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Saturday, December 15, 2012

1962 :: Rockdale Beats Sinton, 14-0


Dallas Morning News
December 15, 1962

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1891 :: Buying Fire Apparatus

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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

1896 :: Death of Dr. J.S. Letcher

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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

1891 :: Injured in a Quarry

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.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

1918 :: Death of Dr. G.W. Mullins

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]

1891 :: Death of Miss Bulah Loper

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.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

1891 :: Morphine Suicide

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.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1891 :: An Old Citizen Accidentally Killed

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.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

1924 :: Store Robbed in Rockdale

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

Saturday, September 1, 2012

1902 :: Fire in Rockdale

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

1931 :: Death of John H. Bickett

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]

Thursday, August 16, 2012

1892 :: Death of Rev. Dr. James H. Stribling

Dallas, Aug. 15. -- [To The News.] -- The announcement in yesterday's News of the death of the Rev. Dr. James H. Stribling of Rockdale at Eureka Springs, Ark., on the 12th instant, recalls to my mind the old aphorism, that when "a good man dies the people mourn." 

Having known and loved this man for fifty-two years, none will gainsay my right to mourn -- the more so as I knew and loved his father and mother, his brothers and sisters. 

Born in Alabama, he came with his parents to Washington county, Texas in 1837. He was one of the first students of Baylor university, and in his youth resolved to be a minister of the gospel, in which service he died fifty-two years later. He was not only intensely religious, but intensely patriotic.

When but twenty years old he and his cousin, John Tremier, were the only men from east of the Colorado valley who participated in the battle of the Salado on Sept. 18, 1842. He was in the subsequent pursuit of the Mexican army under Gen. Wool, and was in the charge on its artillery on the Arroya Honda on the 22d of the same month. Late in the same year he was in the famed Somervell expedition against Mexico, and only abandoned it when his command returned home. 

Resuming his studies he persevered until about 1845, when he received ordination as an elder in the Baptist church. He has since been a pastor at Gonzales, Tyler, Rockdale and other places, and everywhere by the people and all the different churches has been held as a pure and spotless man.

His father, Benjamin H. Stribling, was one of the first judges of Lavaca county. His mother was truly a "mother of Israel." His brother, Thomas H. Stribling, died a distinguished lawyer in San Antonio. A younger brother, Cornelius K. Stribling, has been county judge and representative from Shackelford county. All of the brothers and sisters have been worthy of him. 

The good he has done in these fifty years will be his passport to the life to come.

As a printer boy in Missouri in October, 1844, the first paragraph I put in type read: "The United States sloop of war Peacock, Commander Cornelius K. Stribling, has arrived at Norfolk, Va., after a three years' voyage around the world." That commander was a brother of Mr. Stribling's father. When the war between the states began in 1861 he was Commodore Stribling of the United States navy in command of the navy yard at Pensacola.

Blessed be the memory of James H. Stribling. 

John Henry Brown. 
Dallas Morning News
August 16, 1892 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

1908 :: Death of Capt. Strayhorn

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]

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1898 :: Death of a Centenarian

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

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1865 :: Beating of Patout

Stephen Patout (col.) was so severely beaten by H. Patout (white) with a club that he was confined to the house for several weeks in consequence. H. Patout claimed that Genl. Merritt had authorized him to whip his ex-slaves as usual. Date August 1865 Milan [sic] Co. Freedmen's Bureau Report of Murders and Outrages in Texas

1896 :: Death of W.S. Puryear

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]

Sunday, July 29, 2012

1891 :: SAAP Depot

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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

1887 :: First Bale at Rockdale

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.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

1892 :: Young Lady's Throat Cut

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]

1912 :: Milam County Fair Begins

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.

1891 :: Work on the Aransas Pass

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.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

1905 :: Death of H. Vogel

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]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1922 :: Plans for a School Reunion

Rockdale, Tex., June 11. -- When the new $75,000 high school building now under course of construction is completed and turned over to the trustees Aug. 1, and before the old building, which, it is proposed to turn over to the negro schools, is demolished, it is planned to have a general reunion of all the ex-students, teachers and trustees of the Rockdale public schools since organization, 1884, holding a two days celebration upon the campus.

