History

Thu
09
Apr

Jack Glenn's bracelet returns to Bay City in 2015

Matagorda County Museum photo/Jennifer Rodgers
It took 71 years, but Jack Glenn’s bracelet found its way from where it was found in World War II near Klein Quenstedt, Germany, to the Matagorda County Museum in Bay City Jan. 13, 2015.

   When Bernerd Harding, 90, began a personal mission in 2009 to return to Germany to search for his pilot’s wings, little did he know what awaited him.
   Mr. Harding was a 25-year-old B-24 pilot with the 8th Air Force’s 492nd Bomb Group when the 492nd was sent to Bernburgh, Germany on July 7, 1944 to bomb an aircraft manufacturing plant.
   After they dropped their bomb load, German fighters fired on the “Georgette,” their plane, and Mr. Harding and his crew of 11 others had to bail out when the plane caught on fire. 
   They landed in a wheat field and three farmers captured them, holding them until German army officers took charge.
   While being held captive in a dirt-floored basement of a local house, Mr. Harding buried his wings in the dirt floor.
   He feared he would be killed if the Germans discovered he was an American pilot.
Thu
09
Apr

Jack Glenn: BCHS salutatorian to B-24 navigator

Photos courtesy Mrs. Helen Foreman, Matagorda County Museum
Jack Glenn at gunnery school

   Second Lieutenant Jack Harold “Bucky” Glenn, U.S. Army Air Forces (Aug. 16, 1923 – July 7, 1944) was born to Verner Clive “VC” Glenn (Nov. 5, 1894 – April 2, 1959) and Elizabeth (Schauer) Glenn November 8, 1898 – April 17, 1981) at Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
  His parents were married at Tulsa on July 12, 1920, then later moved to Bay City. 
  Jack attended Bay City Public Schools and graduated as salutatorian from Bay City High School with the Class of 1940. 
  Following high school, he attended A&M College for one year before entering the U.S. Army (1941-42). 
  He enlisted in the Army Air Forces Reserve Corps in October 1942, and was called to active duty in January 1943. 
Thu
02
Apr

Early Matagorda memories: Havards, Rymans

Matagorda County genweb: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/
This early scene of Matagorda shows many of the early buildings, including Christ Episcopal Church, the first Episcopal church in Texas

 EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second part of the story about early Matagorda settlers.
   This history is from a Matagorda County Historical Association tape made in 1982 at the home of Geraldyne Havard in Matagorda.
   She talked about the house, its occupants, the Ryman family and the history that is involved with their comings and goings.
   Eve Bond conducted the interview that’s found on the Matagorda County genweb: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/.
(Last week’s article ended with telling how Geralyne Havard’s Grandma Williams was with the family when they moved into the new (1903) Ryman-Havard house Matagorda.)
Part 2 
 
Thu
26
Mar

Matagorda Cemetery restoration: fixing effects of nature, time

Scotland native John McNab’s grave marker was the oldest one that received attention during this restoration work. A specialized team put the pieces together with a special epoxy glue.

    Matagorda Cemetery gravesites have withstood the rigors of time, hurricanes and other severe storms and flooding from Colorado River rises over the past 185 years. 
   But 21st century know how and technology are being used to preserve those graves and the Matagorda Cemetery Association will continue that work.
   Members of the state’s oldest organized cemetery association work ceaselessly on keeping this historic site – its first burial was in 1830 - in the best shape possible.
   Repairing 190 markers battered by time and nature is the cemetery’s latest project, said George Deshotels, the association’s treasurer.
Thu
19
Mar

early Matagorda memories: Havards, Rymans

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/
The Ryman-Havard house is a Matagorda landmark. The house was built in 1903 (above)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story about early Matagorda settlers if from a Matagorda County Historical Association tape made in 1982 at the home of Geraldyne Havard in Matagorda.
   She talked about the house primarily, its occupants, the Ryman family and the history that is involved with their comings and goings.
   Eve Bond conducted the interview that’s found on the Matagorda County genweb: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/.
 
  This house was built at the turn of the century by my grandfather who was Boltes Albert Ryman.
Thu
12
Mar

Caney grew where several early roads crossed

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/
The Caney store first opened in 1853 by Virginian Presley C. Evans at the crossroads of the routes leading from Matagorda to San Felipe and Columbus and from Brazoria to Texana and Victoria. Another Virginia native, John Matthews took over its operation in 1857 and ran the store until 1913.

   Situated in the shadows of the Bay City Regional Airport, near the crossroads of FM 457 and FM 2540, is a small cemetery which was a part of the Caney community, and is now only a memory, except for the historical marker placed on the side during the Texas Centennial in 1936. 

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Thu
05
Mar

Denn brothers, wives shared vision for business

Photo from Meyer Denn
Denn’s Sporting Goods was on the square here for 30 years. It was founded by three brothers: Sidney, Herman and Manuel Denn.

Fri
27
Feb

Matagorda County courthouses over time

An artist’s sketch shows the first courthouse in Matagorda in 1848, when that town was the county seat. Voters chose Bay City as the county seat in 1894 and perhaps the county’s most striking courthouse was built in the new community in 1895. The courthouse went through another facelift in the 1950s. This structure was the later enlarged and remodeled version of the 1895 building. Today’s Matagorda County Courthouse was built in 1965.

Thu
19
Feb

Another look at Powderhorn Ranch

Texas Parks & Wildlife photo
Coastal marsh creates different patterns along Matagorda Bay coastline at Powderhorn Ranch.

   The consortium that bought the famed Powderhorn Ranch across Matagorda Bay in Calhoun County last year, will ultimately open 17,321 acres to the public.
   Texas Monthly Magazine website carries a feature on the ranch that borders Port O’Connor - and Passo de Caballos in its February 2015 edition.
   Historically, the property once was the hunting ground of the Karankawas, LaSalle’s ship, the Belle, foundered not far from its shoreline and it was near where the famed Texas port of Indianola was established.
   The Nature Conservancy, the Nature Foundation and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation paid $37,700, Texas Monthly said, for the ranch last August, with plans to open the mostly untouched coastal prairie acreage for the public to see.
Thu
19
Feb

Childers restoring house of early educator Tenie Holmes

Contributed photo
Restoration is under way on historic home of early educator Tenie Holmes on Avenue H.

   I’m proud of our County and the people who care for its historic treasures. 
   I was excited to see two small cottages on Avenue H in Bay City, being restored by local banker, Jason Childers. 
   One of the small homes being restored, at 2504 Ave. H, was the home of early educator Christine “Tenie” M. Holmes. 
   She was a true gift to Bay City.

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