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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

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 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

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

Beeville Post Office

Description: In 1857, Michael Seeligson was the first postmaster at Beeville-on the Medio (originally Medio Hill in Goliad County), five miles northeast of the present town of Beeville. In the new county seat after 1889, the Beeville Post Office was moved several times. Opened on June 5, 1918, the present neoclassical building was built under Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo, with Supervising Architect James A. Wetmore. During construction, on May 7, 1917, contractor Robert B. Brown shot and killed Drayman J.P. Hermes. Found guilty of homicide in federal court, Brown appealed. In 1921, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Homes ruled that Brown acted in self defense, thus establishing the right to stand one’s ground in federal law. With the WWII boom and Chase Naval Air Field, the Beeville Post Office was upgraded to a first-class post office in 1944. Other changes followed, such as the end of mail contracts for the railroads in December of 1952. In 1961, the size of the building was doubled by the matched addition of the north half of the present structure. Much needed parking space was provided on the south side of the building in 1989. One block from the courthouse, this historic building and its postal services continue to be vital to the life of the town.
Date: 1918
Item Type: Postcard

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: 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

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

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