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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

1892 :: Two Deaths at Rockdale (Young and Vick)

The Galveston Daily News. Wednesday, August 31, 1892. Mortuary. Two Deaths at Rockdale. Rockdale, Tex., Aug. 30. -- Died, Sunday morning, in Rockdale of consumption, Mr. Robert N. Young. The funeral took place Monday at Milano, Tex., under the auspices of the Knights of Honor of that place.

Died, Sunday afternoon, in Rockdale of typhoid fever. Wm. H. Vick, Jr., in the 20th year of his age. The deceased was an exemplary young man; was connected with the International and Great Northern freight office here and a son of Dr. John Vick of Albany, Tex.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1882 :: Burial of Samuel Cohen

Galveston Daily News, Friday, August 25, 1882. Rockdale, Tex., Aug 24 – Sam Cowen, one of our merchants, died to-day, and was buried this afternoon according to the Jewish Rites in the Jewish Cemetery, Rockdale, Milam County, Texas.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1948 :: Death of E.H. Balhorn

Funeral services for E.H. Balhorn, 55, who died Friday night [August 1948] in a Cameron hospital from a heart ailment, were held here [Rockdale] Saturday. Burial was in Oak Lawn Cemetery, with Masons in charge. Balhorn was widely known among grocers, as he had been a representative of large wholesale houses since a young man. At the time of his death he was connected with a St. Louis firm. He leaves his wife, a son, Edward Balhorn of Beaumont; two grandchildren; three sisters, Mrs. Ray Humphrey of Beaumont, Mrs. C. F. Tuberville of Oklahoma City and Mrs. Will Gray of Yoakum, and a brother, William Balhorn, Cameron. Dallas Morning News. August 17, 1948. E. H. Balhorn, Rockdale, Dies of Heart Ailment. Special to The News. Rockdale, Texas, Aug. 16.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

1958 :: Amelia W. Williams

Amelia W. Williams, educator and historian, daughter of Thomas Herbert and Emma (Massengale) Williams, was born in Maysfield, Texas, on March 25, 1876. 

Several generations of the family were planters in South Carolina until after the Civil War, when her father established a plantation on the Little River in the blacklands of Milam County.

Amelia, the oldest of seven children, was early recognized as a potentially outstanding scholar and so was given the best education available from local teachers. She attended Stuart Seminary in Austin and graduated from Ward (later Ward-Belmont) Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1895 with a liberal arts degree.

By the time she turned twenty-two both of her parents had died, leaving her the guardian of four younger sisters and manager of a 2,000-acre plantation. After rearing her younger sisters Amelia Williams was able at last to work toward her academic goals.

She passed exams for temporary certification and taught history and English in rural schools in San Gabriel, Marlo, Branchville, Baileyville, Calvert, and Cameron. Attending college during the summers, she earned a B.A. at Southwest Texas State Normal School in 1922, a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Texas in 1926, and the Ph.D. in 1931. From 1925 until her retirement in 1951, Williams taught American and English history at the University of Texas.

As a student of Eugene C. Barker, she investigated Texas history, doing primary research on the Alamo. Her M.A. thesis, "The Siege and Fall of the Alamo," incorporating much of this material, was expanded into her Ph.D. dissertation, "A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo and of the Personnel of its Defenders," which established her as the authority on this subject. Five chapters of the dissertation were published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in 1933 and 1934. In 1935 she published Following General Sam Houston, 1793–1836

From 1938 to 1943 Williams and Barker collaborated on the eight-volume edition of The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863. Her tact was credited for having convinced Houston's descendents to grant access to portions of his correspondence, an act that Barker's disdain for Houston had precluded for many years.

Williams was an honorary lifetime member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and also held membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Order of the Eastern Star. She was a Presbyterian and a Democrat. She died in Austin on August 14, 1958, and was buried near Maysfield. The Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin contains her papers.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Milam County Heritage Preservation Society, Matchless Milam: History of Milam County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984). National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 44. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Jane Smoot [her niece, who is still living in Austin, Texas as of this date]
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Jane Smoot, "WILLIAMS, AMELIA WORTHINGTON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed August 10, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

1946 :: Rockdale Undertaker Dies

Dallas Morning News. August 14, 1946. Rockdale Undertaker, P.E. Luckey, Dies. Rockdale, Texas, Aug. 13 (AP). -- P.E. Luckey, 67, senior partner of the Phillips & Luckey funeral establishment here, died at his home Tuesday. Burial will be here Wednesday afternoon. Survivors include his wife, four sons and a daughter.

