1908 - 2008

Driving Tour



Pioneer Memorial

Dedicated May 29, 2004

Mopac House Foundation



The Collegeport Centennial Driving Tour will help you visualize developments in the early years of this community.  Beginning at the Mopac House and Library, use the numbered townsite map at the center of this brochure as your guide to tour the “Town of Opportunity.” Numbered markers correspond to the list of photos, ads and descriptions.  Enjoy!


1(a.) Collegeport Public Library -  Organized by Woman's Club on January 11, 1912; The J. H. Adams cottage was purchased and moved to this site in 1923. 


1(b.) Mopac House - Built of materials salvaged from the Collegeport Depot and joined to the Library; Opened as the community center on May 4, 1935.


2(a.) Gulf Coast University of Industrial Arts (North of Mopac House) - The town's developers dedicated the site for the college that was organized by William H. Travis and opened in 1909. The dream was short-lived as the college closed in about 1915.


 2(b.) Home of Lester & Agnes Liggett (North end of Mopac Road)

Artesian Wells Flowing Water Guaranteed—L. E. Liggett (Ad)


3. Homesite of Robert Price       (right) - L. A. Duffy; M. A. Ellis.

4. Homesite of Matt Pierce (right)  - Carl Boeker.

5. Ward Clements Home (right) - A. Wade Blackwell.

6. W. R. Cobb Home; (right) - V. L. Bowers; Robert Lonis.

7. Burton D. Hurd Land Co. (right) - Local office of developer Burton D. Hurd who brought landseekers mainly from the mid-western states beginning in 1908.

8(a.) Hotel Collegeport (right) - Collegeport Pavilion was built in conjunction with the Hotel to host prospective buyers. The Hotel was billed as a Pleasure Resort for Hunting, Fishing, Boating & Salt Water Bathing.  After closing, the building was sold to Mrs. Clarence Doman, dismantled and rebuilt as her home at El Maton.  Geo. A. Lake, contractor and builder, had his office at the hotel in 1910.

8(b.) Collegeport Livery, Feed and Sale Stable (north of Hotel) Owned and operated by John L. Logan & Son, who also operated the Star Meat Market.



1 (a.)  Collegeport Public Library—1923


1(b.)  Mopac House—Opened May 4, 1935

2 (a.) Gulf Coast University of Industrial Arts

2 (b.) Home of Lester & Agnes Liggett


3. Homesite of Robert Price (right)

4. Homesite of Matt Pierce (center)

5. Clements Home (left)

6. W. R. Cobb Home

    Hotel Collegeport (far left)


7.  Burton D. Hurd Land Co. Office (right) Located East of Hotel Collegeport


8 (a.) Hotel Collegeport from West


8 (b.) Collegeport Livery, Feed & Sale Stable (north of Hotel)
John L. Logan & Son


9.Collegeport Pagoda Pavilion - site of First Collegeport Day--1910, dances, concerts, dinners, picnics, church services, meetings, parties, fishing, swimming; Industrial League raised money and purchased the pavilion and docks after the developers moved away.

10. Home of Theo. & Emma Smith who owned and operated Theo. Smith & Son Lumber, Hardware & Implements.  They also had a location in Citrus Grove.  Longtime owners of the house were Ben and Mae Mowery and current owners are Frank & Betty Canfield.

11. Home of Burton D. & Dena D. Soekland Hurd - Hurd was the town’s developer.  The Woman’s Club of Collegeport was organized here on May 19, 1910.  Mrs. Hurd was the first President of the organization. Both are buried at Collegeport Cemetery; their graves face West.

12. Homesite of Edwin A. & Helen M. Holsworth - Home was damaged by Hurricane Carla in 1961; Miss Margaret Holsworth lived here until her death in 1964; House no longer exists.

13. Grace Chapel of St. Mary's Mission - Grace Theodora Smith raised by personal solicitation more than 90 per cent of the cost; first service August 13, 1911; congregation dwindled and by 1922 was no longer meeting;

building was disassembled, moved to Palacios and rebuilt where it was consecrated as St. John's Episcopal Church.

14. First Church of Collegeport - Federated (1909-1922) & First Presbyterian Church (1922-present) Federated - Organized in 1909 as a community church of 14 denominations, the group affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in 1922.  Building served as the first school until 1912, and as the Community Center until 1935; was dismantled to build the present sanctuary in 1955.  Murray A. Travis, called as the first pastor also served as Dean of the Gulf Coast University and as Editor of the Collegeport Chronicle.

First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport – current sanctuary replaced the original in 1955, using the original chancel panel from the old church.

15. Homesite of Harry Austin & Louise Van Ness Clapp - Mr. Clapp was Collegeport's most enthusiastic booster and wrote a column for the Matagorda County Tribune entitled Thoughts from 1926 until 1937. Their farm was known as Homecroft.


