History

Thu
03
Oct

"Blessing High School’s long life serving students"

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Above, Blessing High School constructed in 1935 - and later Blessing Elementary - and, below, the first brick public school building in Blessing.

Blessing High School 1935 - 1950
Researched by Betty Lou Rickaway 2005
Edited by Mary Belle Ingram

Thu
26
Sep

"Bay City: A settlement that arose from the prairie"

Matagorda CountyTXGenWeb
In 1941, the Bay City Gas Board donated money to build the USO Building that opened in 1942 and stands today as the Service Center.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 125th anniversary of Bay City’s founding in 1894.
   Since several events occurred in September that year, the Bay City Sentinel will feature the history of Bay City written the late Matagorda County historian Mary Belle Ingram throughout September.
   This is the final installment of Bay City’s history.
By Mary B. Ingram
From last week on History
   Next week in history
tricity. 
   The controlling company was Texas Public Service Company which had an office in downtown Bay City. 
   Frequent flooding of the Bay City area by water from the Colorado River led to the creation of the Colorado River Association in 1913 which became the Colorado Improvement Association in 1915.
   As early as 1912, a group of interested citizens began forming plans for a public library and tried to obtain funds for an Andrew Carnegie Library. 

Thu
19
Sep

Bay City: A settlement that arose from the prairie

Matagorda CountyTXGenWeb
A fire on the west side of the courthouse square in March 1908 destroyed all of the frame buildings there.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 125th anniversary of Bay City’s founding in 1894.
   Since several events occurred in September that year, the Bay City Sentinel will feature the history of Bay City written the late Matagorda County historian Mary Belle Ingram throughout September.
   This is the second installment of Bay City’s history.
By Mary B. Ingram
From last week on History
   The first rice harvested was stored in the county clerk’s office, then transported six miles to Van Vleck to the only railway station in the county, and then shipped by train to mills. Thus that county clerk’s office became the first “rice warehouse.”
   The first man to break rice cultivation in Matagorda County was A.P. Borden of Pierce whose plows went to work three miles north of Bay City in November, 1899. The Matagorda County Rice and Irrigation Company began work the following month.

Thu
12
Sep

Bay City: A settlement that arose from the prairie

Matagorda CountyTXGenWeb
This Matagorda County courthouse was built in 1896 and is shown surrounded by flood waters - a big problem until a levee was constructed.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 125th anniversary of Bay City’s founding in 1894.
   Since several events occurred in September that year, the Bay City Sentinel will feature the history of Bay City written the late Matagorda County historian Mary Belle Ingram throughout September.
   This is the second installment of Bay City’s history.
By Mary B. Ingram
From last week on History
   This stuffy little building first served as a county clerk’s office. At an early date Judge T.J. Hamilton erected a two-story building across from the northwest corner of the square, on lots now occupied by Badouh’s big store.
   This structure was used as a temporary court house and became the focus of the community’s religious life, as a union church and Sunday school held forth there.

Thu
05
Sep

Bay City: A settlement that arose from the prairie

Matagorda CountyTXGenWeb
There was a fence around the Matagorda County courthouse square. This early photo shows a windmill and wooden buildings along one side of the square. Fire was a constant concern with so many wooden buildings and after several fires around the square, buildings were replaced with brick ones.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 125th anniversary of Bay City’s founding in 1894.
   Since several events occurred in September that year, the Bay City Sentinel will feature the history of Bay City written the late Matagorda County historian Mary Belle Ingram throughout September.
By Mary B. Ingram
   “Bay City,” a name often misleading to strangers, is twenty-five miles from the beach and the Gulf of Mexico. 
   It is so named because the town lies in the center of the vast area of prairie land which has been known as Bay Prairie since the days of Stephen F. Austin in the early 1820s.
   J.A. Allhand’s 1931 book, Gringo Builders, tells the beginning of Bay City as follows:   
   You only have to go back to a summer day in 1894 to get the eginning of Bay City. 
   Out of the raw material of rich Bay prairie, whfrom whence Bay City receives its name, and the facile minds of G.M. Magill and N.M. Vogelsang, was this city born. 

Thu
29
Aug

Cane Belt once essential to county transportation

Matagorda CountyTXGenWeb
The railroad depot at Matagorda. The line to Matagorda was closed in 1967.

From Historic Matagorda County and Wikipedia

Thu
22
Aug

Tidehaven was early Tres Palacios River port

Handbook of Texas Online

Thu
15
Aug

Dr. J.E. Simons began practice when Bay City was born

Matagorda CountyTXGenWeb
Simons family in their yard on Fourth Street.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: Much of the following article and personal remembrance was given after Dr. J.E. Simons and his wife Annie died with an hour of each other June 30, 1935 in Bay City.
   Simons began his practice actually before Bay City existed - he was there at the beginning in 1894.
   Simons also began a legacy of descendants following him in the medical professional through the present.
   We’ll have more from the Matagorda County TXGenWeb from the Simons family of doctors in future editions.

Thu
08
Aug

"BC Historic Commission plans to educate owners on historic preservation" by: Jessica Shepard

  Members of the Bay City Historic Commission committee expressed concerns about businesses that don’t file Certificates of Appropriateness before making changes to historic buildings – or to those in the city’s historic district - during their regular meeting Aug. 5.
   Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) are required by the city’s historic commission for projects that would alter the exterior appearance of a designated historic property. 
   That includes alterations, additions, demolition or relocation of a landmark or structure within a historic district or new construction within a historic district.
   “We’ve got a lot of new businesses coming in downtown,” said committee chairman Michael George
   “I’m really excited to see what they are offering our community. But, they need to know to reach out before they make changes to the building,” George said.

Thu
08
Aug

Mary Belle was widely respected county historian

Mary Belle McAllister Ingram

Mary Belle McAllister Ingram of Bay City, passed away on April 23, 2010 at her home, the Legacy Assisted Living, after fighting a valiant battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and heart disease.
   Mary Belle was born in Mankins, Texas, July 9, 1916, to Vera Frazier Richeson (from Bomerton, Texas) and Watkins L. Richeson (from Cherry Hill, Ala.). 
   After graduating from high school in Mankins, she attended North Texas State Teacher’s College in Denton graduating in 1936 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. 
   In later years she also obtained her Master’s Degree in Education from Denton. 
   She taught for one year at South Lockett in West Texas. 
   In the fall of 1937 she moved to Bay City and taught at Bay City High School. 
   In subsequent years she taught fifth grade at Tenie Holmes Elementary and was librarian at Cherry Junior High School and McAllister Junior High School.  

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