Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
Preserve America
Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Looking Back
100 Years Ago...

Interesting headlines and recaps of articles
from the
Rockdale Reporter
100 years ago
Compiled weekly by the Reporter staff

Rainy weather the weekend before Christmas wasn’t bothering Rockdale shoppers who were “turning out in droves” for downtown merchants.

New Giddings Times publisher J. E. Bird put out a paper wit so much advertising, Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke quipped: “Look like there were some business interests in Giddings after all.”

Robertson County Commissions set a $30,000 bond issue vote with money to be used for improving roads.

Twenty-two prominent Rockdale businessmen signed a letter in support of a proposed new state law regulating spectacle makers.
100 YEARS AGO....
Dempsey Kemp, 14-year-old son of County Clerk and Mrs. Jeff Kemp died of lockjaw (tetanus) a couple of weeks after stepping on a rake at his home.

After two weeks of rain, Rockdale enjoyed a sunny weekend and a prime shopping Saturday before Christmas. “It was not thought possible so many people could get to Rockdale,” Reporter publisher John Esten Cooke wrote.

Rockdale’s Hill & Co. Jewelers had the ideal gift for the home that had everything—a Parisian ivory toilet seat.

W. E. Gaither & Co, offered for sale an “extra large” six-room home within walking distance of the high school. Price, $1,750.
100 YEARS AGO....
Cameron’s school held a track meet but sent its athletes home, due to bad weather, thinking no one would show up.
But Minerva’s team did. School officials hastily organized a 100-yard dash between Cameron’s Roy Epperson and Minerva’s
Buford Sanders. Sanders won. It was the only event held, but Minerva claimed the “team” title.

The Rockdale City Council met and ordered that City Hall be connected to the new downtown sewer system.

M. J. Talley announced he would construct a new brick and concrete garage at the corner of Ackerman and Bell.

In a Christmas-season special, Scarbrough & Hicks was giving away a pair of shoes with the purchase of every overcoat.
100 Years Ago...
A Gause area farmer died after being shot three times. The assailant came into Gause and surrendered to Deputy Sheriff
J. L. Butler saying the farmer tried to attack him with a hoe.

From The Reporter’s front page: “Arthur Longmire has moved to Bell County. The Reporter hopes he will make a bale an acre
next  year, yet anybody that would move from Matchless Milam isn’t deserving of many good wishes, either.”

Two coal mines located 2-1/2 miles east of Rockdale - The Big Square and The International - changed hands in a $100,000

Rockdale native O. D. Williams, 27, a brakeman on the International & Great Northern Railroad, died in Jewett when he
fell under a moving train car.

100 YEARS AGO....
A fire at the SA&AP Depot damaged the roof. The Reporter reported: “The gallant fire laddies were johnny-on-the-spot,
gathering like magic from who knows where.”

Rockdale’s had new subdivisions extending east (Davilla and Bell streets) and west, being developed by Dr. H. T. Coulter
and G. C. Murray, both of whom had streets named for them.

The Reporter editorialized for recruiting a trained nurse for Rockdale: “It’s expensive to send to a large city when
someone is ill.”

The new St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was dedicated with a visit from Bishop Gallagher of Galveston, a first communion
service and a baptism.

100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale’s three-day corn show was expected to draw participants from all over Central Texas, including
the state agriculture commissioner.

Rockdale and Cameron football teams battled to a scoreless tie on the RHS campus. The two-paragraph game
report was in The Reporter’s society news.

Two fires in the San Gabriel community claimed livestock, barns, at least one auto, surreys and hay bales.

The Reporter suggested an election be held to fill the vacant position of Rockdale postmaster.
100 YEARS AGO...
N. P. Sterling and G. R. Randle purchased the Rockdale Opera House, closed for almost three years, and
announced their first live production would be “A Pair of Country Kids.”

The Rockdale camp of Woodmen of the World, which had grown to 250, purchased the Scott building on Main
Street, giving it “the largest lodge room in the county.”

