Blessing Historical Tour leads to important sites

Blessing State Bank was designed by renowned architect, Jules Leffland who was also the architect for the Hotel. It was founded in 1907 and operated until 1932.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s a historical tour of Blessing that highlights seven distinctive locations. 
   We’re sharing most of the tour brochure information in hopes of reaquainting folks with the community’s historical treasures.
    Blessing was founded in 1903 by Jonathan Edwards Pierce, the owner of Rancho Grande on the east side of the Tres Palacios River. 
   An earlier settlement in the area was located at Deming’s Bridge where Hawley Cemetery is located. 
   After Pierce spearheaded the extension of the railroad through the area, the Moore store from Deming’s Bridge was moved to Blessing to serve as the store and post office for the new town. 
   He petitioned the US Postal Service to name the town “Thank God” in gratitude for the arrival of the railroad, but after a rejection, he submitted the name Blessing, which was accepted. 


JSL initial 8 members set stage for group’s growth

JSL photo
STP is a diamond-level sponsor for the JSL Charity Ball Feb. 2. Shown at the Boys & Girls Club of Bay City and Matagorda County - a JSL funding recipient - are: George Harrison, STP Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Christa Saha, JSL Ways & Means co-chairman; and Tim Powell, STP President and Chief Executive Officer.

   The Junior Service League represents a serious endeavor on the part of women to become active and constructive participants in the community. 
   It obligates each member to become an informed citizen, use her education and training to raise the community standards, to promote human welfare and to make efficient her volunteer service. 
   During the month of January, 1959, eight women gathered for the purpose of forming a type of service organization. 
   Thirty-two interested women were contacted to meet with representatives of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries. 
   Enthusiasm from this meeting sparked the independent organization of the Junior Service League of Bay City, Inc. 
   There were 35 active members at the close of the year. 
   The regular meeting of the Junior Service League began on the first Thursday of March, 1959 and has continued through the years. 


Ambitious plans were laid for Austin in Matagorda County

Matagorda County TXGenWeb


Moses Austin founded lead industry before turning hopes to Texas

Handbook of Texas Online


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

Matagorda County TXGenWeb


William Hardeman: Texas Ranger, soldier

William Polk Hardeman in 1846 when he served with Benjamin McCulloch’s rangers in Gen Zachary Taylor’s army during the Mexican War.

From Handbook of Texas Online


Bay City dentist founded Bay City Rotary Club

From rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago
Bay City Dentist Dr. Samuel Sholars at his Bay City office. Sholars founded the Bay City Rotary Club. Sholars charged $1 to pull a tooth in 1927.

   Prominent Bay City Dentist and the founder of the Bay City Rotary Club, Dr. Samuel Sholars was born March 7, 1885 in Jasper. 
   At the turn of the century, his family moved to Orange. 
   In 1903, he left Orange to enroll in Vanderbilt, graduating from there in 1907.
   He spent the summer of that year living with his married sister in McCool, Miss.
   During that summer he would go around the countryside extracting and filling teeth for farmers and their families, using a rented horse and buggy.
   In the fall of that year he returned to Texas.
    On June 15, 1910, he and the former Allie Jay Hamilton were married in the Episcopal Church in Matagorda.
   It was in late 1923, that Sholars, a young dentist, had been reading about a civic club called Rotary. 
   He became interested in the description of a civic club where business and professional men could meet once each week at a noonday luncheon.


A look at Palacios Depression-era letters to Santa

Palacios Beacon, 
December 18, 1930
Letters to Santa Claus
East Bay School – December 16, 1930
   Dear Santa Claus: 
   I know thirty-two little boys and girls who all want you to come and see them Christmas.
   Santa, they want me to tell you how good they have been. I think they have all been good this year and I hope you will bring them all something nice.
   Perhaps I could help you decide what to bring some of them.
   Elizabeth Glaros would love to have a baby doll and the lovely set of dishes in Muriel’s window, for her new doll.
   Joan wants a new rain coat.
   Charles always wants new books.
   Grace, Pearl, Arline Barrett, Arline Kinard, Lucile, Bernice Dorothy and Viola each want one of your sweetest dolls.
   Billie Joe Ballard wants big airguns, please.
   Jimmie Cunningham will be too disappointed if he doesn’t get an air gun, Santa, for that is all he wants.


Memories of grand Bay City Yuletide parties

   The ninth annual ball of the Benedict Club of Bay City, which occurred Friday evening last, was the final hospitality of the holiday season. 
   The spacious district court room, with its dainty and attractive elaboration of the ever delightful pink chrysanthemums, with the Christmas tide suggestion of bells and holly, mistletoe and palms, forming a picturesque setting for this handsomely appointed ball tendered the younger friends of Bay City’s married contingent. 
   Festoon upon festoon, garland upon garland of fluffy pink chrysanthemums adorned the walls of the ball room, hanging in graceful fashion from the corners of the room to the center, where pendant was a huge red bell, interspersed here and there with Southern smilax, making a most attractive central point in the decorative scheme. 


Part 2: Japan’s Katayama farms at Markham

Photo by Susie Adkins
A Markham grave marker for Ichiji Kosaka, a young Japanese man working for H. Katayama, who was killed in a tragic accident.

Continuing last week’s Katayama’s Farm at Markham.


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