Bee County Historical Commission - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Cattle Round Up On the Brown Ranch

Description: Photograph of cowboys herding cattle on the Ed Brown Ranch. The Brown family has been in Bee County for several generations. Austin II's great grandfather operated the mercantile store on the square in town. Austin I, his son, was in the bulk fuel business. As a wholesale dealer for Magnolia, which later became Mobil, he delivered kerosene and gasoline to farm families with a wagon and team. Every time he made a dollar or two, Austin Brown I bought a little piece of land. He began putting the ranch together in 1924. The headquarters operation, where their preconditioning facility is located, is in Bee County, but they lease several other ranches in South Texas. Early on, like many South Texans, the Browns ran Brahman cattle. In 1945, Ed bought some registered Hereford cattle from a man in the area. He began crossing these Herefords with the Brahman cattle and ended up with a "tiger stripe-looking animal," Austin says. "My grandfather found out right quick that the first cross (F-1) was one of the best animals ever developed for Texas." Eventually the Browns phased out the Brahman cattle altogether and began building their Hereford program. Today they continue to maintain a base herd of 200 registered Hereford cows.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Celebrating the First Oil Well in Bee County - Maggie Ray McKinney #1 Celebration Barbecue

Description: Photograph of people that attended a barbecue held by the McKinney Family in celebration of the new oil well Bee County. More than 500 people attended the event. 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.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Chambliss Home

Description: Photograph of the Chambliss home located on 403 South Tyler. The house was built by F.G. and Louanna Chambliss in the 1890’s, on property once owned by the first medical physician in Beeville, Dr. Leander Hayden. Dr Hayden came to Beeville from San Antonio in the 1850’s. The house was later occupied by Miss Sara Chambliss. Fred G. Chambliss was judge of the Thirty-sixth Judicial District from 1912-1919. Judge Chambliss was active in the formation of the Citizen’s Party, a political party formed in Bee County in the 1920’s by Protestants and Catholics to break the the KKK's hold on the county’s politics. Mrs. F.G. Chambliss (Louanna W.) was the daughter of Joseph Wilson, who settled on the Aransas in 1852 where he engaged in the cattle business. Mrs. F.G. Chambliss was a charter member and past president of the Rosetta Club. She was an early member of St. Philips Episcopal Church (1888). Chambliss Hall, a large room with kitchen facilities connected to the west side of the church, is named for Mrs. F.G. Chambliss and her daughters, Mrs. J.T. (Dorothy) Hall, and Miss Sara Chambliss.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Chase Field Swimming Pool

Description: Postcard of the "Swimming Pool, Chase Field, Beeville, Texas" as printed at the bottom of the card. 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: Postcard

Cleo Ray Home

Description: Photograph of Cleo Ray's home located on 312 South Kathleen. Robert Nutt, Sr. built the house, and then sold it to John Timon who added the porches. The John Wilson family was the next owners. They removed the kitchen and dining wing from the main building to make servant quarters at the rear of the lot. Mrs. Ray was Clara Elizabeth Wilson. The home is now owned by Mark and Debbie Parsons.
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

Commercial Hotel in Skidmore 1912

Description: Postcard showing people sitting on the porch of the "Commercial Hotel" in Skidmore. The picture was taken on December 4, 1912. The names of the individuals sitting on the porch are on the back of the postcard going from left to right. The Commercial Hotel was destroyed by fire.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Postcard

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

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

Cook Home

Description: Photograph of John Cook's Victorian style home. Built by John Cook, who was born in 1846 in a Texas-bound wagon train; at 17 he was in the Civil War; in 1866 he married Frances Miller. They first lived in rock house near this site. With his son, R.J., John Cook contributed much to area cattle industry, he raised fine registered Herefords. The house was erected 1897 of select long-leaf pine placed to catch Gulf breezes. Each room opens on a porch. It has 4 fireplaces, with mantels of mahogany, maple, oak. The architecture is Victorian. It was later owned by the Dugat and Warner Families. The house was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1966
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

