Storm over the Bay: The People of Corpus Christi and Their Port

Overview


Since the late 1830s, the natural harbor at the mouth of South Texas' Nueces River has been a center of regional maritime trade. But by the early 1900s, a storm of political wrangling, cronyism, and corruption was threatening to scuttle the city's efforts toward securing a dependable deep water port to attract international commerce to Corpus Christi. On September 14, 1919, a massive hurricane struck the bay, burying the downtown area under ten feet of debris and killing as many as one thousand people. The storm...
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Overview


Since the late 1830s, the natural harbor at the mouth of South Texas' Nueces River has been a center of regional maritime trade. But by the early 1900s, a storm of political wrangling, cronyism, and corruption was threatening to scuttle the city's efforts toward securing a dependable deep water port to attract international commerce to Corpus Christi. On September 14, 1919, a massive hurricane struck the bay, burying the downtown area under ten feet of debris and killing as many as one thousand people. The storm left millions of dollars of damage in its wake. The citizens of Corpus Christi, rather than being demoralized, however, were galvanized by the disaster.
 
In gripping detail, author Mary Jo O'Rear chronicles the successful efforts of the newly unified Corpus Christi—efforts that culminated in the dedication of the Port of Corpus Christi on September 14, 1926, seven years to the day after the storm that devastated the city. Storm over the Bay will appeal to readers interested in regional history, politics, and economics. It is a must-read for anyone who appreciates Corpus Christi and its colorful past.
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Editorial Reviews

James C. Maroney

" . . . . a welcome, engaging, and up-to-date account of Corpus Christi's struggle to achieve a deep water port. With fascinating vignettes of participants, Mary Jo O'Rear reveals behind-the-scenes political maneuvering that brought together supporters and sometimes antagonists, who ultimately achieved the long-sought goal of a deep water seaport for South Texas." --James C. Maroney, professor of history, Lee College

Charles W. Macune Jr.

" . . . . provides a realistic, and delightful, close-up of Corpus Christi's important place in . . . . the Gulf Coast." --Charles W. Macune Jr., professor of history, California State University–Northridge

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Product Details

Meet the Author

MARY JO O’REAR has served in regional and local history groups and as adjunct history professor at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi and Texas A&M University–Kingsville. She is also a former instructor in history, economics, and geography for the Corpus Christi Independent School District.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps

Prologue: View from the Bluff 1

Pt. I The Place and the People

Ch. 1 Barrier Isles and Bay 7

Ch. 2 Castaways and Cattlemen 11

Ch. 3 Outlets and Immigrants 17

Ch. 4 Promises and Potential 26

Pt. II Politicians and the Port

Ch. 5 Populists and Patrones 39

Ch. 6 Protests and Progressives 48

Ch. 7 Blocs and Balloting 58

Ch. 8 Targets and Trials 67

Ch. 9 Payback and Portents 80

Ch. 10 Devastation and Death 95

Ch. 11 Recovery and Resurgence 114

Ch. 12 Commitment and Construction 124

Postscript: View from the Bay 132

Notes 139

Bibliography 171

Index 180

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