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Thursday, December 31, 2015

1936 :: Death of Walton Douthit, Jr.

Walton Emory Douthit, Jr., six-year-old son of Dr. and Mrs. W.E. Douthit of Cuero, and grandson of Mr. and Mrs. B.L. Douthit of Rockdale, died at Cuero Saturday, December 26, after an illness of about ten days. Burial was made in Rockdale Sunday morning.

Walton Emory had been sick about ten days, although his illness was not thought at first to be serious. Meningitis developed, however, and death came about three days later. He was six years and eight months old.

The body was brought to Rockdale and services held from the Phillips & Luckey funeral home at 9:30 o'clock Sunday morning, conducted by the Rev. DE. Sneller, pastor of the First Methodist church of Rockdale. Interment was in the Old City Cemetery.

Surviving are his father and mother, Dr. and Mrs. W.E. Douthit, of Cuero; and one sister, Lillian. He is also survived by his grandparents in Rockdale, Mr. and Mrs. B.L. Douthit, and a grandfather in Houston, Mr. Frank Janoch. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, December 31, 1936

Sunday, December 27, 2015

1945 :: Death of Marietta Cravy

Miss Marietta Cravy, 84, died Wednesday night, Dec. 19 at the home of Cleve Tucker, and funeral services were held at Salty Thursday at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Frank Luker, pastor of the Methodist church of Rockdale, officiating. Miss Cravy was born on the San Gabriel river near the Kolb settlement about 1861, the daughter of John and Sallie Cravy, and spent her entire life in Milam county. Three brothers and one sister preceeded her in death. She joined the Methodist church in early life and was a consistent christian. Her brother, George Cravy, was a pastor of the Methodist church. About three years ago she became bed-ridden and has endured extreme pain and suffering. The only remaining near relatives are her niece, Mrs. Cleve Tucker and Grofney Cravy's two daughters, these being the only known surviving relatives. For the past 25 years she has resided at the home of Cleve Tucker and family who have devoted their time and efforts in caring for and comforting her in her declining and infirm years, that being the only home she has known for the past quarter of a century. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, December 27, 1945

Saturday, December 26, 2015

1924 :: Hunters Marooned in South Texas

Dallas Morning News. Rockdale, Texas, Dec. 25. -- Marooned for five days thirty miles from the railroad on a big ranch in Zapata County, south of Aguilares, near the border, and forced to remain in camp nearly a week before they could venture out, the party of Rockdale hunters who left here some three weeks since, returned Tuesday, thereby relieving the fears of their families and friends, who had received no word from them since leaving home. They were just getting ready to break camp when the "blue norther" hit that section last week. The party consisted of Dr. E.A. Swafford, Dr. T.D. Rountree and Lon Hudson. Dallas Morning News, December 26, 1924 

1927 :: Texas Man Dies After Accident

Dallas Morning News.  Rockdale, Tex., Dec. 27. -- E.I. Wade, postmaster at Rockdale, died about 11 o'clock last night on an operating table in a Cameron hospital following injuries sustained in the street in front of the Rockdale postoffice about 10 o'clock when struck by a hit-and-run automobile. No trace of the automobile which killed Mr. Wade had been obtained at an early hour this morning. Funeral services are being held at Rockdale this afternoon. The Amarillo Globe-Times, December 26, 1927 

Friday, December 25, 2015

1888 :: Red saddle stolen

Galveston Daily News
Galveston, Texas
25 December 1888

Sheriff's Department. Milam County. Rockdale, Tex., December 21.-- Stolen at this place last night from S.E. Luckey one bay horse pony and red leather saddle; the pony is about 4 years old, branded LUK connected over the left shoulder; saddle red leather, branded J.N. Redden, maker, Rockdale. Will give a liberal reward for horse and saddle returned to J.R. Arthur, city marshal, Rockdale, Tex., or J. Lewis, sheriff, Cameron, Tex.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

1903 :: John Scott leaves town

Mr. John Scott left today for Childress, Texas, to make that place his future home. Mrs. Scott and children have been there for some time. Rockdale can ill afford to lose such citizens as Mr. Scott, and we wish for him much success in his new field. Rockdale Reporter, December 17, 1903

Sunday, December 13, 2015

1899 :: Death of Baby Farmer

The baby of Mr. and Mrs. Alva Farmer died yesterday and was buried at New Salem today. Rockdale Reporter, December 13, 1899

Friday, December 11, 2015

1947 :: Death of Mary Sanders

Mary Sanders, one of Rockdale's old time colored folk, died at her home here Friday after a long illness. Funeral services were held Wednesday. Mary was a member of an early day colored family of Rockdale, the older members having come to Milam county with the family of the late Judge English of Cameron, before Rockdale was founded. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, December 11, 1947

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1966 :: Mrs. Alma Lewis Dies Friday at Local Hospital

Mrs. Alma Lewis, 81, daughter of one of the first early-day residents of Rockdale, died at 1:35 p.m. Friday in Richards Hospital. She had been in failing health the past three months and in the hospital four weeks.

