Podo

Podo was a rural settlement nine miles northeast of Bay City in northeastern Matagorda County. Located in an area of the rich Caney Creek bottomlands once known as plantation row, it was within the former plantation of John Duncan, who was said to have owned ninety-four slaves in 1860. The New York, Texas and Mexican line had built through the area by 1900, and the Podo railroad switch was named by the Pierce family after a man who reportedly had formerly been a Kaffir tribal chief. The story has it that Podo had become a slave when he and most of his tribe were abducted from Africa by slavers who made them drunk before hauling them aboard ship in chains. Before the Civil War Podo worked as a slave overseer for Duncan, who later sold his land holdings to cattleman Abel Head Pierce. Though its location is uncertain, a Duncan school existed in 1904, and that year it served fifty-seven black students. At one time the structures at Podo included a cattle shipping pen, a store, and White and Black cemeteries, in addition to the large Duncan residence. A 1936 state historic marker was placed at the Duncan family cemetery. County newspapers of 1913 and 1917 claim Podo had a population between fifty and 100. The 1936 county highway map, however, shows no dwellings at Podo. A 1952 map shows Podo with two dwellings, one of them abandoned. In the 1980s all that remained at the site was several brick cisterns near the site of the old slave quarters.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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