"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. 


AP Clark - from Little Round Top to Palacios

Algernon Clark and his wife Katherine are buried in Palacios Cemetery.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: Matagorda County historian Carol Sue Gibbs suggested an interesting story for the Bay City Sentinel’s History Page – Confederates buried in Palacios’ cemetery.
   One story stood out in the Matagorda County history and genealogy page that Gibbs manages – A.P. Clark. 
   Clark was in every major engagement that the Army of Northern Virginia fought in up through the Battle of Gettysburg, where he was captured – at the Little Round Top. 
   He escaped from being prisoner of war cells, was recaptured, then returned to the CSA and his Alabama home, only to find it destroyed.
   He went on in life to become a prominent banker in Texas, took part in the Alaska gold rush and ended up in Palacios and Bay City.


"Marker dedication set for Palacios’ W.C. Williams Building" by: Paul Christensen

Photo courtesy of Paul Christensen
Williams Building in December 1910.

   The historic W. C. Williams Building, built in 1909, will officially be recognized as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL) during a ceremony scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.  July 30, at the building location, 456 Commerce Street in Palacios.  
   The public is invited and a tour of the structure will follow the dedication. 
   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 is sponsored by the Matagorda County Historical Commission (MCHC), and will be attended by members of the commission, including Ona Lee Pierce, Chairman, and David Holubec, County Marker Chairman. Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald, Palacios Mayor Glenn Smith and Rev. Eric Young, Pastor of Agape Family Outreach Church, will also take part in the ceremony. 


"Victor LeTulle’s legacy lives on in Bay City" By Mignon LeTulle Matthews and Frances V. Parker

Home of Victor and Sallie LeTulle on the corner of Fourth Street and Avenue G, facing Avenue G.
It was later the home of the family of his wife’s niece, Onella Vaughn.

   Victor Lawrence LeTulle, Bay City businessman, farmer, rancher and philanthropist, was born in Columbus, Texas, on July 5, 1864. 
   His surname was derived from the family’s place of origin, Tulle, France. 
   He was the son of Victor D. LeTulle (November 25, 1832 - November 5, 1914), who was born in Guyandotte, Cabell County, West Virginia, and was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City, and his first wife, Helen Maria Webb (February 28, 1832 - September 3, 1970), daughter of Henry L. Webb and granddaughter of Samuel Blanchley Webb of Revolutionary War fame.  
   She was born in Caledonia, Illinois, and died in Oakland, Texas. 
   Victor Lawrence “V.L.” LeTulle was educated in the public schools of Colorado County and was engaged in farming there until 1890, when he came to Matagorda County. 
   Here he acquired land and began his farming and ranching activities. 


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