a Pecan Shell
Bee left Texas in 1846, his service as Texas Secretary of State
and Texas Secretary of War, was enough to have both county and county
seat named in his honor.
Early settlers in the 1830s lost family members to Indian raids. The
county was organized in 1858 and the county seat was about 7 miles
from the current courthouse. A post office was established in 1859
and the next year the first courthouse was built.
Beeville only had about 300 people in 1880, but when the San Antonio
and Aransas Pass Railroad came through in 1886, the population
rose to one thousand.
Beeville got a water works and electricity in 1903 and the sewer was
built in 1910.
There was a small oil boom in 1929, but it wasn't enough for Beeville
to escape the Great Depression.
A Naval Aviation Station was set up during World
War II and although it was deactivated at war's end, it was reopened
for Korea. It was closed again in 1992, and a reminder of its presence
is noted by the aircraft on the courthouse
About the time this building went up in the 1920s, Beeville was paving
The Beeville Bee and The Picayune, the towns rival newspapers
merged in 1928.
Marker on Courthouse
Long before Mexico
granted land (1834) on Poesta Creek to the first settlers, Anne Burke
and James Heffernan, savage Indians roamed this valley at will. Their
colony, although successful at first, soon met disaster. In 1836 James
Heffernan, his brother John, and John Ryan, who had planned to join
Texas patriots at Goliad,
were planting a crop in a field at this site when they were massacred
by Comanches. Also killed was James' family, in his picket house upcreek.
Bee County was organized
in 1858 and named for Col. Barnard E. Bee, a Republic of Texas statesman.
Soon after, choice of a county seat came into hot dispute. A site
seven miles east, on Medio
Creek, was chosen for "Beeville". But ten months later, voters
made the 150-acre donation of Anne Burke "O'Carroll permanent county
seat, on the banks on the Poesta. The new town, first called "Maryville"
for Mary Heffernan (relative of those killed in 1836) was soon renamed
In its first decade, it had two stores, one saloon, and a blacksmith
shop. First courthouse was built for $750 on west side of present
square, 1860. First railroad came through, 1866, and a larger courthouse
was soon built. After it burned, the present
one was erected in 1913.
Landmarks / Attractions
photo courtesy TXDoT
with 'The Spirit of Progress' on it was a Montgomery-Ward store. This
image was M-W's logo and appears on many of their storefronts from
the early 20th century. It's a good way to spot old M-W stores that
have been converted to new uses." - Dwight Young
TE photo, 2001
German Spies, Flim-Flam Men and Stolen Tortillas by Yvonne Hastings
TE photo, 2001
Local and Tourist Information
Bee County Chamber of Commerce - 361-358-3267.
Beeville Chamber website:
City of Beeville website:
with "The Spirit of Progress" on it was a Montgomery-Ward store.
There's another one on your Hillsboro
page. This image was M-W's logo and appears on many of their storefronts
from the early 20th century. It's a good way to spot old M-W stores
that have been converted to new uses.
I just discovered your website today and have been enjoying it immensely.
I grew up in Plainview
but have lived away from Texas since
1966. Your photos have sent me on a real nostalgia trip.
I write a regular column for Preservation magazine, published by
the National Trust for Historic Preservation. ... - Dwight Young,
January 07, 2005
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact