December 15, 1962
Dallas Morning News, December 12, 1891. Rockdale, Tex., Dec. 10. -- The city government of Rockdale has concluded to buy 1000 feet of fire hose and two hose reels, also hook and ladder apparatus. A proposition to furnish the outfit has been made by reliable parties and accepted by the city. The goods will be delivered at an early date.
Dr. J.S. Letcher, who has been one of the leading physicians of Dallas for many years and whose last service was the procuring of the new charity hospital for this city, died at his home on Live Oak street at 12:30 o'clock this morning. For several weeks Dr. Letcher has been prostrated with appendicitis, and several times during that period has been at death's door. For the last two days he had been gradually growing weak, and this morning, surrounded by his family and a few friends, he breathed his last. Dallas Morning News, November 30, 1896
Dr. Joseph Stephens Letcher, who died yesterday at his home in this city, was born in Alabama forty-six years ago, and has ended peacefully a remarkably active and useful life. He leaves a devoted wife and three interesting and promising children.
As a physician he has, by unceasing labor and the best opportunities discovered by himself, arisen from obscurity to the first place in his profession, and as a Christian gentleman he was honored and beloved by a large circle of friends. His medical experience was varied, having practiced eleven years in Milam county, Texas, six years in Lampasas and since 1889 in the city of Dallas. During this later period and prior to the appointment of Dr. C.M. Rosser to the position now held they were associated professionally together. His practice has been general, including surgery. He was surgeon for railroad companies and vice president of the Texas Railway Surgeon's association, as also of the Texas State Medical association. He was examiner for nearly all insurance companies located here, and for three of them was medical referee for Texas.
Dr. Letcher was a man of great head and heart, affectionate with his friends and true to all men. He was of cheerful temperament and, being given much to the happiness of others,, was universally beloved.
Perhaps the most signal service attained here, and longest to be remembered, was that which attended his efforts for the establishment of the charity hospital now in course of construction. In this he was ably seconded by the local profession, but to his energy and zeal is largely due the gratitude of the people for this blessing.
The funeral services will be held in the second Baptist church to-day, and the burial will follow at Oakland cemetery.
The Dallas Medical and Surgical association, by a special call issued by the president, Dr. J.B. Smoot, and the secretary, Dr. B.F. Church, met at 8 o'clock p.m. at the office of Dr. McLaurin & Ganom, and passed unanimously the following resolutions. About twenty-five members were present:
Whereas, Almighty God has in his inscrutable wisdom removed from our fellowship our beloved friend and devoted brother; and,
Whereas, we bow in great grief before this dispensation of divine providence, mourning the loss of a most gifted and honored member; therefore be it
Resolved, 1. That in the loss of Dr. Joseph S. Letcher we have sustained one greater than can be told the companionship of a trusted friend, the counsel of a wise physician and the love of an affectionate brother.
2. That in memory of his blameless life, both as a professional devotee and a Christian gentleman, we endeavor to emulate his example and thus strive to give some new force here and there to the good in his life.
3. That our tenderest sympathy be extended by these resolutions to his excellent wife and beloved children, with the assurance that at any time a service can be performed or a burden lightened by word or deed of ours it will be done, as to our own.
4. That as an inadequate expression of the love we bear and the sorrow we feel this society will assemble at the family residence to-morrow and attend the funeral services as a body.
5. That copies of these resolutions be given the press for publication; that these resolutions be entered in the minutes of this society, and that a copy, suitably prepared, be presented to the bereaved family.
Signed by the committee -- M.M. Edmondson, M.D,; Emil Aronson, M.D.; S.J. Gano, M.D.; J.B. Smoot, M.D.; John O. McReynolds, M.D. Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1896
Dallas Morning News, November 10, 1891. Beaumont, Tex., Nov. 9. -- At Rockdale to-day Pete Nelson, foreman, and A.P. Mereno, a Mexican, were seriously hurt in blasting a rock quarry, Mr. Nelson so much so as to be unable to be moved. A.P. Mereno was carried to San Antonio.
Dr. G.W. Mullins of Milano, died October 19th of pneumonia, following an attack of influenza, aged 53. He was born in Harris County, Ga., came to Texas at the age of 14 and was married to Miss Mary L. Shepherd of Burleson County in 1887. He graduated in Medicine from Louisville Medical College and had practiced for 22 years, 15 of which were at Milano. He was a member of his county and State medical societies for a number of years and of the W.O.W. Lodge for the past 14 years. He is survived by his wife, one daughter and two sons. [obituary from Google eBook, 1919 Texas State Journal of Medicine, Volume 14]
Dallas Morning News, October 20, 1891. Taylor, Tex., Oct. 19. -- Miss Bulah Loper, a young lady of Rockdale, and cousin of Mrs. B. Garry and Mrs. Minar Brown of this place, died at Sherman university to-day. Remains will be interred at Rockdale to-morrow.