Funeral services were held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Phillips & Luckey Chapel with burial in Oak Lawn Cemetery. The Rev. D.D. Simpson and the Rev. Allen Cearley, Baptist ministers of Rockdale and Milano, officiated. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Rockdale.

Born in Rockdale on Feb. 9, 1885, she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Scott, both deceased. She was one of 12 children. Her father, a photographer, was a passenger on the first train that came to Rockdale when the railroad extended its line this far west. He was one of the first city councilmen in Rockdale.

She and Valdie Lewis were married here in 1902 and six children were born to them, an infant preceding her in death. Her husband died Oct. 3, 1947.

Survivors include a son, C.D. Lewis of Lufkin; four daughters, Mrs. E.A. Tucker of Houston, Mrs. V.B. Douglas of Los Angeles, Mrs. Alvie Blackmon of Milano, and Mrs. D.E. Taylor of Milano; two sisters, Mrs. Sue Hill of Longview and Mrs. Billie Neal of Longview; nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.

Pallbearers were Gordon Mason, Holice Mason, Arnold Mason, Wayne Tucker, Michael Johnson, and Charlie Tucker. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, December 08, 1966

Sunday, December 6, 2015

1923 :: Death of John Scott, Photographer

News was received in Rockdale yesterday of the death of John Scott in Fort Worth, and his daughter, Mrs. A.V. Lewis, of the Harmony community, left at once for that city to attend the funeral.

Decedent will be remembered by all old-time Rockdale citizens. He was a citizen here for many years, conducting a photograph studio in the rooms now used as Woodmen Hall. He closed his studio about twelve years ago and left Rockdale, since which time most of his friends had lost sight of him.

Mr. Scott was a man of rugged, honest and sincere character. He served at one time as one of the Rockdale aldermen, and is said to have made a splendid officer in that capacity. The news of his death will be received by his friends with universal regret. Rockdale Reporter, Thursday, December 6, 1923

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

1915 :: Thanksgiving Day

Today is being generally observed in Rockdale as a holiday. Practically all the stores are closed and business suspended for the day. Union religious services were held this morning at the Christian church, Rev. B.B. Blaylock delivering the Thanksgiving sermon. Many are spending the day out of town, and many others are enjoying turkey with friends and relatives in Regal Rockdale. Quite a crowd went over to Austin, drawn by the big football game there between Texas U. and Notre Dame. The Rockdale Reporter and Messenger (Rockdale, Tex.), Vol. 42, No. 38, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 25, 1915 Page: 2 of 8 


Monday, November 23, 2015

1940 :: Death on a Mississippi river bridge

Vicksburg, Miss., Nov. 22. -- (AP) -- A man tentatively identified as James W. Hogan, 61, of Rockdale, Texas, was killed last night when struck by a truck at the west end of the Mississippi river bridge here. The body was taken to Tallulah, Louisiana. Waco News-Tribune, November 23, 1940

1911 :: Judge Antony mingling with old friends

Judge E.L. Antony of Dallas was mingling with old friends here after an absence of many years. His mother is visiting the family of J.D. Hamilton awaiting the arrival of a grand daughter from Pecos Valley, when together they will go to Cameron. Judge Antony contemplates returning to Cameron, his old stamping ground. He resided there when the only mode of conveyance to district courts was by the stage route, and was among the number of Rockdalians who celebrated the first incoming of the I. & G. N. passenger to the community. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, November 23, 1911 

Monday, November 16, 2015

1944 :: Dana Andrews Remembers Rockdale

"Dana Andrews' most vivid and lasting impression of a home is the parsonage in Rockdale, a two-story frame house of the vintage 1910."

The above quotation is from a story, "Portrait of a Minister's Son," in a recent issue of Photoplay Magazine. The writer was speaking of Dana Andrews of the films, who might be better known in Rockdale as "Hoddy" Andrews, who spent his young boyhood in Rockdale when his father, the Rev. C.F. Andrews, was pastor of The First Baptist Church of Rockdale a number of yeras ago. 

