Beeville has been a Texas Main Street city since 2006 and over the last few years has seen significant reinvestment in the downtown district. As a county seat and regional center for South Texas, Beeville's downtown is poised for new entertainment, retail and residential uses. The city is currently planning for mixed use zoning. The Main Street program helps business and property owners with a facade grant incentive program funded by the Tax Increment Finance District, which is the same boundary as Main Street. Availability in downtown is updated here regularly. For more information on investing in downtown, contact Michelle Clark-Trevino at 361-358-4641 x202.
Beeville holds the county seat of Bee County. Both the county and the county seat were named for Barnard E. Bee, a Charleston SC- born Republic of Texan official and diplomat, at the request of his son, Hamiliton P. Bee, a Goliad County planter who then represented Laredo in the Texas Legislature. Beeville remained small and isolated until the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway in 1886, then the Gulf, Western Texas & Pacific Railway in 1889, reached it. Cattle and horse ranching were the basis of Beeville's economy, supplemented by argriculture in the early 20th century, and oil and gas after the opening of the Pettus Townsite field by the doctor W.E. Hewitt and lawyer and banker James R. Dougherty in 1929. Naval Air Station Chase Field contributed to Beeville's economic stability during the 60 years (1943-1993) it operated as a US Navy flight training center; its site was redeveloped in the late 1990s.
Urban highways along Houston Street (US 59) and Washington Street (US 181 between Corpus Christi and San Antonio) became the axes along which businesses sprawled after the mid 20th century. Although the US 181 freeway now skirts the east edge of Beeville, the town has retained its general mid-20th-century configuration.
Beeville contains several overlapping areas of architectural distinction. Washington Street was the main business street during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and contains a number of significant brick structures. St. Mary's Street, parallel and one block east of Washington, developed later, with several mid-twentieth century modern buildings of note. The residential neighborhoods east and north of the courthouse, centered on E. Corpus Christi and N. Adams streets, contain distinctive homes spanning from the late 19th to the mid-twentieth century.
Despite its small size, Beeville supported two locally significant architectural practices in the 20th century: that of William Charles Stephenson, Jr., from 1908 until his retirement in 1952, and Robert Jones Beasley from 1935 until his retirement at the turn of the 21st century. Another early architect was Fritz Heldenfels, born in Beeville, 1909 graduate of Texas A&M's architecture department and the son of Hugo Heldenfels, a German-born architect and builder who had come to South Texas in the 1870's. Heldenfels moved on to Corpus Christi after teaming with Stephenson on the county courthouse project.
|Median Household Income||$43,619|