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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

1932 :: Report of 1882 Bids for Capitol Lands

Dallas Herald, December 31, 1882. The bids for the Capitol lands were opened yesterday. Walter Scheill of Rock Island, Ill., offered to erect the building for 3,000,000 acres. A.A. Burck of Rockdale offered to build for 2,970,000 acres. Both bids were backed by syndicates. Fifty Years Ago. Dallas Morning News, December 31, 1932

Monday, December 16, 2013

1965 :: Christmas Pageant

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:9-12

Once upon a time . . . back in the 20th century . . . the words printed above were read by a school-age narrator during the annual Christmas pageant in Rockdale . . . this was a pageant traditionally held in the auditorium at Rockdale High School . . . the following news clipping is regarding the 1965 Christmas pageant . . .

The Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, Rockdale, Milam County, Texas, Thursday, December 16, 1965, page one
The Christmas Story will be told at 7:30 p.m. Friday by more than 200 junior-high school students when they stage their Christmas pageant in the high school auditorium. A highlight of the Christmas season in Rockdale in past years, the pageant will this year involve 211 students, according to Ernie Laurence, junior-high principal. The pageant will tell the story of the birth of Christ. Beverly Yoakum and Joe Caldwell will portray Mary and Joseph, and Jane Johnston and Jim Crow will be the narrators.

Friday's program will begin with a greeting from Laurence, followed by Brenda Yoakum, prologue; Billy Harris, invocation; and Peter Erskine, scripture reading.

A musical selection will be presented by a vocal quartet consisting of Susan Abel, Shirley Cleveland, Vivian Burgess and Tresha Morton. A 127-member choir will also furnish Christmas music for the pageant and Deborah Hosek will be the pianist.

Others in the cast: Bill Hulse as Gabriel; Bobby Chaney, Jim Eanes and Jerry Haupt as the three wise men; Byron Christian, Jeffery Clark, Alfred Gest, Lee McMurtry, Richard Melcher, John Montoya, Billy Muston, Darrell White, Clayton Young and Carl Cleveland as the shepherds.

Also Sheryl Culp, Marcia Currey, Pam Holloway, Thana Keen, Rosemary Kyle, Libby Whitely, Judy Johnson, Dana Richardson, Becky Robbins, Vicki Vincent, Ava Wardlaw and Marilyn Worley as the angels.

Candlebearers will be Minta Auchmoody, Brenda Boyd, Mary Camp, Dora Cortinez, Wanda Crocker, Linda Cruz, Sally Curtis, Judy Dyer, Sherra Floyd, Teresa Fritz, Nancy Isaacs, Kathy Jeter, Teresa Jones, Olivia Matl, Patricia McGowan, Donna Morgan, Bridget Mortimer, Patti O'Connor, Vickie Pounders, Patricia Pinkerton, Susan Pursche, Roberta Richards, Denise Thompson and Diane Timmerman.

The Rev. Frank Cady, pastor of St. John's Methodist Church and president of the Rockdale Ministerial Alliance, will give the benediction. 

Choir members will be --

Becky Alford, Debbi Alford, Donna Angell, Mary Lou Armstrong, Paul Auchmoody

Janie Backhaus, Allan Ball, Tamara Baxter, Landis Bayless, Sheila Bell, David Bennett, James Birkhead, Judy Black, Thomas Blackburn, Denise Botts, Ann Bouldin, Patti Bouldin, Bert Brown

Vickie Caffey, Debbie Cates, Debra Chaney, Roger Clark, Cherry Collier, Bill Cotton, Gloria Cruz, Debra Currey

Gloria Darby, Beverly Dornhoefer, Lavita Doss, Donna Dyer

Kenny Earman, Phyllis Eiland

Doris Fatheree, Lynda Freeman, Mike Fuller

Cathy Garza, Belinda Gest, Randy Graves, Mike Green, Bennye Grubbs, Susan Guillotte, Steve Gunn

Patricia Haining, Rola Haining, Henry Hall, Arlyn Hammett, Beverly Hirt, John Hogan, Mary Ann Holliman, Robin Hoskins

Larry Ingram

Rosemary Jackson, Patricia Jackson, Allan Jones, Daniel Jones, Rickey Jones, Ruben Juarez, Pamela Jumper

Betty Key, Donald Knott, Donna Kopecky, Virginia Kraatz, Joyce Krenek

Daniel Laird, Donna Lawson, Sharon Lawson, Charlotte Lester, Sue Lumpkins

Johnny Manning, Virginia Mantel, Billy Martin, Cathy Martin, Joey Mason, Donna Mathews, Delores McIrvin, Jimette McNiel, Charlene Melcher, Darlene Melcher, Nannette Menn, Donna Meyers, Susan Morgan, Linda Morton, Bonnie Muston, Carol Mowdy

Elaine Nink, Margaret Nolan

Janie Ortega, Bonnie Owen

Judy Parmelee, Wanda Patterson, Pattie Peebles, Jane Philippus, Darrell Phillips, Becky Pounders;

Donna Ray, Sandy Reed, Patty Remaley, Debbie Richardson, Kathy Romine

Mary Serrato, Annette Sexton, Marion Snelgro, Mary Sonntag, Elaine Stewart, Carol Strelsky

Linda Tate, Bruce Thaler, James Throckmorton, Judy Throckmorton, Cindy Tindall, Priestly Tindall, Nelda Todd, Rose Mary Tyus, William Tyus

Linda Valigura, Tom Valigura, Jimmy Voyles

Darrell Walker, Diana Wenger, Patricia Wenger, Paul Wilcox, Sheila Willard, Sid Williams

Linda Yezak, Leah Young

Serving as Ushers will be Charles Criddle, Darrell Hirt, Darrell Jacob, Mike Lankford, and William Peebles. 

Hostesses will be Lynette Bayless, Lynn Schwarzer, Shelly Roddam and Deborah Sandidge.

Alternates are Janie Backhaus, Vivan Burgess, Sally Curtis, Kim Nichols, Jim Eanes, Sherra Floyd and Terry Hoskins.

Stage Helpers are Johnny Jones, Dan Legg, Ritchie Lester, David Mathews, Richard Munoz and Roy Graham.

Part of the pageantry included junior-high girls wearing white choir robes and carrying lighted candles as they entered from the back of the auditorium . . . they were singing Star of the East as they walked down the double aisles to the front of the stage . . .  

Star of the East, Oh Bethlehem's star,
Guiding us on to Heaven afar!
Sorrow and grief are lull'd by the light.

Thou hope of each mortal, in death's lonely night!
Fearless and tranquil, we look up to thee!

Knowing thou beam'st thro' eternity!
Help us to follow where Thou still dost guide,

Pilgrims of earth so wide.

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,

Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.
Oh star that leads to God above!

Whose rays are Peace and Joy and Love!
Watch o'er us still till life hath ceased,

Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star!

Star of the East, undim'd by each cloud
What tho' the storms of grief gather loud?
Faithful and pure thy rays beam to save,

Still bright o'er the cradle, and bright o'er the grave!
Smiles of a Saviour are mirror'd in thee!

Glimpses of Heav'n in thy light we see!
Guide us still onward to that blessed shore,

After earth's toil is o'er!

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,

Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.
Oh star that leads to God above!

Whose rays are Peace and Joy and Love!
Watch o'er us still till life hath ceased,

Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star!

The Star Of The East 1918
Music by: Amanda Kennedy
Lyrics by: George Cooper

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Originally posted 08 December 2000
at the now defunct

For history of this song, as well as various recordings of this song from youtube, please visit our family history blog at . . .


Monday, December 2, 2013

1880 :: Death of William Broadnax

At Cameron on Wednesday night, a dispute arose in a barroom between Robert Boykin, jr., a boy of 19 and William Broadnax, an inoffensive gentleman. Boykin called him a liar and other offensive epithets, Broadnax threw a tumbler at him, when he drew his revolver and shot Broadnax, killing him instantly. The boy made his escape. . . . Boykin, the boy who murdered W.H. Broadnax at Cameron, on the 24th inst. has been arrested and is now in jail at Cameron. A reward of $500 offered by private citizens secured Boykin's arrest. Brenham Weekly Banner, December 2, 1880

1933 :: Death of C.K. Stribling

Rockdale, Texas, Dec. 1. -- Funeral services for C.K. Stribling, who died Wednesday, were held Thursday morning. Mr. Stribling had lived in Rockdale for more than fifty years and married Miss Mary Copeland, daughter of the late W.E. Copeland, pioneer Presbyterian minister. 

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary C. Stribling; one son, Ralph Stribling of Houston; seven daughters, Mrs. Reed Laurence of Castroville, Mrs. W.S. McClintock of Refugio, Mrs. Alfred Dippel of Dallas, Mrs. Esther Quinlan, Misses Catherine, Cornelia and Helen Stribling of Rockdale, and two sisters, Mrs. Kate Gentry of Corpus Christi and Mrs. W.A. Morrison of Cameron. Dallas Morning News, December 2, 1933

Sunday, December 1, 2013

1922 :: Death of A.P. Perry, Jr.

The death Tuesday morning and burial Wednesday afternoon of Andrew P. Perry Jr., 49, threw the whole town into mourning, as Mr. Perry was one of the most beloved and useful citizens. He died following a lingering illness which had lasted more than a year. Mr. Perry was a native of this place and had been in the drug business here since 1899. He was connected with every important activity of the town, was an active Mason, a Knight of Pythias and a Woodman. He was married to Miss Laura Vandevetter in 1907 and his widow and son, George, survive him. Services were conducted at the family residence by the Rev. G.B. Tumlin, pastor of the First Baptist Church, of which the dead man had been a member since early manhood. The pastor was assisted at the graveside by the Rev. Joseph Carden, rector of the Episcopal Church. Flowers were sent for the burial from all over Texas, and Rockdale business hours were closed from 3 to 5 p.m. out of respect. Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1922 

1902 :: Death of William Pleasants

Ennis, Ellis Co., Tex., Nov. 28. -- William Pleasants, a young man from Rockdale, died here Thursday evening at the home of his sister, Mrs. C.W. McKenney. The remains were taken to Rockdale today for burial. Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1902 

1896 :: Death of Dr. Letcher

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. . . . Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1896 [*He was enumerated in Maysfield on the 1880 census.]


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

1892 :: Watchers Shot in the Leg

Rockdale, Tex., Nov. 26. -- Billy Doss, living four miles west of Rockdale, has been annoyed recently by some person rocking his house at night. Last night while Edna Hinter and George Doss were on guard to catch the perpetrator of the outrages unknown persons slipped up and shot both men in the legs, Hinter seriously and Doss slightly. Papers have been taken out for the arrest of August Silky [Seelke?], suspected as the guilty party. Dallas Morning News, November 27, 1892

Sunday, November 24, 2013

1904 :: Death of Col. N.H. Tracy

Cameron, Tex., Nov. 23. -- News was received here last night from Rockdale of the death there at 9:30 of Col. N.H. Tracy, who has resided in that city for several years and who has been a member of the Milam County bar a long time. He was a member of the Legislature from this county and Mayor of Rockdale for some time. A number of Cameron people left this morning for Rockdale to pay their last respects to the deceased. He was also a soldier in the Confederate Army. Dallas Morning News, November 24, 1904

Saturday, November 23, 2013

1875 :: Death of Hattie Baines

Earlier this year . . . on the 25th day of June . . . the Keeper of this Rockdale history blog was doing some work on Find-A-Grave regarding the Old City Cemetery in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas . . . two of the photos posted on Find-A-Grave during that work session are of the final resting place of a little girl with the name of Hattie R (1873-1875), Dau. of Wm. M. & E.V. Baines. . . . little Hattie died on this date (23rd day of November) in the year 1875 . . .