Dallas Morning News, October 13, 1891. Mineola, Tex., Oct. 12. -- G.W. Williams of Rockdale suicided here last night by taking twenty grains of morphine. He came here from Rockdale on Friday with a cotton-planter, which he placed on exhibition at the fair. He was found on the steps of his boarding house at about 6 o'clock Sunday evening. The doctor worked with him until 3 o'clock this morning, when he died. The Knights of Pythias, of which order he was a member, took charge of the remains and wired the Knights of Pythias lodge at Rockdale of his death. They received a message to forward the body there, which was done at 4:40 on the International and Great Northern train. He told some parties that he was going to kill himself, but they thought nothing of his threats, and consequently he was not watched.
Dallas Morning News, October 3, 1891. Rockdale, Tex., Oct. 2. -- An accidental death occurred in the edge of town last night. H.T. Bush, an old citizen of Milam county, but lately of Merkel, Tex., was driving out after dark in a wagon alone when in some way he fell out and the wheels passed over his head and neck, killing him. Nearly $500 was found in his pockets, thus banishing all suspicion of murder.
Rockdale, Milam Co., Texas, Sept. 1. -- The H. & T. Confectionery Store on Main street, owned and operated by Hairston & Turner, was burglarized Saturday night shortly after midnight and robbed of $146, mostly in small change, the receipts of the day. The proprietors had secreted the money in a cabinet, the hour being too late for banking. The robbers left $5.75 in the sack from which they secured the money, also some checks. Dallas Morning News, September 2, 1924
Rockdale, Tex., Aug. 31. -- The one-story brick building on Main street owned by Hugh Witcher and occupied by O.A. Bowen as a grocery store was destroyed by fire this morning. Nieman's saloon and the building he occupied, belonging to J.F. Coffield, were damaged; total damage $5,500. Dallas Morning News, September 1, 1902
San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 21. -- Funeral services will be held Saturday for John H. Bickett Sr., former chairman of the Texas Prison Commission and former member of the State Highway Commission. Mr. Bickett, long prominent in Texas politics and Sheriff and County Treasurer of Milam County before he moved to San Antonio from Cameron twenty-one years ago, died at his home after several years' ill health. He was a past president of the Texas Sheriffs' Association. A native of Abbeville County, South Carolina, he moved to Texas in 1897. From 1915 to 1919 Mr. Bickett was chairman of the Prison Commission. Later he served under two Governors as member of the Highway Commission. Besides his wife, survivors include four sons, John H., L.M., Brandon and E.W. Bickett, San Antonio; a daughter, Mrs. Elliott Brockenbrough, Waco; two sisters, Mrs. Jennie Etheridge and Mrs. Elizabeth Burnett, Cameron. Dallas Morning News, August 22, 1931 [his findagrave memorial apge]
Capt. S.M. Strayhorn, aged past 70, died yesterday at Granger. Father of Dr. J.M. Strayhorn. Confederate. Survived by wife and three children: Dr. J.M. of Waco, Mrs. Lee Clark of Rockdale, and Mrs. Dr. Pipkin of Elberta La. Waco Times-Herald, Tuesday, August 11, 1908
Granger, Williamson Co., Tex., Aug. 11. -- Capt. Sam M. Strayhorn died at his home here Monday at noon and was buried with Masonic honors at the Granger Cemetery today. Capt. Strayhorn was 76 years of age and came to Texas with his parents about sixty years ago. He was one of the first settlers of this county and for a number of years served as Sheriff and Tax Collector. He is survived by a widow and four children. Dr. J.M. Strayhorn of Waco, George Strayhorn of Granger, Mrs. Dr. Pipkin of Waco and Mrs. Lee Clark of Rockdale. Dallas Morning News, August 12, 1908 [his findagrave memorial page]
Cameron, Milam Co., Tex., Aug. 7. -- Nelson, Hillery, colored, known as Dad Nelse, died last night on the Goodhugh Wilson farm, about three miles from Cameron. He was by far the oldest citizen of Milam county, being at least 100 years old. He was a good-sized mill boy, living in Mississippi, at the time of the great battle of New Orleans. About twenty years ago he borrowed a mule from Mr. Goodhugh Wilson, who was well off and liberal, and was told by Mr. Wilson to keep the mule until he got through with him, so Dad Nelse kept the mule until his death. Dallas Morning News, August 8, 1898
