Alfred Quincy Wooster
Adoue and Lobit were French
merchants who immigrated to Galveston and had a substantial business and
building on the Strand. Tom Nelson
Wooster is named after
Quincy Wooster. Wooster was formed in 1892 and was originally where present
day Brownwood Subdivision or the Baytown Nature Center is.
Q. A. Wooster named Weaver Avenue after Gen.
James B. Weaver (Greenback party nominee) who he supported for president in
1880. Wybra Wooster Holland
Q. A. Wooster named Steinman Street after his
Steinman. Wybra Wooster Holland
Q. A. Wooster named Shreck Avenue after his
son-in-law, W.A. Shreckengaust. Wybra
A. Wooster named Crow Road after his friend and business partner, W. D. Crow.
Wybra Wooster Holland
Q. A. Wooster named Mapleton Avenue after
Mapleton, Iowa, which is where he lived before coming to Texas.
Wybra Wooster Holland
Below are photos of the Woosters/Steinmans
in Texas and Kansas.
More information is
Mabel Inez Ashcraft, 84, died at the Dunn County
Health Care Center in Menomonie on Friday, March 27, 1998. Mabel was born in
Wooster, Texas. She was the first-born child of Thomas Edward and Mabel Ida
(Steinman) Archer. At the age of five, the family moved to a farm in rural St.
Paul, Kansas. (See
her Obituary here)
Bygone era in Wooster remembered
By Wanda Orton Contributor
Published Baytown Sun June 7, 2009 (First in series)
Wooster has a fascinating history, and who would be better to share it than a
descendant of founders of the community.
That’s why I called on Virginia Williams Wingate, who grew up in that area and
attended David G. Burnet Elementary School located down the road from her home.
The school stood on Bayway Drive at Arbor, but Bayway was not the original name
of the main road through Wooster.
“When I was growing up in the Forties – and long before – Bayway was Market
Street Road, which ran all the way to Houston,” Virginia said. “If people needed
to travel to Houston, they did so on Market Street Road through Wooster, through
Wooster Heights, and on to what is now known as North Market Loop. Wooster
Heights was the area along Bayway, north of the town of Wooster.
“Decker Drive was later constructed, and it became the main road from Bayway to
the San Jacinto River. According to stories from ancestors, Market Street Road
through Wooster, was just a shell road in its beginning. In fact, the road at
times had to be maintained by local residents using rice-farming equipment.”
Before the Burnet school opened in 1930, students rode a bus to Baytown
Elementary except those first- and second-graders who still used the one-room
When it opened, Burnet already was too small for the growing community of
Wooster. By 1941, when Virginia entered the first grade, several more classrooms
had been added.
Burnet is gone now and ExxonMobil has fenced the property where it stood.
“Whenever I picture Burnet,” Virginia said, “I see it with the shell driveway
that circled around the big flagpole that was in the front. That access was
later moved to the rear of the school. Some lucky students were given the
privilege of raising the flag each morning and lowering it at the end of the
“When I began school, the old Wooster school building was serving as a cafeteria
for Burnet. Food was brought in from –- I believe ---– Baytown Junior High and
served from a small steam table.
“I loved the little hamburgers which were rather flat after their trip to
Burnet. Later, after my class had moved on, a new cafeteria served Burnet and
our old cafeteria became a music room.
“After we kids finished eating and at the recesses, we had great fun on the
playground. There was the tallest slide I ever saw. It took me a couple of years
to get up my nerve to go that high. Swings and ‘monkey bars’ were in great
demand at all recess time, as well as my favorite, the seesaws.
“Sometimes the whole class would join together and play Red Rover, Drop the
Handkerchief or Flying Dutchmen. Burnet had wonderful carnivals during my six
years there. Delia Adlong Harlan tells how she would get to school early on the
morning after a carnival to look for coins dropped there the night before.
“While at Burnet, we always had the required fire drills, but we also had air
raid drills. That's something kids today don't hear. All the classes would line
up in the hall, kneel down, and cover their heads with their arms. These were
the war years – World War II. Burnet experienced sudden growth as workers moved
here to fill expanded jobs at the Humble (now ExxonMobil) refinery.
“My second-grade class had to split into two classes. I'm sure others did also.
Baseball games with other local elementary schools was a favorite memory of
Burnet days, as were flocking into the auditorium to see a play put on by one of
“The teachers at Burnet were all special. My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Cole,
later taught my daughter and son. Mrs. O'Dell must hold the record for teaching
the longest at Burnet. She was a strict but excellent teacher. Mrs. Collins was
another long-term excellent teacher at Burnet. Mrs. Barr was my sixth-grade
teacher. She loved art and her students enjoyed various art sessions.”
Wanda Orton is a retired managing editor of The Baytown Sun. Used by
permission from Wanda Orton.
