Long before Mexico granted land (1834) on Poesta Creek to the first settlers, Anne Burke and James Heffernan, savage Indians roamed this valley at will. Their colony, although successful at first, soon met disaster. In 1836 James Heffernan, his brother John, and John Ryan, who had planned to join Texas patriots at Goliad, were planting a crop in a field at this site when they were massacred by Comanches. Also killed was James' family, in his picket house upcreek.
Bee County was organized in 1858 and named for Col. Barnard E. Bee, a Republic of Texas statesman. Soon after, choice of a county seat came into hot dispute. A site seven miles east, on Medio Creek, was chosen for "Beeville". But ten months later, voters made the 150-acre donation of Anne Burke "O'Carroll permanent county seat, on the banks on the Poesta.
The new town, first called "Maryville" for Mary Heffernan (relative of those killed in 1836) was soon renamed Beeville. In its first decade, it had two stores, one saloon, and a blacksmith shop. First courthouse was built for $750 on west side of present square, 1860. First railroad came through, 1866, and a larger courthouse was soon built. After it burned, the present one was erected in 1913. (1967)