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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
Item Type: Photograph

Bee County College Drawing

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.
Date: 1980
Creator: Lewis, Richard
Item Type: Artwork

Cotton Gin and Stock Pens in Skidmore

Description: Two photographs taken in Skidmore, Texas. These two pictures of a cotton gin and stock pens represent two important economical activities in early Skidmore. In the early part of the 1900’s, Charles Blaschke and Joe Beyer built a cotton gin near the old overpass. The cotton was carried by hand in baskets from the ginstand up to the press to be made into bales. This gin was sold and later burned. T.C. Buerger built a gin on the Blaschke property in the residential section of Skidmore. Charles Blaschke bought a partnership in the gin. The gin was eventually closed and moved to Olmos where J.S. Hall of Beeville rebuilt it. Thomas R. Atkins, who came to Beeville in 1860, wrote that there were vast herds of Longhorn cattle and thousands of Spanish horses roaming through the tall grass. These cattle and horses were here because of early Spanish ranches in South Texas. Stock raising began in Skidmore about 1840, when cattle were brought from Gonzales and Austin. Mr.Skidmore brought the first registered Hereford cattle to the area in the 1870’s. One rancher settled in the bend of the Aransas Creek with a herd of almost eight hundred cattle. At that time, there were no timber or brush obstructions. Since there were no fences until the late 1800’s, the stockman ranged his cattle on this vast expanse of prairie land, employing riders to keep his cattle from straying. Frank O. Skidmore gained statewide attention with his barbed wire fence in 1877. The invention of the windmill helped grazing beyond natural water sources. By 1895 this area was virtually a windmill forest. A number of early ranchers took part in the old cattle drives to points north, including Kansas. The original Chisholm Trail was surveyed north of the Red River, but feeder ...
Date: unknown
Creator: Skidmore Historical Society
Item Type: Photograph

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

N. A. S. Chase Field

Description: On June 1, 1943, Chase Field was commissioned as a Naval Air Auxiliary Station to train naval aviators during World War II. The base was named for Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Brown Chase, who went down in the Pacific on a training flight in 1925. After the war, Chase Field was closed until 1953, when it was reopened during the Korean War to help with the over-crowding at NAS Corpus Christi. In July 1968, Chase Field was elevated in status to a full naval air station. With the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the number of armed forces was greatly reduced and on July 1, 1991, Chase Field was put on the list for closure. VT-26 was decommissioned May 22, 1992, with VT-24 and VT-25 de-commissioned on September 18, 1992. Finally, on February 1, 1993, Chase Field was officially disestablished, bringing an end to fifty years of service in naval training.
Date: unknown
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

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

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

Along the Road in Bee County

Description: Postcard of a scene showing the area "Along the Highway Near Beeville, Texas" as printed at the bottom of the postcard. Note the electrical lines along the road. Beeville first connected with the outside world by telegraph on July 20, 1885, when the first telegraph office opened on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad, even before the tracks were completed. Later, in 1891, Wright Van Meter set telephone poles along the Beeville-Refugio Road to Quincy’s Land and Colonization Company. Before 1900, Beeville had two telephone companies, the Southwestern Telephone and Telegraph Company and Eureka Telephone Company. Electrical lights went on in Beeville on November 30, 1896. L.D. Rhodes set up a plant near the Sims gin. Before 1900, lights were turned on and off because too many preferred the oil lamp. Central Power and Light came to Beeville in 1925 and the R.E.A. served all other rural areas.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

American Legion Orchestra

Description: Photograph of seven members of Beeville's American Legion Post 274 Orchestra. R. Frank O'Reilly was the director of the orchestra. The Bee County American Legion Post was organized in 1921.
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

Anniversary Club Annual Banquet in 1905

Description: In 1905, the Anniversary Club held their annual banquet, which was attended by prominent Beeville business men and their wives. Their names are listed at the bottom of the picture, along with a copy of the membership of the club, and the menu for the banquet. In the 1890’s and early 1900’s the Anniversary Club, a men’s club, met once a month and held birthday dinners which were served at the Nations Hotel. From its beginning clubs and organizations played an important part in the progress of the citizens of Bee County, both culturally and civically.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Barnard E Bee and wife, Anne

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.
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, 1912

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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

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

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

Bee County Jail, 1893

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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

Bee County Sesquicentennial Seal 2008

Description: An illustration of the 2008 Sesquicentennial Seal for Bee County donated to the Bee Picayune as a modification of the 1858 Centennial Seal designed by Lincoln Borglum. . As in the original 1958 Borglum seal, Bee County is projected from its geographical location in Texas. The jet on the seal represents the importance of Chase Field, the Hereford bull represents the importance of the Cattle Industry to the economy of Bee County, the cotton bale represents the importance of agriculture, the oil field represents the importance of oil and gas production in the county, the broom represents the Fortuna Broom Factory and other businesses in Bee county.
Date: 2008
Item Type: Photograph