Wooster pioneers came from Iowa
By Wanda Orton Contributor
Published Baytown Sun June 10, 2009 (Second in series)
When Baytown annexed Wooster in 1962, it added an area rich in history, a
locality whose pioneers came all the way from “Io-way.”
Quincy A. Wooster was the man from Iowa who founded the community and became its
namesake. He arrived in 1891 from Monona County, Iowa, and with business partner
Willard D. Crow began buying and selling property here long before the
Tri-Cities of Goose Creek, Pelly and Baytown evolved.
For his own residence, Wooster picked a plantation on Scott’s Bay where the
subdivision of Brownwood, many years into the future, would be developed. Today
that section is known as the Baytown Nature Center.
The founder and namesake laid out the town site of Wooster from the acreage he
had purchased. Trevia Wooster Beverly, a descendant and well-known genealogist,
said he platted and recorded the property in Harris County on Jan. 20, 1893. He
named many of the streets after people and places in Iowa and notified folks
back home that he had property for sale in Texas.
Among of the first buyers was Junius Brown Descendant Virginia Williams Wingate
said Brown built “a lovely two-story home still in existence on the bay and
donated a parcel of land for a school.”
The site for Wooster School, District 38, was on the present-day Bayway Drive at
“The one-room schoolhouse stayed on this spot until 1937 when it was moved
across the gully to be placed behind Burnet Elementary School,” Virginia said.
“It was used as an extra classroom until becoming the cafeteria, then the music
room, and finally a facility for special education.”
Today the Wooster School continues to be a teaching tool in its relocation at
the Republic of Texas Plaza on North Main. Baytown Historical Preservation
Association docents teach local history there to Goose Creek third-graders.
“The early days of Wooster were largely populated by Woosters, Browns and
Crows,” Virginia said. “One of Junius Brown's daughters, Jessie, married one of
Q. A. Wooster's sons, John, furthering the Wooster-Brown connection.
“Another one of the Brown daughters, my grandmother Sarah, married W. E. Crow,
son of J.W. Crow. J.W. was a rice farmer.”
Anita McKay Blumberg, another descendant of Junius Brown, shared information
about the life and home of her grandparents, Walter and Maud Brown. They were
the original owners of what now is known as the Brown-McKay House, relocated to
the Republic of Texas Plaza.
Married in 1908, Walter and Maud moved into their new house overlooking Scott’s
Bay in 1910.
Anita wrote, “Walter was a marine engineer, carpenter, rice farmer and raised
cattle and farm animals. Maud kept the house, cared for their children, canned,
made fig and pear preserves, sewed, quilted, fed the chickens and helped take
care of a large garden about a mile from the house. There was no running water
in the original house. A pump house supplied water for this house and Walter’s
Maud cooked on a wood-burning stove and obtained hot water from the water
reserve in the stove. There was a large icebox on the back porch.
A large building, called the engine shed, was located across the street and it
housed farm machinery and hay for the cattle. “This is where Walter built his
beloved boat named Onawa,” Anita said. “The boat was pulled from the shed by a
team of mules and launched in Scott’s Bay. The nearest stores were in Lynchburg
and Cedar Bayou. Walter used the boat to make trips to buy sugar, flour, etc.,
for his and other families. He bought ice in 100-pound blocks. The children
loved this because it always meant homemade ice cream.
“Walter and Maud were loving, caring, giving people. They gave food to any
hungry person who came to their door. Local families often came to their very
sturdy Brown house for protection during hurricanes.”
Maud made all her clothes, including bonnets she always wore when she went
outdoors, and during World War II she made clothing from printed feed sacks.
The Browns raised or grew nearly everything they ate, and in addition, Walter
fished and hunted ducks. He had two foxhounds, named Slow and Sure, and used
them for fox and coon hunting in the rice fields.
“Things may have been hard by today’s standards,” Anita commented, “but it was a
good life. Walter’s parents lived next door in a large home. There were lots of
aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins around. The children swam in the bay,
fished, crabbed, picked berries, visited, went on hayrides and enjoyed picnics
and family dinners.”
Their daughter Mary inherited their house and donated it to the Bay Area
Heritage Society in 1988. Along with the Wooster Schoolhouse, the Baytown
Historical Preservation Association (BHPA) now owns and preserves the
Brown-McKay House. President of the BHPA is Wybra Wooster Holland, another
descendant of the Wooster pioneers.
Wanda Orton is a retired managing editor for The Baytown Sun. Used by permission
from Wanda Orton.
The way it was on Bayway
By Wanda Orton Contributor
Published June 14, 2009 (Third and last in a series
on Wooster history)
I’ve been picking Virginia Williams Wingate’s brain
about the business places that once thrived in the
“The Wooster businesses I remember were strung out
along Market Street Road, now Bayway Drive,” she
said. “There was a nice drug store at Bayway and
what we used to call the plant road– meaning Humble
refinery. Later, the plant road was named Park
Street. It has been closed to the public for a
number of years.