The Rockdale parsonage, a two-story frame house, which the Andrews family lived in, is now a modern white bungalow and would probably not be recognized by Andrews should he visit it now.

Dana's father, Rev. C.F. Andrews, died in 1940. He served as Baptist pastor in Rockdale, as well as in San Antonio, Uvalde and Huntsville. Dana's full name is "Carver Dana Andrews," and Rockdale citizens remember his as Carver, or the nickname "Hoddy," given him by his father for the way he said "Howdy" as a youngster.

Young Andrews graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College, Huntsville, worked as a plumber's apprentice between high school and college age, worked for an oil company in Houston, and was working for a filling station in Van Nuys, Calif., when his first break for the movies came. Among his pictures was 'The Purple Heart,' in which, according to the Photoplay magazine writer, he gave a "magnificent performance."

Andrews told the magazine author that he visited his old home in Rockdale fifteen years ago at which time he visited the old two-story frame house and a favorite childhood hiding place -- underneath the ground floor, between the central beam and the floor, where he found undisturbed after fifteen years things he had cached there: a monkey wrench, a jackknife and a mess of marbles. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, November 16, 1944 

Friday, November 13, 2015

1900 :: Murder of Amiel Storke

Rockdale, Tex., Nov. 12. -- Tragedy at a Dance. Host, who was shot Saturday near Rockdale, is dead. Amiel Storke, who was shot on Saturday night at a dance given at his home, four miles west of Rockdale, died of his wounds yesterday afternoon at 6 o'clock. Enoch Lohse is under arrest and held on a warrant issued by Justice Wells, charged with murder. Dallas Morning News, November 13, 1900

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

1902 :: Death of Ouida Baxter

Dallas Morning News. Rockdale, Texas, November 8. -- Ouida, the 6-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B.B. Baxter, died yesterday afternoon and will be buried today at the city cemetery. Deceased was a very bright little girl and the family is one of the most prominent in Rockdale. Houston Post, November 10, 1902 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

1920 :: The "Monte Carlo"

The old two-story brick building which stands next door to The Reporter office, sometimes known locally as "Monte Carlo," threw a scare into its occupants Sunday afternoon when a section of the rear wall collapsed, carrying with it the back stair way. From a rear view the building now looks like a picture of some of the shell-wrecked houses of France. It ought to be pulled down, for the balance of it is almost ready to fall, and in its present condition it constitutes an absolute menace to life and adjoining property. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, November 4, 1920

Sunday, November 1, 2015

1899 :: Photo of Cameron Street

J.F. Lewis, the photographer, has recently made a picture of Cameron street that is fine. It is a splended advertisement for Rockdale, as it shows the street loaded with wagons from Mistrot's store to the city hall. He is selling these splendid pictures at a reasonable price. The Rockdale Reporter, November 1, 1899

Saturday, October 31, 2015

1918 :: The "flue" in our community

Sandy Creek - Oct. 27 - The "flue" is thought to be giving away in our community. There have been three burials in the Sandy Creek cemetery this week. One very uncommon thing happened in regard to one of Lewis Blackman's children. An order was given for a grave to be dug for the child. But before anything was done about digging the grave, word came not to dig it as the child had come to and is thought to be improving. . . . Mr. Will Williams brought his wife back from Rock Port and she was buried in the Sandy Creek cemetery. Lewis Blackman has had two daughters buried this week. We are sorry to hear of one of our Sandy Creek girls death in South Texas -- Mrs. Annie Cloud Mullins, Mrs. D.A. Cloud's daughter. We extend sympathy to the bereaved ones. HAWK. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, October 31, 1918

Thursday, October 29, 2015

1936 :: Steamboat Washington Historical Marker

Sunday, November 8, at 2 p.m. This is the date and time for the celebration to be given for the unveiling of the historical Centennial marker known as Steamboat Landing Marker in Milam County. The event will be held at Lamkin Park, two miles southwest of Cameron at the highway bridge on Little river, according to Hon. T.S. Henderson of Cameron, who is in charge of arrangements.

Among those who will be present on this occasion, according to Henderson, is John Hobson of Buckholts. Mr. Hobson is the only survivor of those who witnessed the landing of the Steamboat Washington in 1851.

