Tuesday, April 29, 2014

1926 :: Stephen Mayfield of Buckholts


Mrs. Sarah Barker of Newtonia sends her check for $1.50 for subscription to The Times to be sent to her brother, Stephen Mayfield, Buckholts, Texas. Mrs. Barker and her brother once lived in Neosho but he left for Texas in 1872. He is now 79 years old and blind. Mrs. Barker is past 80 and is perhaps the oldest resident of the county. The Neosho Times (Neosho, Missouri), April 29, 1926

Saturday, April 26, 2014

1881 :: Shooting of B F Ackerman


Shooting – Rockdale, Apr. 25 – B.F. Ackerman, living 10-miles north of here, while at the house of one of his tenants, was fired upon by four men armed with Winchester rifles and severely wounded in the face, breast and leg. The parties who did the shooting are known and every effort will be made to secure their arrest. Mr. Ackerman is here receiving medical attention and his wounds, though painful, are not thought to be dangerous. Galveston Daily News, April 26, 1881

Thursday, April 17, 2014

1900 :: Death of Will Moses


Rockdale, Tex., April 16. -- Will Moses, who was caging at the Witcher coal mine, two miles east of Rockdale, was instantly killed this morning about 9 o'clock. He either gave a wrong order or his order was misunderstood and the wrong cage was hoisted, which caught him between the cage and shaft. His neck was broken and his breast and collarbone crushed. Dallas Morning News, April 17, 1900

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1895 :: Bone of a Mastadon


Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., April 14. -- Andrew Strelsky, living six miles north of town on Little river, came in town yesterday with the bone of an animal supposed to be from a mastadon. What part of the animal it represents has not yet been determined, but it is believed to be the lower jaw. It would represent from its dimensions, an animal about twenty or twenty-two feet high. It is in a very good state of preservation. About three years ago the foreleg of such an animal was found on the banks of the Brazos above Velasco, which probably came from the same source, floated there by a rise in the river. This section, from the number of specimens, was at one time the feeding grounds for these large animals. An investigation will be made. The bone is now at the drug store of Wallis & Glesecke. Galveston Daily News, April 15, 1895

Sunday, April 13, 2014

1875 :: Election of Municipal Officers


At the election of municipal officers at Rockdale, the following were the successful candidates: A.A. Burck, Mayor; H.L. Witcher, Marshal; F.A. Hill, Joe King, W.B. Ayers, C.B. Hall, Alderman. Galveston Daily News, April 13, 1875

1882 :: Marriage of Shapard and Beall


John A. Shapard, formerly of Washington county, now a printer in the Rockdale Messenger office, was married in that town on the 5th inst. to Miss Nannie Beall. Brenham Weekly Banner, April 13, 1882

Saturday, April 12, 2014

1923 :: Uncle Boyd Taylor


Uncle Boyd Taylor of Milano is 83 years old. He scorns the ease of modern day transportation and rides his gray charger as in the days when he followed Nathan B. Forrest, the peerless cavalry leader of the South. Uncle Boyd rode to Cameron from his home near Milano. He sets his horse as straight and graceful as in the days when he rode to the defense of Dixie. "I can ride a horse ten miles further in a day than any man in the country," said Uncle Boyd when asked if his advanced age did not interfere with his going. He came to Texas from his native state of Alabama. He was born April 6, 1840, and on last Friday was 83 years old. Cameron Herald, April 12, 1923

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

1929 :: Father & two sons drowned


Rockdale, Tex., April 7. -- A father and his two sons, who left home yesterday for an outing, were drowned in San Gabriel River, eight miles north of here. Bodies of the trio -- Joe Lopez, 40, and his sons, 14 and 11 -- were taken from the river this afternoon. The supposition is that the younger Lopez boy ventured in water too deep and that the three were drowned when his father and older brother attempted to rescue him. A searching party went to look for Lopez and his sons when they did not return to their home. Tracks near the bank attracted searchers to the hole of water where the bodies were found. Accidental drowning was the verdict of Coroner Leroy H. Hillyer. The Galveston Daily News, April 8, 1929

Saturday, April 5, 2014

1990 :: C.R. Smith, Pioneer of Aviation As Head of American, Dies at 90


Note . . . Mr. C.R. is the son of Marian Smith nee Burck . . . who was the first president of the Rockdale Homecoming Association . . . and is a daughter of A.A. Burck . . . who was the first mayor of Rockdale . . .