“I can't remember the name of the drug store, but I
won a Lionel electric train in a drawing they held.
I had only signed one ticket and couldn't believe I
actually won. A small bakery was behind the drug
store for a time. They could do wonders for birthday
cakes. I can't remember the name of the bakery
either, but a cake they created for me actually
duplicated a ship.
“There were three grocery stores clustered around
Wooster Street. Wooster Street, in the original
Wooster plat, was named Second Street. Arbor Street
was known as First Street. One grocery was Havis
Grocery, where my family shopped. Older kids from
Burnet Elementary were sometimes allowed to go to
the Havis Grocery at recess. The Havis Grocery later
became a feed and hardware store, run by Howard
“Hooks Grocery was on the other corner of Wooster
Street. Ellen Waltman Johnson related how her family
always shopped there and, probably since they were
such good customers, they would get occasional candy
bars slipped to them from under the counter. These
were the war years and candy bars were difficult to
“The third grocery store was Wolverton's. The
Wolvertons later opened a cafeteria farther north on
“Another grocery store, Casey's, was located on the
west side of Bayway near Weaver Street. The building
was white stucco and always intrigued me because
there were glass bricks on either side of the front–
something I had never seen. Next door to Casey's and
on the corner of Weaver Street was an old wooden
tavern called the Wooster Inn. The Wooster Inn had a
rather illustrious past, dating back to prohibition.
My parents described it as a rather rough place
frequented by bootleggers.
“Johnny Wooster's filling station was on the curve
of Bayway, where Crow Road leads to Brownwood. That
station is still there. As a child, I loved to go
there with my Dad because I would get a Delaware
Punch and sometimes, a pink, white and chocolate
striped candy bar.
“One Wooster business nearly everyone remembers is
the Yellow Jacket, a drive-in restaurant. Delia
Harlan says that no better hamburgers could be found
anywhere. She remembers, also, that at one time, the
carhops wore grass skirts. I also remember the grass
skirts and, in my memory, they were very colorful.
At another time, the carhops were attired in a
majorette-style gold short costume, with a black
pillbox hat, in keeping with the yellow jacket
“A model airplane hobby shop was located near the
Yellow Jacket. All I remember is that the owner's
name was Roy and that it was a hangout for kids.
“On the west side of Bayway, at North Street, was
Wylie's. My recall of Wylie's was that it was sort
of a combination icehouse and convenience store, and
on one end, a beauty shop. In the early Fifties on
the south corner of Weaver at Bayway, a two-story
dance hall and bar was built. The owner and his
family lived on the second floor.
“My uncle, Richard Ericson, operated a refrigeration
shop farther north on the east side of Bayway. No
homes had air conditioning during the days I was
growing up, but certain businesses had refrigeration
units and coolers. For example, Miller's Dairy (my
home) had a large walk-in cooler and a refrigeration
unit that chilled the milk as it was processed.
Units such as this kept him busy. In addition, his
shop was sometimes a gathering place.
“Glenn Ericson remembers his father purchasing one
of the first television sets in the Wooster area.
The set was in his shop. On the night of the first
broadcast, a crowd of people who had heard about it
showed up to view test patterns and, finally,
“Glenn Hurr opened yet another neighborhood grocery
store near the north end of Bayway Drive. Dr. John
and Dr. David Hurr now have their dental office on
“In my memory, when Big Chief grocery opened near
the corner of North Street and Bayway Drive, it
began the era of the supermarket and the end of the
little neighborhood grocery store.”
Wanda Orton is a retired managing editor of The
I had a few recollections regarding Wanda Orton's
Wooster/Brownwood page. “The third grocery store was
Wolvertons. The Wolvertons later opened a cafeteria farther
north on Bayway. “In my memory, when Big Chief grocery
opened near the corner of North Street and Bayway Drive, it
began the era of the supermarket and the end of the little
neighborhood grocery store.”
The Big Chief opened in the Wolverton building and gave Big
Bonus stamps. “A model airplane hobby shop was located
near the Yellow Jacket. All I remember is that the owner's
name was Roy and that it was a hangout for kids.
It was Roy's Hobby Shop. Toward the end, he began selling
liquor as well as models. I didn't get to visit as much
after that. “Glenn Hurr opened yet another
neighborhood grocery store near the north end of Bayway
Drive. Dr. John and Dr. David Hurr now have their dental
office on the site.
I certainly wouldn't contradict the Hurr boys, but I
remember Glenn and Nettie's store being closer to Decker
than what their dental office is. May very well have been on
the same piece of property, though. Unverified: I seem
to remember four Big Chief groceries, though may not have
all been open at the same time.
1. Wolverton's building 2. Four Corners
3. Highlands- vacant building/fenced lot at north end of
Highlands on the east side of 2100 4. Lee Drive
@ W. Main