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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.

Friday, July 17, 2015

1952 :: Death of Bud Selman

W.M. Selman, 82, former Rockdale citizen, was found dead in his bed Thursday morning at his home in Temple. Mr. Selman had suffered with a heart condition for a number of years. He moved to Temple with his son about ten years ago after the death of his wife.

The body was brought to  Rockdale and funeral services were held from the chapel to Phillips and Luckey funeral home Friday afternoon. The Rev. Hal Cunningham officiated and burial was made at Oak Lawn cemetery.

Survivors include a son William C. Selman of Temple and a grandson, Richard Glenn Selman of Denton. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, July 17, 1952

Thursday, July 16, 2015

1894 :: Struck with an Ax

Dallas Morning News. Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., July 15. -- Mr. Hudson, the proprietor of the blacksmith shop at San Gabriel, and his son got into a fight. The father was struck with an ax and both bones cut in two just below the elbow, almost severing it from his body. Dallas Morning News, July 16, 1894

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

1920 :: Death of R.L. Hale

Death claimed one of Milam county's leading citizens Monday evening of this week when Mr. R.L. Hale of Rockdale died at his home in that city. Mr. Hale was manager of the Scarbrough & Hicks General Merchandise store, one of the largest mercantile institutions in Milam county. He was a man of fine business ability and had friends through this section of the state by the thousands. His death, which occurred at 6:30 was unexpected, as he had spent the entire day at his place of business, only leaving at 6 o'clock. After leaving the store he visited his aged mother for a few moments and then went home. A short while after reaching his residence he was seized with acute indigestion and died immediately.

R.L. Hale started life on his own hook and is a self made man. Thirty-seven years ago he took a place with Scarbrough & Hicks store and grew from delivery boy to manager of the store.

The funeral of Mr. Hale was held Wednesday afternoon at the First Baptist Church at Rockdale, of which he has been a life long member. The services were conducted by his pastor, Rev. Stewart, assisted by Rev. B.B. Blaylock of Cameron, formerly his pastor, and Rev. Hamlett of Austin. Interment was made in the I.O.O.F. cemetery.

Those attending from Cameron were: Jeff T. Kemp, W.G. Gillis, Will T. Yates, Newton McDonald, Jack Lewis, Dick Clark, Clyde Franklin, Miss Minnie Wolf, Mrs. M.C. Sapp, Mr. and Mrs. T.S. Henderson, Mrs. Wm. Henderson and Miss Mary Lake Henderson. Cameron Herald, July 15, 1920

1874 :: Dedication of Town Site

According to the deed dated July 15th, 1874 . . . which was subsequently filed at the county courthouse on September 2nd, 1874 . . . the survey showed the town containing thirty-five blocks of lots. Streets and alleys contiguous to those lots were dedicated to the public. Specific strips of land on both sides of the track were marked off as a reservation belonging solely to the railroad company. Numerous buildings were constructed on the reservation, such as cattle pens, warehouses, and a roundhouse.

The above written by Sharon Hodges for
A History of Rockdale, Texas 1874-1974


When the officials of the International and Great Northern Railroad Company, on July 15th, 1874, executed their deed for the streets and lots for the town that they officially named 'Rockdale,' they set in motion activities that helped develop an area that has gained renown, not only for its agricultural and industrial accomplishments, but for men and women whose influence for good has continued through the last one hundred years.

To this area came early enterprising business people and settlers who established a culture greatly influenced by ethnic groups, composed of Anglo-American, Negro, Mexican, German, Jewish, Swedish, and Czech. All, through concerted action, brought about the growth of present day Rockdale (1974) with a population of 4,655. is wished that in some way we could have told of the unusual qualities of vision, faith and determination of the people who throughout the past century have molded Rockdale and surrounding communities.

...we cordially salute all those who will take their places in 2074, one hundred years hence.