As far as is currently known, there are no other Baines buried in this cemetery . . . and the parents were not listed as being buried elsewhere in Milam County . . . so, a search was begun for her family members . . .

The 1880 census quickly revealed that amongst the inhabitants of Rockdale as of June of that year were 37-year-old Wm. M. Baines, his 39-year-old wife, Elizabeth V. Baines, and an assortment of children . . . also in the same household were William's 33-year-old brother, Geo. W. Baines, and his 24-year-old wife, Cornelia . . .

Further research led to the fact that these Baines brothers are two of the sons of George Washington Baines, Sr. and his first wife, Melissa Ann Butler . . . this info wound up placing these Baines brothers in the waayyy distant branches of the personal family tree of the Keeper of this blog, where . . .

On the 26th day of June, in the year 1881 . . . a baby girl is born in Collin County, Texas . . . she is the first of three children known to have been born to her parents, Joseph Wilson Baines (1846-1906) and Ruth Ament Huffman (1854-1936) . . . and they give her the name of Rebekah . . . 

Rebekah's father, Joseph, is a brother to the above named William and George . . . which makes Rebekah a first cousin to the little Hattie who is buried in the Old City Cemetery in Rockdale, Texas . . . 

Rebekah grows up to marry Samuel Ealy Johnson . . . and they are the parents of the 36th President of the United States . . . who is a 9th cousin twice removed to the Keeper of this Rockdale history blog . . .

Did y'all follow all of that!?! :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

1904 :: Street Carnival

Rockdale, Tex., Nov. 19 -- A street carnival is being arranged for Rockdale, to come off Nov. 28 to Dec. 3. Dallas Morning News, November 20, 1904

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1874 :: Death of Mrs. Dorcas Groce

The Rockdale Messenger announces the death of Mrs. Dorcas Groce, on the eighth instant, aged seventy-four years, five months and two days. Austin Weekly Statesman, November 19, 1874 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

1881 :: News from Rockdale

Weekly Democratic Statesman
Austin, Texas
November 3, 1881

Rockdale, October 31. -- We were all summoned to pay three dollars, a few days ago, in lieu of manual labor on the streets. This highly delightful privilege is afforded us quite frequently, but the only effort toward cleaning the streets which has come under the observation of your correspondent, has been made by poor old Bender, whose only compensation is generally a few drinks.

A very large number of ladies and gentleman assembled at the Mundine House on Thursday evening of last week, the occasion being a reception party to Mr. H.A. Gladdish and bride [i.e., Annie Joynes]. All present seemed to enjoy themselves highly.

Mr. George B. Randle is putting up a hall in the second story of the brick building on the corner of Commerce and Burleson streets. This will supply a long felt want in Rockdale, and Mr. Randle merits the grateful esteem of the community for his public spirit. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

1942 :: Death of Harry Whipp

Harry Whipp of Houston, son of Mrs. C.M. Whipp, 812-A Avenue K, died at his home Friday night. A sister, Marguerite, and brother, Cecil, of Lubbock left Saturday night to attend the funeral services. Mr. Whipp's mother is visiting a daughter, Mrs. D.D. Stewart, in Louisville, Ky., and will go to Houston from there and another sister, Mrs. Ronald Shands of Oklahoma City, former Lubbock resident, will attend the funeral. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas), November 1, 1942, Page 7

P.S. . . . FYI . . . in 1952, Harry's daughter, Mary Sue (who was born in Rockdale), marries L Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology . . .

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

1874 :: Death of J E Featherston

The Milam Messenger has an account of the sudden death of Mr. J.E. Featherson, an agent of Glenny & Wagoner, live stock dealers, New Orleans. "He retired to his room Monday night, complaining of a slight indisposition from the effects of a disease of the heart, to which he was at times subjected. Early the next morning he was discovered in an unconscious and dying state, and died about 2 o'clock Monday evening. Austin Weekly Statesman, October 29, 1874

Saturday, October 26, 2013

1911 :: Death of Henry Irby

Cameron, Tex., Oct. 25. -- Milam County Grand Jury adjourned today. It found forty-six indictments, thirteen felony and thirty misdemeanors. . . . Tom Johnson, against whom complaint had been made charging him with the killing of Henry Irby Monday near Thorndale, was not indicted. Dallas Morning News, October 26, 1911

Friday, October 25, 2013

1895 :: New City Hall

Twenty-Eight Years Ago [in 1895] . . . We visited Rockdale last week and noticed many improvements being made. The city hall is nearing completion. Judge Perry, C.H. Coffield and others are putting up handsome residences. The Cameron Herald, October 25, 1923

Monday, October 21, 2013

1953 :: Polio Victim Buried

Mrs. Raymond Elliott, Polio Victim, Buried. Special to The News. Rockdale, Texas. -- Funeral services for Mrs. Raymond Elliott, 26, polio victim who died in an El Paso hospital, were held from Phillips & Luckey Chapel here, with burial in Oak Lawn Cemetery. Mrs. Elliott, the former Bertha Mae Seelke of Rockdale, was stricken two weeks ago while with her husband, Staff Sergeant Elliott, who is in the Air Force at Las Cruces, N.M. Besides her husband, she is survived by two small daughters, Marsha Carroll and Patricia Lee, and her mother, Mrs. Dora Hunt Seelke of Austin. Dallas Morning News, October 21, 1953

