75 years ago

Work of dredging a stretch of the San Bernard River to provide a berthing space for barges for use by the Defense Plant Corporation and the J.S. Abercrombie and Harrison Oil Company is expected to get started shortly.

The Harrison and Abercrombie Company has the largest 100 octane aviation gasoline plants in Texas located at Sweeny. The 20,000-barrel refinery is located on the north edge of the Old Ocean oil field near Sweeny.

The area of the river to be dredged for barges is adjacent to and parallel with the project channel on the west bank at a point 2.5 miles northeast of Sweeny and at a point about 4.5 miles upstream from the Missouri Pacific railroad bridge.

The dredged space will be about 400 feet long and will have a bottom width of approximately 80 feet. The material will be removed to a depth of 9 feet below mean low tide elevation and will be placed in spoil areas on the east bank directly across the river from the octane gas plant.

50 years ago

At the district and county level, voters have few choices Tuesday. Republicans, throwing all their weight behind nominees for president and governor, came up with few local-level challengers.

One special issue is being voted on in the city of Richwood. Voters there are to decide “for” or “against” the off-premises sale of beer within the city.

The only countywide contest on the ballot is for the Texas Legislature. For state representative, District 19, Republican D.D. Stafford Jr. of Freeport is challenging incumbent Rep. Neil Caldwell of Alvin and Angleton. Rep. Caldwell is a Democrat.

On a non-party basis, there are contests for Navigation District and for the Velasco Drainage District and Angleton Drainage District.

All other local-level contests by political party affiliation are in the Alvin area.

For Navigation District, both places to be voted on are contested.

One of these of the at-large position. Charles Wannall, who lives in Lake Jackson and operates a mechanical contracting business in Freeport, is challenging incumbent A.O. Evans Jr. of Freeport. Evans is a steamship agent.

For the other position, which represents Brazosport, incumbent John T. Suggs of Lake Jackson, general manager of Southern Materials, has two opponents.

They are James A. Allan of Freeport, Lavino business manager; and W.T. (Dude) Thornton of Clute, a longshoreman.

All voters in the Navigation District are to decide on candidates for both positions.

In the Velasco Drainage District, the board position representing the Clute area has a contest between incumbent Lee A. Cobb and Ray Farrar, a former grocer.

All voters in the Drainage District vote on this contest. E.C Rea of Lake Jackson and J.A. Travis of Freeport are unopposed.

In the Angleton Drainage District, all three positions are at large. From the five candidates, the three with the highest number of votes get the positions.

All three incumbents are seeking re-election. They are E.G Horton, Fred Y. (Spike) Journeay Jr. and Victor W. Stasny. They are opposed by S.V. Carleton and W.B. (Bill) Patterson.

15 years ago

There was birthday cake for Stephen F. Austin, but there weren’t 210 candles.

About 50 people attended a ceremony at the First Capitol Replica in West Columbia on Monday, honoring Austin on what would have been his 210th birthday.

Austin administered a land grant for the Mexican government and helped bring 300 families to colonize Texas. He later became secretary of state of the Republic of Texas.

“None of us would be standing here today if Stephen F. Austin hadn’t been persistent and gotten this land for us,” said Doris Fentress Tielke, a member of the Cradle of Texas Chapter of the Daughters of the Texas Revolution, the group that sponsored the event.

Several members of the Austin family attended the celebration. Ralph Collins Jr., a descendant of Austin’s sister Emily Perry, spoke to the crowd about his ancestor.

Collins said if Austin were alive today he would be perplexed by advances in technology, but would recognize some things, such as the work ethic of Texans.

“He would recognize the industriousness and optimism of the people, the very qualities that sustained the first colonists in their quest to settle this land against all odds and under the harshest conditions,” Collins said.

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