The above written by Mrs. Ida Jo Marshall for
A History of Rockdale, Texas 1874-1974

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

1932 :: Fruit Jar Explosions

Two Rockdale women were quite severely scalded last week by the explosion of glass fruit jars while engaged in canning vegetables in a pressure cooker. Mrs. Ben Fiesler was burned Saturday, and also received a painful wound under the chin from the flying glass. The day previous, Mrs. Bud Caywood suffered a similar accident, when the top blew off of a jar just taken from the cooker. While both ladies received painful burns, their injuries were not serious. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, July 14, 1932

Friday, July 10, 2015

1930 :: Death of Grandma Cain

Rural News. Cole Springs. Grandma Cain passed away last Monday evening. She had been helpless and bed-ridden since last October. She was ready and anxious to take her departure. She knew in whom she believed, and she was not afraid to die. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Mrs. Cain was a native of Alabama. She was 88 years old the 8th of last December. She leaves one daughter, Mrs. J.M. Pounder(s) of Tanglewood, and a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren to mourn her departure. Rockdale Reporter, Thursday, July 10, 1930

Thursday, July 9, 2015

1889 :: Sale of land to SAAP

On this date . . . the 9th day of July . . . in the year 1889 . . . Wm. P. Henry of Milam County, Texas sold and conveyed the rights to about four acres of his land . . . located about four miles north of Rockdale . . . to the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway Company . . . 

Know all men by these presents, that I, W.P. Henry of the County of Milam and State aforesaid for and in consideration of the sum of One Dollar to me in hand paid by the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway Company the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, have granted sold and conveyed and by these presents do grant sell convey and deliver unto the said San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway Company of the County of Bexar and State of Texas that certain tract piece or parcel of land lying and being in the State of Texas and County of Milam and described as follows to wit. A Strip of land ? feet in width and about 1200 feet in length over and across my land on the T. J. Chambers Survey said strip of land to embrace ? feet on each side of the center of track of the S.A.&A.P....on the plans on file in the Office of the Engineer of said Company containing about 4 acres more or less. To have and to hold the above described premises together with all and singular the rights and appurtenances thereto belonging unto the said San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway Company, its successors and assigns forever. And I do hereby bind my heirs executors and administrators to warrant and forever defend all and singular the said premises unto the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway Company its successors and assigns against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof.

Witness my hand at this 9th day of July A.D. 1889.

Signed "Wm. P. Henry"

Original 1891 documents from Volume 27, pages 149 and 150 of the Milam County Records as found in the Milam County Courthouse in Cameron, Milam County, Texas . . . 1891 map from Portal to Texas History . . . 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

1901 :: Death of Dr. Ira Turner

Dr. Ira Turner died in this city last Tuesday morning, and was buried at the Odd Fellows cemetery. Dr. Turner was a young graduate in medicines though he was not a practicing physician. He was born and raised in Milam county, and was possessed of those attributes of heart and impulse which won for him many warm personal friends. During the present month he would have attained the age of 26 years. The funeral was largely attended, and the services were conducted by Rev. T.G. Alfred, of the Baptist church. Deceased leaves a father and brother and other relatives to mourn his untimely taking away. The Messenger, Rockdale, Texas, Thursday, July 4, 1901

1912 :: Death of Mary M. Witcher

Mrs. M.M. Witcher, aged about eighty years, died at her home in Cameron Monday night, and was buried in the Old City Cemetery in Rockdale Tuesday morning, the funeral taking place at 10:45 o'clock from the home of Mr. and Mrs. H.D. Kone. Rev. A.S. Whitehurst was the officiating minister. Deceased was an old-time resident of Rockdale, and the mother of Mrs. John Joynes, and numbered her friends here by the score, especially among the older settlers. She had lived a long and useful christian life and has passed to her reward. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, July 04, 1912

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1927 :: Rockdale Lays Plans for Celebration

Rockdale, Tex., June 25. -- Carlyle Post No. 358, American Legion, is sponsoring a big one-day Fourth of July celebration at Rockdale fair park, on Monday, July 4. The program will open with a band concert at 8:30 a.m. Excellent entertainment features have been provided, including horse racing, goat roping, baseball games and other activities. The festivities will close with a dance at the open-air fair park pavilion, which begins at 9 o'clock p.m. Bartlett Tribune and News, July 1, 1927

1915 :: Death of T.S. Bryant

Austin Statesman. Milano, Texas, June 28. -- T.S. Bryant, aged 60, unmarried, who has been residing with his sister for several years, committed suicide by hanging himself this evening in a barn. No cause known. -- Austin Statesman. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, July 01, 1915