History

Thu
03
Sep

Bowie Plantation: A study of determination

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Bowie Plantation slave cabin.

Canebrake Settlements
Colonist, Plantations, Churches 1822-1870
Matagorda County, Texas
A Study of Plantations on Caney Creek: Inception of African-American Settlements
Mary McAllister Ingram 2006

George J. Bowie Plantation

Thu
27
Aug

"Gibson wants to leave mark with Bay City icon" by: Mike Reddell

Benjamin Gibson stands at the entrance of the historic 1903 Bay City structure in a Sentinel photo by Mike Reddell.

   Benjamin Gibson plans to restore the Landmark Building to its early 1900s elegance.
   The Auburn, Alabama native recently purchased Bay City’s iconic downtown 1903 structure and has created a plan for repairing it and returning the building to community use.
   “You notice it immediately. It stands out,” he said when he sees the building downtown.
   Restoring this building will be “incredible,” Gibson exclaims.
   Gibson came here when he became the project manager for construction of Tenaris in 2015.
   Once the steel plant was completed, Gibson began acquiring businesses of his own, but the Landmark Building has a great deal of importance to him.
   Restoring the towering old Bay City Bank building at the city’s main intersection of Avenue F and Seventh Street will be a legacy for his family to leave Bay City.
   “My ultimate goal is to bring something to Bay City my family can leave as a mark on the community.”

Thu
27
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Thu
20
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

   EDITOR’S NOTE: With the rice harvest under way, we wanted to look at rice farming’s origins in Matagorda County.
Continued from last week

   Next year the company will erect a first-class rice mill and probably an ice factory and a electric light plant. Mr. Marks has had several years of experience in the rice milling business in Crowley, Louisiana.  
   He has also been in the banking business there, and Mr. Goode has been banking and Kansas, while Mr. Rugeley is the well-known cashier of the Bay City Bank. All are thorough-going businessmen and have ample capital, and we have found them exceedingly suave, agreeable gentleman. 
   They expect to have their warehouse finished by the 15th or 20th of August, and will tender it to the use of the public at the big barbecue, both day and night. 

Thu
13
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

   EDITOR’S NOTE: With the rice harvest under way, we wanted to look at rice farming’s origins in Matagorda County,
Continued from last week

   In 1900 for Franz Huebner discovered rice growing on the land of Captain William Dunovant near Eagle Lake and reasoned that the same thing could be done
and Matagorda County.  
   Huebner and an associate, Henry Rugeley, decided to travel around the state and to Louisiana to determine whether or not rice could be a profitable local crop. 
   When they returned they brought with them a Louisiana rice farmer, who could explain the process to local farmers, so they could duplicate his method.  
   From this small 600 acres in 1900, the rice acreage increased to 55,000 acres in 1973.  
   With the coming of rice, the system of canals and rice milling, which developed within the county, boosted the economy at the turn-of-the-century. 

Thu
06
Aug

The development of the rice industry in Matagorda County

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Rice farming at Collegeport.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   EDITOR’S NOTE: With the rice harvest under way, we wanted to look at rice farming’s origins in Matagorda County,
   The rice industry and Matagorda County began in 1900, with an experimental crop financed by a few local citizens. This crop was immensely successful, and from that time forward the rice farming and processing industry expanded rapidly. Many miles of your engaging canals were constructed, huge pumping plants were installed on the Colorado River; and thousands of acres from year-to-year succeeded the original experimental patch of 1900. 
   The first man to break ground for planting rice and Matagorda County was A.P. Borden of Pierce, who began working his plows three miles from Bay City in November, 1899.  
   The Matagorda County Rice & Irrigation Company began work the following month. The acreage of both aggregated 600 acres in 1900. 

Thu
30
Jul

Matagorda newspaper items from 1906

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Thu
23
Jul

Curtis Lynn Smith

Curtis Lynn Smith

December 7, 1945- July 12, 2020
   Curtis Lynn Smith passed peacefully on July 12, 2020 at the age of 74 following a 20+ year battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Although the disease ultimately took him from us far too soon, it never defined him and he kept enjoying life with his family for as long as his body allowed.   
   He was many things to many people, a son, a brother, a father, a grandfather, a carpenter and coworker, but most importantly, in all aspects of his life, he was always loving and kind.  
   Curtis was a creative soul who loved building home projects, watching sports (especially his Longhorns, Astros & Cowboys), playing cards, listening to music, and dancing.   
   He always made the holidays a special time for his children and grandchildren.  
   Curtis was born on December 7, 1945 in Bay City, TX to James and Gloria Smith, graduated from Bay City High School in 1964; and from Wharton County Junior College in 1966. 

Thu
23
Jul

"Crusoe’s descendants have own islands" By Bess Hamilton Palacios Beacon, November 16, 1933

   The old adage, “History repeats itself,” again scores a mark in the story of the Selkirk family, direct descendants of Alexander Selkirk, known the world over as Robinson Crusoe.
   It was the lure of an island that brought William Selkirk, a prosperous New Yorker, to Matagorda County in the year 1824, where he was given the Spanish headright to three islands, which he named the Selkirk Islands.
A few months before, William Selkirk had befriended a sick, outcast sailor whose name, coincidently, was Robinson. 
   At Robinson’s death, the grateful mariner gave Selkirk the only thing he had, a map; and told him the story of his life. He had been, he said, a pirate on one of Jean LaFitte’s vessels. 
   One day, while sailing in the Gulf of Mexico, the hold of their boat laden with treasure, they found they were being pursued by the Spaniards. 

Thu
23
Jul

"Selkirk a ‘multifaceted personality’" By Zia Miller Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   A sanguine personality influenced diverse development in the town of Matagorda and set the course of economic and cultural growth. 
   With personal investment and sound judgment, municipal business and government entities emerged paving the way for regional commerce. 
   James Henry Selkirk, an astute scholar and leader, saw the potential and contributed to the growth of his community. 
   With Yankee ingenuity and fortitude, he epitomized the progressive leadership of Matagorda and the central Gulf Coast by establishing the avenues for a major shallow draft seaport and economic growth.   
   Born in Selkirk, Albany County, New York, on March 29, 1815, James Henry Selkirk was the only son of William Selkirk (1792-1830) and Matilda Hallenbake (1794-1820). 
   Prior to relocating to his father’s original Spanish grant-land in Matagorda County, James Henry was an apprentice employed by the Albany Coach Factory as an artist carriage painter.  

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