Hawkins, family moved to Lower Caney in 1840s

   James Boyd Hawkins, early Texas planter, was born in Franklin County, North Carolina, on December 27, 1813, the son of John D. Hawkins.  
   He married Ariella Alston in 1834, and they had eight children.   
   Hawkins was educated in schools in Raleigh, North Carolina, studied at West Point for two years, and served as a colonel in the militia in Warren County, North Carolina. 
   He took slaves from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, to Lower Caney Creek, in Matagorda County, about 1845 or 1846 and raised cotton and sugar cane. 
   He built an oven brick kiln and one of the largest sugar mills in Texas. In the mid-1850s he built the Hawkins Lake House. 
   The house received a historic medallion from the Texas State Historic Survey in 1962. 
   The United States Census of 1860 shows Hawkins with 101 slaves and property valued at more than $161,000. 


Local Santa letters from 1929-31 show different time

   Dear Santa Claus:
      I am a little girl, eight years old. I am very glad to see dear old Santa come but so sorry to see him forget some poor little girl or boy who hasen’t got any money to buy them something nice for Christmas. Please when you remember ever one else that hasen’t got no way to get something nice if you have some left bring me a rain coat to wear to school when it rains hard. And if you have enough dolls to spare bring me one with brown curly hair and little sister wants a doll and my little brother says he wants a ball. Now dear Santa please don’t forget all the poor little children for you know our dear Lord said the poor were his and he hates to see any one forget his people and I do to. Will close hoping you get my letter and wishing you a Merry Christmas.
   Vivian Fisher, Box 1173
   Dear Santa:


"How a Mexican officer saved 30 German-Texan families during the revolution" by Ray Theiss

   Here’s another article that I wrote for a Texas Revolution group on a character from our local history who most have never even heard of. 
   He may have been on the opposite side of the war, but his actions are probably still affecting some German ancestry Texans today... 
   One of the lesser known figures of the Texas Revolution (1835-36), who is accredited with saving at least 30 Texas prisoners from execution, is a Mexican officer named Juan Jose Holzinger. 
   Not much is widely known about Holzinger, but in Herman Ehrenberg’s 1844 publication on his experiences during the war, Holzinger is a main figure. 
   Johann Josef Holzinger was born in Germany and emigrated to Mexico around 1825. 
   The young European was a talented engineer and was employed by an English mining company in Mexico when his skills attracted the attention of Mexican general and president, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. 


Letters to Santa Claus from Palacios children in 1916

Santa Claus Letters
Palacios Beacon, 
December 22, 1916
   Some of the fourth grade pupils of the public schools have written letters to Santa Claus, telling him what they want for Christmas, and they have been furnished the Beacon by the teacher, Miss Skinner, which we are pleased to publish and which we are sure will be read with interest:
   Palacios, Tex., Dec. 15, ‘16
   Dear Santa Claus, I am going to write you a letter today. You live way up north where it is so cold, and I am going to tell you about my home. We are going to have a good time Xmans.
   We can go bathing sometimes in the winter and all the time in summer. We have a large bay down here. The trees are still green down here and so is the grass and flowers.


Obstruction to free flow into Gulf at Matagorda is matter of concern

By Fred S. Robbins 
   [From the archives of Haskell L. Simon with assistance of Jennifer Rodgers, Mary B. McAllister Ingram Archives at the Matagorda County Museum.] 
   Editor’s Note: Fred S. Robbins is one of the county’s oldest citizens. He has spent his life on or near the mouth of the Colorado River and has watched its numerous changes, not only as an interested citizen, but in the capacity of civil engineer.  
   He is at the present time one of the three members of the Matagorda County Conservation and Reclamation Board, which board has charge of all matters pertaining to the river channel, and its present condition, and of that which may be its future. 
   Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, August 3, 1933


Legend says Indian brave lost love contest, drowned to form Colorado blockade

   [From the archives of Haskell L. Simon with assistance of Jennifer Rodgers, Mary B. McAllister Ingram Archives at the Matagorda County Museum.] 
Daily Tribune, May 2, 1936  
   Haskell Simon archives

   The mystery of the Colorado River, the dam which blocked the flow of the waters in its channels causing it to spread out over a vast area in its lower reaches, is indeed a freak of nature over which people marveled for more than a century, one over which counties along its upper stream and its lower have contended.   
   It was composed of drifted timbers of all sizes, some as large as four feet in diameter, many of them 50 feet long.   
   These logs together with the brush and silt having been caught by the high waters, rode the bosom of the river’s swift current to the lower channel when it was caught and began to build rapidly until the time it became such a menace to life and property its removal was imperative.  


Million-dollar drouth leads to discovery of mastodon near Bay City

Houston Post clippings from the discovery of mammoth bones in Matagorda County in 1933.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: Matagorda County historian Carol Gibbs found some interesting newspaper clippings about historical discoveries in Matagorda  County from the collection of the late Haskell Simon. 
   This discovery of a mammoth’s bones in Matagorda County in 1933 was reported on by Houston Post staff writer Ed Kilman.

By Ed Kilman
Houston Post
   Down through the ages the rolling Colorado River has guarded a secret, locked within its watery bosom, of a strange era of strange beings that lived in this land when it was a different planet. 
   And then, its waters parting as though in mystic revelation, the river last week divulged that hidden record of the unfathomed past, written in its quagmire sands thousands or hundreds of thousands of years ago. 
   The Texas stream recently reached its lowest stage within the memory of man, and evidently the lowest since the morning of the world. 


How Thanksgiving was celebrated in the county over the years

   Citrus Grove and Collegeport observed Thanksgiving with their annual Thanksgiving dinner at Citrus Grove. About 120 were present, including many of the original settlers and out of town guests. Many guests came back that night to attend the “forty-two” and old fashioned play party held there. This Thanksgiving dinner has been given annually ever since Citrus Grove was settled years ago, and serves as a reunion for many old friends.—Daily Tribune, Friday, December 5, 1941
   Mrs. Abbie Anderson and son spent the Thanksgiving holidays in Nada with her daughter, Mrs. Lester Bunge.
   Mr. and Mrs. Ludwin Keller and children spent the Thanksgiving holidays in the home of Mr. and Mrs. R.E. Coffin.
   Miss Gladys Trujcak was home for Thanksgiving holidays.—Daily Tribune, December 3, 1942


Matagorda doctor went on to become ‘father’ of UTMB

Thomas C. Thompson’s grave at Lakeview Cemetery in Galveston.
From: Find A Grave

   Thomas C. Thompson, physician and pharmacist, was born on September 28, 1839, in Matagorda County, Texas, the son of Johann and Ellen (Emily) Thompson. 
   He attended Baylor University at Independence and the University of North Carolina. 
   He received a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia) in 1861 and served as a Confederate Army surgeon during the Civil War. 
   Afterwards, Thompson practiced medicine in Matagorda and Columbus for a few years before moving to Galveston. 
   In addition to medical practice, Thompson established a pharmaceutical business in Galveston and San Antonio.  
   He was appointed to the University of Texas Board of Regents in February 1887 and served on that board until his death.  


"Lumber company founders inspired by Alamo presence"

John Sutherland
Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   EDITOR’S NOTE: Since the Alamo Lumber Company is closing in Bay City, we’re presenting its history that was published in the Bay City Tribune in 1977 and is included in a book of local history.


Subscribe to RSS - History