History

Thu
12
Jan

Early Texan Eudora Moore a longtime Matagorda County teacher

Eudora Moore

 Eudora Inez Moore, teacher and writer, the only daughter of Robert Baxter and Mary Crowell (Layton) Moore, was born in Victoria County, Texas, on November 17, 1847. 
   The family, which eventually also included six sons, had sailed to Texas from Mobile, Alabama, the previous summer. 
   They settled three miles below Victoria, where they had bought 100 acres on the Guadalupe River. 
   About 1849 the Moores bought land near Indianola, which was then a small village, and built a house on the shore of a lake known for a time as Moore’s Lake. 
   Eudora was educated through private instruction there. 
   She is remembered for her reminiscences, “Recollections of Indianola,” first published in the Wharton Spectator in 1934 and reprinted in the Indianola Scrapbook in 1936. 

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Thu
05
Jan

"Peninsula’s army airfield still functions as airport today" by Air Force Historical Research Agency

The U.S. Army Air Corps built the Matagorda Peninsula airfield with three runways in 1942 and later added two more runways. This U.S. Army photo in 1943 shows the field with 100 aircraft. 

   The Matagorda Peninsula Army airfield was built during 1942 by the Army Air Corps, primarily to support the Matagorda Bombing Range on Matagorda Island to the south. 
   In addition, it was also developed as a training school by Army Air Forces Training Command. 
   Matagorda AAF was the home of the AAF Pilot School (Advanced Single Engine), and also conducted a Single-Engine pilot transmission school. 
   The major military units assigned were the 62d Single Engine Flying Training Group and 79th Bombardier Training Group. 
   Initially built with three runways, during the war two additional runways were added to accommodate the large number of landings and takeoffs. 
   Aircraft assigned to the base were North American AT-6 Texans, Curtiss P-40 Warhawks, Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, and North American P-51 Mustangs. 
   A series of curved roads on the east side of the parking ramp had dozens of buildings. 

Thu
29
Dec

"Various legends surround naming of El Maton" From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page Historic Matagorda County, Volume I

rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago
Mrs. Clarence Doman purchased the Hotel Collegeport and used the lumber to build this home at El Maton.

   El Maton, dating back to 1905, is situated twelve miles west of Bay City on FM 1095. El Maton is a Spanish name meaning “the killer,” which was bestowed on the community by the Missouri-Pacific Railroad Company. 
   The town haw several legendary versions telling why it is so named.
   According to one version, it is said that a group of Mexicans, who had been drinking, got into an argument and began fighting on the spot where the railroad track now crosses FM 1095. 
   Several of the group were killed in the action, and thus the place became known by the Spanish words “El Maton.”
   Another legend involves a railroad accident. 
   In this version a Mexican man was accidentally killed in 1905, when his foot got caught on a rail, and a handcart ran over him.
   Some say El Maton got its name from the slaughterhouse which was once situated in this area. 
   In the early days cattle were hilled here only for their hides and tallow. 

Thu
22
Dec

Children’s letters to Santa show wishes in 1916

   EDITOR’S NOTE: The following children’s letters to Santa are taken from the Palacios Beacon in its Dec. 22, 1916 edition.
   
   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, 1916
   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 Xmas.
   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.

Thu
15
Dec

"Settlers on Matagorda Peninsula endured hardships" By: Mary Belle Ingram From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page

   Matagorda Peninsula, a fifty-one mile stretch of land not more than two miles in width, extends from the mouth of Caney Creek in eastern Matagorda County to Decros Point (Pass Cavallo) on the west.             
   The Colorado River channel cuts through the Peninsula some twenty-four miles from the pass.              
   From the time of Stephen F Austin in 1822, immigrants have settled on the Peninsula for various reasons: health, livelihood, recreation, and the like. 
  In the 1800's several settlements existed on this land, flourished, then disappeared as hurricanes took their toll.         
   In his book, Information About Texas, written in 1858, D. E. E. Braman writes about Matagorda Peninsula:
   The Bay of Matagorda, a large body of water almost wholly within the county, is separated from the Gulf of Mexico, and formed by the "Matagorda Peninsula," a strip of land sixty-five miles long, and averaging one mile wide.     

Thu
15
Dec

Immigrants from Hanover began German Settlement

Cowboy, Pinkerton Agent and popular western writer Charles Siringo was raised at German Settlement.