J.W. McCown Jr. of Houston, grandson of J.W. McCown, consignee of the cargo of merchandise brought by the steamboat, will also be present, as will Basil M. Hatfield of Ft. Worth, grandson of Basil M. Hatfield, captain of the steamboat Washington. . . . Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, October 29, 1936

Sunday, October 25, 2015

1906 :: Awarded $500 Damages

In the district court at Cameron this week the jury in the case of G.B. Vandeventer vs. the I. & G. N. Ry. rendered a verdict giving Mr. Vandeventer $500 damages for injuring the stallion "Col. Kahla" when he was shipped to Rockdale. Rockdale Reporter, October 25, 1906

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1850 :: The Census Taker

On this date in Milam County, Texas . . . the 21st day of October . . . in the year 1850 . . . T.J. Allen is acting as "the census taker" and is busy visiting residents of Milam County . . . this particular Mr. Allen just happens to be the third husband of Matilda Connell Allen Allen nee Roberts . . . who is an older sister of our Mahala . . . who is a 3rd great grandma to the Keeper of this Rockdale history blog . . . regarding the job of "the census taker" it has been written that . . . 

It was the first day of census,
and all through the land;
The pollster was ready,
a black book in hand.

He mounted his horse
for a long dusty ride;
His book and some quills
were tucked close by his side.

A long winding ride
down a road barely there;
Toward the smell of fresh bread
wafting up through the air.

As an enumerator for Milam County, one of the households Mr. Allen documented on this date contained the following family members . . .

Elijah Goodnight 17 [sic]

    The woman was tired,
    with lines on her face;
    And wisps of brown hair
    she tucked back into place.

    She gave him some water
    as they sat at the table;
    And she answered his questions
    the best she was able.

    He asked of her children
    Yes, she had quite a few;
    The oldest just turned nineteen,
    the youngest is still two.

    He noted the sex,
    the colour, the age.
    The marks from the quill
    soon filled up the page.

    They came from Illinois,
    of that she was clear;
    But she wasn't quite sure
    just how long they'd been here.

    They spoke of employment,
    of schooling and such;
    They could read some and write some,
    though really not much.

    When the questions were answered,
    his job there was done;
    So he mounted his horse
    and he rode back toward home.

    We can only imagine
    his voice loud and clear -
    "May God Bless you all
    for another ten years."

    As it turned out, by the time the next census is taken (1860), T.J. Allen has died of yellow fever while working as editor for The Galveston Journal . . . most of the members of this branch of the Goodnight and Daugherty family have moved on to other parts of Texas . . . and the above mentioned "Charlie Goodnight" has been a member of the Texas Rangers (1857) . . . 

    Before another census comes around in 1870, Charlie has been involved in a near state-wide round-up of feral Texas longhorn cattle that have been roaming free during the years of the war between the states . . . he has invented the "chuck wagon" . . . 

    and he has used that early version of a "food truck" when he and Oliver Loving drove their first herd of cattle northward out of Texas along what would become known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail (1866) . . . 

    Now picture a time warp -
    it's now you and me;
    As we search for the people
    on our family tree.

    We squint at the census
    and scroll down so slow;
    As we search for that entry
    from long, long ago.

    Could they only imagine
    on that long ago day;
    That the entries they made
    would effect us this way?

    If they knew, would they wonder
    at the yearning we feel;
    And the searching that makes them
    so increasingly real.

    We can hear if we listen
    the words they impart;
    Through their blood in our veins
    and their voices in our heart.

    Slightly adapted
    original poem
    Darlene Stevens

    P.S. . . . as an additional tidbit . . . on this date in the year 1899 . . . Noah Smithwick dies in California . . . but back in 1850 he was also living in Milam County, Texas . . . and on the 11th day of September in that year, he was also enumerated by T.J. Allen . . . this Noah Smithwick is the author of Recollections of Old Texas Days . . .

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

    1893 :: Matches in a Gin

    Rockdale, Tex., Oct. 17. -- In attempting to gin seed cotton suspected of having matches in it a fire was started in Rexford Wells' gin house here. As every preparation had been made for an emergency the fire was promptly extinguished by the gin house hands without material loss. This demonstrates the oft mooted question that matches in cotton going through a gin will start a fire. Galveston Daily News, October 18, 1893

    Saturday, October 10, 2015

    1901 :: Loewenstein's

    Rockdale, Texas

    A visit to our store will convince you that your business is in good hands if you trade with us.

    The Messenger, Rockdale, Texas
    Thursday, October 10, 1901

    Click on image to enlarge.

    Saturday, October 3, 2015

    1878 :: Death of Abner Kolb

    Rockdale Brevities. . . . Four cotton gins have been burned here and near here within the past two weeks, only one of which was partially insured. A large amount of cotton was consumed and a son of Capt. P.M. Kolb was so badly burned that he died in a few hours. Weekly Democratic Statesman, October 3, 1878

    1948 :: Henry Family Reunion

    Rockdale Reporter, October 7, 1948 -- A family reunion of the Henry's was enjoyed by many in the home of Mrs. J.D. Hamilton Sunday. Dinner, which was furnished by all, was served buffet style.