Rockdale, Tex., July 30. -- In the examining trial of J.F. Greenwood for the killing of W.S. Puryear, an account of which was published in yesterday's Galveston News, it was developed from the testimony of the widow of Puryear and other corroborating witnesses that the difficult was provoked because of Greenwood's wife's refusal about a week before the killing to loan Puryear a wagon sheet. Puryear drove out of Rockdale at a breakneck speed not more than thirty minutes before the killing with his wife in a wagon with him. On his way out home, which was only a short distance from the home of Greenwood, he said to his wife that he was going to stop at Greenwood's and tell him what he thought of his (Greenwood's) wife. The execution of this threat was what provoked the difficulty which ended in Puryear's death. Justice Wells, in whose court the examining trial was conducted, admitted Greenwood to bail in the sum of $500. He was satisfied from the evidence that it was a case of excusable homicide. Galveston Daily News, Saturday, August 1, 1896 [Puryear's findagrave memorial page]
Dallas Morning News, July 29, 1891. The tracklayers of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass railroad recently completed the road to Rockdale, Tex. A couple of days after the switches were put in and work on a depot begun, which is located on an elevated plat of ground between the International and Great Northern freight depot and city cemetery. Work on the depot will be pushed rapidly forward.
Dallas Morning News, July 23, 1887. Rockdale, Tex., July 22. -- The first bale of new cotton came in last night. It weighed 532 pounds, classed strict middling and was purchased by A. Steinberg for straight $50 and was shipped to Galveston. This cotton was raised on the plantation of Dr. A.C. Isaacs, about five miles north of town, and the owner received an additional $50 as a bonus from the town. This bale is in ten days earlier than the first bale last season. The weather here has been intensely hot for some time and vegetation generally has suffered, but a msot refreshing shower fell this evening, cooling the atmosphere and laying the dust. Cotton is still looking well in this section, but this evening's rain north, south and east has doubtless helped it.
Rockdale, Tex., July 11. -- Miss Mollie White, the 20-year-old daughter of B.F. White, living on Buck Perry's place at San Gabriel, eighteen miles west of Rockdale, had her throat cut from ear to ear last night and died instantly. Justice Graves is investigating the case to-day. Dallas Morning News, July 12, 1892 [her findagrave memorial page]
Dallas Morning News, July 12, 1912. Rockdale, Tex., July 11. -- The fifth annual fair of the Milam County Fair Association opened here today under the most auspicious circumstances. The attendance is not less than 12,000 people today. The fair was opened with a monster street parade, more than half a mile in length, with dozens of gorgeously decorated floats, headed by the Queen and her ten attendants. A feature of the parade was more than 100 members of the Milam County Boys' Corn Club in double line, each boy carrying a large green cornstalk. The opening address at the pavilion was delivered by Judge E.B. Muse of Dallas. All exhibits are full. The agricultural display is particularly good this year, notwithstanding the fact that the season is several weeks late and the fair being held about a week earlier than usual. The corn exhibit is one of the most interesting ever shown in Central Texas. The stock arena and poultry pens are also well filled, and altogether the fair is the best ever held. About 100 race horses are here, and the card is particularly strong, with nearly $2,000 hung up in purses.
Dallas Morning News, July 12, 1891. Says the San Antonio Express: Receiver Yoakum announced yesterday that on the 20th of the month the station of Rockdale would be completed and opened for business on the Waco branch of the Aransas Pass road. The tracks will reach Rockdale on Saturday. Work was started on June 22, and when the tracks reach Rockdale seventeen miles will have been completed from Lexington in nineteen days. This is swift work and shows that the contract will be completed before the time. On July 13 the Aransas Pass will open for freight and passenger traffic the station of Portland, seven miles this side of Corpus Christi. It is said that the station-house there is the most handsome on the line of the road.
Dallas Morning News. July 5, 1905. Fatal Accident at Rockdale. Special to The News. Rockdale, Tex., July 4. -- H. Vogel, president of the Diamond Coal Company, and one of the wealthiest men in this section of the country, sustained an accident yesterday, which cost him his life. [his findagrave memorial page]
- Mrs. W.A. Brooks, wife of the proprietor of the hotel, and her four sons, aged about 4, 6, 9 and 15 years respectively.
- J.F. Briscoe, wife and two little children.
- Isaac Crown.
