Harry Austin Clapp

Photo courtesy of the Mopac House Foundation



"Collegeport's Most Enthusiastic Booster"

"He Loved Noodles"

Harry Austin Clapp

Harry Austin Clapp, who passed away at his home in Collegeport, Christmas Day, 1937, and was buried in the Palacios Cemetery December 26, was born at White Pigeon, Mich. , in [June 16] 1862. His father was Theodore E. Clapp and his mother, Mary Austin. He was graduated from the local high school and followed that early training with a banking course in Poughkeepsie , N. Y. He was for several years in the banking business with his father and then was in charge of a branch bank belonging to his father in Sturgis, Mich.

On July 24, 1895 he was married to Miss Louise Van Ness in Owosso, Mich., and from that union, one daughter came to make life happy for this loving couple, Mary Louise. A son by a former marriage, Harry Bishop Clapp, lives in Battle Creek, Mich.

For years he was engaged in the mining business in California and traveled through Mexico and other countries. In 1909 he moved to Matagorda County and made this his home until his end came December 25, 1937.

The Daily Tribune ( Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas) January 6, 1938


Clapp Family

Mary Louise Clapp


The Clapp Family of Collegeport

Mr. Harry Austin Clapp

Creator of "Thoughts" Passes Away At Home in Collegeport

Harry Austin Clapp Dies at Age of 79, Christmas Night.

Harry Austin Clapp, creator of "Thoughts," a column that ran in this newspaper every week for a score or more years, died at the age of 79, at his home in Collegeport, Saturday, December 25th at 10 o'clock following an illness of several months. Traveller, explorer, engineer, writer, philosopher, real estate man, Harry Austin Clapp rounded out a full and complete life before he passed quietly away.

In the autumn of his life, Mr. Clapp received a profound pleasure from his writing and religiously he sent in his string of copy under the familiar caption of 'Thoughts." He contributed his copy every week until just a few weeks ago, when his condition became so that he could not make the deadline. Before the end came he made it known to this writer that he had prepared his own obituary and stated he was sending it in as his last contribution. He never sent that "30" but it is prepared somewhere and when it is found it will be published as he desired.

Before a throng of friends at the Episcopal Church in Palacios Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock , Reverend Paul Engle rendered simple funeral services and the body of this grand old man was laid to rest in the Palacios Cemetery . Pall bearers were: Messrs. J. C. Lewis, E. O. Taulbee, Carey Smith of Bay City and Messrs. Jack Barnett, John Bowden, and George Harrison of Palacios. The services were under the direction of the Duffy Funeral Home, assisted by Walker-Matchett Funeral Home of Bay City.

Surviving are his wife and daughter, Mary Louise.

The Daily Tribune (Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas) December 27, 1937

Louise Van Ness Clapp & Harry Austin Clapp


Mrs. Louise Van Ness Clapp

Mrs. H. A. Clapp Dies Suddenly At Palacios Friday

Mrs. H. A. Clapp, 78, died suddenly at Palacios Friday from a heart attack. Relict of H. A. Clapp, well known citizen of the county for many years and writer of the column "Thoughts," Mrs. Clapp had remained in Collegeport in her home since the death of her husband several years ago.

Mrs. Clapp was a guest of friends in Palacios Friday and when she complained of being ill, they attempted to get her to a doctor. She died soon after.

Well known throughout the lower section of the county and loved by her townspeople, she lived a simple, Christian life. She made frequent trips to Bay City and to Bryan to visit her daughter, Mrs. Oscar Crane, her only survivor. She loved her home, her friends and her cheerful disposition, and lovable qualities endeared her into the hearts of those who knew her.

Funeral services were held from the Episcopal Church in Palacios, Sunday afternoon with Rev. Aubrey Maxted officiating. Taylor Bros. were in charge of the services.

The Daily Tribune (Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas) November 13, 1945

Louise was the daughter of Cornelius S. Van Ness and Phebe Ann Warren Van Ness

Mary Louise Clapp Crain

Rev. Dr. John Sloan was here Sunday last to administer the ordinance of Christening of little Mary Louise Clapp, the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Clapp. Quite a large audience witnessed the ceremony at the Grace Episcopal Church in the evening.

Matagorda County Tribune, September 26, 1913


The wedding of Miss Mary Louise Clapp of Collegeport to Mr. Oscar Lee Crain of Bryan on December 28th, is of interest to their many friends.

