"Gulf: Company town provided most everything" From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/

Molten sulphur was poured in blocks until it was shipped out by rail. The company owned a railroad and 2.5 miles of track. Sulphur also was shipped by barge.

   Gulf, now called Old Gulf, and formerly called Big Hill, is no more. 
   Big Hill was a dome-like land surface, about 60 feet high, east of Matagorda, along the Intracoastal Canal where it opens into East Matagorda Bay.
   In 1833, William Simpson received this land from the Mexican government. 
   It is so noted on the 1839 map of Matagorda County land grants. 
   In 1836, half of the league went to I.R. Lewis and, in 1846, Lewis’ part passed to a Mr. Bryan. 
   In 1847 Freudenthal became owner. 
   From 1848 to 1851, his taxes became delinquent, and the land was claimed by the state and then sold to a Mr. Shulter. 
   He also let the land become delinquent in taxes, and the state again claimed the land and sold it to an unknown purchaser. 
   In 1877, Christian Zipprian bought the land for $1,242 and sold half to his sister, Catherine Williams.


Shocking lightning stories from around county: From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page

Coulterville Clatter 
    On Thursday, February 4th, about 2 o’clock, just after dinner was over and the family was gathered around a heating stove, lightning struck the house of Mr. Johnie Rugeley and their escape from instant death, at least some members of the family, seems to be nothing less than miraculous.  
   They were around the stove, Mr. and Mrs. Rugeley and baby and Walter Millican.  
   The lightning struck the upper part of the stove, following it down into the stove, tore several joints of the pipe all to pieces, overturned the stove, then followed along where the floor and ceiling met for a ways and tore a piece of weather boarding off from the sill, up for ten feet or more.  
   Shattering the weather boarding into splinters and throwing the splinters for some distance.  
   Broke several windows all to pieces and shattered every lamp shade in the house.  


Markham doctor’s fatal shooting covered statewide

Byars drug store in Markham where the proprietor was accused of shooting and killing Markham physician Dr. Henry Yarbrough.

   Dr. Henry E. Yarbrough was born September 17, 1874 and died October 9, 1908 in Markham, Matagorda County, Texas. 
   He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County. 
   He was the son of Thomas Jackson “Jeff” Yarbrough (1840-1918) and Sarah Kite-Kight. 
   He graduated from the Maryland Medical College in Baltimore in 1903 and was a member of the State Medical Association of Texas.
   Yarbrough was shot and killed in front of Byars Drug Store in Markham in October 1908.
   The following are the headlines and stories from around the state on the physician’s death.  

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"Gaedcke-Norris Home: From eyesore to treasure" by: Mike Reddell

Bay City Sentinel photos/Mike Reddell
The 1928 Gaedcke-Norris House at 1320 Seventh St. was restored by Sherry Williams, who painstakingly revealed the charm of a classic Craftsmen-style residence. Willams celebrated her grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 11.

   For Sherry Williams last week’s open house for her Bay City Realty was a convergence of business and a lifelong love for older homes.
   Her restoration of the Gaedcke-Norris House opened up another horizon for her – the challenges of bringing new life to an 87-year-old residence and using that experience in helping others considering an older house.
   The Gaedcke-Norris House had been unoccupied for 12 years at 1320 Seventh St.
   Its appearance struck a discordant note of a once-impressive structure that had become an eyesore for many.
   But Williams saw the potential for the distinctive American Craftsmen style-house that is found throughout Bay City – and America for that matter.
   Key people in the house’s history include prominent Bay City Dentist Dr. Henry Gaedcke, who built the house.


