November 6, 2019
Retracing Lena Huppler Bevers’ Travel Log
Thurs. Nov. 6.
Left Skidmore and drove through Tynan, Mathis, George West, Cleggs P.O. and stayed all night in San Diego. Drove through timber all the way. – Lena Bevers
Having had to return to Skidmore on the previous day, on November 6, 1919 Herbert Bevers and Mr. McElhany had to find a way to cross the Nueces River. First, they head southwest toward Mathis, traveling through Tynan on the way. Apparently, there was no way to cross there either, so they drove northwest to the town of George West, where they were able to cross the river and begin driving in a southerly direction again.
Since my mother and I stayed in Sinton for the night instead of Skidmore, we needed to return to Skidmore on U. S. Highway 181. When we turned out of the driveway of our motel, we assumed the highway we were getting on was the highway that would take us to Skidmore. It wasn’t until 10 miles later that we realized we were not on U. S. Highway 181, so we turned around and found the intersection where we could head in the right direction. At Skidmore we took Route 359 to Tynan and Mathis, then followed a service road beside Interstate Highway 37, which at one point was closed, so we drove on the interstate for part of the way.
Tynan was a very small town in the midst of crop fields and windmills. We didn’t find any historical buildings. Mathis is also a small town and we found a few old buildings, but it didn’t appear that they were in use. We continued on Interstate Highway 37 until we came to U. S. Highway 59, which took us to the town of George West. This town was only seven years old when the Bevers family drove through it. George West became the county seat of Live Oak County in 1919. Although it is a small town, it was the largest one we visited today.
To get to Clegg, we took U. S. Highway 59 southwest to a farm road that the navigation program on my mother’s phone directed us to take. Then we traveled east among shrubs and short trees. At the point were the navigator said that we had arrived at Clegg, there were only a couple ranch houses and some farm buildings.
The landscape was not what we envisioned it would be like based on Lena Bever’s statement that they “drove through timber all the way.” Much of the land that we drove through today had been cleared of trees for crop fields and pastures. There were sections of trees, but the trees were not as tall or as old as we expected them to be.
From Clegg, the navigation program directed us to U. S. Highway 281 and Highway 44 in order to get to San Diego, which is the county seat of Duval County. The courthouse in San Diego was only three years old when the two-car caravan drove through the town. “Duval County’s first courthouse was built shortly after county organization in the late 1870s. It burned down on August 11, 1914. It was replaced by the current Classical Revival style red brick courthouse which was built in 1916.”1
The Bevers family stayed overnight in San Diego, Texas. We didn’t find a motel there so we drove to Alice for the night, arriving there about 2:45 PM.
- Terry Jeanson, “Photographer’s note,” Duval County Courthouse, http://www.texasescapes.com/SouthTexasTowns/SanDiegoTexas/Duval-County-Courthouse-San-Diego-Texas.htm