Bee County Historical Commission - Browse


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ellen O'Toole Corrigan

Description: Photograph of Ellen O'Toole Corrigan widow of John Corrigan. In 1826, Ellen's father, Jeremiah O’Toole, rode horseback from New York to the Aransas Creek after he heard that Irishmen could get land grants from the Mexican government. By 1831 he had 12,000 acres on the Aransas Creek six miles east of present Skidmore. Mr. O’Toole’s brother and his family later joined him. In 1848 Ellen married John Corrigan, and the settlement was name in his honor. Several times the settler had to flee because of attacks by Indians and Mexican raiders. Ellen Corrigan and her brother, Martin O’Toole, donated the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in 1871. Campo Santo Cemetery still exists on private land.
Date: unknown

Entry of the McClanahan House in Beeville

Description: Photograph of McClanahan House entry way. The McClanahan House is the oldest business structure in Beeville. The building, the second store built in Beeville by George W. McClanahan, was erected around 1867 on the east side of the courthouse square, near Poesta Creek. The house served as general store, lodging house, and post office. It was built in the pioneer western style, with southern porches.In 1962, the building was purchased by the Historical Society for $600, and moved to its present site. The building is still the “home” of the society, and meetings are held there periodically.
Date: unknown

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

Evergreen Cemetery

Description: Beeville’s oldest cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery, is on Block 1 of the original town site map which was donated in 1859 by Anne Burke. First owned by G.W. McClanahan, the land was bought in 1862 by the county for a “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. The cemetery is bounded by Polk, Bowie, Filmore, and Hefferman Streets. The graves shown in the picture are those of the Jones and Carter families.
Date: unknown

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

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

First Airplane in Beeville

Description: Photograph of C. A. Pressey sitting in his airplane, which is the first airplane for Bee County. In 1911 Charley A. Pressey arrived from Georgia in a Curtiss flying machine. Charley Pressey is also known for establishing the first moving picture theater in Beeville in 1906. The name of the business was Superba Family Theatre and the admission price was five cents.
Date: unknown

The First Christian Church, Pettus

Description: Photograph of the First Christian Church in Pettus. On August 20, 1906, the First Christian Church was organized in Pettus with a membership of 25. The first building was completed in the summer of 1905. Before any church was built in Pettus the early settlers of the Pettus City community used the school building for religious services. In the summer time a brush arbor was erected in front of and joining the schoolhouse. Lanterns were used for light; they were hung on the arbor posts. Pallets were made on the ground for the children when they became sleepy. The pitch of the song was given with a tuning fork and the people came from far and near by horseback, wagon, buggy and sulky. Often these sermons would extend far into the night.
Date: unknown

First Methodist Church Beeville

Description: Postcard of First Methodist Church of Beeville, Texas. In 1861, three years after Bee County was organized, the Rev. Berry Merchant of Corpus Christi assisted Beeville Methodist in establishing the Methodist-Episcopal Church. Circuit-riding preachers served the congregation and held services in the courthouse until the early 1870’s, when they built their first church on the corner of Bowie and Monroe Streets. Relocated to 106 East Cleveland in 1904, and blessed with a new sanctuary in 1955, the church continues its role in the religious life of the community.
Date: unknown

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