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Friday, November 7, 2014

1874 :: Pleasure Ground of the Black Bear

Rockdale, Nov. 6, 1874. Rockdale is one of the important wonders of Texas -- a sort of infant Hercules. The town is eight months and a half old, yet it is doing more business than a half dozen old-fashioned, gray-haired cities. Everything is as neat as the last fashion in bonnets.

It is a big day for Rockdale. An immigration meeting and a circus are a congregation of great events that have never before happened in the history of this thriving city, and consequently the town is as proud as a little boy with his first pair of red top boots.

Seriously speaking, the town is delightfully located, in a thriving section of the county, which is contributing to its wealth. 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 is new and in some degree crude, there are some five stone and brick buildings. Subscriptions have already been made for Baptist and Methodist Churches, which will soon be erected. A public hall is at present used for the purposes of worship, and such is the good order of the city that not more than two police cases are heard by the Mayor in a week.

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. Where the wild beasts roamed on Christmas last, there are now stores, with merchants busy selling hoopskirts, paper collars, sewing machines, cotton, and the other appliances of civilization.

Where the hunter then toasted his game on the point of his ramrod there are now French restaurants, with napkins and silver forks for table accessories. Civilization, enterprise, refinement and luxury are making a lively race in and about the beautiful town of Rockdale. Such is the rapid growth of this section. . . . The Galveston Daily News, November 7, 1874

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