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

1903 :: Death of J T Thweatt

Cameron, Tex., Oct. 14. -- J.T. Thweatt, an aged and respected citizen of Milam County, died yesterday afternoon at his residence in Maysfield at the age of 70 years. He had resided in that community for the past forty years. He was a Confederate soldier, and a member of the Masonic Lodge, and also a member of the Knights of Honor. The funeral services were conducted this afternoon at Port Sullivan. The deceased was Justice of the Peace of precinct No. 2 of this county for a number of years, and was for several years postmaster at Maysfield. Dallas Morning News, October 16, 1903

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1898 :: Death of Elder W T H Beezley

Rockdale, Tex., Oct. 14. -- Elder W.T.H. Begely [sic, i.e., Beezley] died in this city on Wednesday, Oct. 13, in his 76th year. He had been a minister of the Baptist denomination for forty-two years, and for all that time had preached the gospel in Milam, Burleson and adjoining counties. He was one of the pioneer preachers of this county, having settled here in 1848, when the buffalo were plentiful here as jack rabbits are now. He was widely known throughout central Texas for his sterling qualities and his uncompromising religious faith.

There never was a time in his ministry that he would not have gone to the stake rather than compromise one tenet of his faith. He was an ex-confederate soldier, having served through that war in Greene's brigade. After the war ended he with a colony of others went to Brazil to escape the reconstruction regime of the federal government. He was not pleased with that country and returned to his old home in Milam county at the end of four years. He leaves a widow and one son and an adopted daughter. His son lives in Temple, Tex., and his adopted daughter, Mrs. J.M. Alexander, lives in Rockdale. Dallas Morning News, October 15, 1898

Monday, October 14, 2013

1894 :: Death of a Convict Guard

Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., Oct. 11. -- The funeral of Mr. W.M. Curry occurred yesterday afternoon at the city cemetery. Mr. Curry was a young man and at the time of his death was a convict guard, and on Tuesday was killed by the accidental discharge of a shotgun loaded with buckshot near Burlington. Dallas Morning News, October 14, 1894

Thursday, October 10, 2013

1874 :: Zoological and Equestrian Exposition

Galveston Daily News, October 10, 1874

Appearing in Rockdale, Texas
on the 10th of October . . . in the year 1874!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

1899 :: Sons of Confederate Veterans

Appointed Sponsor-at-Large. Cameron, Tex., Sept. 30. -- Lieut. Gen. Brant H. Kirk, commanding the trans-Mississippi department of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans, has appointed Miss Alice Antony, daughter of ex-Congressman E.L. Antony, a sponsor-at-large to represent the entire west for the Sons of Confederate Veterans at their reunion to be held at Dallas Oct. 4. Miss Antony has selected Miss Imogene Hicks of Rockdale, Miss Margie Robinson of this city, Miss Sallie McCullough of Mooreville as maids of honor to attend the reunion with her. They will leave Monday for Dallas. Dallas Morning News, October 2, 1899

1878 :: Death by Chloroform

At Rockdale on Tuesday last, Mrs. Isaacs, wife of Leonard Isaacs, feeling indisposed, retired to her chamber and for the purpose of relieving her headache saturated a handkerchief with chloroform and spread it over her face and when an effort was made to awaken her, she was dead. Galveston Daily News, October 2, 1878

Sunday, September 29, 2013

1881 :: Death of the President

Yesterday at 4 o'clock p.m. all business houses in this place [Rockdale] were closed in respect to the death of the president. Memorial services were held at the Methodist church, which were attended by nearly the entire population of the town. An address, reviewing the life and character of the deceased president, was delivered by Rev. W.E. Copeland, of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Several beautiful selections, well suited for the occasion, were sung by Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Jones, Mrs. W.R. Kennard and Mrs. L.H. Porter. The occasion was one of imposing solemnity, and one which will never be forgotten by those present. Weekly Democratic Statesman, Austin, Texas, September 29, 1881

Dallas Morning News. Rockdale, Texas, September 23. -- Robt. J. Boykin, Jr., who escaped from the Cameron jail on Saturday night last, was captured on Wednesday, within half a mile from Cameron, where he had been quietly hiding. Something like three hundred men were in pursuit of the escaped prisoners. When discovered, Boykin drew a revolver, and asked, "Is this a mob?" On being informed that it was not, he quietly surrendered, and was conducted back to jail. The remaining four who escaped are still at large. Weekly Democratic Statesman, Austin, Texas, September 29, 1881

Monday, September 9, 2013

1925 :: Death of Laura Crump

Texas Woman Commits Suicide by Poisoning. 

Mrs. Laura Crump of Rockdale, Tex., was found dead in bed from carbolic acid poisoning early yesterday in her room at the Statler. A friend, with whom she was traveling, Mrs. O.D. Reed of Lafayette, Ind., told authorities the dead woman had been ill and probably had become despondent. Buffalo (NY) Morning Express, Wednesday, September 9, 1925

Sunday, September 8, 2013

1900 :: Travers Deaths in Galveston Hurricane

The person identified in the following 1900 report as "Sister H.C. Travers" . . . aka Sheldon H. "Della" Raby . . . was the wife of Herndon C. Travers, who was postmaster in Rockdale in the 1880s . . . a Baby Boy Travers is buried at the Old City Cemetery in Rockdale . . . he is their son . . . 

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald

Battle Creek, Mich.
November 13, 1900

"When Galveston is mentioned, the minds of the Review readers will instantly revert to the awful destruction brought upon our Texas coast by the great hurricane of September 8. . . . The storm was terrific here at Houston . . . The storm was much harder east and south of here, seeming to center about Galveston. It is impossible to describe the destruction brought upon that city by the wind and waves.

The results of the storm are horrifying in the extreme. Nine of our people perished in Galveston. Their names are as follows: Sister H.C. Travers and little boy . . . We deeply mourn the loss of these dear sisters and these little lambs, but we hope to meet them again when the sea gives up her dead. . . .

