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
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100 YEARS AGO....
Milam County eliminated the assistant county attorney position held by E. A. Camp of Rockdale, who remained in private practice. Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “(I’ve) been keeping out of devilment for three years but now that I can hire Emory A. to defend me, our readers shouldn’t be surprised to hear of us committing bloody murder...”

The city council was considering banning fruit peddlers in Rockdale.

Reporter ad: “Why not electric lights for Christmas? — Rockdale Water & Light Company, call 33.

Rockdale’s new library, organized by the Women’s Club, containing 800 volumes and subscribed to 24 periodicals.
100 YEARS AGO....
A jury found District Clerk Sam Wilson not guilty of charges that he misappropriated public funds. Two other Milam County officials still faced similar charges.

Rockdale commissioner E. R. Reese told The Reporter Milam County faced “startling financial stringency regarding public funds.”

Leaders in the Dixie Theater’s popularity contest were Gertrude Stolterfohlt and Hattie Wilson. First prize was a diamond pendant.

Sandy Creek became the first Milam community to organize a Texas Farm Women council. Mrs. T. J. Brannon was named president.
100 YEARS AGO....
Must have been a slow week for excitement in 1914 Rockdale. Publisher John Esten Cooke wrote: “Thanks be! Glory! Rockdale has a new telephone directory. It is being met with smiles, howls, even tears of delight.”

Final Milam County gubernatorial election results: Democrat James Ferguson, 1,404; Republican E. R. Meltzen, 432.

Rockdale’s Presbyterian Church was to host the town’s annual Thanksgiving Service. Cornelius White, Christian Church minister was to give the sermon.

Sunday Schools in the area were planning to forego Christmas trees in 1914 and send money to orphans in world war-ravaged Europe.
100 YEARS AGO....
A jury deadlocked 8-4 for acquittal in the murder trial of Robert Lee Perkins, accused of shooting Will Turner on the Holtzclaw Bridge. Perkins maintained Turner committed suicide.

Rockdale played Lexington in basketball and Lexington won both games. The Reporter reported: “It is declared the Lexington young ladies were all giantesses and the Lexington boys won through the individual efforts of their coach.”

The Christian Church’s Berea Class presented the comedy play “Not So Bad After All,” starring Albert Hendrex, Sadie Wootton and Fredonia Hairston.

Milam County commissioner decided to assign county jail inmates to work on the county’s roads.
100 YEARS AGO....
A. Longmire, who operated a moving business, retired. Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke doubted he’d stay that way, writing: “If the doctor can arrange to break his back, saw off both arms, stringhalt him in the legs, bolt him to a tree and clinch the bolt, he may succeed in keeping Longmire quiet.”

Rockdale businessmen arranged to sell hogs as incentive to area farmers who wanted to give up on cotton.

Scarbrough & Hicks set its annual “turkey day”— buying turkeys from the area for Thanksgiving sales—for Nov. 16.

First Baptist Church women were holding a shower to support 600 children living in the Buckner Orphanage.
100 YEARS AGO....
General election turnout by party at Rockdale’s sole voting box: Democrats 190, Socialists 22, Republicans 9, Progressives 3.

S. T. Welch, a farmer eight miles from Rockdale, switched from cotton to peanut hay and produced 325 bales from his three acres of Spanish Peanuts.

Showing at the Dixie Theater, through special arrangement with W. E. Gaither, a film depicting the Ford Motor Company. “It may be in the form of an advertisement,” Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke wrote. “But it’s one of the most interesting pictures ever made.”

With small pox cases reported in Cameron, the superintendent ordered vaccinations for every non vaccinated student on the following Monday.
100 YEARS AGO....
District Clerk Sam Wilson and Milam County Treasurer James Pate were indicted for misappropriation of county funds.

British Foreign Minister Edward Gregg assured Texas cotton growers that, despite World War I naval battles in the Atlantic, Texas cotton shipments were getting through to their markets in Europe.

Seventy-five Rockdale area farmers and business persons met and pledged their efforts toward encouraging growing of corn instead of cotton in 1915.