The Reporter announced the election of Ed Gunn as Rockdale area justice of the peace this way: “He will
soon forget to blush when he is announced as ‘judge’.”

A two-paragraph story noted “There will be a football game between Rockdale and Cameron at the college
campus at 3:30 Friday. Admission is 25 cents.”
100 YEARS AGO...
Rockdale Mayor H. C. Mayer returned from a trip to Chicago and said he was “chagrined” to find that city had “forged
ahead of Rockdale in civic improvements.”

Calls for uniform sidewalk standards were being heard after a Rockdale resident was injured while crossing a gap between
one concrete sidewalk apron and another.

The city council okayed a plea by the Rockdale Women’s club and instituted the new position of cemetery sexton with a
salary  of $15 per month.

A civil lawsuit against the Gulf Coast & Santa Fe Railroad, stemming from the death of a Milam County man on the GC&SF
tracks, was settled for $900.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Milam County Grand Jury met and returned no bill on two of the three killings in the Rockdale area during the past
month, including one in which a Milam law officer shot a man while making an arrest.

Concrete crossings were installed in front of several Rockdale businesses with the city paying one-third the cost and
property owners on each side paying one third.

“Old Folks Sunday” was designated at the Methodist Church. “We especially ask the dear old Confederates to be with us,”
the invitation read.

Rockdale High School instituted a “departmental plan” for the first time, noting that no teacher would instruct more
than one subject.
100 YEARS AGO....
Fifteen percent of the awards at the huge Dallas County Fair were won by members of the Milam County Corn Club
(forerunner of 4-H).

Concrete streets and sidewalks were being poured in the new Peiser subdivision which was extending Belton and Davilla
Avenues toward the Rockdale schools.

Work was beginning on a new, 10,000-square foot school building for Gause.

Ex-president Teddy Roosevelt was wounded in an assassination attempt in Milwaukee and Reporter Publisher John
Cooke commented that Teddy wouldn’t let any doctors “McKinleyize” him. (President William McKinley died
in 1901, eight days after being shot in Buffalo, New York).
100 YEARS AGO....
An extensive report on an auto wreck near Thorndale, involving four Rockdale men, noted the vehicle flipped down an
embankment while negotiating a chughole. Cause? The vehicle’s “heavy man” decided to get off in Thorndale and take
the train to Taylor, lightening one side of the vehicle. Estimated speed at time of the crash, six miles per hour.
The Reporter noted the vehicle was pretty much destroyed “but Mr. Green drove it on to Taylor anyway.”

Bell County was embarking on a “no debt” good roads program.

Fire destroyed the Newton Sanitarium in Buckholts. Three residents were rescued.

A subscription drive to improve the Rockdale-Hookerville road had already raised $125.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale’s Turner & Hale Co. processed 40,000 pounds of hogs in one day, shipping them out to Fort Worth in three
railroad boxcars.

Hotel owner Edmund Wolf purchased land off the newly opened West Davilla Avenue to develop his planned new Pieser

The editor of the Menard Messenger, trying to support his advertisers: “Urge your women folk to buy their cold weather
hats early, so they will have time to tire of them and buy others later on.”

“Now in the Rockdale City Pound, a black and white cow, about seven years old, blind in one eye, will be sold on
Oct. 15 unless claimed.”—J. H. Bonds, Rockdale City Marshal
100 YEARS AGO....
The Rockdale City Council announced West Davilla Avenue had been extended all the way to Rockdale High
School (site of today’s elementary campus).

“Get Ready for Winter,” a Henne & Meyer ad warned Reporter readers. “We have unloaded the bigest boxcar
of school supplies ever brought to Rockdale.

Birta Robinson won the Princess Theatre’s “Most Beautiful Girl in Rockdale” contest and won a silver

C. M. Grabener of Milano wrote a letter to the editor supporting The Reporter’s campaign to construct
better roads throughout the county
100 YEARS AGO....
First National Bank moved into its new location at the Cameron-Ackerman intersection from its previous home.

