Huge Fortunes Won And Lost In Brownsville

I like taking people to the Brownsville Heritage Museum. They bring Brownsville’s fantastic history to life with hands-on interactive displays and offer unique exhibits, musical performances, and book signings throughout the year. Every time I go, I learn something

During the Mexican-American War, steamboat captain Richard King and his friend Mifflin Kenedy headed to South Texas to help transport troops and supplies along the Rio Grande River. There they met Charles Stillman, a successful entrepreneur and founder of
Brownsville. He became the third partner in the steamboat company called King, Kenedy & Co .

During the Civil War, these Americans registered their steamboats in Mexico, allowing them to transport cotton and other goods to the East Coast and Europe without Union intervention. Stillman, King, and Kenedy expanded their business to ranching and cattle
raising by acquiring vast property. They became some of the wealthiest men in America during the mid and late 1800s.

Later, two of Stillman’s daughters married into a prominent family from New York, the Rockefellers.

The Museum’s photographs, maps, costumes, and artifacts give a fresh perspective on early city life aspects, ranging from street scenes and education to transportation and ranching. Another beautiful thing is that they offer FREE admission to all active military
personnel and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Be sure to check it out.


Scroll to Top