   German Settlement was established by a colony of immigrants who left Hanover in 1846 and immigrated first to Indianola, in nearby Calhoun County. 
   After disease took many of their number, the survivors moved to the Matagorda Peninsula, of which Matagorda resident Don E. E. Braman wrote in his Braman's Information About Texas (1857) that "there is no healthier region in the world." 
   The villagers, who had access to fresh water on the Gulf side of the peninsula, were primarily farmers and stock raisers. 
   On the peninsula they built a village of some dozen houses, at one of which Charles A. Siringo was born in 1855. 
   Siringo's autobiographical A Texas Cow Boy (1885) describes his boyhood there and includes his first-hand accounts of Union and Confederate action nearby.         

Thu
01
Dec

Portsmouth once a promising shipping point

Matagorda County Museum
Above, a photo of the beach at Portsmouth, while the Portsmouth or Palacios Point, hotel is shown below.

   Portsmouth, known earlier as Palacios Point, was a bayside settlement located on Matagorda Bay in the extreme southwestern part of mainland Matagorda County, eight miles across Tres Palacios Bay from what later became Palacios. 
   In January 1838, John Duncan and Richard Royster Royall advertised in the Matagorda Bulletin that lots at Half Moon Point, where Tres Palacios and Matagorda bays came together, would go up for sale in March of that year. 
   A local history cites this as the founding date of Palacios Point. Apparently the town never developed extensively, but later George Burkhart platted a townsite, sold some lots, and built a few houses, one of which he kept as a summer home. 
   Prior to the Civil War Palacios Point, which at that time consisted of a number of wharves and warehouses as well as a few houses, handled cotton shipments brought in by wagon and riverboat. 

Thu
24
Nov

"Preston early county trading center" by: Mary B. Ingram

Electra was on the same site or quite close to Elliott’s Ferry on the west side of the Colorado River, just west of present-day Bay City. It is shown on maps of Texas drawn in 1836 and in 1845. The maps show Electra on the early trails from Victoria to Brazoria. This map is dated 1839.

   Preston was established in 1838 in the northeastern part of Matagorda County at the head of Bay Prairie. 
   It was on the road from Matagorda to Columbus and San Felipe and was within four-and-a-half miles of the Colorado River and two-and-a-half miles of Caney Creek.’ 
   Serving the plantation owners in that vicinity, the small community existed for some twenty years and then slowly became a ghost town to be replaced by Waterville and later by Wharton. 
   It was some 10 miles south of present Wharton in the vicinity of Iago. 
   In the Matagorda Bulletin dated February 5, 1838, the proprietors, D. Davis D. Baker, John Huff, and Charles DeMorse, had an advertisement telling of the new town and that lots were available. 

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Thu
24
Nov

"Portland: A town proposed to bypass the log jam" By: Mary B. Ingram

   The proposed city of Portland (at the head of the raft on the Colorado River approximately 12 miles above the town of Matagorda) is an interesting account of one of the early promoters who came to Texas during Stephen F. Austin‘s era.  
   Born in Philadelphia in 1766, Nicholas Clopper, Sr., came to Texas in 1822, and was involved in many promotion schemes until his death in 1841. 
   His son, Nicholas Clopper, Jr., was one of the young men killed by Indians at the mouth of the Colorado River in the fall of 1822.  
   League No. 7 situated at the head of the raft was a sitio of land granted to Clopper by Stephen F. Austin Dec. 18, 1830, in exchange for the land he possessed at San Felipe. 
   Edward Nicholas Clopper, a great-grandson of Nicholas Clopper, Sr., tells the story of the proposed city of Portland in Matagorda County in his book, An American Family Through Eight Generations. 

Tue
22
Nov
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Levy: Surgeon in Chief of Texas Army, Navy

From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page & Handbook of Texas Online 

 

Albert Moses (Moses A.) Levy, physician, was born to Abraham and Rachel Cornelia (Bernard) Levy in 1800, probably in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Levy family moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 1818.

His brothers and sisters were: Isaac, Jacob, Lewis, Esther, Mary, Julia and Rebecca. Albert, who was Jewish, married Maria A. Bishop, an Episcopalian, about 1830; they had one child, Rachel Cornelia, born in 1832, the year Levy completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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