A con artist known as “Foxy Grandpa” came before a Lexington judge who concluded: “Things look mighty crooked but, as
I don’t have enough evidence against you, I guess I’ll have to let you go.”

R. W. H. Kennon, former Reporter publisher purchased The Cameron Herald.
100 Years Ago...
A shootout in the Tracy community, stemming from a raid on a gambling game, left one gambler dead, a deputy sheriff
wounded and 12 arrests.

From a news story on Rockdale’s telephone service being upgraded: “The service locally has become so rotten that
patience has ceased to be a virtue.”

The New Princess Theatre was conducting a “Most Popular Girl” contest in Rockdale. First-week leaders were Birta Robinson
and Bessie Hewitt.

A mass meeting of business people and farmers in Gause decided to petition the Milam County Commissioners Court to issue
$50,000 in bonds for road improvement.
100 Years Ago...
Guest speaker for the quarterly meeting of the Milam County Medical Association, to be held in Rockdale,
was to be Dr. Arthur C. Scott of Temple. (Yes, he’s the “Scott” of Scott & White).

“Popular subscriptions” were being raised from the Rockdale business community to repair city streets, especially
Cameron Avenue.

The firm of H&L Hudson was moving its Hudson Sanitary Grocery Store to a new two-story building at the Bell-Main

Rockdale Public Schools had enrolled 324 students, 137 boys and 187 girls, for the 1912-13 school year.
100 Years Ago...
Rockdale Oil Mill was being renovated with owner Tom Beesley promising the facility’s seed house “would be one of the
largest structures in Milam County.”

The Rockdale Woman’s club had provided three places downtown for visiting farmers to leave their teams of horses during
shopping trips to town.

Rockdale had a new doctor as Dr. T. S. Barkley of Dallas arrived to begin his medical practice.

The Reporter was lobbying for a downtown telegraph office, noting that to send a telegraph business people had to walk
a half-mile to the I&GS tower to use a “sometimes unreliable” phone service to the telegram operator.
100 Years Ago...
Methodist minister A. S. Whitehurst publicized an upcoming series of meetings at the Rockdale Methodist Church with an
18-column-long article in which he scolded Rockdale’s Christian community on its “deplorable spiritual state.”

Maie VanDeventer, later to be immortalized by George Sessions Perry as “My Granny Van,” was set to host the Rockdale
Scrap Book Club at her home.

Rockdale’s Crystal Palace Theatre was under new management and was set to re-open as the New Princess Theatre with the
“latest model machine projecting as large a picture as possible in a perfect manner.”

Bernice Beard of Milano won the top individual award as the Girls Tomato Club held a daylong countywide competition in
100 YEARS AGO...
There was a second homicide in two weeks in Rockdale, as a man was shot dead at the Strelsky Stables. The shooter told
police the victim tried to ride over him on horseback.

The population of Rockdale was put at 3,350, according to estimates by the Milam County Commissioners Court.

A Reporter ad showed a new model-T alongside a covered wagon and implored readers “Let’s Wake Up and Build Good Roads!”

The Reporter printed the obituary of Col. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, who died in London at age 83.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Reporter’s lead on a wreck story: “A party of joy riders from Cameron electrified Rockdale people for an hour or
two last night with their efforts to break records, speed limits, arms, legs and necks and finally succeeded in turning
their car bottom up about three miles from town on the Tracy Road.”

Society editor Irma Dunnington reported: “As a relief from the dullness which prevails in social circles, Miss Eleanor
Wells entertained 20 of her friends with a porch party...”

A worker at the Big Lump Mine was electrocuted when he came in contact with the cable which hoisted the miners’ cage
into the shaft.