9.  “Pagoda” Pavilion in Tres-Palacios Bay

13. Grace Chapel of St. Mary’s Mission

10. Home of Theo. & Emma Smith

14 (a.)  First Church of Collegeport -Federated   

11.  Home of Burton D. & Dena D. Hurd

14 (b.) South Wing of Federated Church

12. Homesite of Edwin Arthur & Helen Manners Holsworth.

15. Harry Austin & Louise Van Ness Clapp

16(a.) Home of Elgin C. & Phoebe W. Van Ness; Willie Korn

16(b.) Home of Melvin L. & Emma H. Herbage; Burt Hunt;

R. L. Wells, G. W. Franzen; House ravaged by Hurricane Carla in  1961; relocated to present site Southwest of Collegeport by R. L. Wells

16(c.) Homes of John L. Woodhouse & Irwin M. Glasser and son, William M. Glasser

17. Turnerville was a company rice-growing town, founded in 1922 by the Turner Rice and Irrigation Company (also called the E. W. Turner Irrigation Company), and its residents consisted largely of rice farmers brought in by the company to work the land near DeMoss. Turnerville included a number of houses built for black workmen; it also had at least six businesses, including a blacksmith shop, a bakery, a general store, and a rice warehouse. After Turnerville was abandoned, a lunch stand, a drugstore, and a home for senior citizens stood at the site until Hurricane Carla destroyed them in 1961.

17(a.) Collegeport Pharmacy - Owned by Hugo & Hattie Haisley Kundinger; (Believed to be the former Oneth Store); It was moved to Turnerville in the late ‘20’s

when the town center shifted to the South. The building was destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961.  Miss Hattie rebuilt on this site but later moved to El Campo.  The home was lost to fire when owned by the Ordonez family.

17(b.) Blacksmith Shop
; Burt Hunt
17(c.) Homesite of Tom and Maud Fulcher
17(d.) Bill Fitzgerald Home for the Aged
17(e.) Matagorda Bay Warehouse and Commission Company
– F. D. Yott & C. G. Mapes, Proprietors; Later assumed by Turner
17(f.) William V. Batchelder Store
17(g.) Livestock Pens
– Located at the terminal of the Missouri-Pacific Rail line.  There was a turn-around for the train here.
17(h.) Mrs. Welsby’s Café—Mr. Clapp referred to it as the  "Terminal Cafe" & the "Come-Inn."

18. First Baptist Church – Organized in 1949; met at Mopac House for about a year while present building was constructed.

19. Missouri-Pacific Depot – (Rail Service (1911-1933.)  Depot given to the community, dismantled and re-built as Mopac House in 1935.


15 (a.) Elgin C. & Phoebe W. Van Ness;

       Willie Korn.

16 (e.) William V. Batchelder Store


16 (f.) Terminal Cafe

16 (g.)  Matagorda Bay Warehouse &

            Commission Company

15 (b.) Home of Melvin L. & Emma H. Herbage;
Burt Hunt; R. L. Wells

16 (h.)  Stock Pens on Railroad Spur

               (TURN AROUND)

15(c.) Homes of John L. Woodhouse & Irwin M. Glasser located to the East of the Herbage Home

17.  First Baptist Church of Collegeport

       Snow on Christmas Day, 2004

16. Turnerville

16 (a.) Collegeport Pharmacy - Owned by Hugo & Hattie Haisley Kundinger

16 (b.) Blacksmith Shop; Burt Hunt

16 (c.) Home of Tom and Maud Fulcher

16 (d.) Bill Fitzgerald Home for the Aged


18 (a.)  Missouri-Pacific Depot


20. Collegeport Cemetery – located 1 mile north of FM 1095 on  River Road.  The cemetery was dedicated for use as a burial ground, under the charge of The King’s Daughters Organization.  The cemetery overlooks the Tres-Palacios Bay.  Town developer, Burton David Hurd and wife, Dena D. Hurd are buried here, their graves facing the West.  The Collegeport Cemetery Association oversees the cemetery today.

21(a.) Savoy Hotel – Two-story rectangular wood frame structure

21(b.) Ice Plant  - S. W. House


21(c.) Blacksmith Shop – A. W. LeCompte – Proprietor

21(d.) Pfeiffer Cement Plant – Wm. Pfeiffer      

22(a.) Theo Smith & Son Lumber,  Hardware & Implements (left) - Owned and operated by Theo. Smith and his son, Karl Smith

22(b.) Telephone Office (left) –

M. A. Nelson; Theo. Smith


23. Collegeport State Bank (right) - The officers in 1912 were A. B. Pierce, president; Theo Smith, vice-president; and J. B. McCain, cashier.





19.  Collegeport Cemetery (1 mile north on River Road to gate, then ¼  mile to cemetery)

20 (d.) Blacksmith Shop

21 (a.) Theo. Smith & Son Lumber,

           Hardware & Implements

20 (a.)  Savoy Hotel (from southwest).