At a recent meeting of the Parent-Teachers' Association the plan was presented by Ira Perry, formerly a student of this school, but now a resident of San Antonio. C.R. Stribling, president of the Citizens' State Bank, was named as general chairman of arrangements.

Among other attractions of the reunion will be speeches and talks from the ex-students, many of whom have attained distinction in public life since leaving the walls of their alma mater, some of whom are: J.L. Lockett, attorney of Fort Worth; H.W. Wallace, attorney of Cuero; F.A. Wallace, attorney of Cameron; Dr. S.S. Woody, physician of Philadelphia; E.H. Perry of Austin, prominent cotton factor; J. Earls Longmoor, vice president of Drovers National Bank, Kansas City; Leon Rasberry, attorney of Washington County; Charles L. Baxter, wholesale lumber dealer of Chicago; Dr. Thomas D. Baxter, physician of Chilton; Miss Gleanie Wilson, now Mrs. W.T. Corby, teacher of Calvert; Miss Fannie Stribling, wife of W.A. Morrison, lawyer of Cameron; Miss Lena Wright, wife of A.C. Walker, physician of Fort Worth; Miss Gussie Rowlett, well-known instructor of Arkansas, and others. The Galveston Daily News, Monday, June 12, 1922

Saturday, June 9, 2012

1910 :: Judge E.Y. Terral Dead

Dallas Morning News. June 9, 1910. Judge E.Y. Terral Dead. Cameron, Tex., June 8. -- Judge E.Y. Terral died at his residence here last night after a protracted illness. He was about 70 years old and a native of Mississippi. He belonged to Company F. Sixteenth Mississippi, and performed service in the Confederacy. He was a man of positive convicitions and a Democrat of the old "Hickory Jackson" type. He served as County Commissioner several years, and was County Judge from 1886 to 1892. He had a brother who was a member of the Supreme Court of Mississippi at the time of his death. Funeral and burial were observed at the Slocomb graveyard, near town, this afternoon. Judge Terral was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

1888 :: Rockdale Enshrouded with a Mantel of Gloom

Galveston Daily News, June 6, 1888. Rockdale -- The work of desolation and death closes over one of the most peaceful and prosperous little towns in Texas, enshrouding it with a mantel of gloom too impenetrable for a stranger living beyond its borders to be able, however sympathetic, to even faintly appreciate. 

The loss of property, the earnings of years of hard work and close application falls heavy upon poor men, reduced late in life to begin the struggle new. But such considerations pale into absolute insignificance when contrasted with the appalling loss of life, wrought in a few brief moments in so awful a manner.

As has been stated, the Mundine hotel was a three-story brick structure about 60 x 80 feet in size, fronting on the south the International and Great Northern railroad, and on the east Main street, which is 100 feet wide.

The hotel was a perfect mass of windows with a veranda running its entire length on the south and east sides of the second story and a veranda in the third story, connected with halls running to the south and east sides. In addition to these there was another gallery at the extreme west side of the second story of the building, with steps leading to the ground. 

In the extreme southwest corner of the second story, opening on galleries both south and west, were the rooms occupied by Dr. W.A. Brooks, wife and four children

Next east of them on the same floor, opening on the south gallery, was the room occupied by J.F. Briscoe, wife and two children, next to which ran a cross hall, also leading to the south gallery. 

Still east, across the hall mentioned, was the room occupied by Pemberton Pierce and next, in the extreme southeast corner of the same floor was the room of Mr. Oldham, while directly above the latter, in the third story, was the room of Isaac Crown.

It almost surpasses human conception that in a building with such numerous avenues of egress that of thirteen people only two should have escaped. The only rational theory advanced is that the fire originated about the staircase in the first story, and a comparatively small space being open to the top of the house operated as a flue, filling the house with a volume of smoke so dense that the inmates were only awakened to suffer almost instant suffocation.

