History

Thu
24
Sep

Famed author, detective from Matagorda County

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Charles Siringo with saddled horse in front of the Hotel Palacios in 1913.

   Charles Angelo Siringo, cowboy, author, and detective, was born on February 7, 1855, in Matagorda County, Texas. 
   His father, Italian immigrant Antonio Siringo, died a year later, leaving the boy’s Irish mother, Bridgit (White) Siringo, to care for him and his older sister. 
   After some schooling he made several trips on the Mississippi from New Orleans to St. Louis and back. 
   In 1870, Siringo was in Texas, where he secured work as a cowboy. 
   For six years he worked in the Texas coastal plain region for Joseph Yeamans, W.B. Grimes, and others. 
   For nearly two years in 1871–72 he was employed as a cowboy by Jonathan E. and Abel H. (Shanghai) Pierce on their Rancho Grande near present-day Blessing. 
   In 1876 Siringo became a trail driver and accompanied a herd of 2,500 longhorns over the Chisholm Trail from Austin to Kansas. 

Thu
17
Sep

"Foundation works to obtain acreage once part of delta" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Matagorda Bay Foundation Executive Director Bill Balboa, far right, guided a presentation in Palacios last Saturday about the foundation’s promising efforts to close on Dog Island - once part of the Colorado River delta that’s been cut off - and preserve its resources.

   The Matagorda Bay Foundation is working to preserve more than 1,000 coastal habitat acreage that once was part of the Colorado River delta.
   Foundation Executive Director Bill Balboa led a discussion about Dog Island at a Footprints on the Bay at Palacios’ City by the Sea Museum Saturday, Sept. 12 - part of the Guy and Colleen Claybourn Symposium.
   Dog Island is a coastal “island” a few miles west of Matagorda, between the Colorado River delta, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Mad Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the “open expanse of West Matagorda Bay.”
   “I want to talk about how the past shaped the present and future and will affect the way it looks for future Texans,” Balboa told about 25 people attending his talk at the museum.
   Balboa came to work at the bay in 1988 with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Thu
17
Sep

"Caney grew where several early roads crossed " By Mary Belle Ingram Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   Situated in the shadows of the Bay City Regional Airport, near the crossroads of FM 457 and FM 2540, is a small cemetery which was a part of the Caney community, and is now only a memory, except for the historical marker placed on the side during the Texas Centennial in 1936. 
   The marker reads: 
Site of Caney Post Office
Established about 1838
In its vicinity members of
Austin’s Colony established 
pioneer sugar plantations.
   During the days of the Republic of Texas – and earlier – the original Caney was once called Caney Crossing.  
   It received its name from the Caney Creek, thought to be an old bed of the Colorado River, which flowed through a dense cane break.  
   Caney Crossing was situated in one of the most historic areas of Matagorda County – the bottom lands of the Colorado River and Caney Creek.  

Thu
10
Sep

1910 Collegeport hotel moved to Houston in 1923

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Thu
03
Sep

Bowie Plantation: A study of determination

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Bowie Plantation slave cabin.

Canebrake Settlements
Colonist, Plantations, Churches 1822-1870
Matagorda County, Texas
A Study of Plantations on Caney Creek: Inception of African-American Settlements
Mary McAllister Ingram 2006

George J. Bowie Plantation

Thu
27
Aug

"Gibson wants to leave mark with Bay City icon" by: Mike Reddell

Benjamin Gibson stands at the entrance of the historic 1903 Bay City structure in a Sentinel photo by Mike Reddell.

   Benjamin Gibson plans to restore the Landmark Building to its early 1900s elegance.
   The Auburn, Alabama native recently purchased Bay City’s iconic downtown 1903 structure and has created a plan for repairing it and returning the building to community use.
   “You notice it immediately. It stands out,” he said when he sees the building downtown.
   Restoring this building will be “incredible,” Gibson exclaims.
   Gibson came here when he became the project manager for construction of Tenaris in 2015.
   Once the steel plant was completed, Gibson began acquiring businesses of his own, but the Landmark Building has a great deal of importance to him.
   Restoring the towering old Bay City Bank building at the city’s main intersection of Avenue F and Seventh Street will be a legacy for his family to leave Bay City.
   “My ultimate goal is to bring something to Bay City my family can leave as a mark on the community.”

Thu
27
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Thu
20
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

   EDITOR’S NOTE: With the rice harvest under way, we wanted to look at rice farming’s origins in Matagorda County.
Continued from last week

   Next year the company will erect a first-class rice mill and probably an ice factory and a electric light plant. Mr. Marks has had several years of experience in the rice milling business in Crowley, Louisiana.  
   He has also been in the banking business there, and Mr. Goode has been banking and Kansas, while Mr. Rugeley is the well-known cashier of the Bay City Bank. All are thorough-going businessmen and have ample capital, and we have found them exceedingly suave, agreeable gentleman. 
   They expect to have their warehouse finished by the 15th or 20th of August, and will tender it to the use of the public at the big barbecue, both day and night. 

Thu
13
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

   EDITOR’S NOTE: With the rice harvest under way, we wanted to look at rice farming’s origins in Matagorda County,
Continued from last week

   In 1900 for Franz Huebner discovered rice growing on the land of Captain William Dunovant near Eagle Lake and reasoned that the same thing could be done
and Matagorda County.  
   Huebner and an associate, Henry Rugeley, decided to travel around the state and to Louisiana to determine whether or not rice could be a profitable local crop. 
   When they returned they brought with them a Louisiana rice farmer, who could explain the process to local farmers, so they could duplicate his method.  
   From this small 600 acres in 1900, the rice acreage increased to 55,000 acres in 1973.  
   With the coming of rice, the system of canals and rice milling, which developed within the county, boosted the economy at the turn-of-the-century. 

Thu
06
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Rice farming at Collegeport.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   EDITOR’S NOTE: With the rice harvest under way, we wanted to look at rice farming’s origins in Matagorda County,
   The rice industry and Matagorda County began in 1900, with an experimental crop financed by a few local citizens. This crop was immensely successful, and from that time forward the rice farming and processing industry expanded rapidly. Many miles of your engaging canals were constructed, huge pumping plants were installed on the Colorado River; and thousands of acres from year-to-year succeeded the original experimental patch of 1900. 
   The first man to break ground for planting rice and Matagorda County was A.P. Borden of Pierce, who began working his plows three miles from Bay City in November, 1899.  
   The Matagorda County Rice & Irrigation Company began work the following month. The acreage of both aggregated 600 acres in 1900. 

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