    Those attending from Rockdale were: Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Henry, Roberta and OscarMrs. Will Henry, Mr. and Mrs. G.R. Henry and Weldon Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Backhaus, Ruth and Doris Ann, Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Christian, Mr. and Mrs. Vesper Christian and Donna, Mr. and Mrs. Milford Henry and Dale, Mrs. Howard Avrett and Darwin, Mr. and Mrs. Graham Kyle, Graham Jr. and Linda Sue, Mr. and Mrs. Mark ToweryBohn, Dana and Sandra, Robert Phillips, Mrs. J.D. Hamilton and Laura.

    Out of town guests were: Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Henry, Waco; Mrs. Velma Henry Smith, Waco; Mrs. Ida Halyard, Crockett; Georgia Faye Henry, Freeport; R.B. (Sonny) Rosenkrans, Freeport; Delores Sharp, Palestine; Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Reynolds, Palestine; Mrs. T.A. Newton, Palestine; Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Newton Jr. and Shirley, Palestine; Mrs. W.C. Newton and Luckey, Palestine; Mr. and Mrs Alton Peebles, Mary Jane and Martha Lou, Lexington; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Weldon Kyle, Nanette and Douglas, Houston; Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Fergeson, Houston; Delbert Kyle, Huntsville; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ceasar, Virginia Hope and Harry Douglas, Thorndale.

    Thursday, October 1, 2015

    1914 :: Mose, the Barber

    Has run a white shop for twenty-five years in Rockdale, and would appreciate very much a part of the trade. I shall at all times try to please each and everyone, having spent thirty-six years exclusively for the white trade. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, October 01, 1914

    1914 :: War Horses

    G.C. Murray informs The Reporter that he is now negotiating with contractors for a commission to buy up a large number of horses for the government army horse service. He hopes to have the contract closed within the next week and be able to make cash offers for horses. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, October 01, 1914

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    1936 :: Burial of Ed Henke

    ROCKDALE, Tex., Sept. 8. -- Funeral services for Ed. P. Henke, 54, Rockdale merchant, who was found dead at his place of business here Sunday, were held at the home Monday afternoon. Interment was in Oak Lawn cemetery. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Rosa Brockenbush Henke; an aged father in Germany; two sisters, Mrs. Anna Bollen of New Braunfels, Mrs. Charles Richter of Rockdale, two brothers, Henry and Will Henke of Thorndale. San Antonio Express, September 09, 1936

    Thursday, September 3, 2015

    1923 :: KKK in Rockdale

    ROCKDALE, Texas, Sept. 3. -- There were 167 masked men in the Ku Klux Klan held here Saturday. The parade drew a large crowd and traffic officers were necessary to keep the parade line open. The best of order prevailed. There was a barbecue at Tourist Park. . . . A speaker from Austin who did not unmask addressed the crowd at the city fountain. The 167 marching klansmen were reported as being from Taylor, Bartlett, Cameron, Granger, Gause, Hearne, Thorndale, Austin, and towns between here and Austin. The Eagle, September 3, 1923

    Wednesday, September 2, 2015

    1939 :: Burial of Reid Laurence

    The body of Reid Laurence, superintendent of Utopia public schools, was brought to Rockdale for burial. The Rev. O.C. Acrey of the Cameron Presbyterian Curch was in charge of the service. Burial was made in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery with the Masons in charge. Those surviving are his wife, Mrs. Brownie Stribling Laurence; three daughters, Eugenia, Brownie Ann and Sylvis; his mother, Mrs. Agnes Laurence, and a sister, Miss Eloise Laurence of Thorndale, and a brother, Talbot Laurence of New Mexico. Dallas Morning News, September 2, 1939

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    1881 :: New School House

    Dallas Morning News. The Hebrews of Rockdale are going to build a $1500 school house. Weekly Democratic Statesman, Austin, Texas, September 1, 1881

    Sunday, August 30, 2015

    1917 :: Death of J.E. Longmoor

    Rockdale, Texas, Aug. 26. -- The funeral of J.E. Longmoor was held here Friday. Mr. Longmoor for more than a quarter of a century had been cashier of the First National Bank of Rockdale, having been elected to that position when the bank was first organized. He was also president of the Rockdale fire department continuously for about the same number of years. He was a prominent member of the Knights of Pythias order, having filled the various chairs in the grand lodge and for the last several years, had been a member of the board of trustees for the K. of P. Widows and Orphans' Home. He was at one time president of the State Bankers' Association. He is survived by his wife, four sons, all bankers or identified with banking interests and a daughter. The funeral was the largest ever seen in Rockdale and was conducted by the Knights of Pythias, the Rockdale fire department acting as an escort. Cameron Herald, August 30, 1917