The Reporter noted the city of New York was appropriating $2.5 million to construct three new baseball venues for the
Giants, Yankees and Brooklyn Superbas, who later changed their name to “Dodgers.”
100 Years Ago....
A derailment on the I&GN tracks stopped passenger train traffic between Rockdale and Milano, leaving a number of
Rockdale residents “stranded” in Milano. The Milano Gazette reported one family had access to an automobile, providing
a ride back home, the first in a car for one elderly woman who remarked: “I don’t care if the trains ever run again!”

A joint meeting of the Milam County Boys Corn Club and Girls Tomato Club was called by leader Edna Trigg.

W. H. “Hope’ Camp of San Gabriel won the statewide Holland Trophy by posting a perfect score in the statewide Farm Ranch
Auto Endurance Race.

That race produced a consensus that Texas’ worst roads were found between Marlin and Rockdale.
100 Years Ago....
Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “Editor Ben Grimes of The Cameron Enterprise has been down to the Milano picnic,
which is no news, as he attends every picnic that happens...he was seen so often on picnic grounds during the recent unpleasantness (primary election) he was often mistaken for a candidate.”

A 30-year-old Rockdale man was killed in a fight near the SA&AP Depot and two brothers were charged with murder.

Incumbent Constable J. D. Hamilton was re-elected, polling seven more votes than S.S. Gamble.

G. B. Hester of the Kolb community brought in 1912’s first cotton bale in the Rockdale area, tipping the scaled at
484 pounds.
100 Years Ago....
Rockdale school trustees filled three vacancies, naming G. V. Ryan, Emmett Kemp and W. A. Coffield to the school board.

Rockdale was hosting the Jennings Bros. traveling show. Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke’s mini-review: “The play
was clean and the plot interesting.”

Minister Wesley Smith said his Sunday sermon would “urge caution against political excitement in the presidential
election year.”

Rockdale’s annual “Colored Farmer’s Fair” at Fair Park was drawing huge crowds from at least nine area counties and
featured a half-mile long parade downtown.
100 Years Ago....
The largest fire in the history of Thorndale destroyed nine downtown buildings. Its origin was traced to an explosion
in a tailor’s shop.

The fifth annual Rockdale Fair was drawing the largest crowds in the history of the town. Publisher John Esten Cooke
said streets for the downtown parade were “jammed to suffocation” and crowds were estimated at 8,000 to 12,000,
adding “those who gave the latter estimate evidently counted the political candidates.”

A delegation from Granger, led by R. J. Stager, attended the fair. Cooke wrote: “(Stager) drew upon his supply of
hot air with magnificent effect.”

In a close election for the Rockdale School Board, F. H. Graves polled 133 votes and W. D. Bagley 129.
100 Years Ago....
The Reporter noted that Rockdale’s “most serious automobile accident yet” occurred in front of Scarbrough & Hicks
when a six-year old girl was knocked down by a car driven by a Cameron man. She was not believed to be seriously injured.

Rockdale’s baseball team defeated Taylor 14-2. Publisher John Esten Cooke wrote: “The game was too one-sided to be
of much interest. Our lads put up a good game, considering they didn’t have to play that hard.”

Businessman A. Zeiske purchased Rockdale’s bathhouse from W E. Suess. The establishment offered “tubs and showers, both
hot and cold.”

State Sen. H. B. Terrell visited Rockdale. Cooke wrote: “He is looking a bit after his political fences in this bailiwick.
The latter he is finding in good repair.”
100 Years Ago....
The head brakemen of a San Antonio & Aransas Pass (SA&AP) train was shot through the neck while on a train passing
through  Milam County. The .22-caliber bullet passed through his back and lodged in his thumb (he was smoking a pipe). He
was expected to recover.

First National Bank was ready to open its new $20,000 facility, featuring two-story Greek columns, in downtown Rockdale.

A 10-block-long parade with floats professionally crafted by a Houston firm, was promised for the 1912 Rockdale Fair
Parade in July.

