Bee County Historical Commission - Browse

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Hugo Heldenfels Home

Description: Photograph of the Hugo Heldenfels home located at 514 North Monroe Street and built in 1886. Hugo Heldenfels and Viggo Kohler formed a partnership known as Kohler & Heldenfels, and operated a lumber yard a the corner of Washington and Cleveland Streets in the 1880's. Mr. Heldenfels was born in Germany, and died in 1896.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

The Wood Ranch

Description: Photograph of Glen Clare on horseback working cattle on the Wood Ranch Southeats of Beeville. Across the bottom of the picture are the words "The Wood Ranch, with Glen Clare, southeast of Beeville."
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Professor William E. Maddera

Description: Photograph of Professor William E. Madderra, a Latin and Greek scholar, and a master mathematician. Professor W.E. Madderra, one of the most brilliant and intellectual teachers, started his teaching career in Beeville in 1898, In 1999, Mr. Madderra moved to Nacogdoches to serve as superintendent, however he returned after a year when his uncle, Superintendent T.G. Arnold, became ill. In 1900 the board named him superintendent, a position he held until his death in 1936.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

John Clark Wood Cottage

Description: Photograph of John Clark Wood's cottage. Near the Creek by the old gin where John Clark Wood and family lived temporarily when they moved from Refugio County in 1888. They built a home on North Adams where they later resided.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

The Cook Home

Description: Photograph of the Cook home located on 1001 West Cook Road, built by John Cook himself. Born in 1846, in a Texas-bound wagon train, cattleman John Cook fought in the Civil War at age 17. He married Frances Miller in 1866. The cooks lived in a rock house nearby until their tarried Victorian mansion was wired for electricity and completed in 1897. In 1918, the U.S. Cavalry established a camp here..
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

Skidmore Float in Beeville Parade in 1916

Description: Photograph of the Skidmore float in the 1916 parade in Beeville. The Bee County Fair Association was organized in 1890. One of the features of the Fair was the spectacular parade with decorated floats pulled by both horses and automobiles, and bands furnishing music for the pageant. The first fair grounds were located about two miles west of the city on what is now known as Viggo Road. Farmers and ranchers exhibited agricultural products and livestock, and the women displayed articles of clothing which they had made by hand. After a few years, the annual fair succumbed because of lack of interest only to be revived in 1912, on a much larger scale. The exhibits building was then located about three blocks west of Poesta Creek on the left side of Corpus Christi Street. The big social event was the crowning of the Queen of the Fair, held in the Grand Opera House. During World War I the fair was dormant because so many of the young men were in the armed forces. At the end of the war it was revived and continued until 1933.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

First Airplane Crash in Bee County

Description: Photograph of a man and C. A. Pressey standing behind his plane that has crashed. This is the first plane crash that occurred in Bee County. In 1911 Charley A. Pressey arrived from Georgia in a Curtiss flying machine. It was the first airplane most of the residents of Beeville had ever seen.
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

A. C. Jones Home

Description: Postcard of the two-story Baroque architecture styled home of Mrs A. C. Jones located at 611 East Jones St. Philanthropist and supporter of local schools, Mrs. A.C. (Jane Field) Jones (1842-1918) built the house on this site after her husband 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 the John Flournoy and moved into town by mule and wagon. It stood facing Flournoy Park until it was razed in 1946.
Date: January 7, 1907
Item Type: Postcard

Beeville Main Street 1914

Description: View of Washington Street in 1914 looking north. The red brick three stories building on the left was the first “skyscraper” for Beeville. It was the Grand Opera House, built by A.F. Rees and E.J. Kinkler at the corner of Washington and Bowie Streets in 1907, and opened in 1908. Many Broadway stage plays, musical comedies, and light operas were presented in the opera house. The building was destroyed by fire in 1919. The building to the left of the Grand Opera House was Beeville’s first bank, the First National Bank of Beeville, which opened in 1890, and moved to this location by 1894. This postcard shows the modes of transportation available in the early 1900’s, a buggy, automobile, wagon and horse. By 1908 automobiles were owned by several individuals in Beeville.
Date: September 29, 1914
Item Type: Postcard

Levermann Confectionary

Description: Photograph of the inside of Herbert Levermann's Confectionary. Herbert Levermann is pictured third from the left in the photo.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

First National Bank Building and World War I Postcard

Description: Postcard of the "First National Bank Building, Beeville, Texas". This first bank in Beeville opened its doors in 1890. In 1894 it moved to this location at Washington and Bowie Streets. Notice that there are no powerpoles in this picture. According to the message on the back, this postcard was part of a package of letters sent by family members to a soldier in WWI. The writer mentions a hope for peace. “The Express said last night that the Germans only had until 11 o’clock Mon Nov. 11 to give their answer whether they surrender or fight. Of course we are all praying anxiously as I know you boys are too.”
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

The Jim Little Homestead

Description: Photograph of Jim Little's homestead located on Cadiz Road. This home was built in 1870 on the F9 Ranch, which was granted to Jim Little in 1873. The home is made of cypress and heart pine that came first by steamer from Florida to Saint Mary’s, and was then hauled by ox-cart to the ranch. A kiln on the ranch made caliche bricks for the chimneys. It had a good water well. Travelers such as Mexican horse traders camped on the site. It was a stagecoach stop on San Antonio-Brownville Road until the railroad came into the area in 1886.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

First Airplane in Bee County 1911

Description: Photograph of C. A. Pressey flying the first plane in Bee County. In 1911, Charley A. Pressey arrived from Georgia in a Curtiss Flying machine to the thrill of the people of Bee County. Mr. Pressey returned to live in Beeville after his retirement. Trans-Texas Airways made the first air passenger and air-mail flight into Beeville in July, 1949, but it contiued for just a little more than a year. Oscar Travland opened Travland Airport north of the city during the 1940's, and operated it for a number of years. In February, 1967, the city of Beeville opened a municipal airport about three miles west of town.
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

The Evergreen Cemetery

Description: Photograph of four different photographs from the Evergreen Cemetery. The Evergreen Cemetery is on Block one of the original town site map of Beeville. It is the town’s oldest cemetery and is bounded by Polk, Bowie, Filmore, and Hefferman Streets. First owned by G.W. McClanahan, the land was bought in 1862 by the county for “public burying ground”. In 1872, H.W. Wilson donated the northeast strip, land was added on the northwest, and the court gave consent for a fence. The cemetery was restored in 1970. Thanks to the efforts of the Evergreen Cemetery Association’s efforts in 1998, the cemetery is lighted at night and blanketed with wildflowers in the spring.
Date: unknown
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 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

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

Cleveland Street in Early Beeville

Description: Postcard of Cleveland Street in Beeville. The large church on the right side of the street is the First Methodist Church which was erected in 1904-1905.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

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