Little air was stirring during the course of the fire, in consequence of which there was no cause to prevent the entire house rapidly filling with smoke. Still it would seem that more than two should have escaped.

Before anyone was aroused or an alarm given the entire first story must have been a seething mass of flames, for in three minutes after Mr. Oldham, who gave the first alarm and descended by one of the upright supports of the south gallery had reached the ground flames burst forth from his room.

It is, alas! Too late to consider what might have been done had certain precautions been taken, but this town having enjoyed immunity from fires for many years perhaps engendered a feeling of security leading to some carelessness, not in the hotel management alone, but the citizens at large, which sooner or later was likely to lead to disaster. And how terrible has it fallen!

Messrs. Scarborough & Hicks have received the following telegram -- Philadelphia, Pa., June 4 – See best undertaker and express body of Mr. Pierce in best shape possible to David Schuyler & Son, undertakers, Philadelphia. Express his effects to 904 Cherry street. George H. Ziegler.

Dr. W. A. Brooks, who was rescued while struggling to regain his family, is not seriously burned or injured, but is of course, terribly prostrated by the loss of his wife and four children. He says that when he was awakened the room was full of smoke, that he rose quickly and reached a window, which he raised, by means of which he obtained a little fresh air and then went back for his family, groping in dense smoke. While doing this he heard the window fall, returned to it and smashed it with his fist and arm, was grabbed by someone and forcibly removed; after which his mind is clouded until he found himself in safety, just beginning to realize his awful loss.

To undertake to mention the names of any who signalized themselves by daring flames and smoke in their efforts to save life would be wrong, as the writer could not name them all. Suffice it to say that no means were left untried and, He who notes the humblest sparrow’s fall will bless the manly bravery and humane efforts of those who in these feeble lines are nameless.

Disposition of Bodies. With every tender care possible the remains of the Brooks and Briscoe families, as near as they could be identified, charred and broken as they were, were placed in two separate coffins and interred in the Odd Fellows cemetery after funeral services at the Baptist church, under the auspices of the Odd Fellows and Knights and Ladies of Honor. The services were attended by almost the entire population of Rockdale.

The remains of Isaac Crown were also buried last yesterday afternoon in the Jewish cemetery, under the auspices of the Masonic fraternity.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

1888 :: Eleven Persons Perish in Fire

Dallas Morning News, June 5, 1888. Most Horrible Holocaust. Eleven Persons Burned to Death. The Leading Hotel in Rockdale Consumed by Fire -- Men, Women and Little Children Devoured by the Flames. 

Rockdale, Tex., June 4 – Rockdale was stricken this morning [the 4th] at a little after 3 o’clock with fire and holocaust so appalling and heartrending that language is inadequate to describe the scene.

At the time stated the town was aroused by cries of fire and the rapid discharge of firearms. The fire was discovered about the staircase in the office of the three story brick building known as the Mundine hotel. So terrible and rapid was the work of the flames that out of thirteen persons known to have been in the hotel eleven perished. Those known to have been lost are:

  • 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.

Mr. D.M. Oldham, representing F. Cannon & Co. of Galveston, escaped without injury, and Dr. W.A. Brooks, proprietor, was pulled by main force out of the room occupied by his family, he having reached the door but resisting every effort to be saved before his wife and children. He was carried down the rear staircase.

Mr. D.M. Oldham, who occupied an extreme southeast room in the second story, says he was awakened by a roaring, cracking sound, thinking that a storm had arisen and was blowing the doors and window blinds about, but he soon detected smoke in his room, arose, went to the door and opened it only wide enough to see the flames in the hall. 

Hastily closing the door, he went to the window, threw his clothing out on the wide veranda which surrounds the south and east side of the second story, and from there to the ground, he then followed by sliding down one of the supports of the veranda. 

Almost immediately after reaching the ground he saw the party supposed to be Pemberton Pierce rush out on the veranda all aflame and leap to the ground, striking on his head and killing himself instantly. 