Being very anxious about our people in Galveston, I went there as soon as the strict martial law would admit me into the city. On my journey I found that the prairie for twenty miles inland was covered with all kinds of valuable property and debris, interspersed with carcasses. The human bodies along the public route had been previously buried, though there were still hundreds on the prairie. Some were picked up even a month later. . . .

It is impossible to imagine the force of the waves. Think of railroads being swept from their beds, the rails being snapped and twisted as if they were cords! It would be useless for me to enter into details." Felix Conway.

1905 :: Killing of Will Rasbury

Taken to Rockdale. Remains of William G. Rasbury, Who Was Killed Wednesday Night, Shipped to Rockdale. Dallas, Texas. The remains of William G. Rasbury, who was killed in a saloon on Main street Wednesday night, were shipped yesterday afternoon to Rockdale, Tex., by Undertaker George W. Loudermilk. Charles Rasbury, a brother of the deceased, accompanied the body and it will be interred today. Up to a late hour yesterday afternoon no complaint had been made against Kannmacher, who is held in connection with the shooting. He is still being held and has expressed a desire for an immediate hearing. Dallas Morning News, September 8, 1905

Taylor, Tex., Sept. 8. William G. Rasbury, who was killed in Dallas Wednesday night, and Herman Kannmacher, who is charged with the crime, were both former residents of Taylor. The former moved here from Rockdale and the latter is the son of Prof. J.G. Kannmacher, a cartoonist and writer, who a few years ago edited the Taylor (German) Herald, afterward moving to Dallas. Dallas Morning News, September 9, 1905

Saturday, September 7, 2013

1900 :: Death of George W Thach

Special to The News. Cameron, Tex., Sept. 5. -- George W. Thach, who had resided in this county since 1856, died at his home yesterday after a brief illness. He was born in Marion County, Tennessee, in 1825, and belonged to a pioneer family who in the latter part of the eighteenth century pushed westward from Tennessee and formed the new State of Franklin, the short-lived precursor of the State of Tennessee. His father was a soldier both of the Revolutionary War and that of 1812, having been with John Sevier at Kings Mountain and with Jackson at New Orleans. George W. Thach was a veteran of the Mexican War, having served in a Tennessee regiment under Gen. Taylor, and participating in the battle of Buena Vista and the capture of Monterey. The regiment being mustered out at New Orleans, Mr. Thach re-enlisted in a Louisiana regiment, was present at the siege of Vera Cruz and went with Gen. Scott to the City of Mexico. Mr. Thach upon the discovery of gold in California went to that country, where he remained for several years. Dallas Morning News, September 7, 1900 

Friday, September 6, 2013

1903 :: Death of S L Glassfort

Cameron, Tex., Sept. 4. -- S.L. Glassfort died at the Buford Hotel here early this morning. He was above 70 years of age and had resided in Cameron for the last twenty years. He leaves no family. The deceased was a native of Alabama and was a Confederate soldier from that State during the Civil War. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. C.M. Tomkies, pastor of the Baptist Church, and the funeral was observed at Oak Hill Cemetery under the auspices of the Confederate soldiers. Dallas Morning News, September 6, 1903

Death - Sam Glassford, age about 77, an ex-Confederate soldier, died at the Buford hotel last Friday morning and was buried in the allotted ground in Oak Hill cemetery. He had been in ill health for several years. Cameron had been his home for some 20-years. Cameron Herald, September 10, 1903

Thursday, September 5, 2013

1901 :: Death of George C Clement

Death - George C. Clement died at his home in Cameron on Friday, Aug. 29th at 10:30 a.m. His death was a shock, although many were aware of the fact his health had been failing him for several months. He was born in the Salty neighborhood, 10-miles south of Rockdale on November 14, 1870 and spent his entire life in Milam county. He came to Rockdale in 1893 and began the practice of law and remained here until December 1899 when he married Miss Pearl Green of Cameron and moved to that city. He was a member of the W.O.W. and the Friends in Need Society. He leaves a widow and one child, an aged father and mother, several brothers and sisters. Rockdale Messenger, September 5, 1901 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1913 :: Death of Rev. F. Huhns

Rockdale, Texas., Aug. 13. -- Rev. F. Huhns, Baptist missionary for the Little River Baptist Association, died in a drug store in this city this morning from poisoning. Justice of the Peace Ed Gunn held the inquest and rendered a verdict of suicide. Dallas Morning News, August 14, 1913

Sunday, August 11, 2013

1881 :: Price of Ice Up in Rockdale

Rockdale, August 3. -- Mr. Goldsticker, the ice cream man of Rockdale, has raised the price of ice, but the thermometer has failed to lower correspondingly. Weekly Democratic Statesman, Austin, Texas, August 11, 1881

Saturday, August 10, 2013

1888 :: Death of Henry Goldsticker

Rockdale, Tex., Aug. 9.--Henry Goldsticker, one of the earliest settlers in Rockdale, died to-day of Bright's disease. He leaves a most estimable wife and family to mourn his loss. Deceased was a member of both knights and legion of honor. He possessed many excellent qualities. Dallas Morning News, August 10, 1888

Friday, August 9, 2013

1928 :: Gas Turned on at Rockdale

Rockdale, Texas, Aug. 8. -- The Community Gas Company's pipe line bringing natural gas to Rockdale is completed and gas was turned into the mains Monday. Dallas Morning News, August 9, 1928

Saturday, July 27, 2013

1897 :: Death of Mrs. Finnie Davis

Austin, Tex., July 26. -- Mrs. Finnie Davis jumped from the south-bound International train about a mile and a half this side of Rockdale this afternoon while it was running about thirty-five miles an hour and was instantly killed. She was being conveyed from Reisel to the insane asylum in this city, and, according to the officer's statement, had been very restless all day. A gentleman had been standing in the rear door of the train and had left it open when he stepped out on the platform. Mrs. Davis, seeing it open, jerked away from her guard and bounded out through the door and off the platform. The train was stopped and went back and picked up the unfortunate woman, who was dead. Justice Johnson held an inquest here this evening. The remains were embalmed and shipped to the husband at Reisel to-night, accompanied by the guard, Mr. Lowry. Dallas Morning News, July 27, 1897