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    1913 :: Confederate Pensions

    County Judge John Watson was over from Cameron Tuesday for the purpose of fixing up the papers for a number of old Confederate soldiers who were applying for pensions under the new law. Final proofs were taken for the following:

    • Isaac Long, Milano, Route 3.
    • Dr. E.W. Allen, Rockdale.
    • Lee Wallace, Minerva.
    • N.C. Jones, Rockdale, route 2.
    • Mrs. E. Denham, Rockdale, route 2.
    • Mrs. Mary Joyner, Rockdale.
    • Mrs. E.J. Ashby, Rockdale.
    • Benj. F. Arthur, Rockdale, route 6.
    • G.H. Davenport, Rockdale, route 3.

    Applications and part proofs were taken also for B.V. Arnold and A.L. Pleasant.

    There is a deal of seemingly unnecessary red tape to be unwound before these old heroes can avail themselves of the pittance awarded, but Judge Watson is using all due dilligence in the matter, and is entitled to the thanks of the veterans for the interest manifested. According to the red tape each of the applicants is supposed to make a trip to Cameron, taking along their proofs and witnesses, and Mr. Watson's trip over here was quite an accomodation and appreciated by all concerned.

    Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, August 28, 1913

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    1923 :: Rockdale Tourist Park Proves Money Maker

    Rockdale, Aug. 27. -- The fact that Rockdale has a tourist park has become widespread among the car tourists, and every night parties are seen with lights twinkling inside the enclosure and carrying on their cooking preparations upon the ovens, or setting up over-night house-keeping under the big pavilion. These travelers always drive into town and spend from two to ten dollars before leaving. Tourist parks are found to be paying institutions wherever established. Bryan Daily Eagle, August 27, 1923

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    1923 :: Diehl Blacksmith Corner

    Rockdale Reporter. -- W.P. Henry has closed a deal for the purchase of the old Louis Diehl  blacksmith corner on North Main street, the consideration being $4000. Workmen yesterday began tearing down the old building, preparatory to the erection by Mr. Henry of a modern garage and drive-in filling station. The lot is 62 1-2 by 90 feet, and the new building will cover the entire lot. The filling station will occupy the corner position and will have a double drive-way and full equipment. The garage proper will be equipped to take care of any class of auto repair work, and Mr. Clint Henry will be in charge of that. It is the intention of Mr. Henry and sons to push the completion of the plant with all possible speed, and they hope to ready for business in record-breaking time. Cameron Herald, August 23, 1923

    1923 :: Evangelistic Meeting

    Rockdale, Texas, August 19. -- Beginning August 28, the congregation of the Church of Christ will hold a two weeks' evangelistic meeting under the Rev. Arthur Slater of Corpus Christi. The meeting will be conducted daily on the large vacant lot next to the Rockdale postoffice. Cameron Herald, August 23, 1923

    1923 :: August Menn Monument Works

    Rockdale, Texas, August 18. -- August Menn has leased a large lot and built a new shop and office for his monument works. This improvement and the new garage being built by W.P. Henry disposes of the last of older Rockdale, doing away with the long-standing mule barn and steer lot in the business part of town. Cameron Herald, August 23, 1923

    The Rockdale Reporter, January 8, 1920

    Saturday, August 22, 2015

    1920 :: Family Reunion

    Galveston Daily News
    Galveston, Texas
    22 August 1920

    Two Families Hold Reunion:
    187 Descendants are Present.

    Special to the News. Thorndale, Tex., Aug. 21.-- A most delightful occasion was the reunion of the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Jackson and Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Caffey, two of the pioneer couples of Milam County. These two families came to Texas from Alabama in 1874 and located in Bastrop County. Mr. Caffey and family moved to Milam County in 1875, and Mr. Jackson and family in 1876, and located in the community which has since been their homes. Mr. Caffey is 83 years old and Mr. Jackson 76. Their wives are sisters and are a few years their junion. Both Mr. Jackson and Mr. Caffey are confederate veterans.

