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.


Japanese official makes inroads in Matagorda County

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   In the early days of rice farming in Matagorda County, the local farmers weren’t the only ones trying their hands at the new crop. 
   Over 6,500 miles away there was also interest in the growing of rice in Texas. 
   Hiroto Katayma, a special agent of the Japanese government, traveled to Texas and ultimately to Matagorda County to learn American rice farming techniques by becoming a rice farmer near Markham. 
   He came with the intention of a total investment in the project by purchasing 500 acres of farm land. His family, wife, Shiga, daughter, Hisa and son, Zitano, accompanied him since he planned to stay for several years.
   The following articles trace his travels through Texas as he seeks to learn as much as he can about rice farming.
   For Sale


Citrus Grove’s Thanksgiving tradition remembered

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Above, members of the Corporon Family (back: Ira, Ina, Gaines, Onie and George (front) Percy, Will, Reba, Susanna and Dick .

   Citrus Grove is a quiet farming community in Southwestern Matagorda County.  
   It was established in 1908 as the town of Satsuma by the Burton D. Hurd Land Company. 
   As the town developed, the St Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railroad extended a line from Buckeye to Collegeport, building stations at Simpsonville (East of present day Tin Top,) Satsuma and Collegeport, which was another settlement of the Hurd Land Company about five miles farther southwest.  
   Postal service was established in late 1910, but because the name Satsuma was already used by another post office, the town’s name was changed to Citrus Grove. 
   As part of a colonization scheme to settle the vast prairies of the Texas Gulf Coast, many of the residents were enticed to come from mid-western states to buy farms and establish businesses. 


Matagorda’s count, countess; A tragic tale pt. 2

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Count Sebastian Carroll Braganza de la Coralla.

 Picking up from last week’s history page story on the Countess and Count of Matagorda...
est daughter of the Genitises.
   They came with two or three cars of household goods, a large automobile and three or four motor boats, contemplating a happy home on a farm, or “estate” as the Chicago paper had printed it in writing up the conclusion of a romance in which the aged Count had wedded the handsome girl of 16. 
   But the farm on the Bay A few miles above Matagorda, which the Count had purchased from Mr. J.T. Bird of Bay City, proved a disappointment to the family, and they stopped in Matagorda, occupying first the old Braman home, and then the cottage fronting the bay next to the home of J. Morgan Smith. 


Matagorda’s count, countess; A tragic tale

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Images of Countess Ludvika and her husband, Count Sebastian Carroll Braganza de la Coralla.

   Mother and father have three daughters and a son. Daughter 16 years old wants to get married. Mother married at 16 years. Wants to get a good wealthy husband of high education, who understands the truth, who would love daughter and keep her as his wife for life. She is 5 feet 5 inches. Who wants to see family may in afternoon at 5 o’clock at Grace street and Sheridan road, by the lake or beach. Mother and daughter wear white waist and black ribbon on neck. North Side, Chicago.
Telephone Graceland 5010
   Thus began a story that would stretch from Chicago to Matagorda in June, 1915 and end in murder in March, 1916.
   Peter Ginetis, a native of Russia, lived with his family in Chicago. He and his wife, Victoria, had five children: Ludvika (b Nov 1899 in Russia), John Peter (Sep 4, 1904 – Dec 12, 1993), Petros, Victoria Astrea (Oct 22, 1912 – Mar 1, 1996) and Cometa Rose (1915 – 2012). 


Wadsworth sought to have county seat moved there in 1914

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
A 1914 election advertisement for moving the Matagorda County seat to Wadsworth.

A County Divided
   In 1914, the leaders of the young town of Wadsworth ambitiously decided that they would propose the division of Matagorda county into two and establish their town as the county seat of the eastern portion. They enlisted the support of the citizens of Blessing suggesting that Blessing could become the county seat for the western county.
   The coalition began visiting with leaders in other towns such as Palacios, pitching their proposal hinting that it might be possible that Palacios could become the western county seat.
   We the news reached the citizens of Bay City, they hatched a counter-attack knowing if an election was called, there was a five year wait before another one could take place. Bay City’s counter proposal was that they wanted to move the county seat to Chalmers.


Recalling early Matagorda County Halloweens

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
A Halloween card from the early 1900s.

   The Entre Nous Club gave a Hallowe’en party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. B. Harriman, last Thursday night, Mrs. M. C. Reece, of Vanderbilt, acting as hostess. Promptly at seven thirty the ghosts and witches began to arrive and by eight all had arrived.  
   The forepart of the evening the usual Hallowe’en frolics, such as fortune telling, bobbing for apples, etc., were indulged in. At eleven thirty Mrs. Harriman ushered the guests to the beautifully decorated dining room where an elegant Dutch lunch was served.  
   The merry crowd left at twelve o’clock voting Mr. and Mrs. Harriman royal entertainers and wishing Hallowe’en came more than once a year.
—Palacios Beacon, 
November 15, 1912 
   Hallowe’en at Cash’s Creek 


Freighter sank by u-boat now historical landmark

The ill-fated Oaxaca. A German-owned ship that Mexico took possession of when World War II started.

   A Matagorda County state historical landmark recognizes and protects a ship sunk by a German U-boat off Matagorda Peninsula in the early months of World War II.
   The landmark is in the Gulf of Mexico, 7.7 miles off Matagorda Peninsula, where the 4,351-ton Mexican general cargo merchant ship, SS Oaxaca was sunk by a single torpedo from the German submarine U-171 in the early-morning hours of July 26, 1942. 
   The Texas Historical Commission (THC) approved Oaxaca's landmark designation in February 2010. 
   A hearing in Austin affirmed THC's decision to accept the landmark's nomination was attended by Craig Hlavinka, representing Matagorda County Historical Commission (MCHC).
   Unlike Matagorda County's numerous other state historical landmarks, the Oaxaca doesn’t have the customary Texas Historical Commission metal marker or any other marker for that matter, Hlavinka said at the time. 


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