stay with his family. Over time more people moved to the area and established a community, which was named Pettus in honor or John Pettus, the first land owner. John Pettus daughter Sarah married John Sutherland Hodges, and the young couple came to live near her father. They built a five or six-room cottage. The lumber for the cottage was brought by wagon train from Saint Mary's. The wagons were pulled by oxen. The Hodges family lived here until the land was purchased by the late G.A. Ray St. in 1895. Mr. Ray built a two-story house on the same spot as the Hodge/Pettus house and used some portions of the cottage in his house.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

Caesar High School 1913-1914

Description: A picture of students in front of Caesar High School in 1913-1914. Located in the northern part of Bee County, the settlement of Caesar was started in the early 1890’s. Most of the settlers were farmers and ranchers. Not much remains of the settlement of Caesar today, but it once had a post office, store, school, gin, and a Baptist Church.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Oil Well

Description: Photograph of the Maggie Ray McKinney Oil Well, the first oil well in Bee County. On December 29, 1929 as the Houston Oil Company drilled for gas, the first oil well in Bee County was brought in on the JJ McKinney land east of Pettus. Humble Oil and Refining Company completed McKinney No. 1 Oil Well, Bee County, January 31, 1930. The discovery brought a rush of people to the community of Pettus. The discovery of oil relieved the pressure of depression. By 1937, the county boasted of 53 gas fields, with 212 wells, and 62 oil fields, with 456 wells, producing 1,863,806 barrels of oil. Oil and gas are still important industries in Bee County.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph