Friday, September 12, 2014
Rockdale, Tex., Sept. 10. -- The streets of Rockdale will now be lighted by electricity. At the regular September monthly meeting of the city council a contract was made with the Rockdale electric light company for street lights. . . . The Rockdale Exchange, a people's party paper, edited by J.W. Wenbrener, made its first appearance to-day. The paper speaks well of Rockdale and promises to work for the good of Rockdale and surrounding country. . . . Rockdale cotton receipts average 175 bales a day. Shipper buyers are paying 6 5/8c for average receipts. Dallas Morning News, September 12, 1892
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
. . . The new line has only been finished to Rockdale since the second day of February, and the company has not had time to complete the extensive stock yards which it is erecting; yet application has already been made by owners for the transportation of over 50,000 head of cattle. The yards, I understand, will be finished within the next week, when Rockdale must necessarily become a busy place and a great cattle centre. In fact, I see nothing to prevent its becoming one of the most important cities in the State. It has already, in its short two weeks' existence, become a lumber market for a region of 100 miles around. The International Road runs, through the heart of the great pineries of Eastern Texas and brings to this place about twenty car-loads of lumber a day. There are already three lumber yards here doing a thriving business. The people in this section have had heretofore nothing but oak lumber, which has cost them from $35 to $40 a thousand. Now, since the completion of the railway, they can get the best pine for $25. The result is that the planters are putting up elegant residences and abandoning the old log cabin of two rooms and a passage way between, in which they have spent their lives. The professional wagoners, who haul the cotton from the plantations, sometimes fifty miles, instead of returning empty handed, buy a load of lumber and sell it on the way back, thus doubling their income of the ante-railway time. This place must become a considerable lumber market, as well as a centre of supplies for the rich counties that lie northwest of here, there being no other railway point within their reach.
Rockdale is situated in Milam county, thirty-five miles west of the Brazos, and in the heart of the cotton region, known as the Brazos uplands, which average a bale to a bale and a half to the acre. It is in the most thickly settled portion of Central Texas, the famous lands and wealthy population of Bell county lying on the north, and whose market and outlet Rockdale must be. From 9 o'clock until noon to-day I counted 160 odd bales of cotton brought by wagons into the town and sold for shipment over the International and Great Northern to Galveston. And the town not two weeks old! The cotton planting interest of the region, which must make this a shipping point, will alone be sufficient to maintain a considerable city, leaving out the cattle and lumber handling, which must be its main business. I am not writing up a mushroom town. I am telling what I see as I go along; and I think I see another Denison, though I don't own any corner lots. When Texas becomes a great and populous State, as she must within the next few years, I am satisfied that Rockdale will be one of the big lettered names on her map. Enoch. Austin Weekly Statesman, March 19, 1874
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
. . . After a pleasant run of three hours over one of the best railroads in the South, at 12 m. we arrive at our destination, the terminus, Rockdale. At first sight of the town the stranger is disappointed; but after a careful survey he is agreeably surprised to find such a live town in the woods. Sixty days ago this place was a post oak forest, and to-day it is a living town of seventy houses, two hotels, one livery stable, depothouse, six restaurants (so-called), one banking-house in contemplation, and stores of all descriptions. Like all terminal towns, the population is a floating one, and as high as two thousand people have been seen on the streets in one day. From good authority, the population of the town is about 1000 to 1500.
It is astonishing with what rapidity this town has sprung up. The first train reached this pace on the third of February last, and now there are four trains daily. The houses are built and [paper damaged] . . . good deal of cotton coming into town, and selling at low figures for want of competition. The lumber trade is an important feature here. There is a great demand for it, and I heard that lumber men have shipped to this point at the rate of . . . a day. There are already two or three brick houses here, . . . . The town derives its name, Rockdale, from Rock Prairie. It is desirably located on a hill. Town lots are the property of the railroad company, and are selling for from $50 to $300 each, and very rapidly, as many strangers are moving in. No postoffice is established as yet, but a petitionfor one has been sent on.
There is some talk of having a stage line from this point to Austin, a distance of fifty miles. Two newspapers are also spoken of, and there is a large schoolhouse to be completed soon. I find merchants establishing themselves here from Galveston, Bryan, Calvert, Hearne and Cameron. Our friend Dr. Conger, from Bryan, has opened a find stock of drugs here, and I predict will do well. I was pleased to find a desire to obtain the News here, and the citizens are a liberal-minded and reading community. Success attend their efforts at the flourishing town of Rockdale. Galveston Daily News, February 26, 1874
Monday, July 23, 2012
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.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
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.