Over 100 Rockdale residents were headed to Runnels County to help pick cotton.
100 YEARS AGO....
The low price of cotton continued to dominate the news. County Agent George Banzhaf was scheduling a seminar for Milam farmers wanting to switch to watermelons or cantaloupes.

As cotton prices plummeted, The Reporter rescinded its offer of a one-year subscription for 30 pounds of cotton seed.

Area farmers were looking into the possibility of getting a creamery in Rockdale, giving the dairy industry a presence in Milam County.

A Cameron man was killed with a rifle shot. Bond on his assailant, arrested and charged with murder, was $500.
100 YEARS AGO....
Area farmer Y. J. Gjedde, using the new “half and half” cottonseed, brought in a 448-pound bale that netted in three-fourth of a cent above the market price.

A child in the Tracy community was in serious condition after falling from a farm wagon on the way home from school.

Former Reporter Publisher R. W. H. “Dick” Kennon was back in the newspaper business, purchasing The Shiner Enterprise.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke on a combined promotion by local merchants: “(They) are offering such a broadside of prices which challenge competition everywhere and should cause every mail-order catalog in Milam County to be thrown in the fire.”
100 Years AGO....
Two Rockdale area residents were visiting in Germany when World War I erupted. William Henke could not get transportation home. A. Mertosky wrote “conditions are not bad there except for the battles.”

Several Rockdale businessmen formed the Rockdale Bonded Warehouse and planned a facility large enough to house 1,000 bales.

Classified ad: “August Seidl of Buschdale has taken up one brown mule, 14 hands high, at farm near Buschdale. Owner can get animal by calling on above party.”

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “The new joy riding buzz wagons (automobiles) will soon come cuckoo clocks. When they exceed 25 miles per hour the cuckoo will come out.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Twelve-year-old Leon Lewis — described as “small for his age, weighing 72 pounds — picked 467 pounds of cotton at his father’s Rockdale farm. His brother, Jack, three years older, picked 502.

Political talk was that longtime Rockdale Mayor H. B. Meyer was considering running for the state senate seat held by H. B. Terrell.

A community meeting to pray for peace — World War I was a little over a month old — was scheduled for First Baptist Church. Pastor Rev. B. B. Blaylock, was to speak on the topic: “Is the Present War the Battle of Armageddon?”

John Smith, an area farmer, urged his peers to “fence off the cotton patch and take up raising cattle and hogs.”
100 YEARS AGO....
The low price of cotton, and its effects on the economy dominated Rockdale. Reporter Editor John Esten Cooke offered a one-year subscription in exchange for 20 pounds of cotton seed.

H. Lockwood, lumber yard owner, in an ad, said because of the poor economy he needed all customers with accounts to settle at least part of them immediately.

J. H. Williams, Milano farmer, said he had quit cotton entirely and was raising peas, potatoes, chickens and turkeys.

Cooke: “It’s reported someone broke into the home of editor George Tucker in Taylor and took $62 in cash and a $90 watch from a pocket. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe any editor had that much money or a pocket that big.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Despondent over finances, a 37-year-old Rockdale- area farmer committed suicide by drinking carbolic acid.

The Reporter began publishing a serial “The Million Dollar Mystery,” in synchronization with the movie serial of the same name being shown each Wednesday evening at the Dixie Theater.

Rockdale was urged to participate in a nationwide program urging persons to purchase “distressed” cotton bales at 10 cents per pound to keep them off the market and drive up the price.

The Reporter reported: “Master Emory (B.) Camp is carrying one arm in a sling after breaking it in a fall on the concrete while playing.”
100 YEARS AGO....
A boiler explosion in the Hanover community killed one man and injured two. One of the injured men was flung through the air more than 100 feet.

A fire at the Rockdale Oil Mill was stopped with minor damage after the mill’s steam apparatus was turned onto the blaze to assist firefighters.

The Reporter printed the list of all 77 persons who united with First Baptist Church following the recent J. Frank Norris three-week revival.

A meeting of road bond supporters was called after leader J. D. Shelton said the group was disgusted with the “crookedness on the other side.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Fear of smallpox caused the Rockdale School District to require re-vaccination of all students entering the 1914-15 school term.

