History

Thu
31
Dec

Zipprian’s Corner a longtime meeting place for families, kids

www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/
Zipprian’s Corner store - shown here in a 2014 photo - was a landmark for years on Texas 60 between Wadsworth and Matagorda.

   Zipprian’s Corner was the site of a general merchandise store at the crossroads of Texas 60 and the road leading from Gulf to the old iron bridge crossing the Colorado River (now Selkirk Island road).  
   The store was in operations from about 1927 until the 1950s.  
   Named for the owner of the store, Charles Wellington Zipprian, and his wife, Fannie, the Corner was a meeting place for families and young people living in the area.  

Thu
31
Dec

U.S.S. Matagorda kept patrol plans in the sky

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives
The U.S.S. Matagorda, was photographed on April 3, 1942, at Boston, Massachusetts, in her original configuration with 2 5"/38 guns. She is wearing dodified camouflage.

  EDITOR’S NOTE: A letter was written to Darwin Williams, president of the Matagorda Chamber of Commerce, from the U.S. Navy Fleet Office in New York City about the U.S.S. Matagorda’s service during World War II.
   The story was written by a member of the crew of the U.S.S. Matagorda.

U. S. S. MATAGORDA (AVP22)
Fleet Post Office
New York, N. Y.

   Having been designated to write this letter, I hardly know how to begin. Perhaps if I knew more of your city personally, I would not feel as if I were treading so uneasily. My words would come more freely; my thoughts would be clearer.
   In December, 1942, there stood in the Boston Navy Yard a cold gray, massive bulk. 

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Thu
31
Dec

Illinois, Iowa, Ohio colonies rose from early 1900s migrations

  Illinois Colony, Iowa Colony, and Ohio Colony were “neighborhood” settlements northwest of Palacios. 
   They were named, obviously, for the persons who settled in their immediate areas, most of them coming south during the migrations from 1900 to 1920. 
   These settlements were never formalized and could not be found on maps; however, anyone at that period of time could give directions to them. 
   Items concerning the little communities could be found in the Palacios Beacon, giving news of births, deaths, illnesses, travels, social events, weather, school events, church services, and the like.

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Thu
24
Dec

Local Santa letters from 1929-31 show different time

1929
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:

Thu
17
Dec

Indian tale: Caney once ‘the great river’

   There is an old Indian legend to the effect “long, long ago before the coming of the white man,” in all the country drained by the Brazos and Colorado there was but one river. It was a mighty stream, the Caney (Old Caney).  
   According to the legend the Great Spirit becoming angry with a tribe of Indians who lived in the coast country caused a great storm as punishment.   
   This storm lasted for days and flooded the land. After the storm all was changed.  
   Where had been the great river was now but a small stream. “Caney Creek.”   
   The great river was now two rivers, the white man’s Brazos on the east, the red man’s Colorado on the west.  
   Between the rivers were the hunting grounds of the Karankawas, the gift of the Great Spirit.  
   Where had been the great river was now but a small stream. “Caney Creek.”   

Thu
17
Dec

Caney Run: Early trade, mail route of ‘Golden Gulf Coast’

 

   “Today there are no more dense canebrakes and wild grains growing in the river bottoms. Caney no longer flows an even course, but bobs up spasmodically here and there.”

Thu
10
Dec

William Cazneau was early Matagorda County businessman

   William Leslie Cazneau, soldier and politician, was born on October 5, 1807, in Boston, Massachusetts, and arrived in Matagorda, Texas, in 1830 to establish a general store.  
   He served on the staff of Gen. Thomas J. Chambers in 1835 and was a member of the guard that escorted Antonio López de Santa Anna and his staff as prisoners to Galveston Island after the battle of San Jacinto. 
   At the direction of Col. Juan N. Seguín he collected the remains of the Texan soldiers at the Alamo and saw to their burial with full military honors. 

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Thu
10
Dec

Jane McManus: Texas’ only female colonizer

Matagorda County genweb: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/
A Texas State Historical Marker in Matagorda describes Jane McManus Cazneau’s efforts to establish a colony in Matagorda County.

   Jane Cazneau [pseuds.: Montgomery, Cora Montgomery, Corrine Montgomery], journalist, author, promoter, and unofficial diplomat, daughter of William Telemachus and Catharina (Coons) McManus, was born in or near Troy, New York, on April 6, 1807. 
   Her father served in the United States Congress from 1825 to 1827. 
   She had three brothers, including Robert O.W.  
   She was apparently raised Lutheran, but seems to have become Catholic as a young woman. 
   She married William F. (or Allen B.) Storms in 1825 and had a son but was divorced in 1831. 
   Three years later she was named as Aaron Burr’s mistress in a divorce suit brought against the former United States vice president. 

Thu
03
Dec

Keelboat ‘David Crockett’ first large craft to navigate Colorado

A common design of a keelboat in the 1800s.

   In 1838, the keelboat David Crockett, reportedly the first large craft to navigate the Colorado River, arrived at the head of “the raft on the Colorado.”  
   Early in the 19th century, the river’s slow current caused a logjam, or “raft,” which by the late 1830s blocked the river 10 miles above its mouth at Matagorda.  
   The Crockett, which had averaged more than 60 miles a day, stopped at the head of the raft, where its cargo of cotton was unloaded and carried by wagon to Matagorda.  
   Removing the log jam in the 1920s caused the development of an enormous delta that reached across Matagorda Bay to Matagorda Peninsula.  
   In 1936 engineers dug a channel through the delta. 

Thu
03
Dec

Kate Ward river’s first steamboat

   The Kate Ward was the first steamboat to operate on the Colorado River.  
   In June 1844 the La Grange Intelligencer announced that a local merchant, Samuel Ward, was to build a steamboat for use on the Colorado.  
   The engine and other equipment had already been bought in Pittsburg and were to be shipped to Matagorda by July 15.  
   The boat would be assembled at the head of the raft, which obstructed navigation on the lower part of the river, and was to be in operation by Nov. 1.  
   The article praised Ward for his part in selling the stock of the Colorado Navigation Company, which had been rechartered in January 1844 for the purpose of clearing the raft. 

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