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

Cotton Hauled by Mules in Oakville

Description: Photograph of James and Lee Crawford Brother's Freight Co. located in Oakville, Texas. In the foreground, loads of cotton are piled onto mule-drawn wagons. F. H. Church stands in front of the mules in the foreground. Three wagons are visible in front of wooden building. The driver of the first wagon is James Crawford. The photograph was taken at or near where Monroe Fink's office is now. If cotton was hauled to the coast for shipment, it came through Beeville.
Date: 1907
Item Type: Photograph

Dedication of Marker for Saint Rose Cemetery in Beeville, Texas

Description: Saint Rose Cemetery was designated a Texas Historical Cemetery during a dedication ceremony in August 2008. Dr. Barbara Welder, chair of the Bee County Historical Commission, spoke at the dedication which was attended by Lawrence Oaks, Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission. This historical African American burial ground was formally deeded in 1921. However, some burials took place prior to that; with the earliest known burial being that of a former slave, Nancy Williams, dating from 1901. Among the prominent individuals interred here are Mose Lott and Allen Canada, the two men who built the first Beeville schoolhouse for African Americans; several veterans of conflicts dating back to World War I; and Mrs. Mary Canada, who was a mediator between the black and white communities during the “incident free” desegregation of the Beeville Independent School District.
Date: August 2008
Item Type: Photograph

Dick Scott Home

Description: Photograph of Dick Scott's home located on 710 South Saint Mary's. At the end of the first decade of the twenty century, W.C. and Zella Buerger built the large two-story house. In 1915, the Buergers sold the house to a nephew of Captain A.C. Jones, John R. “Dick” Scott and his wife, Sudie. Later owned by O.D. and Sylvia Rudeloff and then by Mrs. Lois Mueller, the grand old mansion was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Cruz Alaniz, Sr. in 1958. In the late 1990’s, their daughter-in-law and son, Olga and Luis Alaniz, restored the old Scott house, where they enjoyed its close proximity to their business, Alaniz and Perez Garage, just across the street.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Downtown Skidmore 1904

Description: Photograph of early Skidmore in 1904. The Elite Hotel on the corner was where Dr. I.N. Thompson had his office. 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

Early Picture of the McClanahan House

Description: This picture is of G.W. McClanahan’s first house in Beeville. George W. McClanahan was born in Craig County, Virginia in 1824. He graduated from Emory and Henry College in 1853, and came to Texas where he became the principal of Paine Female Institute in Goliad. In 1858 he resigned that position and moved his family to Beeville in 1859. He established a mercantile business on two blocks of land in the vicinity of present Klipstein Park. His son, William, born in January 1861, was the first Anglo child born in Beeville. When the county seat was moved from the Medio to Maryville (Beeville) Mr. McClanahan purchased some lots around the Public Square. In 1866 he moved his family to Corpus Christi where his wife died during a yellow fever epidemic in 1867. After his wife’s death, Mr. McClanahan moved back to Beeville with his four children, Mary, William, George, and James. He opened another store which he operated until his death in 1874. Mr. McClanahan and his wife taught school in his first store for children who lived in Beeville in 1860. Mr. McClanahan was a storekeeper, farmer and gardener, deputy clerk in the county clerk’s office, postmaster, land owner, and had a few head of cattle. He is known as the first merchant in Beeville. His store, built by Viggo Kohler, is preserved and maintained by the Beeville Historical Society, and is now located in the 200 block of Corpus Christi St. The inscription at the bottom of the picture says, "1st house built in Beeville by G. W. McClanahan. Storeroom built first and dwelling house later."
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

Early Theatre Production

Description: Photograph of three cast members in costume from the play "Kentucky Mountaineers" which was given in C.P. Eidson's Opera House. In the late 1800's the opera house was located on Washington St. across from the courthouse, and had a store, Eidson and Miles Gent's Clothiers, located on the first floor.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

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