The three-week J. Frank Norris revival closed after being attended by hundreds of persons from an are stretching from Tracy to Lexington.

Scarbrough & Hicks installed two “absolutely sanitary” drinking fountains. “The thirsty one just simply presses a button, stoops over and drinks,” Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke marveled.

An employee of Miertschin & Elliott Gin in Thorndale lost an arm when it became caught in the automatic saws.
100 YEARS AGO....
What was happening in Europe was seeping into Rockdale’s consciousness. Clarence Schaudies, owner of the Star Grocery headlined his two-column ad: ‘WAR WAR WAR.”

The Reporter reprinted a Dallas Morning News editorial on the war, which began: Slav and Teuton and Gaul and Briton are hurrying to Armageddon.”

Deputy R. H. Arledge investigated a complaint someone had burglarized a house while occupants attended the massive J. Frank Norris revival meeting. He arrested a cook from a local restaurant.

It must have been a good year for agriculture. Publisher John Esten Cooke wrote: “Given 30 days of sunshine, Matchless Milam will have to rent land from neighboring counties to stock her feed crops and erect cotton warehouses.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Crowds were so huge at a Rockdale revival featuring famous evangelist J. Frank Norris that morning services had to be moved into the auditorium of the Dixie Theater.

Milam County’s 48 candidates in the recent Democratic Primary spent a combined $5,914. Highest amount, $495, was spent by tax assessor hopeful Watt Henderson. He lost.

T. J. Brannan, head engineer of the Sessions Mine, died after contracting typhoid fever.

Anticipating the title of a famous novel by 36 years, Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke asked local boys to stop killing mockingbirds. ‘It’s a misdemeanor in the eyes of the law to kill songbirds,” he wrote.

100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale businesses closed for five minutes, and a bell tolled, to observe the funeral of First Lady Ellen Wilson, wife of president Woodrow Wilson, who died of kidney disease at 54.

Widespread rains termed as “life giving” were credited with turning Milam County’s 1914 cotton crop from average to good.

Thorndale was getting a new school, funded by a $16,500 bond issue approved by voters.

Milam County school census: Cameron, 1,613; Rockdale, 582; Gause (apparently Gause and Milano combined), 322; Thorndale, 266.
100 YEARS AGO....
The world changed forever. Reporter headline: “All Europe Is At War.” France declared war on Germany and its ally, Great Britain, was about to follow suit. It was the start of World War I.

A Cameron man died when his home exploded as he entered it with a lantern to investigate a smell of leaking gasoline from his garage.

Rev. J. Frank Norris was to be the evangelist in a community-wide revival in a temporary tabernacle constructed outside First Baptist Church.

Socialist icon Eugene Debs, a three-time presidential candidate, spoke for two hours at Fair Park.
100 YEARS AGO....
Two thousand people packed downtown Rockdale for Democratic Primary election night results. Temporary outdoor electric lighting was put up and a special telegraph line was installed for the occasion.

In the governor’s race, Jim Ferguson defeated Tom Ball—yes, the man for whom the town was named. Even though Ball held massive rallies in Rockdale and Cameron, Milam County voted for Ferguson.

A crowd of between 4,000 and 5,000 attended the fourth annual “Milam County Colored Farmers Fair” at Fair Park, according to event secretary B. Y. Aycock.

A 12-year-old Cameron boy was recovering after he was run over by an automobile, possibly the first-ever car-pedestrian report in The Reporter.
100 YEARS AGO....
An I&GN Railroad employee died when he fell between two freight cars near Rockdale. The Reporter’s lead: “Old John Barleycorn (alcohol) claimed another victim last Friday.”

With a primary election a week away, Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke wrote: “Demand of politics has been so heavy we have been forced to leave out all country correspondence, social news and much other local stuff.”

One of those candidates said he did not like being named as an “illegal voter” in a recent road bond election by those contesting its results.

Grading work in the San Gabriel bottom was under way for a new road to the Tracy community
100 YEARS AGO....
Opponents of a recently passed “good roads” bond elections published a list containing the names of 193 persons they maintained voted illegally.

