History

Thu
02
Jul

Palacios, Collegeport July 4th celebrations always big affairs

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Fish Fry at Willow Dam

   Celebration A Big Success
Six to Eight Thousand People Attend the Giant Celebration at Palacios July Fourth.
   Probably the largest and most successful 4th of July celebration ever held in this section of the Gulf Coast, was celebrated when Palacios honored her Matagorda County heroes.
   The city was in gala attire, every business house was appropriately and lavishly decorated.  Juniper Pluvius took a day off and Old Sol shown forth in all his glory—casting sunshine into the hearts of the happy throng.
   Crowds began to arrive on the 3rd and by the time the excursion train steamed in from Bay City the city fairly hummed with activity.
   Prof. G. Martino’s band of 50 pieces, made up of Bay City and Palacios men, started the day off by playing a concert at the depot as the excursion train arrived. 
   Prof. Martino deserves a great deal of credit for the excellent band he gave us, considering the space of time for rehearsing.

Thu
25
Jun

Bostwick active in early Matagorda Indian talks

   Caleb R. Bostwick (Bostick, Bostic), one of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred colonists, may have originally been from Columbia County, New York. 
   He moved to Texas as early as 1820 or 1821, when he traveled from Arkansas with John Ingram and the Thomas Williams family. 
   In 1822 Bostwick and Williams helped move newly arrived settlers up the Colorado from the landing at its mouth. 
   A census of the Colorado District in March 1823 listed Bostwick as a twenty-eight-year-old carpenter who owned one horse. 
   By May of that year he had enlisted in a scouting company, headed by Moses Morrison, that had been raised to control Karankawa Indians in the area around the Colorado River and Tres Palacios Creek, and in June 1823 Bostwick, Williams, Morrison, and Thomas Jamison cut a path south to Bay Prairie in what later became Matagorda County, then over to the rich lands of the Caney Creek bottom and to Cedar Lake. 

Thu
18
Jun

Atwell early Matagorda printer, editor, publisher

   James Attwell (Atwell), printer, newspaper publisher, and editor, was born in New York and apparently moved to Texas soon after the Texas Revolution.
   He was publisher and printer of the Matagorda Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, the first issue of which appeared on May 16, 1839, with W. Donaldson as editor.
   By Dec. 25, 1839, Attwell had sold the paper to William Douglas Wallach, but he continued to work on the Gazette as a printer.
   Whenever Wallach was away, Attwell served as his “authorized Agent” and had “entire control” of the paper. The Gazette apparently ceased publication in 1843.
   Attwell later became editor and proprietor of the Matagorda Weekly Despatch (1843–46).
   He was apparently assisted in the editorial work by Richard Drake Sebring, who died in August 1844.
   By 1850 Attwell had moved to Lavaca (now Port Lavaca).

Thu
11
Jun

Morrison considered by some historians as early Ranger leader

   Moses Morrison, one of the Old Three Hundred colonists and leader of the force some historians call the precursor to the Texas Rangers, was born in North Carolina, probably in 1793, and in 1821 moved from Missouri to Texas. 
   He had previously served on the upper Mississippi frontier with the United States Army. 
   He was probably living on the Colorado River near Columbus by November 1822, when in elections ordered by Governor José F. Trespalacios he was elected a lieutenant in the militia of Stephen F. Austin’s colony. 
   In May 1823 Morrison became commander of a scouting company composed of ten men recruited to control the Karankawa Indians around the Colorado and Tres Palacios rivers. 
   Some see this group as forerunners of the later Texas Rangers. 
   With partner William Cooper as one of the Old Three Hundred families, Morrison received title to a sitio of land in what is now Matagorda County on July 24, 1824. 

Thu
04
Jun

"Horton career included cavalryman, legislator, Baylor president" By Kathleen Tatum

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Albert Clinton Horton’s grave marker at Matagorda Cemetery.

   Albert Clinton Horton was born September 4, 1798 in Hancock County, Georgia, son of William and Mary Thomas Horton. 
   His father died when he was very young and later his mother married Colonel Samuel Dent, moving to LaGrange, Franklin County, Alabama in 1823.
   Albert Horton married Eliza Holliday in 1829, daughter of General Thomas Holliday. Eliza was born in North Carolina in 1815, but was living in Alabama with her brother-in-law and guardian, W. J. Croom, father of Colonel John L. Croom of Matagorda, Texas.
   Horton and his wife moved to Greensboro, Alabama where he served one term in the Alabama State Senate in 1832.
   Albert Horton came to Matagorda County, Texas, April, 1835, when he purchased several leagues of land in the northern part of Matagorda County, which is now part of Wharton County. 
   In addition, he was granted a league and labor of land on January 19, 1838.

