Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1957 :: Perry Search Goes On


New York Times. January 26, 1957. Perry Search Goes On. Magazine Writer Disappeared From Home on Dec. 13. Special to The New York Times. Guilford, Conn., Jan. 25 -- State and local police still are pressing an unsuccessful search for George Sessions Perry, magazine writer. Mr. Perry, 46 years old, disappeared from his home here on Dec. 13. A state police helicopter flew over a wide area near the home for several hours yesterday but found no trace of the missing man. Mr. Perry, a sufferer from arthritis, disappeared while his wife, Claire, and a woman friend were visiting a dentist.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1885 :: Death of Dr. Milton Antony


On this date in the history of our hometown . . . the 25th day of January . . . in the year 1885 . . . Dr. Milton Antony dies in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas. He is buried in the Old City Cemetery, which is just out of sight at the bottom edge of this postcard.

Dr. Milton Antony, Jr. was a Confederate Surgeon in Brazoria County, Texas during the war between the states, then relocated to Milam County, Texas where he was the third Postmaster in Rockdale, serving 06 June 1876 to 26 April 1877 (which was one month after the entire wooden portion of Rockdale burned). He was a practicing physician in both Cameron and Rockdale. A Henry family reunion write-up in a 1931 edition of The Rockdale Reporter states that --

On Oct. 3, 1876, the Henrys [i.e., William Paschal Henry (1836-1912) and Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899)] arrived in Rockdale to visit a sister and family of the Mrs. Henry's, it being Dr. and Mrs. M. F. Anthony, who at that time had the post office and drug store combined on the corner where the Wolf Hotel now stands.

That is the Wolf Hotel on the right corner of the Rockdale postcard. The Wolf sat on the northeast corner of the intersection of Main and Milam. According to a history of Rockdale published in 1936, a two-story stone and brick bank building was erected in 1875, which later became the Wolf Hotel, and then, ca. 1935, the American Legion Hall. An 1885 map of Rockdale does show a bank at that location, and on the corner across the street is a post office in the Mundine House.

A year before Josephine arrived in Rockdale to visit her sister, Margaret, the following item appeared in the 12 November 1875 issue of the Galveston Weekly News --

There are street fights occurring (in Rockdale) almost every day and the officers of the law seem to enjoy it, taking their fines, never giving offenders the least word of warning or lecture. Nothing better could be expected when they license women of ill fame for ten dollars a month and receive half of the fines and their compensation. The most disgusting of it is, when they choose, these officers step beyond their authority and utterly disregard the law at pleasure. Every day or two some very interesting scenes occur in the pettifoggeries of Rockdale.

And just a year before that 1875 report, the same paper, in the 09 November 1874 issue, described the brand new city of Rockdale as being --

delightfully located in a thriving section of the county. . . . there are two or three banks, fifty or sixty merchants, and plenty of saloons, and has generally all the appearances of a railroad town. . . . While all it new and in some degree crude, there are some fine stone and brick buildings. . . . Where a population of eighteen hundred now thrive, was ten months ago the home of the deer, and the pleasure ground of the black bear.

For more information about Dr. Antony and his family, see --


P.S. The handwritten paper in the background of the collage is a document from 1864, signed by Milton Antony, M.D. and three other doctors -- requesting the Confederate army to excuse the only druggist in Brazoria County, Texas from being conscripted into the army . . .

1918 :: Death of John A. Shapard, Postmaster


Special to The News. Shapard. -- Rockdale, Texas, Jan. 24. -- The funeral of John A. Shapard, Rockdale's postmaster for the last four and a half years, was held Tuesday at the Presbyterian Church by the Rev. W.E. Copeland. Mr. Shapard was 67 years of age and died last Friday, the body being held for the arrival of a son in the United States Navy. Another son is with Pershing in France. He was a printer by trade, and worked on the local newspaper almost continuously for thirty-two years. Dallas Morning News, January 25, 1918

Sunday, January 16, 2011

1877 :: Shipments of Cotton - Criminal Conviction - Sleet



Galveston News. Rockdale, Jan. 16, 1877. There have been 10,100 bales of cotton shipped from Rockdale from Sept. 1st up to date. This does not include the Bell county cotton, which, before the extension of the railroad, was shipped from this point; it now goes to Taylor. Rockdale this season has done a larger business than ever before, and her merchants are all in good spirits and satisfied with the situation.

Wm. Plasters, who killed a man in the upper portion of this county last spring, the particulars of which were published in the News, has been tried and found guilty of murder in the second degree, and sent to the penitentiary for five years. He is a very wealthy cattle man, and lives in Bell county.

A heavy sleet set in about daylight this morning; at noon it was two inches thick on the ground. Heads up has been the order of the day, and a few hurriedly constructed sleighs have been out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1924 :: Mrs. Ellen Ames Buried at Rockdale


Dallas Morning News. January 14, 1924. Mrs. Ellen Ames Buried at Rockdale. Special to The News. Rockdale, Milam Co., Texas, Jan. 13. -- The funeral of Mrs. Ellen Ghent Ames, 75 years old, wife of R. H. Ames, formerly superintendent of the water works system in Rockdale, was held here Saturday afternoon. The body was brought from Little Rock, where death occurred some days ago, and was largely attended by citizens of this and near-by towns. The funeral services were conducted under the auspices of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, of which Mrs. Ames was for many years a member and president of the local chapter, the Terry Texas Rangers. The body was accompanied by Mrs. Ames' husband, her two sisters, Mrs. Mary Davis and Mrs. Victorine Arnold. Mrs. Ames' son was in Tampico, Mexico, and unable to be present.