Miss Clapp was the only daughter of the late Mr. Harry Austin and Mrs. Clapp and had lived in Collegeport all her life, where she is greatly loved and admired.

Mr. Crain is an engineer in the State Highway Department and lives in Bryan , Texas .

The wedding occurred at Homecroft, the home of the bride, in the presence of the immediate family and a few close friends. Rev. Paul Engle read the marriage ceremony. The couple was unattended and the bride was given in marriage by the Hon. George A. Harrison, close friend of the family.

After the ceremony the guests approached the dining table where the bride and groom's cakes rested amid clusters of pink rose buds, a basket of the same beauties--the favorite of the bride's father--centered the table. After the ceremony of cutting the cakes, the couple quietly prepared for leaving, while the guests were being served a collation. Amid much waving au revoirs and showers of rice for "luck," Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Lee Crain left by automobile for--no one knew where.

After a short honeymoon trip they will be at home in Bryan at the Edge Apartment--Palacios Beacon

Reprinted in The Daily Tribune, December 31, 1937



Of interest to their many friends here, in college circles and over the state, is the announcement of the wedding of Miss Mary Louise Clapp, only daughter of the late Harry Austin Clapp and Mrs. Clapp of Homecroft, Collegeport to Mr. Oscar Lee Crain of Bryan , Engineer in the State Highway Department.

The wedding took place at high noon December 28th at the home of the bride in the presence of the immediate family and a few friends. Rev. Paul Engle officiating, read the Episcopal marriage lines. The couple was unattended, the bride being given in marriage by Mr. George Harrison, close friend of the family, approached the altar attired in a lovely ensemble of blue and carrying a prayer book.

After the ceremony, congratulations and cutting the bride's and groom's cake, while the guests lingered over the collation being served from the dining table, the happy pair quietly prepared to enter their waiting car for--no one knew where, when an avalanche of well wishers followed, showering them with rice for good luck.

After a short honeymoon trip Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Lee Crain will be at home in Bryan at the Edge Apartments. Mrs. Crain, one of Collegeport's most loved members of young people received many beautiful gifts and showers both at home and at Bryan before her marriage.
--Palacios Beacon

Reprinted in The Daily Tribune (Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas) December 31, 1937

(Clapp family photos courtesy of Suzy C. Stege.

Crain home in Lubbock, Texas

Oscar Lee Crain was born March 11, 1908 and died September 28, 1985 in Austin, Travis County, Texas

Mary Louise Clapp Crain was born August 30, 1910 in Maryland and died August 31, 1982 in Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas.

Phoebe A. Van Ness

Mrs. Phoebe A. Van Ness, mother of Mrs. H. A. Clapp and Mr. E. C. Van Ness of Collegeport, died at the home of Mr. Clapp in Collegeport Sunday night, having reached the advanced age of 84 years. Funeral services were held at the Episcopal church in Collegeport Monday, after which the remains were shipped to the former home of the deceased at Coldwater, Mich., for final interment. The remains were accompanied to Michigan by Mrs. Clapp. The bereaved families have many good friends in Palacios who sincere rely sympathize with them in this hour of sorrow.

Palacios Beacon, May, 3, 1912


Well Known Resident and Father of Mrs. A. A. Jones Succumbs After 12 Years Illness

Theodore E. Clapp, aged 76, died at 2:30 this afternoon at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Al Jones, 326 West Franklin street. He had been an invalid for nearly twelve years, and when stricken with ill-health came to this city from White Pigeon to make his home with his daughter. Besides Mrs. Jones he is survived by one other daughter, Mrs. Lucy Watson of Elkhart, and a son, Harry A. Clapp of Collegeport, Texas. No funeral arrangements have been made.

Elkhart Truth, February 15, 1913


Articles Written by Harry Austin Clapp

THOUGHTS About a Saga of Collegeport - December, 1929
Mopac House - April, 1935
Memories of an Old Scout - August 26, 1937
THOUGHTS - Things I Remember - August 26, 1937
THOUGHTS--Where A Star Fell - Unknown date


Courtesy of Palacios Area Historical Association Museum


Ribbons courtesy of Palacios Area Historical Association Museum


Courtesy of Palacios Area Historical Association Museum


Courtesy of Palacios Area Historical Association Museum


Courtesy of Palacios Area Historical Association Museum


Copyright 2005 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Apr. 12, 2005
Dec. 27, 2015