Thus have perished two most estimable families, one of Rockdale’s promising young businessmen, Isaac Crown, and a stranger whose sad fate will startle and grieve those to whom he was dear.

J.F. Briscoe was for many years a barber at this place, thoroughly respected by everyone, and who by thrift and industry had risen to independence. He recently sold out his business here and opened one in the same line at Taylor, married to a young and beautiful woman who with her two little children had stopped over here, being en route to her girlhood’s home in Indiana. She was joined by her husband, who came in on the 11:30 train last night, only to share with his loved ones a horrible death. 

Mrs. Brooks, who has been identified with all that is good of Rockdale since its construction, was well and widely known by the traveling public, her husband and she always having kept the principal hotel.
Dr. Brooks is entirely dazed, crushed at heart and badly injured, but whether fatally or not cannot be determined, but it is thought he may recover.

Isaac Crown, the junior partner of the firm of I. Baum & Co., was about 30 years of age and unmarried. No citizen held a higher place in the esteem and confidence of all than did this young man.

The origin of the fire is yet conjectural. The hotel building was occupied on the first floor by the United States postoffice and the firm of T.B. Kemp & Co., general merchants, and from neither could anything be saved except such valuables as were contained in fire-proof safes. 

Adjoining the hotel on the north was a one-story brick building, owned by J.S. Perry and occupied by J.R. Rowland for the storage of general merchandise, whose main stock was kept in the building adjoining still on the north. The first-named building was entirely consumed with its contents, and the last named is nearly destroyed, with the goods badly damaged. 

Here the course of the fire was checked by the heroic efforts of the citizens, who worked with unceasing and fearless energy, unaided by organization of any kind and no conveniences for obtaining water. All business here is entirely suspended, and a gloom has been cast over Rockdale which cannot be removed for many a day.

See also . . .

1997 :: Homecoming's Deep Roots

Rockdale Reporter, Thursday, June 5, 1997. Homecoming's Deep Roots Traced to '33-'34 Gatherings

Rockdale's annual homecoming . . . has some mighty deep roots. Franklin D. Roosevelt had been in office less than three months and not too many people outside Germany had even heard of a fellow named Hitler when the Rockdale Home Coming (that's the way it was chartered) Association was formed on a sunny Sunday in 1933. . . .

Rockdale's annual homecomings are the brainchild of Ira Perry, a rancher and former Rockdale resident who settled in the Pipe Creek area of Bandera County but never lost contact with Milam County. Under Perry's guidance, a small group gathered at Fair Park in June 1933, for the first homecoming.

They elected officers and planned a 'full-fledged' homecoming the next year. That's the meeting where it was decided to hold the annual homecoming on the second Sunday of June. Marion Burck Smith of Austin was named the first association president with Mrs. C.M. Sessions of Rockdale vice-president, Perry as secretary, and Mrs. D.H. Sanford of Rockdale and Mrs. W.A. Morrison of Cameron as historians.

The Rockdale Reporter termed the 1933 gathering "a rather impromptu affair" but had praise for Perry. "The fact that he was named to the key position of the organization is a guarantee that the next annual meeting will be largely attended," John Esten Cooke, Reporter editor, wrote.

FIRST TRAIN. Rockdale roots don't come much deeper than those of Mrs. Smith, first homecoming association president. She was the daughter of A.A. Burck, Rockdale's first mayor. Burck brought his family to Rockdale on the first International & Great Northern (I&GN) train that chugged into the new town in 1874. Rockdale's official founding is traced to that year, when the bustling new community was the railroad's western terminus.

Mayor E.A. Camp called the first homecoming to order and delivered a speech. "An hour or two was then spent in general conversation and the relating of reminiscences of the 'good old days.' Miss Polly Smith of Austin, the attractive daughter of the president, and an expert photographer, took several pictures of the group." In addition to Rockdale, Cameron, Austin and Pipe Creek, the first homecoming drew participants from Dallas, Rocksprings, Taylor, Palestine, San Antonio, Bastrop and Houston.