Camp Palomar was Texas’ 1st summer high school

Above, the Junior Class at Camp Palomar in Palacios. At right, is an advertisement for the summer camp and, below, the BYPU Auditorium in the early 1920s

   In the spring of 1919 Dr. J. V. Brown, then President of San Marcos Baptist Academy, saw the need of a summer term of school in order for students to remove some of the deficiencies in their high school courses. 
   The problem was discussed from many angles with members of the Academy faculty, and the conclusion was reached that such opportunity for study in the summer must be offered. 
   It appeared feasible that a program of study and recreation should be set up in order that the enterprise would be interesting and attractive to pupils. 
   In considering the place to carry out such a combination of effort, it was found that the Baptist Encampment grounds at Palacios offered most excellent facilities. 
   Arrangements were made with the manager of the Encampment ground to that end.


Crowd turns out for Williams Building ceremony

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
On behalf of District 25 State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, Barbara Reece, district director for State Rep. Cindy Burkett, District 113, presents W.C. Williams Building owners Paul and Donna Christensen a Texas Flag that was flown over the Texas Capitol.

   The historic W.C. Williams Building, built in 1909, was recognized as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL) during a ceremony in Palacios that drew an impressive turnout Saturday. 
   Now owned by Paul and Donna Christensen, the building has been a cornerstone and anchor of the commercial and cultural life of Palacios and Matagorda County, Texas for 107 years. 
   The ceremony was sponsored by the Matagorda County Historical Commission (MCHC). 
   Attending the ceremony were members of the commission, including Ona Lea Pierce, Chairman and David Holubec, County Marker Chairman. Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald, Palacios Mayor Glenn Smith, Pam Oliver, Executive Director of the Palacios Chamber of Commerce, David Kocurek, City Manager of Palacios and the Rev. Eric Young, Pastor of  Agape Family Outreach Church, also took part in the ceremony. 


Progressing Palacios Pavilion

Bay City Sentinel/Mike Reddell
With a projected finished date of March 2017, the Palacios Pavilion construction is well under way. Plans cite that the new pavilion will be utilized as a multi-use venue that can help revitalize Palacios, reestablish a historic community icon, serve as a community venue, promote education, and enhance tourism. Having the pavilion adjacent to a wetland area helps further its use for educational purposes. The project began in October 2015.


"Bay City bank once issued own notes" Compiled by Barbara Smith Executive Director Matagorda County Museum

Bay City Sentinel photo/MikeReddell
An example of bank notes issued by The First National Bank of Bay City in 1929. The Bay City bank notes are planned as a future Matagorda County Museum exhibit.

   National Bank Notes were United States currency banknotes issued by National banks chartered by the United States Government. 
   The notes were usually backed by U.S. bonds the bank deposited with the U.S. Treasury. 
   In addition, banks had to maintain a redemption fund amounting to 5 percent of any outstanding note balance, in gold or “lawful money.” 
   Before the Civil War, state banks issued their own banknotes and chartered private banks to issue banknotes as well. 
   Privately issued banknotes were nominally backed by specie or financial securities held by the banks, but oversight of issuing banks often was lax and encouraged wildcat banking, in which fraudulent institutions issued worthless banknotes. 
   During the Civil War, in 1863, the National Banking Act established a system of National Banks empowered to issue National Bank Notes subject to federal oversight. 


Original municipal airport on east side of Bay City

The last photo which has been located showing the Bay City Airport while in operation was a 1965 aerial view. Several more small hangars had been added between 1957 and 1965 and light aircraft were parked outside.

  By Paul Freeman
From Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields;
Texas, Western Houston area


John Barnett: Alabama soldier later became blacksmith

John Edward Barnett was buried in Palacios Cemetery.

Death of John Edward Barnett
Palacios Beacon, Feb. 11, 1913
   Mr. John Edward Barnett died at the home of his son, J. F. Barnett, in this city, Friday evening, the 7th inst., at 7:30 o’clock, from an acute attack of lagrippe, at the age of 66 years, 1 month and 17 days. 
   Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at four o’clock at the home of Mr. J. F. Barnett, conducted by Rev. J. W. Israel, pastor of the Baptist church, followed by interment at the city cemetery. 
   The funeral services were attended by a large company of the sympathizing friends of the family, more than the first floor rooms of the spacious residence could accommodate. 


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