Ruth Mackey a pioneer woman during Texas Revolution

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Ruth Mackey’s grave marker at Matagorda Cemetery. She’s remembered as one of the county’s pioneer women of the Texas Revolution.

   Ruth Washam (born c1795 - died October 30, 1862) was thought to be from Virginia and the daughter of William Washam.  
   She married William Mackey (died August 11, 1831) on August 25, 1816 in Blountville, Tennessee.  
   William was born in Ireland and he and his parents, John and Mary McIlwaine Mackey, emigrated to the United States, settling in Blountville, Tennessee. 
   Children of William and Ruth Washam Mackey were:  
   1. Mary Mackey born June 12, 1817 – died October 14, 1862 married Albert Wadsworth 
   2. Martha Mackey born November 28, 1819 – died June 4, 1831 
   3. John Mackey born January 15, 1821 – died November 12, 1893 Luling, Caldwell County, TX 
   4. Andrew C. Mackey born March 2, 1922 – died October 18, 1841 
   5. Sarah Mackey born October 8, 1923 – died August 15, 1824 
   6. Catherine Mackey born January 27, 1825 –died November 4, 1839 married Albert Wadsworth 


Hill, Primm families reflect early settlers of Palacios, Collegeport

Samuel Gray Hill
Courtesy of Chris Nisley

From Carol Sue Gibbs
Matagorda County TXGenWeb 


Collegeport ‘Bonehead Club’ opposed closing school

Photos from Mopac House Foundation
Above, a newspaper article dated Jan. 9, 1925, announced the formation of a new Collegeport organization, the Bonehead Club. It was a men’s social club and the first officers were E.A. Holsworth, Most Magnificent Bonehead; Judge Corse and John Evans. The office titles for the latter two were not mentioned.

Bonehead Club of Collegeport Has Regular Meeting
   Collegeport, May 6 - (Spl) - At the regular monthly meeting of the Bonehead Club last night at the Mo-Pac Community Center several matters of general interest were presented.
   The community is considerably disturbed by the rumor that school officials plan to discontinue our school here at the close of the present term. 
   A committee was appointed to draft a petition to be circulated here and presented to the school board as soon as possible expressing the deep concern of the entire community in this matter. 
   The point was emphasized that the closing of the school would necessitate a long bus ride for seven and eight year-old pupils each morning, starting at an early hour each morning. 
   The following committee has this matter in hand: Billy Halfen, chairman, R.L. Corporon, C.J. Williams and Rev. A.G. Fitzgerald.


‘Horse Marines’ won name near Matagorda Bay land

   I was sitting at a lunch counter of a café one night refreshing myself with some—ah, iced tea, when an old-timer came in and sat down on the stool next to mine.
   “Yo’re the feller who’se gittin’ out this hyar special edition, aitcha?” It was more a statement than a question. I pleaded guilty.
   “Didja ever hear of the ‘Horse Marines”?” was the next query as the waitress brought him some of the “iced tea.”“Sure,” I said, “and I’ve heard of the ‘Mounted Balloon Corps,’ too.” 
   I had, too, but I thought it was a gag. I found out differently.“No foolin’ son. 
   There was some ‘Horse Marines’ and they got their name right in these parts.” I smelled a story and decided to hang around. 


History of Gulf Intercoastal Waterway

A tug pushes barges into the Colorado River Locks at Matagorda that are an important part of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway (GIWW).

   The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is a coastal canal from Brownsville, Texas, to the Okeechobee waterway at Fort Myers, Florida 
   The Texas portion of the canal system extends 426 miles, from Sabine Pass to the mouth of the Brownsville Ship Channel at Port Isabel 
   The grand concept of a canal system that would eventually connect Boston harbor with Brownsville harbor was introduced by Albert Gallatin, United States secretary of the treasury, in a report on Public Roads and Canals submitted to the United States Senate in 1808 
   By 1819 Secretary of War John C 
   Calhoun had published his Report on Roads and Canals, which posits an urgent need for an improved internal transportation system including waterways 
   In that report Calhoun proposed that the Army Corps of Engineers be used to develop and, if necessary, supervise construction of the internal improvements 


Matagorda County sent flotilla of boats to 1913 canal celebration

rranging for Celebration Of Completion of Intercoastal Canal―Will Be a Great Event―Commodores Meet


Hortense Ward led women’s rights movement

Hortense Sparks Ward

   EDITOR’S NOTE: While Hortense Sparks Ward’s main link with Matagorda County is her birth here, we wanted to profile someone with a remarkable career who left an indelible mark on Texas.
   Hortense Ward, champion of women’s rights, suffrage leader, admitted to the Texas bar, the daughter of Frederick and Marie Louise (LaBauve) Sparks, was born in Matagorda County on July 21, 1872. 
   Ward lived in Edna as a child, and later attended Nazareth Academy, a Catholic convent school in Victoria. 
   She returned to Edna in 1890 to teach school, and on January 5, 1891, married Albert Malsch, with whom she had three daughters.  
   Ward moved to Houston in 1903, and, while working as a stenographer and court reporter, became interested in studying law.  
   She and Malsch were divorced in 1906, and on August 12, 1909, she married Houston attorney William Henry Ward, later a county judge. 


J.P. Pierce home ‘A Palatial Palacios Residence’

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Taken during a 2007 restoration.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb


Selkirk Island’s roots deep in Matagorda County history

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
The Selkirk Island real estate sign that J. Pabst put up.

By Mrs. E.T. Pabst
Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, pp. 398-399, 1986
Matagorda County TXGenWeb 


Fred Selzer: Lutheran circuit rider often walked to visit area churches

Fred Selzer

   Most people have heard of circuit riding preachers who rode their horses along a circuit preaching the gospel. Circuit riders were often thought of in relation to the Methodist church, but many denominations used circuit riders to minister to small churches who could not afford a full-time minister.  
   The Tres Palacios Baptist Church at Deming’s Bridge was part of a circuit and in 1853 was a quarter-time church with a visit from the preacher once a month. 
   Lesser known would be a circuit riding preacher who rode the railroad in the early 1900s. 
   The Lutherans found circuit riders an effective way to reach small pockets of their members in the Matagorda-Jackson County area who were primarily German. 
   P. Klenk, a missionary for the German Lutheran Church had as his area the stops along the Brownsville railroad. In May of 1911, he was visiting the area hoping to establish a church as soon as a few more Germans arrived.  


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