The annual school census showed that 82 percent of Milam County students were enrolled in rural school systems.
100 Years Ago....
The social event of Rockdale’s summer was a wedding “uniting two of Rockdale’s representative families,” as Miss Allie
Wallis married J. E. Coffield Jr.

Fire destroyed the Rockdale home of Col. Tom Hillier, who estimated the total loss at $500.

I&GN Railroad announced it would connect the Rockdale depot to the city’s new sanitary sewer system.

The U. S. Post Office sent an inspector to Rockdale on the day the local post office was moving down the street.
Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke wrote:
“....murdering postal inspectors being forbidden by post Office regulations, and Mr. (Postmaster Ben) Loewenstein
having no gun handy, the inspection proceeded.”
100 Years Ago....
A “million dollar rain” assured a bumper corn crop and Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke’s lead was “Old Jupiter
Pluvius succeeded in loosening up on his water wagon.”

The Hamilton Chapel community was in shock after a six-year-old boy accidentally hung himself with a belt while playing
with his four-year-old brother.

Investigators believed an 18-year-old Gause resident lost his life while walking from Cameron to Milano when he became
tired, laid down on the railroad tracks to rest and was run over by a train.

Thorndale called for a $200,000 bond election to improve roads in the area, a move backers of the new “good roads”
movement applauded as the first of many efforts to install new roadways.
100 Years AGO....
H. H. Camp and W H. Camp returned from Dallas where they had purchased two cars, one of which, a 60-horsepower,
7-passenger auto was touted as “having the greatest horsepower of any vehicle in Milam County.”

Speaking of cars, W. E. Gaither reported he had driven his new Ford to Cameron, “making the trip in less than an hour!”

The USDA was planning a Farmers Institute session in the Rockdale City Hall Auditorium to discuss “diversification, crop rotation and cultivation.”

Rockdale’s new St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was nearing completion and its initial mass was to be held
the first Sunday in July.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Cedar Creek community of Burleson County was in shock after a 19-year-old farmer shot and killed his 21-year-old
brother, then committed suicide.

Roy Grogan of Quanah was named new principal at Rockdale High School but the school board deadlocked 3-3 on hiring an
elementary teacher. One trustee had recently resigned and The Reporter noted: “there was no one to break the tie.”

United Daughters of the Confederacy observed the birthday of Jefferson Davis with a party at the R. H. Ames home,
featuring tea biscuits and figs.

J. D. Shipley announced a meeting of rural communities west of Rockdale “to arrange for a hog law district, the law we
had being no account.”
100 YEARS AGO....
J. K. Huffman won a $3,000 judgement against the International & Great Northern Railroad in a Cameron trial in connection
with a 1908 case in which a train car cut off his foot.

Birtie Robinson read the humorous story “Aunt Sophronia Taylor at the Opera” during commencement exercises for the
Rockdale High School graduating class of 1908.

Rockdale’s baseball team caught the 1:07 p.m. train to Milano, defeated Milano 5-3, then rode the 4:30 p.m. train back
to Rockdale.

Mayor H. C. Meyer and John Hicks were polling Rockdale businesses on a proposition to improve roads in the area.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale’s long awaited aviation meet was held at Fair Park with monoplanes reaching heights of 2,000 to 2,500 feet
above large crowds. The event cleared $150 for the Rockdale Fair Association.

Paved sidewalks were being installed “from Bell all the way through town to the high school building.”

Valedictorian Meta McCalla was to speak at commencement exercises for the Rockdale High School graduating class of 1912
at the City Hall Auditorium.

The Rockdale City Council okayed monthly bills ranging from $68 to A. B. Ashby (street work) to 62 cents
to J. E. Longmoor (services not listed).

100 YEARS AGO....
Front page Reporter story: “A. B. Lightfoot is suffering a dislocated shoulder this week as the result of getting too
foxy with a foxy horse.

