Bebe, a rural community on Texas Highway 97 in southwestern Gonzales County, was originally called Stroman; two men named Perry and Stroman owned a general store in that location. In 1896–97, the area had tri-weekly mail service. When, on August 10, 1900, a post office was to be established, officials requested a name change. Presumably another Texas settlement already had that designation. The new name supposedly derived from the B. B. Baking Powder signs that lined the road into the place. H. R. Oakes established a general store soon after the post office opened. In 1914–15 Bebe had daily mail service and a population of twenty. Y. H. Stroman continued his merchandising operation and H. L. Whitten had opened a blacksmith shop. In time there were several stores, a barbershop, a combination garage and mercantile store, and a cotton gin that operated until 1948. In 1916 several small schools were consolidated into the Bebe school, which, in turn, was annexed to the Nixon school system in the mid-1940s. A Methodist church functioned in the community prior to 1941, when it was closed. Initially cotton was the economic foundation of the Bebe community. It was later superseded by poultry and livestock farming and the raising of feed grains. As farming became more mechanized and required less labor, and as transportation improved, Bebe and neighboring Monthalia and Cost saw their base eroded, and they began to contract. The 1990 population was approximately fifty-two, and the only business was the combination store and post office. The population remained the same in 2000, when the community reported two businesses.
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Bebe by the Numbers
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