    There are 187 descendants of these two families. In the Jackson family there are twelve children, seventy-one grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren, and in the Caffey family there are seven children, forty-four grandchildren, and thirty-eight great-grandchildren. Four generations were in attendance at the gathering that day. About 200 relatives and friends were in attendance. A bounteaus dinner was spread.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015

    1881 :: Entertainment at Mundine Hotel

    Dallas Morning News. Rockdale, August 13. -- Quite an enjoyable entertainment at the Mundine Hotel last night was given by the young gentlemen. Old Bender, Johnny Austin and old Burch seem to have migrated from Rockdale. A thanksgiving proclamation will probably be issued. Your correspondent does not know whether they went to Temple, Belton, or Valley Mills, or Cisco, but our loss has probably been the gain of some one of them. Weekly Democratic Statesman, Austin, Texas, August 18, 1881

    Monday, August 17, 2015

    1880 :: Death of J.W. Green

    Dallas Morning News. Brenham, Aug. 16. -- At 7 o'clock this morning J.M. Jackson, living seven miles below here, in Austin county, shot and killed J.W. Green of Rockdale. They were brothers-in-law. Green was a widower. His wife on her death-bed had willed their child to Mrs. Jackson, and she has had it several years. Green had been in the neighborhood of Jackson's house several days trying to get possession of his child, and is said to have threatened Jackson. At the time of the shooting Jackson discovered Green behind a stack of hay in his stable and shot him. Jackson surrendered to a constable. The Dallas Daily Herald. (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 27, No. 232, Ed. 1 Tuesday, August 17, 1880 

    Friday, August 14, 2015

    1952 :: Operators say goodbye

    Rockdale Reporter
    August 14, 1952

    Rockdale telephone operators are pictured (below) as they plugged in the final phone calls under the old hand crank phone system here shortly after noon, August 2. 

    As the picture was made, switches were thrown at the dial building, Rockdale was transferred to the dial system, and the telephone girls had written finis to their jobs in Rockdale.

    Seated at the switchboard reading in reverse order, right to left:

    • Mrs. Jean LaRue Alford
    • Mrs. Roberta Pounders
    • Mrs. Ruth Wooten
    • Mrs. Faye Oldham
    • Miss Loretta Neeley
    • Mrs. Faye Pratt
    • Mrs. Ann Summers
    • Mrs. R.L. Myrick.

    Standing at rear, left to right:

    • Miss Vera Sheppard, chief operator
    • Mrs. Betty Ashabrenner
    • Miss Doris Jean Parker
    • Mrs. Pansy Hairston, Evening Chief
    • Miss Emogene Hilliard
    • Miss Shirley Curlee
    • Mrs. Eva Randle
    • Mrs. Josie Scott

    . . . Around the year of 1914, space was needed in the [former location in the] Quebe building and the operators were pushed out of their quarters, across Cameron street to the space above the Citizens State Bank. Here the office remained until recently when it was stripped of its operating personnel. . . . 

    During the span of 55 years since 1897 local operators have instigated calls to England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Hawaii and Japan. The long distance traffic averaged 400 calls per day at the close of the Rockdale office. . . . 

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015

    1967 :: Death of W H Vesey

    On the 11th day of August . . . in the year 1967 . . . William Henry Vesey dies at Richards Hospital in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas . . . he is listed as being 96 years of age at the time of his death . . . his residence is listed as 821 Ackerman . . . and burial was to be on the 13th day of August at IOOF Cemetery . . . 

    At the time of Mr. Vesey's death, his was listed as being self-employed in the business of "Concrete construction" . . . on the 1910 census, both he and his father (1845-1918) were listed as bricklayers . . . in 1920 he and his oldest son are enumerated as brick masons . . . in 1930 he is listed as a cement and brick contractor . . . in 1934 his name is mentioned in the following article regarding the new entrance for the New City Cemetery in Rockdale . . . aka Oaklawn or Oak Lawn Cemetery . . . 

    Rockdale Reporter and Messenger
    June 7, 1934


    New City Cemetery is Named Oak Lawn Cemetery; 
    Work Started on Entrance

    The ladies of the Rockdale Cemetery Association last week let a contract to W.H. Vesey for the erection of an ornamental entrance to the new city cemetery, and Mr. Vesey began work on the job Monday.

    Incidentally, the Association, by resolution has given the cemetery a name, and it is hereafter to be known as Oak Lawn Cemetery. That name will appear above the ornamental gateway now being erected.

    The new entrance will cost several hundred dollars and will be paid for from funds which the Association has been accumulating for the past ten years for the purpose. These funds were derived from various entertainments and donations, over a long period, and have been kept separate from maintenance funds and saved for the purpose.