MOMENTUM. Perry began the next day to seek addresses of "all former Rockdale citizens" for the next event. Having decided to hold each reunion on the second Sunday in June, the new association used an interesting 1934 calendar and scheduled the next homecoming for June 3.

Nevertheless, over 60 persons participated including E.H. and W.A. Richardson of Dallas, sons of Rockdale's first lumber dealer, and C.G. Green of Hamlin, Rockdale school superintendent for almost two decades. City Secretary Branch Lewis, R.L. Orr and Mayor Camp helped organize the meeting. 

Names of those attending form almost a litany of Rockdale history and include Marrs, Isaacs, Sessions, Baxter, Phillips, Bullock, Williams, Baggerly, Mundine, Porter, Henry, York, Wallace and, as the Reporter noted, "probably others who failed to register."

The 1933 and 1934 meetings provided the momentum for all future homecomings. . . .

Monday, June 4, 2012

1888 :: Gloom at Taylor

Gloom at Taylor. Taylor, Tex., June 4. -- The news of the burning of the Mundine Hotel this morning at 4 a.m. cast a gloom over this city, as all parties are well-known, three of them being here Sunday and left for Rockdale at 10 p.m. Frank Briscoe, who is in business here, left at 10 p.m. for Rockdale to move his family here. He and wife and two children are among the victims. P. Pierce, a drummer and noted as a composer of music, attended church twice here yesterday. He represented Ziegler & Co. of Philadelphia, and got several large orders for goods. A number of Taylor citizens have gone to Rockdale and several leave to-night to render all assistance possible. Dallas Morning News, June 5, 1888

Friday, June 1, 2012

You can go home again!

You can go home again! 
by Dr. Lucile Estell

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

Some learned person once wrote "you can't go home again." That's a saying I've heard all my life. I'm not sure I agree with it.

Rather, I believe that a desire to return home, go back to your roots is a desire that most of us feel at some time. The feeling intensifies around this time of year as Rockdale, like many other communities all over Texas, approaches its annual homecoming celebration.

I had an occasion this past week to step backward about 50 years to a place which was my home for two years.

As I turned down a familiar street, past familiar structures -- yes, a school was there -- I slipped into the evening of my memory and there once again saw familiar faces, young and enthusiastic, eager to learn.

I saw the smiles of the human landscape, the people who then composed the fabric of my life. I recalled so many names, Robert, Peggy, Juan, Andrea, so many others, and for a few special moments I was there again.

These memories are a part of my life, a part of what makes me who I am, a part of the fabric of my life.
As we approach this homecoming in Rockdale, I hope that you can take the time to go back in your memory and think of the people and events which have made Rockdale great.

  • Go down to the old depot and remember the days when it was an active place. Hear the hustle and bustle as the trains come and go.
  • Walk north on Main Street from the depot and perhaps you'll see Dr. Barkley walking toward his office.
  • You may see the activity of stores opening at Vogel's or Stricker's.
  • Look across Cameron Avenue and see what's playing at the Dixie Theatre.
  • Move on down Ackerman Street and see (in your memory only) the old Lockett home, residence for many years of Mrs. Sledge who wielded such a powerful influence over so many young people as she taught them piano.
  • Look toward Main Street and you will still see standing the garage of Buck Henry, who for so many years epitomized the values which are Rockdale.

Think of those many friends who are no longer with us and remember the part they played in weaving the fabric of your life.

If the things that you see, and the emotions that you feel, make you happy, bring these with you to the annual homecoming on the 2nd Sunday in June.
What you bring with you will combine with what others bring and assure that we will have the best homecoming ever.

You can go home again. 