World champion middleweight wrestling champ Harry Swoboda of New York City, who had been training in Rockdale, was set to wrestle Pet Brown of Taylor in the Rockdale Opera House.

Eugene V. Debs, the most famous American Socialist leader ever, was to appear in a rally at Rockdale’s Fair Park.

Pro-Prohibition gubernatorial candidate Tom Bell announced plans to speak in Rockdale and the town readied for its largest political event yet.
100 YEARS AGO....
Six-year-old Orville Laurence of Thorndale died in a Taylor hospital after he was kicked in the head by a horse.

Opponents of a recently passed Rockdale-area bond package to improve roads filed a lawsuit to overturn the election, alleging county commissioners illegally created a road district.

Justice of the Peace Ed Gunn wondered if he had set a local record by marrying three couples in three hours. Tying the knots were Ed Winterburg and Violet Ashby, R. N. Little and Ruth Denham, Lee Brown and Minnie Abernathy.

Over 2,000 heard gubernatorial candidate Tom Bell speak in Cameron. “There might have been twice as many if the Cameron people had not allowed the time and hour of the speech to become confused,” Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke wrote.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Reporter endorsed reform Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Bell, with Publisher John Esten Cooke saying “we believe he is on the right side of every moral question.”

The SA&AP Railroad was offering a special train between Rockdale and Cameron so local residents could hear Bell speak.

In one of Milam’s largest land deals ever, J. P. Petit traded 1,500 acres of Milam blackland to S. P. Skinner for 17,000 acres in Crockett County.

Pee Wee Fannin of Rockdale defeated Young Weicel of Houston two falls to none in a wrestling match at the Rockdale Opera House.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale was mourning the death of H. M. Campbell, owner of The Nickle Store, who had 10 days previously closed the store and moved to Marlin to take “the water treatment” for his liver cancer.

Prohibition Democrats met in Dallas and nominated their own candidate for governor.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke, after a trip to Wichita Falls, viewing North Texas crops, said he felt Milam County crops were “not so bad; we are more scared than hurt.”

Edna Trigg and her Girls Tomato Club were to give a free demonstration “in the Yeager pasture, between the Sipe Springs and Lewis schools.”
100 YEARS AGO....
In a letter to the editor, W. H. Farmer charged that his landlord was assessing him $2 extra per acre in rent because Farmer had voted for the recent “good road” bond issue.

The Rockdale school board and city council, acting jointly, said $25,000 was being set aside for construction of a new high school.

John Pappas announced he had purchased the former Sanders Pool Hall — pool halls were outlawed by a countywide vote — and planned to open the Olympia Cafe, a Greek restaurant.

Austin boosters, 200 strong, visited Rockdale and brought their own brass band.
100 YEARS AGO....
The 1914 Rockdale Fair, set for July, was canceled due to “late and poor crops, and heavy spring rains causing farmers more work in the fields.”

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke wrote an editorial opposing the decision to cancel the Fair. Cooke recommended delaying the event until fall, terming the fair “the most valuable asset Rockdale has.”

County Judge John Watson canceled all court activity in Cameron to give farmers more time to work in their fields.

A move was on to place a concrete bridge over the Bell Avenue Ham Branch crossing after a local merchant’s team collapsed a temporary wooden bridge, injuring him.
100 YEARS AGO...
Opponents of the recently-passed $100,000 good roads bond issue, which passed overwhelmingly, said they would challenge the results, saying the package was improperly presented as being endorsed by the Milam County Farmers Union.

Justice of the Peace Ed Gunn wrote The Reporter to say he did not vote in the bond issue because he was ill and bedridden, and asked constituents to check with his physician Dr. H. T. Coulter, if they didn’t believe him.

Graduates Minnie Hamilton, Homer Turner and Pearl Woody read essays at commencement exercises for the RHS Class of 1914.

“The Perils of Pauline,” starring Pearl White, was playing at the Dixie Theater.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale area voters overwhelmingly approved (677-236) a $100,000 “good roads” bond package. Vote in the Rockdale box was 397-14, the entire margin of victory. Cumulative vote of nine rural boxes was against the bonds.