- A traveling salesman, supposed from papers found to be named Pemberton Pierce. He was representing Geo. Zeigler, of Philadelphia, but the hotel register being lost there is nothing more to identify by.
My Hometown . . . When I return . . . the main street still is filled with pleasant faces and glad hellos . . . with an atmosphere of calm . . . with time for neighborly concern . . . with joy in sharing another's fortune . . . or heartfelt words to one who mourns. . . . Hometown is more than just a town . . . it is a way of life, a place of peace and quiet . . . and when I return it is as if I have never been gone . . . and in my heart I have not. . . . by Craig E. Sathoff
Those persons needing or wanting to purchase groceries could go to...
*A place where confections, ice cream and cakes are made or sold; a candy shop.
*The business of making, trimming or selling women's hats.
Rockdale was progressive, with...
*Have been unable to find a definition for "panatorium", but did find a description of another turn-of-the-century business which describes "The City Panatorium" as a " . . . cleaning and dying establishment. . . . where garments are cleaned, pressed, repaired, and dyed and a specialty is made of dry cleaning...."
Nathan Oakey Letcher, whose home was at 183 Live Oak street, this city, died in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 20. The remains arrived in Dallas last night and will be interred today in Oakland Cemetery. He was a son of the late Dr. J.S. Letcher, was born in Milam, Tex., and had lived in Dallas for many years, being a graduate of the Dallas High School. He was assistant cashier in the National Bank of Dallas when only 22 years old, and when that bank consolidated with the National Exchange Bank he became connected with the latter institution. Because of the confinement and his poor health he abandoned the banking business several years ago. A widow and his mother survive him. Dallas Morning News, May 22, 1905
Rockdale, Tex., May 15. -- The Rockdale public schools will close May 29, the graduating exercises being held on that night at the opera house. There are fourteen graduates, as follows: Misses Catherine Sanford, Ester Jenness, Florence Dunnington, Louise Brodnax, Lucile Poole, Lorene Harris, Minnie Hamilton, Mollie Stein, Pearl Woody and Olive Branch; Messrs. Jamie Wallis, Will Norris Hale, Homer Turner and Edgar Lingert. The annual class address will be delivered on that occasion by Dr. Frank Steay of Southwestern University. The baccalaureate sermon will be preached at the Presbyterian Church on Sunday, May 24, at 11 a.m. by Rev. E.G. Cook. Dallas Morning News, May 16, 1914
Mrs. J.A. Marks died yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at 29 Polk street, Oak Cliff, aged 83 years. She was born at Owensboro, Ky., and came to Dallas County in 1872, sugsequently residing for several years at Rockdale. She had lived at Oak Cliff thirteen years. Two sons and one daughter survive her -- D.E. Marks of Calvert and M.B. Marks and Mrs. W.E. Werner of Oak Cliff. Dallas Morning News, May 11, 1901
Mrs. J. A. Marks, one of Texas' pioneer women, died Friday afternoon at 21 Polk avenue, Oak Cliff. She was born in Owenboro, Ky., in 1818 and came to Dallas county in 1872. She lived at Rockdale several years and had been living in Oak Cliff thirteen years. She leaves two sons, M.B. Marks, of Oak Cliff, and D.E. Marks of Calvert, and a daughter, Mrs. W.E. Werner, of Oak Cliff. Dallas Daily Times Herald, May 12, 1901
Rockdale Messenger, May 4, 1899. B. Loewenstein, A. Wolf and Gus Backhaus went to Austin to attend the meeting of the grand lodge of the Sons of Hermann. . . . J.B. Hamilton, Joe Loewenstein, Jr. and C.K. Stribling left Tuesday for Paris, Texas, where they will attend the State Fireman’s convention as representatives of the Rockdale fire dept.
Dallas Morning News, May 1, 1942. Prominent Merchant Found Fatally Shot. Cameron, Texas, April 30 (AP). -- Dan G. Davis, 54, prominent Milam County merchant, was found shot to death at the Dan G. Davis estate store at Sharp, near here, Thursday. Justice of the Peace Joe Cummings returned an inquest verdict of suicide. His brother, Judd Davis, his associate in business, and Otto Klem, employee of the store, found the body.