Rockdale Reporter, Thursday, June 1, 2000

Thursday, May 24, 2012

1906 :: Death of H.L. Witcher

Rockdale, Tex., May 19. -- H.L. Witcher died at his home in this city on yesterday afternoon in his 67th year. He was a member of the G.A.R. He served in the Eighth Illinois Cavalry. Mr. Witcher moved to Rockdale in 1873 and was elected City Marshall in 1874 and served two terms in that capacity. In 1884 Mr. Witcher was married to Miss Ruth Stribling, a daughter of Dr. J.H. Stribling, an eminent Baptist preacher. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge. His funeral services will be conducted by that fraternity this afternoon at 5 o'clock. Mr. Witcher served two terms as postmaster of Rockdale. First under Benjamin Harrison's administration and afterwards under McKinley's administration. He leaves a widow. Dallas Morning News, May 24, 1906

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1928 :: Downtown Rockdale

The following article was written by Dr. Lucile Estell, and was published in the May 23, 1996 issue of The Rockdale Reporter. Mr. Bland's model was the central focus of the Rockdale historical display which was set up at the Rockdale Homecoming on Sunday, June 13, 1999. At that time, it was intended that the model would find a permanent home in the restored I&GN Depot.

Nolan Bland's model
of downtown Rockdale . . .
a trip back in time

Backward, turn backward,
O time in your flight,
Make me a child again, just for tonight!

These words, penned in 1860 by Elizabeth Akers, describe in part the feeling which engulfed me as I crossed the threshold of Nolan J. Bland's workshop to view the model of Rockdale, circa 1928.

The model came to life as I examined sites which were among my first memories growing up in Rockdale in the early 1930's. The feelings were so real that for a fleeting moment I felt that I had been once more at Mr. C.W. Matson's Dixie Theater, followed by ice cream at Mrs. Hill's.

The model of Rockdale is the work of Nolan J. Bland. According to Bland, the idea for such a model had been in his mind for a number of years. After his retirement, he decided to make the model a reality. He began its actual construction more than a decade ago, using as a basis a 1928 map of Rockdale. He laid off the streets first, presenting them in the unpaved condition which existed in 1928.

Construction of buildings came next. Bland used old photographs as well as his own important mental images of Rockdale in this early period. "I remember all of this," he said. "I was born and raised right here," he added, pointing to a site southwest of town. In the beginning, his work was on a scale of one foot to sixteen inches. However, he altered this in some instances in order to make the buildings look more realistic.

As his dream took physical form, Bland enlisted help in identifying buildings and ensuring the accuracy of the model. Part of this assistance came from his wife, Leona Gest Bland. She is a native of the Gay Hill community and strong supporter of the project. A major role in this identification process was played by E.E. "Buck" Henry, who assisted Bland in this important phase.

The first area that Bland constructed was south of the railroad tracks in the booming industrial section of Rockdale. This is the area near the first city water tower, shown on the model.

Featured here are...
  • the ice plant
  • the cotton oil mill, including garage & scales
  • the lumberyard
  • Farmer's Union Store & Warehouse
  • Blackburn's Electric Gin
  • Sinclair Oil
  • Gulf Oil
  • the swimming pool
  • railroad houses
  • William Cameron Lumber Yard
and other structures. Also seen on the model is the office of the cotton buyer, a man named Vinton.
Moving on toward "downtown" Rockdale, one sees both the passenger and freight depot of the IGN Railroad. The town was thriving. Persons looking for a residence, temporary or permanent, might select from...
  • the Larue (formerly Wolf) Hotel
  • Mrs. Queen's Room & Board
  • Wilson's Boarding House
  • or the Hale Hotel
Those wanting to eat had a broad choice, including...
  • Scheihing's Restaurant
  • Carrol Robison's Hamburgers
  • Albrecht's Hamburger Shop
  • Owl Cafe (Mr. Landis)
  • Peveto's Restaurant
  • Mrosko's Cafe
  • Elite Cafe (Ryan & Vogel)
  • Dad Griffith's Cafe
If there was a sweet tooth to be satisfied, there was also a broad choice...
  • Bob Reagan's Confectionery*
  • Hill's Confectionery* & Book Store
  • Stein's Bakery
  • Henning Root Beer & Gas Station.