Cyrus Rowlett Smith, an aviation pioneer who was the first chief executive of American Airlines and built it over three decades into one of the world's leading airlines, died yesterday after a long illness in Ginger Cove Life Care Center, a retirement community in Annapolis, Md. He was 90 years old and lived for many years in Washington.

Mr. Smith, a folksy native Texan who was known as C.R. and was called Mr. C.R. in the halls of American Airlines, served the company from its beginning in 1934 until 1968, when he resigned to become Secretary of Commerce in the last year of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Administration.

Mr. Smith's management style was distinctive. He would peck out notes, suggestions and criticisms on a typewriter to subordinates. He wrote his own speeches and even some advertisements for American, including a famous one in 1937 that dealt with the sensitive issue of airline safety. It was headed ''Afraid to Fly?'' In the quest for better service, he spent as much time as he could chatting with everyone from ticket takers to pilots.

At 74, Answering a Call

In 1973, at the age of 74, after serving several years as a partner in the investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Company, he was called back as chairman of American Airlines to restore economic vitality to the company. He headed it for five months until he found a replacement.

The only other hiatus in Mr. Smith's career at American was in World War II, when he helped organize the Air Transport Command and was its deputy commander.

Mr. Smith was born to poor parents in Minerva, Tex., on Sept. 9, 1899, the oldest of seven children. When Cyrus was 9 years old, his father abandoned the family and the boy began taking odd jobs.

He studied accounting and law at the University of Texas but did not have enough money to finish, his son, Douglas, said.

Mr. Smith, who came of age at a time of open-air cockpits, began his professional career at 16 as a bookkeeper and later worked as an accountant. In 1928, after leaving the university, he went to work as an assistant treasurer of the Texas-Louisiana Power Company. When its head, A.P. Barrett, bought control of an airline that carried mail, Texas Air Transport Inc., Mr. Smith became its treasurer and later financial vice president. Texas Air merged with a group of other small airlines to become American Airways in 1930, and he became vice president of operations.

'The Whole World All at Once!'

When American Airlines evolved in 1934, Mr. Smith became its president. Within five years it was one of the nation's leading airlines.

As he became more involved with airline management, Mr. Smith decided to learn to fly; as his son said, if he was going to run an airline he wanted to know about flying. He held a license for many years.

While flying over Arkansas one day in the late 1930's, he later recounted, he forgot to check the emergency fuel tank, ran out of gas and made a forced landing.

"This pilot came after me with a crew of mechanics," he said, "and while they were fixing up the wheel, the pilot politely suggested to me, the boss: 'You run the company, Mr. Smith. Let us pilots fly the planes.'"

In a 1950 interview, Mr. Smith was asked why he became involved in aviation. "The people in aviation made me want to get into it," he replied. "Vigorous people with a sense of humor, their minds big enough to think of the whole world all at once! People whose vision doesn't stop at the horizon."

When Mr. Smith left the Air Corps as a major general in 1945, he was credited with a major role in building the Army's worldwide air transport system. For his wartime service, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal.

His civilian honors included the Wright Brothers and Billy Mitchell Awards.

Besides his son, who lives in Annapolis, Mr. Smith is survived by two grandchildren; a brother, Burck Smith of Los Angeles, and two sisters, Dorothy Walton of Santa Monica, Calif., and Mildred Muskavitch of Auburn, Calif. The New York Times, April 05, 1990, by George James

Thursday, April 3, 2014

1937 :: Death of John Selman Jr.


John Marion Selman, a former special agent for the Union Pacific Railroad company here, and a veteran of the Spanish-American war, died in Rockdale, Texas, Wednesday of a heart ailment, it was learned here Friday. Mr. Selman, who left here a year ago for the Texas city, served with troup D, Eleventh U.S. volunteer cavalry in the war, and was a member of Wasatch camp No. 7, United Spanish War Veterans, of this city. He had been a member of the Texas rangers. Surviving are his widow and a daughter. Funeral services and burial will be conducted on Sunday in Rockdale. Salt Lake Tribune, April 3, 1937