In this vicinity were also the following:

21 (b.) Telephone Office

20 (b.) Pfeiffer Cement Plant

22. Collegeport State Bank

20 (c.)  Ice Plant—S. W. House


24. Wilkinson Real Estate Office (right) – Walter W. Wilkinson.
25. Jno. T. Price Lumber Co. (left) - Robert L. Price was manage in 1911.                                          

26.  Business Section (north side of Central Street)
26(a.) D. H. Morris Groceries & Feed (right) - Tore down store and home in 1915 and moved them to Houston.

Flour, Feed



Gents’   Furnishings,

D. H. Morris

Phone 16

26(b.) Thos. M. Clark Grocery Store (right) - C. E. Sterling joined the business and by June, 1910 the store was known as the Clark-Sterling Grocery.  Later housed the Boeker & Mowery Stores; damaged by Hurricane Carla and never re-

opened; the last remaining store building; razed in 1982


26(c.) Collegeport Pharmacy (right) - F. L. Hoffman, proprietor     

26(d.) Collegeport Meat Market (right) - F. Ray Ross was the proprietor in 1914; also John L. Logan & Son (see ad under 8(b.)); C. H. Judin
26(e.) Collegeport Barber Shop
(right) - Walter Harsh, proprietor in 1914; later Ora Chapin
27(a.) Collegeport Cannery (right)  In the 1920’s Dr. W. W. Van Wormer organized the Collegeport Fig Orchards Company which utilized the land left vacant after dis-illusioned settlers had moved away. The prospect showed promise, but failed with the onset of the Depression in 1929.



24. Site of Wilkinson Real Estate Office

26 (b.) Clark Grocery; Clark-Sterling Grocery;
Boeker Store; Mowery Store

26 (c.) Collegeport Pharmacy

25.  Jno. T. Price Lumber Co.

26 (d.) Collegeport Meat Market

26. Businesses on North side of Central Street looking west from right:  D. H. Morris Groceries & Feed, Thomas M. Clark Grocery, (later, Clark-Sterling Grocery,) Collegeport Pharmacy, Collegeport Meat Market, Collegeport Barber Shop, Collegeport Post Office, Bay View School (far left)

26 (e.) Collegeport Barber Shop

26 (a.) D. H. Morris Groceries & Feed

27 (a.) Collegeport Fig Cannery


27(b.) Collegeport Post Office (right) - formerly Collegeport Fig Cannery; Post Office occupied the front of the cannery building in the 1930’s.  The Lashbrook family had lived in the building at one point, but later Leo Duffy used it to store hay.

28. The Pioneer. Flour, Feed & Groceries. (left) - Possible original site of (#16a,) owned and operated by Daniel and Dora McKitrick Oneth and her mother, Sophia McKitrick; the family lived upstairs.  The youngest son, Glenn was born here; later, possibly Yeaman’s Store

29. Avenue Hotel (left)


 A. M. Weborg owned and operated the hotel, and when it closed in 1915, he dismantled it and moved it to Houston where it was rebuilt. $ 1 per day. Albin Drott, a building contractor in 1912 was located at the Avenue Hotel.


30. Mott Store – William Mott (left) - Possibly the earliest store in Collegeport.   The Church Sunday

School was started here; Collegeport Industrial League organized here as well; Collegeport Chronicle  was possibly printed here.

31. Collegeport Public School (right) - Site of Bay View School completed in 1912.  Consolidated with Palacios School District in 1947.   Note the remains of old playground equipment.

1912-1947 - Collegeport Common School District No. 17; Consolidated with DeMoss in 1922 and was renamed Bay View Consolidated Common School District No. 26.


Bay View School in the 1930’s.  DeMoss School building (right) was moved here after the districts consolidated.

32.  Plat of Collegeport - H. A. Clapp wrote of asking G. M. Magill why the town of Collegeport was laid out a mile long and a half mile wide.  “G. M. looked at me in amazement and replied, ‘No need to ask such a question if you could understand the plans we have made for a great town.’  Had I asked Burton D. [Hurd] he would have painted a picture of homes, business places, mills, parks, ship channels, warehouses, trolley lines, bathing beaches, amusement places, schools, conservatories of music, a happy and prosperous people, orange groves, fig orchards and I would have understood why.”


26 (b.) Post Office (after 1929)

30. Collegeport Public School—1912

Plat of the Townsite of Collegeport

Streets run East and West

 Avenues run North to South

27. The Pioneer Flour, Feed & Groceries.

28. Avenue Hotel

29. Mott Store - Central Street viewed from the northeast.  (from left) Theo. Smith & Son Lumber, Mott Store, Avenue Hotel, The Pioneer (in center background is the Federated Church)



Tour Sponsored by

Matagorda County Historical Commission

History Appreciation Day

May 31, 2008

 Additional photos and a printable version of this guide can be found at

Special thanks to all who contributed photos for this guide.