    The entrance will be very handsome in its construction of two colors of face brick, with concrete foundations and an ornamental iron gate set in an appropriate archway, with the name of the cemetery inscribed above. It will face west on Pear street, and the driveway will lead through the newer section of the grounds.

    The ladies are deserving of congratulations and commendation for this splendid civic accomplishment.

    P.S. . . . based on the similarities of the entrances to these two cemeteries, it does seem quite probable that the Veseys also did the entrance for the Odd Fellows Cemetery . . . 

    Friday, August 7, 2015

    1885 :: Death of Green Taylor

    Dallas Morning News. Casualties. Drowned in Little River. [Special to The News.] Cameron, August 6. -- Green Taylor, who formerly resided in this (Milam) county, and is now a resident of Minden, was drowned, yesterday evening, in Little River, near Davilla. Mr. Taylor was in attendance upon the Probate Court of this county. Galveston Daily News, August 7, 1885 

    Tuesday, August 4, 2015

    1906 :: Rothrock Family

    W.H. Rothrock and family left today for Rockdale. Mrs. Rothrock and the children will visit that place, while Mr. Rothrock goes to Colorado Springs for a rest, and recreation. Palestine Daily Herald, August 4, 1906

    1914 :: Death of John Gambill

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

    The news of the death of Mr. John Gambill was received here with deep regret. Deceased had many relatives as well as friends in this community who will miss this genial and benevolent old gentleman. Quite a number of our people attended his funeral, which occurred in Rockdale, Sunday August 2. Cameron Herald, August 6, 1914

    Sunday, July 26, 2015

    1896 :: Trouble with the Waterworks

    Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., July 25. -- The waterworks company here has been having trouble with its well for several weeks, so much so that they concluded two days ago to sink a new well. In two days and three nights they have gone down a distance of fifty-four feet. In two or three days more they think they will have the new well ready to furnish all the water needed for all purposes in the city, and by holding in the reservoir sufficient water to use with direct pressure in case of fire furnish a sufficient supply for all other needs. In other words, the supply of water for general purposes has been just a little short. The company says, however, that this will be overcome in just a few days more. Galveston Daily News, July 26, 1896 

    1896 :: First Bale of Cotton

    Rockdale, Tex., July 24. -- The first bale of cotton of this season's crop was brought in here yesterday morning, was ginned by Mr. Rexford Wells, and was sold to Strelsky & Clark for 6.80c. There was a premium of $12.50 paid, making it net the owner $52.75. The bale of cotton was raised by Mr. Forrest Randle on Mr. John T. Randle's farm in Little river valley about fifteen miles northwest of Rockdale, it weighed 598 pounds and classed middling. This is the earliest by three days that the first bale was ever before received here. Galveston Daily News, July 26, 1896

    Friday, July 24, 2015

    1896 :: Confederate Veterans Reunion at Rockdale

    Galveston Daily News
    Galveston, Texas
    24 July 1896

    Confederate Veterans. 

    Reunion at Rockdale. 
    Selecting a Burying Ground. 

    Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., July 22.-- Second day's programme Camp Ben McCulloch No. 29, United Confederate Veterans opening this morning. 

    The camp was called to order at the stand at 10:30 a.m. Music by the choir. Colonel W.B. Woody, who attended the reunion at Richmand as a delegate from this camp, was called upon for his report. His report was received and adopted. The camp then went into the annual election of officers, which resulted as follows:

    Adjourned for dinner.

    At 2 p.m. the camp assembled again for business. It was proposed that the camp buy two acres of ground on the opposite side of the river, adjoining the plot on which the camp is situated, which belongs to the city of Rockdale, and build a pavilion and make it a permanent meeting place for the camp. In furtherance of this plan the camp elected Captain J.W. Perry, Messrs. D.S. Harriss, J.H. Sparkman and W.M. Gill as trustees to consummate the purchase and receive the deed to the property.

    Major J.B. Moore and Captain J.B. Wolf were appointed to receive the deed from the cemetery association at Cameron to a plot of ground donated to the camp by the ladies of Cameron for a burying ground for indigent ex-confederate soldiers.

    Captain J.J. Irwin, R.C. Turnham, D.S. Harriss, H.E. Joiner, Captain L.L. Lee, M.M. Caldwell, Captain G.W. Adams and B.V. Arnold were appointed as a finance committee to solicit funds to be used for the different interests of the camp, especially for the burial of indigent ex-confederate soldiers, it being one of the principles of this camp that an ex-confederate shall never be buried as a pauper.

    The business interest of the camp was then adjourned, to meet on the same grounds on July 21, 1897.