Thursday, July 25, 2013

1897 :: Death of George Chambers

Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., July 24. -- News reached here of the death of George Chambers last Wednesday. He was dragged by a mule several days ago, and death resulted. Dallas Morning News, July 25, 1897

Died of His Injuries. Rockdale, Tex., July 24. -- (Special.) -- News reached here of the death of Geo. Chambers last Wednesday. He was dragged by a mule several days ago, and his injuries were not supposed to be serious. He was hurt internally, however, and death resulted. Austin Weekly Statesman, July 29, 1897

Friday, July 19, 2013

1913 :: Death of John Whiteley

Rockdale, Tex., July 18. -- John Whiteley, a prominent citizen and Farmers' Union official of this county, died here. He had just mounted his horse to return home from a Farmers' Union meeting when he was seized with an attack of apoplexy and fell dead. Dallas Morning News, July 19, 1913

Thursday, July 18, 2013

1913 :: Four Hurt in Explosion

Rockdale, Tex., July 17. -- A boiler at the Vogel lignite mine, three miles east of Rockdale, exploded at noon today, wrecking the plant and injuring four men. No one was in the engine room at the time. W.H. Castleberry was the most seriously injured. He has a broken collar bone, three broken rigs and was otherwise cut and bruised. He will recover. The property damage was heavy. Dallas Morning News, July 18, 1913 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

1927 :: Rockdale Highway Bridge is Opened

Rockdale, Milam Co., Texas, July 5. -- The State Highway bridge on West Cameron street, which spans Ham Branch, the stream that separates the town proper from College Hill, was opened to traffic Monday, when hundreds of autoists passed over it out to Fair Park to participate in the Fourth of July festivities. 

The City Council recently let the contract to the Pace-Davis Company for the building of two new concrete bridges over the stream, one to be on West Bell, the other on North Ackerman street. Work will begin within the next few days. The estimated cost of the Bell street bridge is $3,000 while the new Ackerman bridge work will run close to $2,000. Dallas Morning News, July 6, 1927

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

1943 :: Death of Claud Drake

Claud F. Drake, 77, of Rockdale, Milam County, chamber of commerce manager and assistant night editor of The News, from 1911 to 1913, died at a Cameron hospital Thursday. Born in Macon, Ga., in 1866, he served newspapers in the capacity of reporter and editor in Alabama before coming to Texas. He wrote extensively for the Manufacturers Record and other trade journals and was active until his death in promoting oil development in Milam County. Drake was in chamber of commerce and newspaper work at Weatherford and Rockdale in his later years. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at the Elmwood Cemetery in Weatherford, where he will be buried beside his wife, the late Mrs. Annie Grace Drake, widely known newspaper writer and clubwoman. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Quintus T. Witte, Long Island, N.Y.; three grandchildren and three stepchildren, Mrs. Dunwoody D. Wier, Dallas; Austin E. Burges, Dallas, and Mrs. Grace Baldwin, Ventura, Calif. Dallas Morning News, July 2, 1943 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

1881 :: Trial of James H. Holtzclaw

Rockdale, June 22. -- Mr. James H. Holtzclaw leaves here this week for Madisonville to stand trial for the killing of Musgrove, the particulars of which were published. He will be accompanied by many of the prominent citizens of the county, including Wyatt Lipscomb, sheriff; J.B. Wolf, collector; W.D. Paden, county clerk; J.C. Oxenford, district clerk; Enoch Breeding, proprietor of the Rockdale Messenger; W. Code, Professor Milton Ragsdale and about twenty others from different portions of the county. 

Indeed the sympathy is so great among the people here, who are acquainted with him and the circumstances of the affair that, were conveyances at hand, there is hardly a man in Milam county but would leave his business and his plow to go and say a word in his behalf. The people of this county to a man feel under deep and lasting obligations to the people of Madison, who so nobly stood by Jim Holtzclaw, when he was a stranger in a strange land. Mr. Holtzclaw is one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens, and the people of Madison will always be held in the kindest remembrance here. Weekly Democratic Statesman, Austin, Texas, June 30, 1881

Sunday, June 23, 2013

1881 :: Rockdale & Milano

Tuesday last, a reporter of the Statesman took a little trip up the International as far as Milano Junction. His first stopping place was Rockdale, which has improved some in the last few months. Besides the erection of an elegant three-story brick hotel, many new stores and swelling houses have been built, the streets and sidewalks put in good condition, and had the citizens succeeded in getting the G.C.&S.F.R.R. to pass through the place, Rockdale would have had at no distant day a population of double what she can now hope for. The merchants say, however, that their trade last fall was better than for several years. After spending part of a day here, and securing a large number of subscribers to the Daily Statesman, the reporter boarded a freight for Milano, "the future great."

This new town is about nine miles from Rockdale, at the junction of the International and Santa Fe, and is the creation of these two roads. A large two-story hotel is being erected for the accommodation of the public, and will be in full blast in about three weeks. Mr. H. Goldsticker, one of the leading business men of Rockdale, owns a large ice house at the junction, and is the wholesale agent for Lemps' beer. He cools the heated inhabitants in the different towns up and down the two roads, and furnishes the thirsty with ice cold beer, and to do this it requires two cars of ice and one of beer per week.

