Close of nineteenth century Part 3

On Sept. 21, 1899 the Sociedad Mutualista Hijos de Hidalgo in Benavides celebrated Diez y Seis de Septiembre and folks came in from all the surrounding communities and ranches to join the festivities. The fraternal organization, organized the previous year, had 70 members with Jose Elizondo serving as president and Loreto Arguijo as secretary. It was created to serve the Mexican American population and had a good effect.

Doors to the mutualista hall were opened to the public and they were greeted by pictures of Washington and Hidalgo and U. S. and Mexican flags. The outside of the hall was adorned with banisters with red, white, and green, and red, white, and blue ribbons. Families of members enjoyed a free dance.

Over in San Diego, Tax Assessor Collector Arturo Garcia built a rock house, considered one of the nicest homes in town. Sam Lewis built cottages for M. D. Cohn and Mrs. C. Tibilier. Croft & Co. fenced off four lots and rumors were going around town that they would build a bank at the site. John Ball bought the Shaeffer home located north of Charles Hoffman’s residence. Mrs. Morgan bought the W. B. Hubbard home, which was formerly the home of ex County Judge Coyner. Tim Edwards bored five wells and was boring a sixth at the new Cohn residence. In Benavides, John J. Dix was surveying the homestead of Placido Benavides.

On Sept. 20 Lida Craven married Newt Wright, with Father J. P. Bard officiating at the bride’s residence. The bride was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D. Craven and the groom was the son of Cotton Wright of Nueces County.

The Benavides gin processed 110 bales of cotton, twice what it had done the previous year. The San Diego gin shipped 600 bales. Mr. Parkman of San Diego also ginned 100 bales at his Alice gin and 300 at his San Diego gin. Mr. Gusset ginned same amount. No boll weevil was reported in the cotton, and farmers were expecting an even better year in 1900. Those who passed on planting cotton were “kicking themselves”.

In nearby Hebbronville, which at that time was part of Duval County, a large crowd was on hand when Bishop Vedaguer dedicated a new Catholic Church. Father Puig of Hebbronville, Father Antonio Serra of Goliad and Father Donado of San Patricio concelebrated the first Mass with the bishop. Father Donado gave a sermon in Spanish and the bishop gave the English sermon. After Mass, worshipers enjoyed a barbeque dinner near the depot. A concert followed at the church with a large number of visitors coming from surrounding towns.

The sanctuary was under construction for a year and Father Puig had worked on the plans for three years. The church, built on a hill on the east side of town, was made of white stone; stained glass windows; and had a large bell donated by Carmen Morell Kenedy of Corpus Christi. The building will cost $3,000.