The Reporter’s news report of the roads vote was a celebration. The box by box total was referred to as “good ridings of great joy” and the tiny Kolb community’s 13-0 vote for the bonds drew the comment “good old Kolb.”

A rain estimated at 4 to 6 inches in a few hours sent Ham Branch on the “worst rampage in 30 years.”

Confederate veteran, and participant in the Battle of Gettysburg, W. B. Woody announced he was seeking the office of Justice of the Peace.
100 YEARS AGO....
A local resident took a shotgun and ammunition from Henne & Meyer department and engaged in a shootout with Rockdale’s city marshal. No one was hurt. The man said he took the gun to kill his wife.

Seven Rockdale physicians signed an open letter during votes in favor of an upcoming bond election to improve area rural roads.

Officials were attempted to identify a man who was run over by an I&GN freight train a mile east of Rockdale. Intoxication was suspected as the cause.

Professor B. Y. Aycock announced graduation exercises for the eight-member graduating class of 1914 in Rockdale’s African-American school.
100 YEARS AGO....
A Tracy boy died when he was shot by his own hunting rifle as he tried to untangle the gun from a cluster of vines and branches into which it had slipped.

City Hall was to be the site for graduation exercises for the 14-member — 10 girls and 4 boys — Rockdale High School graduating class of 1914.

A rare local news photo in The Reporter showed the bumper crop of oats at the Stony Croft Farm one mile south of Rockdale.

Milam County’s Socialist Party met and nominated a full slate of candidates for county offices in the upcoming elections.
100 YEARS AGO....
Spring rains brought extensive flooding to Milam County. The large Wait Farm near Cameron had to replant more than 50 percent of its acreage.

Eighty percent of a Reporter page was devoted to testimonials by Williamson County residents on the positive effects of that county’s recent road bond election. Milam had a similar election coming up in the summer.

As dictated by a recent election, every pool hall in Milam County was now closed “until the people vote them back in which is a remote possibility.”

A crowd estimated at 1,000 attended end-of-school performances in Minerva.
100 YEARS AGO....
Suicide was ruled in the shooting death of a 53-year-old Thorndale area farmer. Friends said the man was troubled because he had signed a “surety bond”—a pledge to pay a sum if a promise is not met—for a Thorndale merchant who was subsequently charged with forgery and embezzlement.

Aviator Capt. Hector Worden was to fly at the upcoming Rockdale Fair in July.

Concrete sidewalks and curbs were completed at the new Presbyterian Church site, Davilla at San Gabriel.

In a long-awaited wrestling match at the Rockdale Opera house, home-town favorite Charles Zimmer defeated Doak Phythian of Taylor two falls to none.
100 YEARS AGO....
A Milano man lost a foot when he attempted to swing onto, then off of, a passenger train in that city.

Rockdale’s new Presbyterian Church, corner of Davilla and San Gabriel, held dedication services “attended by all the congregations of the city.”

Five Rockdale boosters, led by Mayor H. C. Meyer, toured Cameron, soliciting advertising for the upcoming 1914 Rockdale Fair catalog.

Incumbents W. A. Coffield and E. T. Kemp, and newcomer, W. H. Shaw were nominated as Rockdale school trustees
100 YEARS AGO....
In a town baseball game the Baracas (Baptists) beat the Wesleys (Methodists) 7-6. The game was not covered in The Reporter though. “Our baseball writer had all his money on the Wesleys!” Publisher John Esten Cooke explained.

Thirty-five miles of claybased roads in the Gause area, funded by a $50,000 bond issue, were complete.

County commissioners called for a $100,000 bond election in the Rockdale area to upgrade roads.

Five Thorndale doctors signed a statement declaring small pox cases had declined and it was safe to visit and shop in that town.
100 YEARS AGO....
Milam voters went to the polls and resoundingly closed down the county’s pool halls, by a margin of 2,346 to 1,120 (68 to 32 percent).

Enrico Ferrari announced plans to construct a 2,970-square-foot building downtown.