The Santa Fe company owns about 200 acres and have laid off a large number of lots which can be bought for from ten to twenty dollars each. The round-houses of the International at Rockdale have been torn down and will be erected at this point. Mr. E.E. Lang, late of Austin, is in charge of the International freight and passenger business at Milano, and is the right man in the right place. The reporter did not learn whether Milano will be a candidate for the state university or not. Weekly Democratic Statesman, Austin, Texas, June 23, 1881

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1913 :: New Postmaster Takes Charge at Rockdale

Rockdale, Tex., June 19. -- John A. Shapard received his commission as postmaster here Tuesday and is now in charge. Mr. Shapard has been a citizen of this town for thirty years and for the greater part of that time he has occupied positions with the local newspapers. He is a lifelong Democrat. T.D. Wootton is the new assistant postmaster, while Herman Talley and Miss Esther Stevens retain their clerkships. Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1913

Sunday, June 16, 2013

1932 :: Death of Mrs. Benjamin Loewenstein

Mrs. Benjamin Loewenstein passed away June 8. Funeral services were held from the home. The services were conducted by Dr. Wolfe Macht, who used the impressive ritual of the Hebrew faith. He delivered a beautiful eulogy, comparing the sadness occasioned by her passing to the legend of a buried city, which after the clouds and darkness and despair had rolled away, the spires of the great church could be seen from the waters and the ringing of bells heard. So too, with the passing of time, the mist and sorrow would roll away, and the memory of her life would rise and be an inspiring beacon to the dear ones left behind ... The Rockdale Reporter, June 16, 1932 ...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1930 :: J.J. Hairston Dies

Rockdale, Texas, June 11. -- J.J. Hairston, 82, died at his home in this city Monday. Mr. Hairston was a pioneer citizen of Milam County and Rockdale. He was engaged in the cattle business for many years but retired several years ago on account of declining health. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. J.J. Hairston, and the following children: Commissioner R.A. Hairston of this precinct, Miss Martha Hairston, Mrs. R.L. Orr of Rockdale, Mrs. George A. Marsch and Miss Alma Hairston of Shreveport, La. A granddaughter, Mrs. James Lanning of Rockdale and a grandson, Kenton K. Hairston of Denver, Colo., who were reared by the grandparents, and Postmaster H.H. Turner and other grandchildren of Rockdale and over the State survive him also. Funeral services were held Tuesday. Dallas Morning News, June 12, 1930

Thursday, May 30, 2013

1913 :: Death of Charley Ramon

Rockdale, Tex., May 29. -- At the Vogel-Lorenz mine, three miles east of Rockdale, Charley Ramon, 10 years old, was shot and instantly killed. Justice of the Peace Ed Gunn held an inquest and rendered a verdict to the effect the deceased met his death from the accidental discharge of a shotgun in the hands of Will Spence, aged 15 years. Dallas Morning News, May 30, 1913

Friday, May 24, 2013

1913 :: Plate Glass and Marble Front

Rockdale, Tex., May 23. -- B. Loewenstein, the owner, has let the contract for a modern plate glass and marble front to be placed in the building occupied by the Rockdale Mercantile Company. The contract price was $4,000. Dallas Morning News, May 24, 1913 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

1913 :: Wreck on the SAAP

Rockdale, Tex., May 22. -- A southbound freight train on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass was wrecked near Lexington, about fifteen miles south of here, this afternoon. Engineer Wardlow [sic, i.e., Waterwall] and his fireman, were both killed. Six cars of cattle were ditched. The wreck was caused by spreading rails, it was said. The engineer and fireman were caught under the engine, which turned over. The engineer was taken out of the wreckage alive, but died from scalds. Dallas Morning News, May 23, 1913 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

1891 :: Grocery Store at Rockdale

Dallas Morning News, May 19, 1891. Rockdale, Tex., May 18. -- Fire was discovered at 2:30 this morning in the brick building on Main street occupied by J.C. Douglass for groceries and restaurant. By hard and prompt work the building was saved, considerably damaged, and the effects of Douglass rendered worthless. The building belongs to the Lasker real estate association; not known to be insured. Douglass carried $600 in stock and $400 on furniture and fixtures.

Friday, May 17, 2013

1887 :: Drowning of Fowler Kopp

Drowned by the Boat Overturning. Rockdale, Tex., May 16. -- Yesterday afternoon while three German farmers were fishing in a boat in the San Gabriel, about six miles north of town, the boat capsized and one of them, Fowler Kopp, was drowned. Deceased was a single man and a tenant on Anton Strelsky's plantation. Dallas Morning News, May 17, 1887

Thursday, May 16, 2013

1913 :: Death of W A Averitt

Rockdale, Tex., May 15. -- W.A. Averitt, a prominent citizen of the Gardner community, five miles south of Rockdale, died at his home. Dallas Morning News, May 16, 1913

1913 :: Death of Beatrice Parker

Rockdale, Tex., May 18. -- Beatrice, 13-year-old daughter of Mrs. Joe Parker, died at the family home here. Dallas Morning News, May 16, 1913

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

1913 :: Building at Rockdale

Rockdale, Tex., May 16. -- Improvements here include the new Coulter brick block of four store rooms, which is now ready for occupancy. 

The new building of the Citizens' State Bank is approaching completion. This building will have one of the handsomest fronts of any in Central Texas. 

E.A. Green is erecting a new gin to have a capacity of 100 bales per day. 

Concrete street crossings and gutters are being laid throughout the business district. More than a mile of new cement sidewalks have been laid or contracted for in the residence section of the city and many of the streets are being curbed. 

The Southwestern Telephone Company has under way improvements that will total $10,000 or $15,000, including new office equipment and the placing of cable lines in lieu of wires. The cable in the business district is being placed underground. 