*A place where confections, ice cream and cakes are made or sold; a candy shop.

Those persons needing or wanting to purchase groceries could go to...
  • Cannon's Grocery
  • Ray Ead's Grocery
  • Noack's Grocery
  • Marshall's Meat Market
  • Backhaus Brothers Grocery
  • R.L. Orr's Meat Market
  • H&L Hudson Grocery
  • Jim Hamilton's Meat Market
And the model shows stores and services of other varieties. I noted with pleasure Dora Poole's Millinery* (my maternal grandmother), and Estell's Tin Shop (my paternal grandfather).

*The business of making, trimming or selling women's hats.

There was...
  • Ousley's Variety
  • Cone's Dry Goods
  • Perry & Quebe Drug Store
  • Lowenstein's Merchandise
  • Pruett's Feed Lot
  • Coffield Hardware
  • Henne & Meyer Hardware
  • Baldridge Brothers Drug Store
  • Stricker's
  • T.B. Kemp Insurance
  • City Panatorium*
  • McCawley's Saloon

*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...."

Rockdale was progressive, with...
  • a newspaper, The Rockdale Reporter
  • a Masonic Lodge
  • Dr. I.P. Sessions
  • Dr. T.S. Barkley
  • at least one dentist and one lawyer
Rockdale had two banks, Rockdale State Bank and Citizens Bank. There were other amenities...
  • B. Regenbrecht, Jeweler
  • Moultrie's Blacksmith Shop
  • Phillips & Luckey, undertakers
  • Gaither Motor Company
  • Texas Power & Light
  • W.E. White Dry Goods
  • Scarborough & Hicks
  • Louie Gest Chevrolet
  • B. Ashby Gas Station
  • Schubert's Shop & Shoe Repair
  • Franklin's Filling Station
  • Strelsky's Gas Station
  • W.P. Henry's Garage
Reflecting on these years and on all the years between, we should remember most of all that this was a town filled with hope and promise and compassion -- a town filled with people, some of whom would remain in this central Texas location and some (such as George Sessions Perry) whose influence would span the world and future generations. The model is a treasure beyond words, a pleasure to view, and perhaps most of all -- a gentle reminder of who we are and from whence we came.

Below is the list of buildings on Nolan Bland's model, as prepared by Peggy (Skinner) Wright. At one time, the buildings were numbered to correspond to this list.