Taylor defeated Rockdale’s baseball team 12-1. From the story: “Don Walker received a lick on the cranium which would
have put most fellows down and out.”

Rockdale Supt. C. C. Green’s contract was renewed for one year but RHS Principal John Poteet did not apply for a new
contract because he was a candidate for county clerk.

Louis Henne, president of Henne & Meyer, died at age 71. Henne owned businesses in Rockdale, Thorndale and New Braunfels.
100 YEARS AGO....
A national politics news story began with this line: “Our friends, the enemy - enemy meaning the Republicans...” and
then went on to describe the rift between President William Howard Taft and former President Teddy Roosevelt.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke apologized for leaving the city council story out of the previous week’s paper,
noting “it was way too long for us to handle.”

Rev. B. B. Blaylock was to deliver the baccalaureate sermon to the RHS graduating class of 1912, 10 girls and three

Rockdale Precinct 16 Democrats preferred New Jersey Gov. Woodrow Wilson to Missouri Sen. Champ Clark in a presidential preference caucus.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale was to get a third bank in August as the Rockdale Loan & Investment Co. announced its organization. Already
existing institutions were Rockdale State Bank and First National Bank.

Re-printed verbatim from the Milano Gazette: “Saturday, 55 votes were cast on the bond issue for a new $7,500 brick
school building, 54 in favor and one poor, blessed soul voted against...We are glad that we do not know him.”

The Cameron Daily Enterprise newspaper announced it would suspend publication due to a lack of business.

Officials of the Bartlett & Western Railroad were in Milam County discussing to extend railroad tracks from Bartlett
to Cameron
100 YEARS AGO....
Scarbrough & Hicks had a new delivery van which was causing quite a stir, a 20-horsepower Ford! “What’s next for
Rockdale, streetcars and skyscrapers?” asked Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke.

The Reporter published coverage of the Titanic disaster, which had occurred two weeks previously, citing a French newspaper.

B. Y. Aycock of Rockdale was named to head up a 5-county summer school for African-Americans, expected to draw about
150 students.

A debate on socialism was scheduled in Milam County between W. S. Nobles and Rev. W. F. Lemmer. Three two-hour sessions
were on tap.
100 YEARS AGO....
George Williams, 21, was killed by a runaway horse at the family farm near the San Gabriel River.

The “Southern Traction Company” announced it was planning a series of interurban electrical railroad lines in Texas,
including one between Brenham and LaGrange.

Rockdale was ready to observe Confederate Veterans Day with a program at the city auditorium, upstairs at City Hall.

Bettis Mercantile advertised “men’s clothing so cheap it’s like finding them in the road.
100 YEARS AGO....
The United States Postal Department announced the Rockdale Post Office would move into the new building
being constructed by J. W. Perry in the fire-ravaged area downtown.

Scoutmaster Leo Strelsky said Rockdale’s Boy Scout troop has 12 members and that membership would be
closed upon reaching 16.

Farmer C. M. Grabener of Milano wrote a letter to the editor, terming Milam County roads “often muddy and impassable.”

The Santa Fe Railroad was sued by the family of a boy who died while walking along the railroad tracks
before daybreak Christmas morning near Buckholts.

100 YEARS AGO....
Milam County Deputy Sheriff M. A. Auding of Briary, near Baileyville, shot and killed an area resident who had “sworn
vengance upon the lawman over a previous arrest.”

H. C. Meyer was re-elected mayor of Rockdale, polling 146 votes while his opponent, Socialist candidate E. A. Green,
drew 13.

Andrew Perry was re-elected chief of the Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department, with J. E. Longmoor named president and
Branch Lewis vice-president.

The Rockdale Women’s Club presented a letter to the city council asking for an ordinance prohibiting the keeping of
hogs within the city limits.

100 Years ago....
Grave robbers in Rockdale!
Two graves were desecrated at the Vogel Mine Cemetery and parts of two corpses were scattered. Investigators termed the
incident a “complete mystery.”

Mr. and Mrs. Anton Wolf of Rockdale left for the first tour of their native Austria and Germany since coming to American
more than 25 years previously.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “Rockdale can learn a mighty good lesson by observing our little sister city of
Milano where the truck farming industry is growing by leaps and bounds.”

Newman Stribling was building an “airdome” (outdoor theatre) with the promise of bringing “high class Vaudeville” to
100 YEARS AGO....
A shocker in the Georgetown murder trial of R. O. Hilliard, accused of shooting J. T. Sneed. It was revealed the murder
weapon was purchased in Rockdale from the city’s night watchman.

A total of 5,605 persons had paid their poll tax to vote in the 2012 elections. Top three voting jurisdictions were
Cameron with 591, Buckholts with 358 and Rockdale with 351.

Directors of the annual Rockdale Fair decided to change the organization’s name to the Milam County Fair Association.

Henne & Meyer joined a growing group of downtown businesses who had installed ladies restrooms. Their ad read: “We invite
you to come to our store and make use of this room when in town.”

100 YEARS AGO....
Bushdale residents Caroline Menn and Robert Loehr died of meningitis and schools in that community, along with Hickory
Grove, closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease.

More progress in the aftermath of the Big Fire of 1912. E. G. Sims purchased three downtown lots in the burnedout area
and announced plans to construct three “modern brick, with plate glass window” buildings.

Reporter social editor Mrs. A. M. Dunnington wrote: “Chilly, variable weather, and the Lenten season, have combined to
reduce enthusiasm, leaving the social calendar devoid of interest.”

One-eyed Confederate veteran Barclay Cane of Amarillo, shot in the eye at the Battle of Cedar Creek (Virginia) in 1864,
had a coughing spell and spit up the Federal Army bullet which had been lodged in his head for 48 years.
100 YEARS AGO....
A prisoner being transported on an I&GN passenger train near Milano overpowered Deputy Sheriff Ben Nabours, grabbed the
lawman’s revolver and escaped.

In the only contested City of Rockdale primary race, incumbent City Marshall J. H. Bonds out-polled challenger W. D. Turner
160 to 71.

In the wake of the recent downtown Rockdale fire, A. P. Perry Jr., W. D. Bagley and C. K. Stribling appeared before the
city council seeking a “more efficient way” of providing water for fire protection.

Former Texas Ranger W. H. “Piper” White of Davilla died at age 81. White received his nickname as a bugler in the
Confederate Army.

100 YEARS AGO....
First National Bank announced it would build a new bank after the recent fire which destroyed most of a downtown
Rockdale block. Bank directors purchased property from J. E. Coffeld in the burned-out area.

The annual “high society” Washington’s Birthday ball in the city auditorium drew 32 couples. The grand march was led
by Jule Coffeld and Carrie Hearst.

The Reporter’s Matinee Musical Club correspondent noted “…after the program our hostess (Mrs. H. T. Coulter) read to
us about some notable musicians who died in February.”

Miner Jessie James survived a 40-foot fall down a mine shaft east of Rockdale with only a broken arm and dislocated
100 YEARS AGO....
Aftermath of the Great Rockdale Fire of 1912 continued to dominate the news. Owners of Rockdale’s oldest millinery
shop, destroyed in the blaze, announced they would reopen in new quarters after a re-stocking trip to St. Louis.

Modern Dry Goods took out a page ad, complete with a drawing of an exploding store, to tout its upcoming “water
damaged goods sale.”

A popular Rockdale hamburger stand joined the ranks of burned-out businesses, with no announcement yet on whether it
would re-open.

The 1912 “meningitis scare” may have been officially proclaimed over but a Minerva woman died of the disease at her home.

100 YEARS AGO....
Downtown Rockdale experienced the “Great Fire of 1912.” Most of an entire block of Cameron Avenue burned with the blaze
claiming four multi-story brick buildings, a total of 12 businesses that included two grocery stores.

