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Texas Historical Marker - Bessie

Texas Historical Marker

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The steamboat "Bessie", last of the Mifflin Kenedy-Richard King Rio Grande shipping fleet of the mid-1800s, carried this 400-pound bell instead of a whistle. After its final trip on the river in 1902, the bell "Bessie" was used until 1909 on John Closner's plantation east of Hidalgo. A dispute over its ownership delayed the purchase of "Bessie" by Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, and saved it when a fire destroyed (1924) the church. In 1926 it was placed in the rebuilt church. Cracked in 1937, and recast from original metal, the bell was later moved here to St. Joseph the Worker Church.

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