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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

Beeville High School Building 1912

Description: Photograph of Beeville's first high school which was dedicated in Oct. of 1912. The two story brick building was located at 601 East Hayes Street, and was named for Captain Allen Carter Jones. Captain Jones’ heirs, following the example of Captain Jones who had donated six acres of land for a school house in 1886, donated the land for this first high school. In 1957, a new A.C. Jones High School was built at 1900 N. Adams Street. This school house became Thomas Jefferson Junior High until it was razed in 1949 to make room for a modern structure that was named William E. Madderra Elementary school.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Beeville Main Street 1909

Description: A 1909 postcard of Washington Street facing north in downtown Beeville. On the left of the card a corner of the Grand Opera House is visible. The First National Bank of Beeville can also be seen at the corner of Bowie and Washington on the same side of the street as the Grand Opera House. Washington Street is not paved in this picture. It will be 1921 before Beeville paved her principal streets.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

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

Boarding the Train in 1914

Description: The railroad not only aided the economy of Bee County, it was also used for recreational purposes. In 1914, this group of Beeville ladies boarded the Southern Pacific train bound for a fun trip to Houston.
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

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

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

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
Item Type: Photograph

Captain Allen Carter Jones

Description: Photograph of Captain A. C. Jones sitting in the cart of a horse-drawn buggy. A veteran of the last battle of the Civil War, Captain Allen Carter Jones was born in Nacogdoches County in 1830 to early Texas settlers. He served as sheriff in Goliad County from 1858-1860. Jones joined the Confederacy Army as a private when the Civil War began. Within eighteen months, his leadership abilities resulted in his promotion to Captain. In 1874, the Captain settled in Beeville where he became a merchant, banker, land owner, philanthropist, and cattleman. Captain Jones contributed a large share of the funds necessary to bring the railroad to Bee County in 1886. He also served as Beeville’s first mayor, county treasurer, the general manager of the Beeville Oil Mill, and he was a promoter of public schools in the area. He is acknowledged by all as the “Father of Beeville”. Captain A.C. Jones died in 1904.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph