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

James Hays, a one-legged athlete who was walking 5,000 miles on crutches, stopped in Rockdale.

County commissioners met to begin planning how to restore the many bridges lost in the Great Flood of 1913.

“How to get Milam County out of the mud,” was the biggest challenge for the new year, according to Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke.

Southwestern Bell’s semiannual listing of Rockdale telephone numbers showed there were 800 customers, an increase since May.

100 YEARS AGO....
Searchers found the body of Henry Martin, I&GN Railroad vice-president, who drowned while leading an effort to aid flood victims near Gause.

R. L. Lowe, prominent Cameron resident, died when the saw he was operating caught in his clothing and pulled his arm into the machine.

H. H. Coffield sold Rockdale’s City Pantitorium to E. H. Brockenbusch.

For the first time since the flood, I&GN passenger trains were operating the full length of the line between San Antonio and Palestine
100 YEARS AGO....
Most of the 100-year-ago Reporter dealt with the Great Flood of 1913 which isolated Rockdale for four days.

Non-flood news: The name of Rockdale’s movie theatre was being changed from the “Princess” to the “Dixie.”

A team of railroad surveyors was in the area examining the possibility of opening a new line between Rockdale and Bartlett.

Woodmen of the World went ahead with their plans to hold a massive banquet at the Coffield Building but, due to the weather, only 150 of the expected 500 showed up.

100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale was cut off “from the world” by flood waters. Even a train was trapped in the I&GN yard to wait out the situation.

The Hedley Improvement District levee on the Little River failed and a bridge between Cameron and Milano was lost.

More than 12 inches of rain was reported in less than two days and The Reporter delayed its printing date by two days.

It was worse to the east. The I&GN dispatched a special train to Gause to aid with flood relief.
100 YEARS AGO....
Milam County grand jurors returned 27 indictments and one complaint. Foreman B. J. Baskin reported “the cots grand jurors were forced to sleep on were very uncomfortable.

Rockdale High School’s girls basketball team opened their season with a loss to Taylor. Score was 8-3. Rockdale players were Catherine Sanford, Mable Lewis, Laura Talley, Olive Branch, Ella King, Vera Kemp and Vera Longmire.

Big news at downtown Rockdale’s Princess Theatre. New, opera-style seats were being installed and the floor was being inclined to “give everyone in the house a good view of the stage.”

The Reporter’s weekly Confederate veteran series profiled Lem Smith of Rockdale, the only one of three brothers to survive the Civil War. Tom Smith was killed in action and Sam Smith died in a Union POW camp.
100 YEARS AGO....
Farmer F. W. Kinnely had a mystery. A two-year-old Brown Leghorn chicken suddenly sported one white tail feather, then the entire bird turned white in a matter of months.

Two men were injured and a horse killed when a freight train hit a buggy at the Main Street crossing.

Dr. W. E. Copeland of Rockdale Presbyterian Church was to give the sermon at Rockdale Methodist Church in the annual Union Thanksgiving Service.

The Reporter was back printing locally after a new part was installed, ending three weeks of printing in area towns.
100 YEARS AGO....
Fire destroyed the L. B. Strader store, next to the SA&AP Depot. At one point the depot was threatened by the flames.

Gear problems on The Reporter’s press caused two issues to be printed in Cameron and one in Thorndale. A new gear had been made in New York, shipped to Galveston and was on the way to Rockdale.

Rockdale’s city council contracted with O’Neil Engineering of Dallas to design a new water and light plant for the city.

Work was under way on the new 10,000-square foot Coffield Lumber Company building, said to be the largest of its kind in Rockdale.
100 YEARS AGO....
It was the social event of the year, maybe the decade, in Rockdale as Dr. T. S. Barkley married Miss Alice Graves in the Rockdale Methodist Church.

The Matinee Musical club had a three-in-one session, a piano concert, Halloween party and bridal shower for Alice Graves.

Corn entered in the Texas State Fair in Dallas by Rockdale farmer George Doss won the coveted purple ribbon for best corn grower in the state. Doss sold the prize-winning corn for 50 cents an ear ($40 a bushel.)

Thanksgiving was obviously on the way. Scarbrough & Hicks and the Farmers Union Warehouse ran large ads in The Reporter: “We will buy your turkeys.
100 YEARS AGO....
Milam County’s Boys Corn Club won first place in the state at competition held at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. Winning individual first were Clinton Henry of Milano and Will Von Gonten of Rockdale.

Milam’s Girls Tomato Club, sponsored by Edna Trigg, was second to Denton County. Mrs. Trigg pointed out Denton had 23 persons making exhibits, while Milam fielded only six. “The judges went for quantity over quality,” she said.

In individual Tomato Club competition Ruby Rutherford of Rockdale was fourth in state and Bernice Beard was fifth.

The body of a miner killed in a cave-in at the Vogel Mine east of town was recovered by a four-man search party. Seven miners survived.
It was Rockdale’s “Miracle Under Ground.” Seven coal miners were rescued after six days being trapped after a cave-in at the Vogel Mine east of town. A seventh miner perished. A mule trapped with the miners also survived the six days. The drama brought nationwide attention to Rockdale and was covered by the Associated Press.

The Reporter praised the heroic efforts of Mayor H. C. Meyer, who left his own job in town to direct the rescue efforts.

Rockdale’s three cotton gins had turned out 8,076 bales through mid-October, compared to 8,664 during the same period in 1912,

William Farmer wrote The Reporter to say he had been growing chufa—a species of sedge with edible underground stems— and that hogs loved it. He urged area hog farmer to cultivate the plant as an alternative to other feeds.
100 YEARS AGO....
Two Milam County law officers encountered four men walking along the railroad tracks in Cameron and asked them t0 halt. Two ran and the officers opened fire, killing one. The officers released a statement saying they “regretted the killing very much.”

Rain continued to fall and Milam County continued to flood. Rockdale had no official rain gauge but “old timers” told The Reporter the flood of 1913 had surpassed the great flood of 1887.

Scarbrough & Hicks, founded in Rockdale in 1883, observed its 30th birthday.

Ira Perry appeared before the city council to request an ordinance curbing the whistling of trains within the city limits. “A man can’t sleep all night any more,” he said.
100 YEARS AGO....
It was the “Great Flood of 1913” as all area rivers and streams went out of their banks, devastating cotton and corn harvests. Observers said it was the highest cresting of the San Gabriel River in recorded history.

Green Bros. Gin advertised in The Reporter: “Bring your storm-wrecked cotton to us; we have the latest machines to recover some of it.”

The Modern Maccabees tent (lodge) held a moonlight picnic and voted Gracie Whiteley the prettiest girl and Frank Demoree the ugliest boy.

Scarbrough & Hicks advertises its fall line of men’s suits, prices ranging from $20 to $35.
100 YEARS AGO....
An appropriately-named Rockdale resident, Edell Speed, picked 910 pounds of cotton in one day on the Seidl farm north of town.

Milam County Judge Jeff Kemp, mentioned as a possible statewide candidate, told The Reporter he would not run for comptroller in the 1914 Democratic Primary.

Flooding was reported throughout the area in heavy rains as the Little and San Gabriel Rivers and Brushy Creek were all out of their banks.

The Guy Hickman Traveling Show - featuring heart-throb Leona Leslie - was headed to Rockdale with 24 actors, an orchestra and a 1,500-seat tent.
100 YEARS AGO....
A Reporter ad from local merchants emphasized that during the ongoing drought, the city was keeping four water troughs “full to overflowing day and night for man and beast.”

Work to repair the Milam County Jail, apparently damaged by vibrations from trains rumbling by on the adjacent railroad tracks, was under way.

The “King’s Kandy Kid,” rolling from Fort Worth to Galveston on a pair of custom-made 24-inch “road skates,” came through Rockdale, but broke down three miles west and had to walk back to town.

The Hickman Comedy Co. was putting up a tent downtown and was to perform the play “The Cow Puncher’s Sweetheart.” Admission was 19 cents.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rosebud was in shock when one of the town’s most prominent citizens was gunned down with a shotgun inside the SA&AP train depot. A Rosebud-area man was arrested and charged with murder.

Enrollment for the first day of the 1913-14 school term was 357, largest ever. Rockdale High School enrollment was 62, up 20 from the start of the 1912-13 term.

Rockdale Oil Mill was buying peanuts and owner T. J. Beesley said if peanut growing increased in the Rockdale-area he would consider buying equipment to make peanut butter.

It was “fashion season” in Rockdale as milliners Dora Poole and Mrs. E. S. Loper ran ads touting their fall fashion openings.
100 YEARS AGO....
San Gabriel resident Clarence Harris was among four persons killed when a mill boiler exploded in Itasca.

Closing night of the Lockett Adair revival drew 2,000 persons, believed to be the largest church service in the history of Rockdale to that time.

The cotton harvest dominated The Reporter’s issue with even the Scarbrough & Hicks ad linking the price of groceries to the price of cotton.

A short news article noting that a Rogers business had burned ended: “He (owner O. J. Copeland) might counteract his bad luck by taking advantage of this opportunity to move to Rockdale.”
100 YEARS AGO....
A horrible tragedy in Rockdale. A five-year-old boy died of burns after he doused items with gasoline and set them ablaze while “playing campout” in his front yard.

Renovation was completed at the Rockdale Mercantile Company’s three businesses, resulting in the “deepest and most handsome glass show windows in the county.”

Major improvements were planned for the Perry & Quebe corner building in downtown Rockdale.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke received a latenight phone call, of mistaken identity, from a Bartlett farmer who had heard a “John Cook family” might be looking for a cotton-picking job. “I’ve been figuring all week how much I lost by not taking him up on the deal,” Cooke wrote.
Schedule for the citywide revival being held by evangelist Lockett Adair: 10 a.m., preaching; 3. p.m., some businesses close for Bible study; 4 p.m., prayer meetings in homes; 5 p.m., prayer meetings in homes; 8 p.m., preaching.

The Reporter asked for biographical sketches, and war records, for a series on the areas Confederate veterans.

The King’s Kandy Kid, who was roller skating from Fort Worth to Galveston to promote a brand of candy, was due at Rockdale’s Palace Ice Cream Parlor.

Winners in the Boys Corn Club countywide completion were Lawrence Mabry and Lovell Hairston of Milano and Clinton Henry of Minerva
Milam County Superintendent of Schools F. J. Clement reminded all teachers that attending week-long institute in Cameron before start of the 1913-14 term was mandatory.

Claying of the Kolb Bridge Road was delayed until winter “owing to the fact that everyone has now begun picking cotton.”

What was expected to be the greatest revival meeting in Rockdale history was planned. Evangelist Lockett Adair was to preach in a newly erected tabernacle next to Mayor H. C. Meyer’s home.

Berlin & Adler store, which had relocated from Rockdale to San Antonio was back with a new retail business across from the Wolf Hotel.
A shocked community was coping w ith the suicide of Baptist missionary Rev. R. F. Huhn, who consumed what was described as a “vial of poison” and died after police and a constable were summoned to his home by his wife to investigate what today would be called a domestic incident.

The city council approved sale of $30,000 in bonds for repairs to Rockdale’s water plant.

School trustees reminded parents that in the wake of a 1912 small pox scare, Rockdale was requiring every student be vaccinated before beginning the 1913-14 school year.

The Jarrett Company reported 19,816 crates of tomatoes had been trucked from Milano during the summer.
The first Rockdale-area arrest under a new Texas bootlegging law was made by Deputy Sheriff Arledge who nabbed a Minerva man carrying 30 bottles of whiskey.

Work on resurfacing (clay) the Hookerville Road near Rockdale was postponed until the cotton harvest was completed.

In the first week for Model-Ts to be offered at Gaither Motor Co., six of the popular cars were sold. W. A. Wise bought the first one.

A huge barbecue was held to complete resurfacing of a new Gay Hill Road, replacing what had been termed “the worst road in South Milam County.”
100  YEARS AGO....
For the second time in two weeks an area woman was killed when a mule team spooked. The 55-year-old woman died when the team pulling the wagon in which she was riding panicked on the McCowen Bridge over the Little River.

Williamson County remained “wet” in a prohibition election, with the 500-vote margin coming from the city of Taylor.

J. M. Rutherford brought in the first cotton bale of 1913 and claimed a $40 prize.

Work began on the new First Presbyterian Church, Davilla at San Gabriel, which would include a full basement. (This is also the former Peace Lutheran Church.)
100 YEARS AGO....
A 73-year-old Lee County woman died, and her husband was injured, their mule team spooked and ran away with a wagon containing both of them. The woman was thrown from the wagon and her husband was dragged on the ground, holding the reins in an attempt to stop the animals.

Gaither Motor Company, in a near half-page ad proclaiming “The Famous Fords are here, $645, fully equipped.” (Editor’s Note: That refers to the famous ‘Model T’ In five years half the cars in the United States would be Model T’s.)

County commissioners approved bridges across the San Gabriel River at Cameron Crossing and Harrell Creek.

Lexington’s Tom Dunlap Camp of United Confederate Veterans (UCV) held a reunion that drew 2,000 people from as far away as California
A prominent Gause businessman died when he slipped while running to catch a passenger train at Valley Junction, fell under the wheels and two coaches passed over him.

The airship which had failed to appear the first two days of the Rockdale Fair made the scene on the last day but it was too windy to fly. Owners promised free rides the next day to make up for the disappointment but it was again too windy.

A boiler explosion at the Vogel Mine east of Rockdale resulted in several injuries, including broken bones, and there was severe property damage.

The Reporter went to 24 pages, three 8-page sections, to cover the fair, including a half page of a picture of corn growing exhibits
100 YEAR AGO....
The 1913 Rockdale Fair was drawing the largest crowds in the history of Milam County, estimated at 10,000. The Fair began with a huge parade through downtown, terminating at Fair Park.

One Fair disappointment. The promised “airship” did not arrive on the first day, making it only as far as Taylor. Aviators hoped to have the craft in Rockdale by the weekend.

E. A. Camp reported seeing a half-inch of snow to The Reporter. Camp was at 11,000 feet on the Continental Divide in Colorado.

Only minor injuries were reported near the Taylor depot when a surrey containing young women was hit by a fire wagon, dragging one woman 70 feet and nearly throwing another under the wheels of a passing train.
Daily airship flights, a balloon ascension and a parachute jump were to be highlights of the sixth annual three-day Milam County Fair at Rockdale’s Fair Park.

County Judge John Watson reminded Confederate veterans that their pensions had changed effective July 1, exactly 50 years to the day from the beginning of the climactic Battle of Gettysburg.

The Reporter received a news letter from the Mt. Zion community, but declined to print it because the author signed only “Old Main,” instead of a real name.

District Agent M. T. Payne of Temple had bad news. He had discovered boll weevils in the cotton crop of Dow Robinson, two miles north of Rockdale.
100 YEARS AGO....
Thirty-one vehicles and 128 Rockdalians participated in a “fair boosting” trip. Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke reported: “Between Yarrelton and Rosebud we met a couple of fractious mules and it took us 15 minutes to take all the cars apart and hide them in the woods until the mules had passed.

The Reporter wished a happy 70th birthday to Confederate veteran D. T. Wooten, who was wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Willie Wuensche purchased 10 acres in the western part of Thorndale and announced he would construct a 7-acre lake.

A new livestock law election was scheduled south of Rockdale after a previous election was voided on a legal technicality.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale boosters were to embark on a car caravan to promote the upcoming fair. They were leaving at 7:20 a.m., make 13 stops as far away as Rogers and return to Rockdale at 8 p.m. Rules of the highway included: “If anyone runs out of gas, signal and The Reporter publisher will provide enough hot air to finish the trip.”

A Milam County jury returned a guilty verdict in a murder trial, sentenced the defendant to a two-year prison term and freed him on $3,000 bond. The Reporter quoted the editor of The Cameron Enterprise: “It is no crime to kill a man in Milam County.”

John A. Shapard was sworn in as Rockdale’s new postmaster. T. D. Wootton became assistant postmaster.

From The Reporter’s society page: “It was a dream of beauty on Mrs. E A. Camp’s front lawn when the social contingent gathered to honor two of Rockdale’s most popular young people.
Cameron officials were planning a county fair similar the one Rockdale had staged for more than a decade. Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke’s headline on the story: “CAMERON WAKES UP.”

Area farmer Bob Todd sustained severe arm and hand wounds when he was attacked by an enraged sow in his pigpen.

The Reporter was calling for more street lights to be installed between City Hall and Fair Park. “It must be this year,” Cooke wrote.

G. R. Randall was soliciting support from businesses to “chip in” and help the city install a new bridge across Ham Branch.
100 YEARS AGO....
Milam County’s “Good Roads” movement had spread to Tracy where a meeting was scheduled to discuss upgrading roads through the San Gabriel River bottomland.

L. G. Jones, cashier of the Burlington State Bank, was attacked and robbed while on a trip to Waco.

Thirteen Thorndale ISD students attend Rockdale High School graduation exercises, including Grace Fulcher, who later became Grace Berry of the Thorndale Champion.

Rockdale’s Maccabee Lodge was gauging the interest in organizing a brass band for the city.

The Reporter covers RHS graduation: “Here, under the soft glow of electric lights, the handsome youths and sweet girl graduates, in dainty costumes of white, which enhanced the grace and beauty of the scene...”

The Texas Attorney General okayed issuance of $50,000 in road bonds for the Gause area, approved in a recent election.

The new, almost complete, Wright Hotel in Gause burned to the ground suspected to be the work of a “dastardly incendiary,” according to the Gause Guide.

The murder trial of a former Rockdale butcher, accused of killing his business partner over the way books were being kept, went to the jury.
100 YEARS AGO....
Publisher John Esten Cooke attended a meeting of the Texas Press Association at San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel, where the highlight was an address by Texas Gov. O. B. Colquitt, live from Austin, on Southwestern Bell’s new “loud talking” telephone device.

Below the obituary for Rockdale-area farmer Henry Walker was a plea for neighbors and friends to meet at the farm and help the widow bring in the crops still in the fields.

A bizarre Milam County grand jury investigation into the shooting death of a rural man was cast into confusion when an exhumation revealed the victim had not been shot.

Rockdale school teachers for 1913-14 were named: Mamie Baker, Minnie Foster, Mattie Lee Atkinson, Allan May Gladdish, Florence Hubert, Irma Porter, Helen Kane and Bessie Belle Cooper
100 YEARS AGO....
The “good roads” movement continued as residents of the Gay Hill area were to meet at the school to discuss petitioning the county for a bond election.

Carrie Loewenstein, 4, of Rockdale, was in a Waco hospital after falling through a screen window on the second floor of a Waco hotel and landing on the concrete sidewalk below.

Supt. C. G. Green announced that Rockdale High School had become fully affiliated with the state’s system of universities after adding a course in physiography (a form of geography).

Peter Radford, president of the Milam County Farmers Union, told The Reporter he was back from a “tour of the northern and eastern states,” Illinois and Virginia.
100 YEARS AGO....
A 33-year-old co-owner of a Rockdale meat market died after an argument with his business partner, in the market, escalated into a knife fight. The victim was stabbed in the abdomen. The partner was free on $1,000 bond.

The nine-member Rockdale High School Class of 1913 was set to graduate in the City Hall (today’s police station) auditorium.

Henne & Meyer Co, purchased the “stock, rackets and notions” of the Hillier Racket Store in downtown Rockdale.

The U. S. Census Bureau reported Milam County’s population as 36,780, including 33,517 rural residents and 3,263 residing in urban areas.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale had a new labor union as Painters Local 1032 organized and elected A. S. Allen as president.

Three persons were hurt when a monoplane crashed into the grandstand at the Taylor baseball field.

Lettye Turner won a new car in The Reporter’s subscription contest with runner-up Estella Galbreath winning a piano.

A Reporter baseball story began: “Rockdale’s second team put it all over the local regulars by a score of several to not so many. Manager Caroll Woody retired from baseball and is takng a course in mumblepeg.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale’s Modern Maccabees Lodge held an ice cream social. Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke noted that a goat wandered into the hall and added: “What he did in the hall cannot be recorded, but if it had not been for the presence of a physician, it is doubtful if any of the members could have lived through the excitement that followed.”

A shootout between a Minerva farmer and a hired hand, over a wage dispute, did not result in any injuries.

Cameron voters joined Gause area residents in approving a “good roads” bond package.

Rockdale hosted a meeting on a good roads proposal including “every business interest in the town
100 YEARS AGO....
“Air ship flights” were announced as the main attraction of the upcoming Rockdale Fair, set for July. “Flying machines are being made more perfect every year,” The Reporter noted.

Pioneer photographer John Scott, whose pictures captured the early years of the frontier town back to the 1870s, announced he was leaving Rockdale but that his negatives could be purchased from his daughter, Valdie Lewis.

A “good roads” bond issue was approved in the Gause precinct passing by nine votes more than the required two-third majority.

Big news for thirsty Rockdale students. For the first time, “sanitary fountains” were being installed at both school campuses.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale school trustees elected Supt. S. C. Green to his fifth term. Trustees whose terms were expiring in 1913 were Ira Perry, Andrew Perry, J. W. Garner and Fred Graves.

Gov. O. B. Colquitt named Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke as a Texas delegate to the National Good Roads Association meeting in Alabama. Cooke said he wouldn’t be attending as “the governor failed to include an expense check.”

Twenty-two Rockdale businesses signed a pledge saying they would close for an hour in the morning so their employees could attend early services at a Baptist revival.

Bell Avenue was opening to connect with Texas Street to accommodate the new Highland Park Addition.
100 YEARS AGO....
New Justice of the Peace Ed Gunn had performed 24 weddings in his first four months in office. “The preachers will accuse him of cutting the price if he doesn’t watch out,” Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke commented.

Tom Marrs, Lee Hale and Willie Wells were elected aldermen in Rockdale. Marrs won in a runoff with Hill Marshall after the two tied in an initial election.

Tobacco was joining alcohol as an item prohibited from sale on Sunday within the Rockdale city limits.

The Reporter noted that some residents had been “helping themselves” to tools belonging to the fire department and asked they be returned “because they could be needed at any time.”
100 YEARS AGO....

Former Rockdale postmaster E. J. M. Hopkins was arrested in San Antonio and charged with the shooting death of son-in-law, P. H. Burke.

H. C. Meyer was re-elected president of the Rockdale Fair Association board. Meyer was also mayor of Rockdale.

Rockdale Mercantile Co., owned by the Loewenstein family, was installing the first full-sized plate glass windows in the Rockdale business community.

A sandstorm hit Rockdale on Easter morning. Wrote Reporter Publisher J. E. Cooke: “Easter hats and gowns were either ruefully laid aside or worn at great financial risk...Everybody was more or less grouchy.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Milam County Precinct 1 voters were set to vote on a $150,000 roads bond issue.

Rockdale’s men’s baseball team edged a traveling team from Marshall’s Traveling Theatre 6-5.

Well digger Robert Caywood dug a 50-foot-deep, 30-inch in diameter well in nine hours.

A barn on the W. H. Blancet farm in the Tracy Community was destroyed by fire.
100 YEARS AGO....
Tragedy in the San Gabriel area as a young wife was shot to death after dropping a shotgun she was handing to her husband during a hunting trip. The gun discharged as it hit the ground and the blast struck her in the face.

John A. Shapard was appointed Rockdale’s new postmaster. He expressed appreciation to local citizens who lobbied for him to get the appointment.

A Buckholts farmer announced his intention to construct the first silo in Milam County.

The Rockdale Reporter/Messenger began its 40th year and Publisher John Esten Cooke expressed hope that the paper “would last another 39 years.” (It’s been 100 years, obviously.)
100 YEARS AGO....
A large crowd was at the I&GN Depot to greet the “demonstration train” from Texas A&M. Demonstrations ranged from roadwork to housekeeping.

In a unique letter to the editor a writer identified as “Skidoo H. Skore” penned a poem, the first letters of whose lines read “The Rockdale Reporter.”

The Harrison Theatrical Show came to Rockdale, bringing along a canvas tent with a 1,000-seat capacity.

New President Wood row Wilson was sworn in and The Reporter printed the entire text of his inaugural address.
100 YEARS AGO....
By a margin of 167 to 24, Rockdale city voters okayed a $30,000 bond election to construct a waterworks.

The Milano community band planned a vaudeville fund raiser to help purchase band uniforms. Admission price was 50 cents.

T. H. Bartlett, in a letter to the editor, said he favored good roads but asked if county convicts could be put on a road gang, rather than approving a roads bond issue.

The Reporter reported: “The commissioners court met Monday a week ago but, outside of checking the accounts of various offices, very little has been done.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Despite the continued circulation of a petition to close the Milano school for the remainder of the year, due to a teacher shortage, trustees announced it would remain open after the only remaining teacher, Miss Clyde Newton, told them she would attempt to teach all the grades “as far as she can.”

Two “Rockdale boys,” out late, discovered a fire in an outbuilding at the Abnernathy place and extinguished the blaze before it spread to the house.

Former Rockdale resident Mattie Hicks, who had moved to Oklahoma, wrote “I raise chickens and milk cows, but I don’t like house work very much.”

The City of Rockdale called an election to replace councilman E. R. Wolf, who had resigned.
100 Years Ago...
An eastbound I&GN passenger train slammed into several freight cars in Gause, after a switch was left open. Two crew members, who jumped from the engine, were injured. No serious injuries were reported among the passengers.

James Harrington began making, and marketing, coal briquettes from lignite, something that had previously been successful only by using anthracite coal.

Buschdale Hall was to be the site of Washington’s Birthday Masquerade Ball, with music by the Rockdale Orchestra.

Rockdale’s Grand Opera House hosted Hazel McCann who sang the new song “Keep Away From The Fellow Who Owns An Automobile.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Dr. Dunc Wallis of Rockdale and Dr. Mullin of Milano were called to Tanglewood where an 18-year-old man nearly severed his foot at the ankle in a tree-clearing accident.

A special agricultural train from Texas A&M was to stop in Rockdale for two hours so experts could advise area farmers.

Milano-area residents were circulating a petition to cancel the remainder of the 2012-13 school year in Milano due to a shortage of teachers.

W. F. Farmer wrote a letter in support of an upcoming road improvement bond election: “In the past few years I pulled a good horse to death just getting to and from town.”
100 YEARS AGO....
A fire leveled the Rockdale Pantitorium (dry cleaners). Firefighters said a gasoline light exploded. “The fire boys saved Rockdale from a great conflagration,” The Reporter reported.

Berlin & Adler announced it was going out of business and ran a quarter-page sale ad under the heading “DOOMED.”

The Rockdale Reporter announced a subscription selling contest — women only — with the grand prize a new Ford car, estimated value $665.

Dr. W. R. Newton announced he would build a new fireproof sanitarium in Cameron after his Buckholts sanitarium was destroyed by fire.
100 YEARS AGO....
Re-elected bank presidents in Rockdale were J. E. Coffield at First National and Dr. L. P. Sessions at Rockdale State.

W. W. Caddell of Ben Arnold wrote that he became a convert to the “good roads” movement when the axle on his brand new surrey snapped as he tried to drive to Cameron.

S&H Stores January white sale featured drawers and corset covers for 15 cents each but “store-mussed undermuslins” would set you back at least 39 cents.

“Scribbler,” The Reporter’s Tanglewood correspondent warned “don’t got out in Texas in the winter without your coat. I did and a norther caught me.”
100 YEARS AGO....
County Agent George Banzhaf, fresh from a seminar at Texas A&M College, was set to give a demonstration on terraced farming.

Rockdale Presbyterians were planning to construct a new church at the Davilla-San Gabriel corner, sold their former building and were to share space with Rockdale’s Methodists.

Dr. H. T. Coulter purchased part of the old Graves Estate and announced plans to construct homes and rental houses.

The city council approved the sale of $30,000 in bonds for a city water system.
100 YEARS AGO....
Lots had sold out in the new Murray subdivision adjoining Rockdale to the west, according to developer G. C. Murray.

Baker Joe Stein was returning to business after a year’s absence, announcing he had bought out the Danforth family, to whom he had sold out the previous year.

Rockdale’s former Confederate soldiers were summoned to a meeting at City Hall, according to Commander E. E. Smith.

Celia Montgomery, one of C ent ra l Texa s’ few sur v iving former slaves, died at her daughter’s home in Milano. Mrs. Montgomery had come to Texas in the 1850s.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale resident Gregory Thompson died when his foot became caught in a cattle guard crossing the I&GN tracks in east Rockdale and he was struck by a train.

Ed Green of Rockdale was re-elected secretary of the Texas Socialist Party, winning in a field of 12 candidates.

The Reporter reprinted a speech by W. H. Beattie of the Texas Department of Agriculture, instructing farmers how to plant, grow and harvest peanuts. The speech occupied an entire page of the newspaper.

Every Reporter country correspondent mentioned flooded roads. “Scribbler” from Tanglewood noted: “Rain is a good thing but one gets tired of it after awhile.”