History

Thu
15
Mar

Selkirk cousins started daguerreotype gallery

   In the book, Pioneer Photographers from the Mississippi to the Continental Divide by Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn, James Selkirk established a daguerreian gallery in Matagorda in 1846.  
   By Spring 1848 he advertised that he had “purchased a new and improved daguerreotype apparatus featuring the most costly acromatic lenses. 
   At that time his studio was on Lewis Street. It’s not clear exactly when Selkirk’s cousin, James Selkirk, became a partner in the gallery.    
   From 1852 to 1853 they advertised in local newspapers as “J.H. and J. Selkirk, Daguerreotype operators and dealers in Daguerreotype Stock” in Matagorda. 

Thu
15
Mar

Elder Selkirk helped lay out town of Matagorda

   William Selkirk, one of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred colonists, one of at least two sons of James and Elizabeth (Henry) Selkirk, of Selkirk, New York, was born on July 24, 1792. 
   His father was a Scottish immigrant.  
   Before coming to Texas around the fall of 1823 William Selkirk served in the War of 1812, worked as a silversmith, and married Matilda Hallenbake, with whom he had two children before her death on August 25, 1820.  
   He left the children under the guardianship of his brother and went to Texas, where he became a surveyor for the Austin colony.  
   For a time he employed Daniel Shipman as an assistant, paying him one dollar per day in “land office money,” or credit toward buying land in the colony.  

Thu
08
Mar

Centennial marker to be on National Register

Bay City Sentinel photo by Mike Reddell
The Matagorda County Centennial Marker, erected in 1937 and featuring Raoul Jean Rosset’s scupting, will be listed on the National Register. The county was notified in 2017.

   EDITOR’S NOTE: Matagorda County Historical Commission Chairman David Holubec told county commissioners court Monday that the Matagorda Counnty Centennial Monument will be listed on the National Register.
   The county was notified in 2017 the marker that was erected in 1937 will join the prestigious list of historical places under the U.S. Department of the Interior.
   The marker was designed by master sculptor, Raoul Jean Josset.
   Raoul Josset was the tiny Franco-American sculptor who weighted down the Texas landscape with his larger-than-life statues.
    Born in France in 1899, Raoul Jossett was trained at the Paris School of Fine Arts, the Lycee of Lyons and Paris and studied under famed sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. 
   Between 1920 and 1926 he created more than 15 memorials in France. 
   He was awarded the Rome Prize in 1923 and the Prix Paris for the years 1924, 1925 and 1926. 

Thu
08
Mar

"Neil Caldwell remembered as a statesman, jurist, artist" By Chuck Lindell American-Statesman Staff Reprinted with permission

Austin American-Statesman photo
Neil Caldwell

   Neil Caldwell was a member of the “Dirty Thirty,” a bipartisan group that helped oust a scandal-plagued Texas House speaker in 1971, before Caldwell moved on to become a longtime district judge in Angleton and the state artist of Texas.
   Known for a sharp, plain-spoken wit and a strong streak of idealism during his time in office, Caldwell died Tuesday morning at age 88 at his home outside of Angleton after entering hospice care for liver cancer, said his wife, Mary Lou Caldwell. Services and his burial at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin have not yet been scheduled, she said.
   “Neil Caldwell was extraordinary — a powerful progressive voice, later a distinguished jurist, and always a man of principle,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin. “He courageously stood up against corruption and for fair play, protection of our natural resources, working people and civil rights. He not only drew some great cartoons, he left a truly positive mark on Texas.”

Thu
01
Mar

Two newspapers from early Matagorda

The Portal to Texas History
The Matagorda Bulletin was published from 1837 to 1839 and is believed to be Matagorda’s first or second newspaper and was printed on what may have been the fourth press to arrive in Texas.

   Dugald MacFarlane, legislator, author, and signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence, was born in Scotland in 1797. 
   He immigrated to South Carolina about 1815 and later moved to Alabama, where he married Eliza M. Davenport. 
   In 1829 or 1830 they moved to Texas and settled at Matagorda. 
   As a member of Philip Dimmitt’s company at Goliad, MacFarlane signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence on December 20, 1835. 
   During the Texas Revolution he was a captain of artillery, and in 1842 he was again in the Texas army to participate in the campaign against Adrián Woll. 
   He represented Matagorda County in the House of the Ninth Congress, 1844–45, and in 1846 joined the United States Army to participate in the Mexican War. 

Thu
01
Mar

Matagorda Bulletin town’s first or second newspaper

   From Handbook of Texas Online

Thu
22
Feb

"Palacios Colored School served students from 1920s to 1963" By Bonnie M. Benson

Photo courtesy of Larry M. Deadrick
Palacios Colored School; Left, students line up for a photo at the school from 1945-46.

From the Matagorda County  History & Genealogy page

Thu
22
Feb

"Donnye Stone’s Black History exhibit on Black Angels" by: Donnye Stone

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Part of Donnye Stone’s Black Angels exhibit at Matagorda County Museum through March.

   Are there any Black Angels? Has anyone ever seen a Black Angel? 
   An Angel, especially according Abrahamic religions, is a spiritual being superior to humans in power and intelligence. 
   Angels are typically described as benevolent, dreadful and endowed with wisdom and knowledge of earthly events, but not infallible, for they strive with each other and God has to make peace between them. 
   Most of them serve either as intermediaries between Heaven and Earth or as Guardian Spirits. Angels are referred to in connection with their Spiritual Missions; as for instance, the “Angel which has redeemed,” “an interpreter,” “the Angel that destroyed,” “the messenger of the covenant,” “Angel of his presence” and “a band of Angels of evil.” 
   In fine art, Angels are usually depicted as having the shape of human beings of extraordinary beauty, they are often identified using the symbols of bird wings, Halo and Light.

Thu
15
Feb

"Hilliard High School construction culminated years of work" By Blanche M. Franklin Johnson

A state historical marker recognizing Hilliard High School’s contribution to the community.
From rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago

From the Matagorda County History & Genealogy page

Thu
08
Feb

A. G. Hilliard: Son of slaves becomes educator of his people

Fromrootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago
A.G. Hilliard

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following profile of A.G. Hilliard was written by Rockette Woolridge, Junior Historian, McAllister Junior High and published first July 2, 1976.
   The halls are deserted and an ominous silence hangs over the area. there are rusted hinges and hanging cobwebs in some of the rooms. 
   Parts of the main building are being used as storage places for old broken desks and castoff chairs. Other buildings in the complex are boarded up and forgotten. 
   This is the former A.G. Hilliard High School today. 
   Though desolate and empty, the campus is still pervaded with an atmosphere of dignity, poise, and integrity, an atmosphere given it by the great Negro educator who made it all possible—Asa Grant Hilliard I.
This man, who in later life was to gain undying eminence in both the fields of education and improved race relations, was born in Atlanta, Georgia on September 13, 1863 - the son of slaves. 

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