  1. IGN Railroad Depot (R) Passengers (B) Freight
  2. Cannon's Grocery ~ Peveto's Restaurant
  3. Mrs. Queen's Room & Board
  4. Ousley's Variety Store
  5. Cone's Dry Goods
  6. Scheihing's Restaurant
  7. City Pantatorium (Dry Cleaners)
  8. Dad Griffith's Cafe
  9. Ray Eads' Grocery
  10. Carroll Robison's Hamburger Shop
  11. Rockdale State Bank (doctor, dentist, lawyer upstairs)
  12. Coffield Hardware
  13. Border State Grocery
  14. Larue Hotel (Formerly Wolf Hotel)
  15. Rockdale Furniture
  16. Albrecht's Hamburger Shop
  17. Owl Cafe (Mr. Landis)
  18. McCawley's Saloon
  19. Perry & Quebe Drug Store
  20. Loewenstein's Merchandise
  21. T.B. Ryan's Shoes
  22. Jack Pamplin's Confectionery
  23. Mrosko's Cafe
  24. Noack's Grocery
  25. Marshall's Meat Market
  26. Stein's Bakery
  27. Backhaus' Brothers Grocery
  28. H & L Hudson's Grocery
  29. W.P. Henry's Garage
  30. Henry Barnhouse Home
  31. Colored Barber Shop
  32. Moultrie Blacksmith
  33. Pruett's Feed Lot & Livery
  34. Menn's Monument Works
  35. Estelle's Tin Shop ~ Woodmen's Lodge ~ JP Hillyer
  36. Preston Perry (vacant lot)
  37. Harness Shop
  38. Billy Richard's Garage
  39. Moses' Livery Stable (rear)
  40. T.B. Kemp Insurance
  41. Henne & Meyer Hardware
  42. Phillips & Luckey Undertakers (upstairs)
  43. Furniture Store
  44. Dixie Theater (C.W.Matson)
  45. Citizen's State Bank ~ Southwestern Bell (upstairs)
  46. Elite Cafe (Ryan & Vogel)
  47. Strelsky's Gas Station
  48. Gaither Motor Co.
  49. Texas Power & Light
  50. Wilson's Boarding House
  51. R.L. Orr's Meat Market
  52. W.E. White Dry Goods
  53. Baldridge Bros. Drug Store ~ B. Regenbrecht, Jewelers ~ (doctor & dentist offices upstairs)
  54. Arch Holley Barber Shop
  55. Hill's Confectionery & Books
  56. Scarbrough & Hicks Co.
  57. First National Bank
  58. Horton's Barber Shop
  59. Bob Reagan's Confectionery
  60. Dora Poole's Hat & Dress Shop
  61. Schubert's Shop & Shoe Repair
  62. Jim Hamilton's Meat Market
  63. Stricker's Variety Store
  64. Rockdale Reporter (downstairs) ~ Masonic Lodge (upstairs)
  65. Rockdale Post Office
  66. Franklin's Filling Station
  67. Louis Gest Chevrolet
  68. B. Ashby Gas Station
  69. Claude Ashby Pool Hall
  70. Moultrie Blacksmith
  71. Hale Hotel
  72. Rockdale City Jail ~ Backhaus Bros. chicken pens
  73. Clyde Rhodes & Tony Allen Machine Shop
  74. Will Scheihing Home
  75. Sour Lake Machine Shop
  76. Grocery Warehouse
  77. Wm. Cameron Lumber Yard & Cabinet Shop
  78. Farmer's Union Gin
  79. Blackburn's Electric Gin
  80. Blacksmith Shop
  81. Texaco/Gaither Whse.
  82. Machine Shop
  83. Railroad section houses
  84. Henning Root Beer
  85. Vinton Cotton Buyer
  86. Seed House
  87. Stockyards (for shipping cattle)
  88. Lumber Yard
  89. Warehouse
  90. Mine Payroll Office
  91. Williams' Grocery
  92. Farmer's Union Store & Warehouse
  93. Cotton Platform
  94. Cotton Sample Room
  95. Cotton Bagging and Tie
  96. Gulf Oil
  97. Cotton Oil Mill Garage
  98. Cotton Oil Mill Scales
  99. Cotton Oil Mill
  100. Ice House
  101. Swimming Pool
  102. Railroad Houses.
  103. Railroad Well
  104. Railroad Motor Car House
  105. Railroad Water Tower
  106. Sinclair Oil (Palmer's)
  107. City Water Tower (first)
  108. SA&AP Railroad
  109. Water Fountain ~ middle of street
  110. Turner Lumber Yard
  111. Crittenden Home
  112. Fred Palmer Home
  113. Rockdale Bottling Works
  114. Leo Harris Store ~ Catchings Barber Shop ~ Henke Dry Goods ~ E.A. Camp Office (upstairs)
  115. T. Raymond Dry Goods
  116. Perry Building
  117. Kestenbaum Garage
  118. Maxie's Sweet Shop & Theater

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

1905 :: Death of Nathan Oakey Letcher

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

1914 :: Rockdale Public Schools

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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

1901 :: Pioneer Woman Dead

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

Friday, May 4, 2012

1899 :: News from Rockdale

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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1942 :: Death of Dan G. Davis

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]

Monday, April 30, 2012

Texas :: A World in Itself

Click on the following link for access to the full text of George Sessions Perry's book, Texas, A World in Itself . . . the link will take you to the beginning of the chapter about the Cotton Folks of Rockdale . . .

Texas, A World in Itself

Friday, April 27, 2012

1894 :: Reward for Yeabel Chrio

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

1930 :: Death of J.C. McCawley

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]