Thu
28
May

Matt Pierce led several excursions from Kansas to Collegeport

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Matt Pierce worked with Burton D. Hurd and brought in alot of excursions from the Midwest to Collegeport, beginning around 1910. 
   The family eventually moved here  and later moved to Hidalgo County after the deaths of their children and the Collegeport “bust!” 
   They are buried there.

Matthew & Frances
Smaha Pierce
   Matthew Pierce was born April 20, 1871 in Ohio to Hiram Pierce and his wife, according to available records.
   Frances “Fannie” Smaha was born December 15, 1881 in Nebraska City, Nebraska to George (1851 - 1920) and Frances Bartos Smaha (1856-1914).  
   Her siblings were George M., Frank Jack, Joseph C., Emma Helen, Fred Harold and Sophia Lucile. By 1900, the family was living in Red Oak, Montgomery, Iowa. 
   By 1910, Matt was working with land developer Burton D. Hurd, founder of Collegeport. 

Thu
28
May

COVID cancels Collegeport Day

   Collegeport Day 2020 is cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. 
   Collegeport Day celebrates the founding of the Town of Collegeport on May 25, 1908. 
   A homecoming celebration has been held every year since 1908 and is now observed on the last Saturday in May, said Collegeport resident G.W. Franzen.
   Since 1945, a covered dish meal featuring barbecued beef prepared by local chefs has been hosted at the Mopac House Community Center. 
      Side dishes, salads and desserts prepared by guests always complete the meal. 
   “2020 is the first year since its founding that the community and friends will not gather, but are encouraged to reflect on past celebrations and to remember those who are no longer with us. 
   “We hope to resume this long-standing tradition in May 2021,” Franzen added.

 

Thu
21
May

Pearl Harbor sailor moved from list of missing in 1941 to killed in action in 2019

   Fireman Third Class Clarence Arvin Blaylock, U.S. Navy was born October 6, 1921, in Tarrant County, Texas to Earnest Ruben Blaylock (February 11, 1901 – June 1, 1959) who was a “tinner” according to the 1920 Federal Census, and later a Bay City businessman who owned and operated E.R. Blaylock Pontiac Co. (car dealership) and E.R. Blaylock Independent Gas & Oil Co. (service station). 
   His mother was Coye Inez (Hawkins) Blaylock (November 30, 1901 – September 23, 1978) who married Earnest while they were living in Tarrant County on May 6, 1920. 
   Their marriage did not work out and ended in divorce sometime before 1930. 
   Arvin and his Mother moved in with his grandparents, Charles M. and Ida E. Hawkins at Polytechnic (a suburb of Fort Worth). 
   Arvin graduated from Polytechnical High School at the age of 17.
Arvin entered the U.S. Navy on December 14, 1940; first training at San Diego, then at the Great Lakes Training Center. 

Thu
14
May

Bay City history boosted by agriculture, oil, industry

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Bay City was regularly flooded by the Colorado River until levees and dams were built along the river in 1924. Among the most damaging of these floods was the one in 1013, shown above. That flood joined the Colorado and Brazos rivers.

   Bay City, the county seat of Matagorda County, is an incorporated city at the junction of Texas 35 and 60, in the north central portion of the county 90 miles southwest of Houston.  
   The community is named for its location on Bay Prairie, between the richly productive bottomlands of the Colorado River and Caney Creek.  
   It was established in 1894, when David Swickheimer, a Colorado mining millionaire and participant in a promotional organization called the Enterprise Land and Colonizing Company, formed the Bay City Town Company in partnership with G. M. Magill, N. M. Vogelsang, and Nicholas King.  
   Planning that Bay City would one day supplant Matagorda as county seat, the men selected two cow pastures on Bay Prairie as the site for a new community.  
   The company bought 320 acres from D.P. Moore and another 320 acres from the Mensing brothers of Galveston.  

Thu
07
May

Aylett ‘Strap’ Buckner one of Texas’ most colorful characters

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
The Legend of Strap Buckner - A Texas Tale was written in 2001.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

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