When the owner of Modern Dry Goods, identified only as “Manager Shaw” saw the Rockdale VFD had saved his business from
burning he brought all the volunteers inside and gave them new sets of clothes - including underwear, shoes and sweaters
- on the spot.

J. Branch Lewis, who lost his Lewis & Perry Grocery in the big fire, announced he would seek the office of Rockdale
City Secretary. (Lewis would win and hold that position until Feb. 19, 1938, when he committed suicide in his office
late one night at City Hall.)

R.W.H Kennon, previous owner of The Reporter, announced he would seek the office of district clerk.
100 YEARS AGO....
The presidential election year of 1912 had already drawn 5,691 Milam County residents to pay their poll taxes.

In a bizarre incident in a Cameron motel, a railroad employee attempted to kill his estranged wife with a knife and
was shot to death by a relative of the hotel proprietor.

Rockdale High School’s Literary Society was debating whether or not women should be allowed to vote, according to
student newspaper editor Wynette Marrs.

A major renovation at the Wolf Hotel saw the number of rooms increase from 14 to 20, new brass beds, wallpaper and
100 YEARS AGO....
The Rockdale School Board agreed to extend the 1911-1912 school year by 10 days to make up for days lost during the
recent hepatitis scare.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke continued his campaign for a new post office, terming the current structure “too
small for a town of Rockdale’s size.”

A resident of The Knobbs community in Lee County was waylaid on the road, while returning home in a horse-drawn wagon
and hit with two blasts of buckshot from a shotgun. He was expected to recover.

Commenting on the housing shortage Cooke wrote that Reporter employee J. A. Shapard “has finally succeeded in finding
a vacant house and will move his family in from the farm.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Tragedy in Tanglewood as three-year-old Myrtle Platt died of burns sustained when her clothing caught fire as she
approached a burning log.

Rockdale schools re-opened after a 9-day unplanned vacation during a hepatitis scare. Sulfur was burned in all school
buildings as a disinfectant.

Rockdale recorded its first hepatitis death as a man identified only as “an out-of-town man visiting relatives here” died
of the disease.

New businesses were the Elite Cafe, across from the railroad depot and The Favorite, a millenary shop on the second floor
of Rockdale Mercantile Co.

100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale recorded its first two cases of hepatitis as an epidemic swept through Texas. A pit boss at the Wallis Coal Mine
and a three-year-old girl were both recovering after receiving treatment.

Modern Dry Goods advertised “there are no germs” in our store, telling customers they could shop there without fear of
being exposed to hepatitis.

Carl Walter of Gay Hill froze to death in a neighbor’s field as a blizzard swept through the Rockdale area.

The Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department battled a blaze, and two rekindles, at the Wolf Ice & Beer Warehouse downtown.

100 YEARS AGO....
All Rockdale schools were closed and churches suspended services indefinitely. Parties and any other gatherings were
discouraged by City Health Officer J. W. Reaves as a meningitis epidemic swept through Texas.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “Passengers getting off the train in Rockdale are forced to alight in as muddy a
spot as this pretty little town affords, then wade across the muddiest crossing in town.”

Each of the 15 members of the Rockdale High School class of 1912 planted a hackberry tree on the school campus.

Ella McCall of Dripping Springs was seriously injured when she fell from an International & Great Northern passenger
train between Rockdale and Milano.
100 Years Ago....
A Davilla man turned himself in to Sheriff Allen Hooks after a card game ended in gunfire and the death of another
Davilla man.

Rev. Walter Smith told The Reporter: “On account of the bad roads and uncertain weather, I will not try to preach at
Tracy until better conditions.”

B. Y. Aycock of Rockdale was elected statewide secretary of the Texas Colored Teachers Association.

Deputy Arledge arrested, in the words of Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke “another foxy grandpa grafter (con artist) in
the act of tapping a local till.