Perry Emmett Luckey, the son of John Millard and Rachel Garner Luckey was born February 28, 1879 in the Millerton Community of Milam County. The old Luckey homestead was located on much of the land where the Sandow Strip mine is now located. On June 1, 1902, he was married to Mary Draper Carter. Her parents were Sinclair Blake and Tennie Love Carter who immigrated to Texas from Mississippi in 1877 and settled in the Tracy Community of Milam County. Mr. Carter was a Confederate veteran and he and his wife had experienced much hardship during the Civil War.

The Luckeys were parents of four sons: Darrell Emmett, Harold Milton, Donald Carter, Edward Earle; and one daughter, Bertha Lucille. The Luckeys were members of the Methodist Church. For a number of years, Mr. Luckey was associated with Henne and Meyer Hardware and Undertaking Company in Rockdale. These two men were pioneers in the burial insurance business and worked toward the enforcement of having burial insurance legalized in Texas. Later they founded the Phillips and Luckey Burial Association.

Mr. Luckey was a quiet and unassuming man and he had a steadfast devotion to principal. His heart was supercharged with love for his fellowman. He was a greatly beloved citizen of Rockdale.

From Matchless Milam, History of Milam County Texas, compiled and edited by Milam County Heritage Preservation Society, A Texas Sesquicentennial Edition.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1754 :: San Xavier Missions

On this day in 1754, Pedro de Rábago y Terán took over as commander of San Francisco Xavier de Gigedo Presidio, the military post at the San Xavier missions (near the site of present-day Rockdale, Milam County, Texas). He replaced José Joaquín de Ecay Múzquiz, who had been sent in 1753 to assist Capt. Miguel de la Garza Falcón in investigating the murder of a priest and a soldier at Candelaria Mission. Nothing better illustrates the animosity that often existed between missionaries and soldiers than events at the San Xavier missions. Felipe de Rábago y Terán, Pedro's nephew, had served so poorly that conditions at the missions were deplorable when Ecay Múzquiz arrived. The nadir had come with the murder of Father Juan José Ganzabal and the soldier Juan José Ceballos, on May 11, 1752. Commandant Felipe, who had debauched Ceballos's wife, blamed the violence on the Coco Indians. But evidence uncovered by Ecay Múzquiz and others strongly suggested that Felipe himself was behind the murders. When the elder Rábago y Terán replaced Ecay Múzquiz, he was unable to reverse the general decline. The San Xavier missions were abandoned in 1756, and their property was moved to Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission, which was itself destroyed by Indians in 1758. From Texas Day By Day

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1914 :: Death of Mrs. M.C. Rasbury

Dallas Morning News. August 10, 1914. Deaths. Rasbury. -- Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., Aug. 9. -- Mrs. M.C. Rasbury died at the family home here at 7:30 o'clock Friday, aged 72 years. She had resided in Rockdale for thirty-three years and reared a large family. The surviving children are Judge Charles A. Rasbury of Dallas, E.L. Rasbury of Thorndale, Mrs. E.H. Wynne of Temple, Mrs. C.M. Sessions and L.L. Rasbury of Rockdale.

1912 :: Blood Poison Kills Woman

Dallas Morning News. August 10, 1912. Blood Poison Kills Woman. Chicken Bone in Throat Ends Life at Temple. Special to The News. Temple, Tex., Aug. 9. -- The death of Mrs. L.L. Rasbury of Rockdale occurred here last night from blood poisoning caused by a small chicken bone having lodged in her throat about ten days ago. An operation was performed, but too late to prevent infection. Deceased is survived by her husband and a boy of 12 years, both of whom were here when the end came. Those also here were Hon. Charles A. Rasbury of Dallas, Mr. and Mrs. C.M. Sessions of Rockdale and Miss Maggie Buntin and Mrs. Adams of Flatonia, the two latter being sisters of decedent. The remains were forwarded to Rockdale for burial.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1914 :: Death of John T. Gambill, Sr.

Deaths. Special to The News. Gambill -- Cameron, Milam, Tex. Aug. 3. -- John T. Gambill Sr. died at Rockdale Saturday and was buried yesterday morning. The deceased was in the Confederate army and was well-known and highly esteemed in this county. He is survived by a large family. Dallas Morning News, August 4, 1914