Davis was a native of Sharp, the son of a pioneer family. He was married six weeks ago to Mrs. Josie Quebe of Rockdale and had resided at Rockdale since that time. Surviving are his wife, his 92-year-old mother, Mrs. Dan G. Davis of Sharp; two brothers, Judd G. of Cameron and Will of Sharp, and two sisters, Mrs. B.F. Davis of Dallas and Mrs. T.M. Pace of Grandview. [his Find-A-Grave memorial page]
Sheriff’s Dept – Milam County. Cameron, Tex., April 26 – One hundred dollars reward for the arrest and detention of Yeabel Chrio, a Mexican, 25 years of age, height 5 feet 10 or 11 inches, weight 180 bounds, heavy built, very dark complexion, small mustache, had on blue pants, has with him a Colt 45 blue barrel pistol. I hold warrant for this Mexican for assault to murder Constable Busby at Rockdale on the night of the 24th of this month. Address John H. Bickett, sheriff. Galveston Daily News, Friday, April 27, 1894
Rockdale, Texas. April 24. -- J.C. McCawley, 87, retired capitalist and business man of Rockdale, died at his home Tuesday. Mr. McCawley had been a resident of Rockdale for more than fifty years. Besides his own family he had reared several orphans. Mr. McCawley is survived by one daughter, Mrs. J.M. McGranaham, and two sons, P.H. McCawley and Charlie M. McCawley, all of Rockdale. Dallas Morning News, April 25, 1930
. . . . . . . . . .
Rockdale, Texas. April 25. -- The last tribute to J.C. McCawley, Rockdale's oldest citizen, who died Tuesday, was paid Thursday morning when throngs of friends gathered at his home, where funeral services were held, with the Rev. Father Appel of Cameron officiating. By proclamation of Mayor E.A. Camp all business establishments were closed during the services. The Hon. W.W. Chambers of Cameron, a lifelong friend of Mr. McCawley, made a talk, eulogizing the life of this honorable and upright citizen. Mr. McCawley was a native of Ireland, but had resided in Rockdale for over fifty years. Surviving are one daughter, Mrs. J.M. McGranahan; two sons, P.H. McCawley of the Citizens State Bank and Charley M. McCawley, all of Rockdale. One sister resides in Navan, County Meath, Ireland. Dallas Morning News, April 26, 1930. [his findagrave memorial page]
Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., April 25 – Last night about 7:30 occurred one of the most brutal crimes in the annals of Milam county, the particulars of which are as follows:
Constable N. Busby of this beat left this city in the afternoon for his home in the country, about two miles north of this place. After eating supper he again started to return here and while on his way and right opposite to a place known as the old York farm, now occupied by a Mrs. Cawthorn, he arrested a Mexican and was bringing him into town.
After they had proceeded about 50 yards, Mr. Busby walking behind and leading his horse, the Mexican suddenly turned and struck at Busby with a knife, missing his throat but striking and cutting a bad wound in his jaw. The scuffle began. Mr. Busby trying to draw his pistol, which was accidentally discharged twice.
The Mexican succeeded in overpowering him and hugging him up repeatedly stabbed and cut him a number of times. Mr. Busby’s coat was cut to pieces, while he himself fared no better, having received a wound two inches long in the neck, two on the head, several on his arms, while one gash about ten inches long severed one of his ribs, cutting his left lung and causing it to protrude. Another one was about fifteen inches long, from the small of the back to the stomach, barely missing the kidney.
Busby, however, managed to throw the Mexican off and reach the residence of Mr. Cawthorn, about 50 yards distant, where medical aid was summoned. Word came to this city to that effect, when Deputy Sheriff Ed Snively, City Marshal Jim Hamilton, a posse and a news reporter mounted and were soon in hot pursuit. Up to this writing the Mexican has not been captured, though a posse is still on the trail. Constable Busby was an efficient and popular officer. His recovery is quite doubtful. [his findagrave memorial page]
Sheriff Bickett has started with bloodhounds. Galveston Daily News, Thursday, April 26, 1894
Rockdale, Tex., Apr. 24 – Constable Busby was assaulted by a Mexican and badly cut in the left lung, kidney, neck and arms, very dangerously. A posse is in pursuit. Sheriff Bickett and bloodhounds were telegraphed for. Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, April 25, 1894
Dallas Morning News, April 2, 1944. Mrs. M.O. Letcher Dies at Houston. Mrs. Madora Oxsheer Letcher, 86, whose father was W.W. Oxsheer, early Texas legislator, a resident of Dallas from 1889 until a few years ago, died Saturday at her home in Houston. Her husband was Dr. Joseph Stephen Letcher, who practiced in Dallas until his death a number of years ago. She was born April 4, 1857, near Cameron. She was a member of the First Baptist Church here. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. C.C. Slaughter, Dallas, and Mrs. G. Arnold Bailey, Houston; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. [her findagrave memorial page]