The Farmers' Union Warehouse Company is having erected a new office building and store room and will engaged in the mercantile business. Dallas Morning News, May 15, 1913

1913 :: Milam County Fair

Rockdale, Tex., May 14. -- The Directors of the Milam County Fair Association held a meeting here and transacted much important business. A program as adopted and will be ready for publication following the report of the racing committee, which committee has been delegated to arrange for automobile races. A contract has been entered into calling for two airship flights on each of the three days of the fair. Steps were also taken for the purchase of land to be added to the park. The fair will be opened on Wednesday morning, July 9, with a street parade and will close Friday night, July 11, with an illuminated automobile parade. Dallas Morning News, May 15, 1913

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

1913 :: Death of Joe Young

Rockdale, Tex., May 7. -- Joe Young, who was stabbed here a week ago in an altercation, died last night as a result of his wounds. Dallas Morning News, May 8, 1913 

Friday, April 26, 2013

1891 :: Waterworks for Rockdale

Rockdale, Tex., April 25. -- Arrangements were perfected to-day between an authorized committee of the city council and Mr. M.P. Kelley, representative of eastern parties, whereby a $42,000 system of waterworks will be established here, work to commence in sixty days and to be completed before January next. This clinches a long felt ambition of the town, and Mr. Kelley assures the council that an ice and electric plant will immediately follow. Dallas Morning News, April 26, 1891

Saturday, April 20, 2013

1906 :: Death of Howard E Willson

Death of Howard E. Willson. Editor of Many Years' Standing Dies at Rockdale. Special to The News. Taylor, Tex., April 19. -- Editor Howard E. Willson of the Rockdale Messenger, aged 45, a son of H.I. Willson of the Taylor Texan, died at his home in Rockdale last night of acute nasal catarrh, leaving a widow and four children, two sons and two daughters. Deceased was a vigorous writer, a Christian gentleman and was well and favorably known to the press of Texas, having edited the Taylor Texan for fourteen years prior to purchasing the Rockdale Messenger several years ago. He was a member of the Woodmen of the World and Knights of Pythias lodge of that city. The remains were buried with Pythian honors at Rockdale this afternoon at 3 o'clock. Dallas Morning News, April 20, 1906 

Friday, April 19, 2013

1897 :: Stolen Horses

Sheriffs' Department. Milam County. Cameron, Tex., April 17. -- Stolen. April 15, in Rockdale, brown mare, about 9 years old, three stocking feet, 15 hands high, blotched brand on left shoulder and star in forehead. Also 4-year-old bay horse, 15 hands high, one white hind foot, branded 3C on left shoulder. Reasonable reward for return or information leading to recovery by I.H. Corbett and $25 for the arrest and conviction of the thieves will be paid by Marshall J.B. Hamilton. Address R. Todd, sheriff Milam county. Dallas Morning News, April 19, 1897

Friday, April 5, 2013

1916 :: Death of Arthur Jenness

Rockdale, Texas, April 4. -- Arthur Jenness, a prominent farmer and former business man of this city, was instantly killed near Kolbs' gin nine miles northwest of town this afternoon by a falling tree. Mr. Jenness was supervising some road work, which included the removal of a lot of extra large pecan trees, one of which fell sooner than expected. Mr. Jenness met his death in an effort to save his saddle horse, which had strayed under the tree. His neck was broken and skull crushed. Dallas Morning News, April 5, 1916

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

1928 :: Death of J.H. Richardson

Rockdale, Milam Co., Texas, April 1. -- Relatives are in receipt of a message announcing the death of J.H. Richardson of Whittier, Cal. Richardson made frequent return visits to Rockdale where, together with a brother, he was interested in the Rockdale oil fields. Dallas Morning News, April 2, 1928

1928 :: Death of Boyd Taylor, CSA Veteran

Rockdale, Milam Co., Texas, April 1. -- Boyd Taylor, 88, died at his home near Milano. The funeral was under the auspices of the Masonic fraternity, with District Judge Watson of Cameron officiating. The Rev. Polk C. Webb had charge of the religious service. He had lived in Milano district for forty years. He was a veteran of the Civil War. Dallas Morning News, April 2, 1928

1928 :: Death of Ben Arthur

Rockdale, Milam Co., Texas, April 3. -- Funeral services for Ben F. Arthur, 86, was held at his home in this city, the Rev. Charles F. Smith of the Methodist Church officiating. Burial was made in the old City Cemetery. He was a Confederate soldier, a member of Tom Green Cavalry and a pioneer resident of Rockdale. Dallas Morning News, April 2, 1928

Saturday, March 30, 2013

1882 :: Travers becomes Postmaster

At the election for postmaster held at Rockdale Saturday H.C. Travers, the president incumbent, received 356 votes without opposition. Dallas Morning News, March 30, 1886

Herndon C. Travers becomes Postmaster as of the 14th of April. He was a special speaker, whose services were sought on all public occasions. He was president of the leading clubs while serving as Postmaster, and was one of the principals in a notable double wedding to Miss Shelby Raby of Gatesville; the two other principals were J. Sid Hudson and Miss Emma York.

Friday, March 29, 2013

1892 :: Death of Uncle Jessie Glenn

The Rockdale Messenger reports the death of old Uncle Jessie Glenn, an old colored man who claimed to be 115 years old. He died in sleep, or rather went out like a candle, no one knowing that he was sick. Dallas Morning News, March 29, 1892 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

1945 :: Death of W P Perry

Wallis Pope Perry, 46, of 111 North Bishop, office manager of the Southwest Tablet Manufacturing Company, died at his office Tuesday after a heart stroke. Perry was born in Belton and reared in Rockdale. He came to Dallas in 1932 from San Antonio. Surviving him are his wife; a son, Wallis P. Perry Jr.; a daughter, Mary Michael Perry, of Dallas; stepmother, Mrs. Ira Perry Sr., Boerne, Kendall County; a brother, E.W. Perry, Jacksonville, Fla.; a sister, Mrs. Allen Banks, Houston. Funeral services will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at the chapel of the Poole Funeral Home, 437 West Jefferson, with the Rev. Thomas F. Gallaher officiating. Another service and burial will be in Boerne Friday. Dallas Morning News, March 28, 1945