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Bee County

Description: Blue line print of survey map of Bee County, Texas, showing rivers, creeks, original land grants or surveys, cities, and towns. Scale [ca. 1:213,333] (4000 varas to 5/8 of an inch).
Date: 1906
Creator: Morris, J. W. & Clark, S. C.
Partner: Hardin-Simmons University Library

H. F. Matthews Home

Description: Photograph of a side view of H. F. Matthews' home located on Washington Street. It stood at the corner on Washington Street, across from the Queen Hotel. Also known as the Mathews Building where furniture was sold on the first floor and the second floor was rented. In its present location, it served as the Moose Lodge, the May Rooming House and was owned by Mrs. Ann Reed, owner of the Kohler Hotel.
Date: unknown
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

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
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

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
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

Last Known Veterans of the 1836 Texas Revolution

Description: 1906 photograph of veterans of the Texas Revolution. Pictured are W. P. Zuber of Austin, J. W. Darlington of Taylor, Aca C. Hill of Oakville, S. F. Sparks of Rockport, L. T. Lawlor of Florence, and Alfonso Steel of Mexia. "We'll rally 'round the flag boys, we'll rally once more". The Texas Veterans Association, an organization of those who had served prior to, during, and immediately after the Texas Revolution, held its first convention in Houston on May 13–15, 1873, with about seventy-five veterans present. After 1876 the annual meetings, held in some seventeen different Texas cities, always took place in the week including April 21, San Jacinto Day. At the Goliad meeting in 1906 only six of the last ten known survivors of the Army of the Republic of Texas were present: William P. Zuber, Alfonso Steele, John W. Darlington, Asa C. Hill, S. F. Sparks, and L. T. Lawlor. The association dissolved in Austin on April 19, 1907, during its thirty-fifth annual convention. With its dissolution its work was taken over by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The stories of some of these men can be found in the Handbook of Texas.
Date: 1906
Creator: C.A. Major
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

McClanahan/L.F. Roberts Dry Goods

Description: McClanahan/L.F. Roberts Dry Goods. Now located at 206 E Corpus Christi Street, 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. McClanahan was Beeville’s first merchant; he was among the first to buy auctioned lots in the newly formed town of Beeville in 1859. McClanahan also served as schoolteacher, postmaster, county clerk, innkeeper, and Sunday school superintendent. After McClanahan’s death, L.F. Roberts purchased and operated the store for many years. 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.
Date: 1880~
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

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
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

Oil Well

Description: Photograph of the Maggie Ray McKinney Oil Well, the first oil well in Bee County. 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. The discovery brought a rush of people to the community of Pettus. The discovery of oil relieved the pressure of depression. By 1937, the county boasted of 53 gas fields, with 212 wells, and 62 oil fields, with 456 wells, producing 1,863,806 barrels of oil. Oil and gas are still important industries in Bee County.
Date: unknown
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

San Domingo Schoolhouse

Description: Photograph of the small, wooden San Domingo school. This schoolhouse was built by Mrs. John (Sallie) Pettus in 1859 on the west side of the Dry Medio, and moved in 1867 to between the Medio and Dry Medio Creeks. The schoolhouse was moved again in 1870 to the banks of Toro Creek. Miss Gussie Hitchens, who later married John W. Flournoy, was the first teacher. In the late 1870’s the schoolhouse was moved to the San Domingo community about two miles west of the present Normanna town site.
Date: unknown
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

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
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

Old Flournoy Home

Description: Photograph of John W. and Gussle Flournoy's early Beeville home. Flournoy John W. Flournoy, a Lockhart native, came to Beeville with little more than a mule and his saddle bags after graduating from Emery and Henry College in Virginia in 1879. He met and married (1881) Miss Gussie Hitchings, a teacher from Normanna, and the couple moved to Beeville. Flournoy was a teacher, attorney, railroad booster, legislator, and banker. He served as the president of Commercial Bank in Beeville from 1898 until his death in July of 1916. “Miss Gussie”, whose buggy was parked outside of elementary schools for many years, was a respected Beeville teacher for thirty-seven years. Flournoy Elementary School, built in 1952, was named for her. John and Gussie later bought A.C. Jones home which was located on the hill where the college now stands. They moved this grand home into town by mule and wagon. It sat across from Flournoy Park until it was razed in 1946.
Date: unknown
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission

Measuring Device for Rolled Goods.

Description: Patent for an improved "means for measuring rolled goods while the materials is being unrolled and also to indicate the amount of material remaining in the roll" (lines 10-13).
Date: February 10, 1900
Creator: Sauls, Henry & Cook, George S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Patent for "an improved insect destroyer" ... "embodying a fuel supply and a burner for the purpose of destroying insects brushed from plants beside which the device is traveling" (lines 9, 11-14) including illustrations.
Date: 1911-11-7
Creator: Garner, William W. ; W. W. Garner & Rush, Owen T. ; O. T. Rush
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Patent for improved rail joints that are stronger, more durable, removes the need for "pounding of the rails ends" (lines 14-15) and reducing the loss and displacement of bolts.
Date: January 23, 1906
Creator: Hensley, Joseph B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Patent for a harvester. Illustration included.
Date: March 21, 1905
Creator: Lampton, Flavius J. & Thompson, J. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pipe Clamp

Description: Patent for a pipe clamp. Illustration included.
Date: October 6, 1906
Creator: Krueger, Louis; Kinkler, Emil J. & Carmichael, Oscar H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telephone Operator

Description: Photograph of the first telephone operator of Pettus. In the early 1900's a switchboard was installed in the Roberts Hotel in Pettus with Miss Lula Roberts as operator. Gradually nearly every home in the area had a telephone. The local switchboard was discontinued in January 1969.
Date: unknown
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission


Description: Patent for a wrench "that a great number of tools [screw-driver, hammer, hatchet, auger, etc.] may be mounted thereon at one time and each accessible for use without removing any one part and without the various parts mounted thereon interfering with each other." (Lines 30-35) Includes instructions and illustrations.
Date: February 4, 1896
Creator: Rush, William Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Patent for an improved design for windmills that are in regular use. The design implements two sets of hinged vanes and uses weights to control the amount power that the windmill can generate. Included are instructions and illustrations.
Date: May 18, 1880
Creator: Rudolph, Calvin Foster
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Baby Jumper.

Description: Patent for a new and improved baby jumper. This design consists in "the combination, with the vertically-resilient supporting-rod having a frame swiveled on its lower end, of the supporting garment adapted to be fastened around the infant and comprising the waist to be buttoned around the body, the pants depending from the waist and having the front flap and the side flaps adapted to be buttoned together in front of the infant, and the skirt attached to the waist at the top of the pants and hanging around the said pants, the upper edge of the waist being attached to the lower ends of [the] cords" (lines 1-13).
Date: May 15, 1888
Creator: Jones, Mary Perciller
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mud Scraper.

Description: Patent for a new and improved mud-scraper. This design consists, "with a vehicle, of the transverse shaft geared to one of the wheels and provided at one of its ends with spiders, having its arms provided with perforations, the approximately U-shaped scrapers arranged to straddle the wheel, and the L-shaped plates or knees having one arm secured to a scraper and the other arm provided with perforations adjustably connected to the spider" (lines 88-102).
Date: June 3, 1890
Creator: Mangum, George A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Patent for "certain new and useful improvements in baling-presses." (Lines 5-6) Illustrations are included.
Date: April 3, 1888
Creator: Archer, Roger W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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
Partner: Bee County Historical Commission