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Cuero Heritage Museum

 Cuero Heritage Museum

The Cuero Heritage Museum, located in the Cuero Federal Building, was the former Post Office built in 1915. The Museum offers many wonders and is dedicated to celebrating the people of Cuero and their unique heritage. Visit the permanent and rotating exhibits to visually explore the history of this quaint, yet fascinating town.

Numerous permanent captivating collections include, Cuero made famous by its "Gobbler Pride"  and love of the hometown football team, "The History of Cuero Gobbler Football". When you walk through, you may just hear, "Go Mean Green" in the background and the crowd cheering. Another permanent collection upstairs features over 2,300 delightful reamers in every shape and design you can imagine lends way to juicing in a new light. The glamorous and glittery yet infamous "Turkey Trot Exhibit" will leave you in awe, now with a lush Turkish Palace. The Coca Cola Exhibit will leave you craving a coke, and the WWII Exhibit will wow you with local heros and the story of Brayton Flying Field. The other permanent and rotating exhibits showcase adventures around every corner. 

So visit and learn why this historic Texas town in the Heart of South Texas is anything but ordinary and everything extraordinary.  City of Cuero owned and operated.

 Current Rotating Exhibit

“Polly Howerton”

An Artist of True Character

Those that knew Polly say she was quite a character. Overflowing with charm and charisma, she still has people smiling today. Pauline Marie Hughes was born in Ellis County, Texas on March 16, 1904 to Ernest Lloyd Hughes and Susan Chase Hughes.

At the age of 20, Pauline married the love of her life, Jack Woodworth Howerton. Jack’s father, James C. Howerton, a native from Indianola, was one of the founders and the sole owner of the Cuero Daily Record. Jack and Polly moved to Cuero and began working the newspaper business. Jack managed the newspaper and Polly was the secretary. She found herself fitting right in and wrote a long standing column in the Cuero Daily Record called Polliwogs which was about happenings around town. When his father passed away in 1935, Jack become the sole owner and publisher of the newspaper.

Polly was a very passionate artist that not only painted beautiful works of art, she would teach others to paint and use their creativity. She gave art lessons to many of the local children and adults as well. She even traveled to Yoakum to teach art seminars. Polly was a very well-known artist in this whole area, winning numerous art shows. And her heart was always generous, giving works of art for fundraising purposes.

Jack and Polly loved children. Every year they hosted a Christmas party for the less than fortunate children and gave gifts.  This is something they were very passionate about.

In the late 1960’s, Polly traveled with a group of mid-western journalists to places such as Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and New Zealand to learn to become a more seasoned journalist. You can see the inspiration of her travels in some of the paintings we have on exhibit.

Shortly after retiring from the newspaper, Polly Howerton passes away on February 2, 1987, out living her husband Jack by 16 years. To those that knew Mrs. Howerton, the memory of her kindness and zeal for life lives on.

"Martha Sawyers"

An American Illustrator 

Martha Sawyers was born in Corsicana, deep in the heart of Texas.  Martha spent her youth in Victoria and Cuero, Texas where she discovered a book entitled “Religions of The Far East”.  That book became her magic carpet to strange and exotic lands on the other side of the world.   From Cuero, Texas, Martha Sawyers went to New York and trained as an artist at the Art Students League, where she met a William Reusswig, a young writer and illustrator in 1924. The couple were married in 1928.  

It was the 1920’s.   The world was between two great wars, there was no bomb, no television, no plane travel, the third world was not yet named as such, and the world was to become Sawyers’ canvas. During 20’s and 30’s she worked as an illustrator, designing Broadway Playbills, covers for theatre and film magazines, and jackets for the serialized versions of Pearl Buck’s novels. During this period, Sawyers did stain glass windows for J & R Lamb.

In a fortunate marriage of talents, the exciting and romantic husband and wife team went to the Orient in 1937 and returned with a visual feast of subtle portraits, rich with history of ancient people and their exciting cultures.  Scenes captured city, farm, palace and, tribal life that throbbed with color and movement. Upon their return to the U. S., Sawyers exhibited in New York galleries and became an overnight success. 

It brought her to the attention of Collier’s magazine, who commissioned her to record her impressions of china, and subsequently Life magazine sent her as a war correspondent to the Far East. The famous team of Sawyers and Reusswig became World War II correspondents.  The most famous of her war posters, The China War Relief poster, was done in 1943 and is known internationally. Her illustrations of the famous appeared on the covers of “Life”, “Colliers”, “Liberty” and “American” magazines.

Two famous travel books on the Far East were co-authored and illustrated by Sawyers and Reusswig. The books are “India and South East Asia” and “The Illustrated book about the Far East.”   Lowell Thomas, world famous commentator, wrote the introduction to their book. He noted: “No other authors have etched the contour and color of the Far East as this couple has: he in his prose and narration and she as an artist who has captured the very spirit of the Far East.”

After the war, she continued to travel and exhibit widely in North and South America as well as the Far East. She achieved an astonishing descriptive force and fluency of line. Her last trip in the mid-1950s, which covered India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Thailand, Burma and China, and her enthusiasm never diminished.   “It is impossible to go out in the street anywhere”, she said, without seeing many fascinating faces that demand translation.”

Martha Sawyers work belongs to the great tradition of American illustration which extends from Winslow Homer to Norman Rockwell. She is featured with notable illustrators as Norman Rockwell in “Forty Illustrators and How They Work” by Ernest W. Watson’ published by Watson-Guptill, Inc.,1946. WHO’s WHO OF AMERICAN WOMEN, 1972-1973 listed Sawyers for on-the-spot portraits for the “New York Herald Tribune,” editorial illustrator for “Colliers” and “Life” magazines, one-man shows for Society Illustrators and The Art Institute of Pittsburg. Sawyers exhibited at the Grand Central Art Gallery, Camel Black Gallery in Arizona, Den Passar, Bali, Indonesia, LaPaz, and Bolivia. Martha Sawyers and William Reusswig returned to Texas in the 1970’s.  Both are now deceased.

 The Wall That Heals - Photos
 Mission Statement

The mission statement of the City of Cuero Museum Department is to operate the historical and heritage sites owned by the City of Cuero such that visitors, residents and young people not only learn about the City and its people, but also understand the significant contributions individuals have made to the City, State, Nation and the World. The goals of the Cuero Heritage Museum are to recognize, preserve, and interpret through exhibits, collections, and educational programs an accurate history of the physical, artistic, political, and cultural forces, events, and people that have contributed to the establishment of the City of Cuero, Texas, and the civilization of which it is a part.


Cuero Heritage Museum
124 E. Church Street
Cuero, Texas 77954

Phone: 361-485-8090

afitts@cityofcuero.com


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