Fred Palmer acquired a half interest in the Rockdale Bottling Company.

A promising oil well project near Thrall had to be shut down when the drill bit struck “an exceedingly hard rock at 270 feet.”
100 YEARS AGO....
In a dramatic demonstration of the anti-pool hall sentiment in Milam County, Gause pool hall owner J. P Hickman demolished and publicly burned his establishment, saying he didn’t think it set a good example for youth.

In a full page ad, the Anti-Pool Hall League said the legislature’s recent “9:30 law,” forcing saloons to close at 9:30 p.m., had only forced those customers into pool halls after that time.

Small pox was reported in Thorndale, and while no deaths had yet been noted, school attendance was down 50 percent.

A mass meeting of Precinct 4 and Precinct 5 residents ended with a plea for county commissioners to call a “good roads” bond election.
100 YEARS AGO....
The long-awaited county- wide vote on whether to shut down Milam’s pool halls was scheduled for April 4 by county commissioners. A similar measure covering only the city of Rockdale had failed.

With an operating oil well just across the Williamson County line, another being drilled near Rockdale and a third near Thorndale, area business people were optimistic about a possible oil boom.

The (unnamed) president of the Rockdale Women’s Club wrote a letter to the editor critical of the recent citywide cleanup saying much trash had not been disposed of but was swept into alleys and streets.

Winners in the Scarbrough & Hicks Albatross Flour ad copy contest: Chisholm Wise, Rockdale, sixth grade; Emma Groppell, Buckholts, sixth grade; Robert Lee Lyon, Tracy, ninth grade.
100 YEARS AGO....
Cleanup day in Rockdale. Businesses and schools opened late and students joined employees to clean the city. Project leaders were Mrs. C. M. Sessions and Mrs. H. C. Meyer.

After narrowly failing to close down pool halls in a Rockdale-area precinct election, more than 1,000 persons signed a petition to have commissioners put the question on a county- wide ballot.

The annual visit of state educators to Rockdale schools brought praise for “Miss Cooper,” RHS instructor in Latin and German.

A local farmer said his 60 White Leghorn hens laid 1,093 eggs during February.
100 YEARS AGO....
The long awaited Precinct 4 election on banning pool halls was close but in the end voters decided to let them stay open by a 375-355 margin.

Mayor H. C. Mayer was re-elected president of the Rockdale Fair Association. Leonard Isaacs was named vice-president.

The Rockdale Reporter & Messenger observed its 40th year of operation.

Ira Perry told The Reporter he was planning a modern Jersey dairy operation, complete with silos, southwest of Rockdale.
100 YEARS AGO....
City election results: Mayor H. C. Meyer, running unopposed, was re-elected. Incumbent City Marshal John H. Bonds defeated Nat Alford 180-88 to retain his position.

In another election Precinct 4 (Thorndale area) voters decided by a 473-131 margin to back issuance of $100,000 in road bonds.

After a public meeting, residents of Tracy pledged their support to the growing good roads movement in Milam County.

The Rockdale City Council voted to spend $16,000 to purchase land for a new city waterworks.
100 YEARS AGO....
A full-page ad from Gaither Motor Co. touted the Model T Ford, $500 for the roadster, $550 for the touring car.

The “eighth wonder of the world,” Thomas J. Edison’s talking pictures was booked at the Rockdale Opera House.

A “monster street rally” in downtown Rockdale, urging residents to shut down pool halls in an upcoming vote, was to feature the pastors of Rockdale’s Baptist, Methodist and Christian churches.

“Don’t you think we’re going a bit too far?” was the lead on an ad urging voters to let pool halls remain open.
100 YEARS AGO....
An alcohol-related fight in the Rockdale Jail led to the beer bottle-stabbing death of one of the men involved. The Reporter termed the incident “one of the worst crimes ever committed in the county.

Rockdale was to vote on a local-option election to ban pool halls. “The Reporter predicts Rockdale will vote out the pool halls and we fail to see any reasons for sorrow at the prospect.”

A wrestling card at the Rockdale Opera House featured a match between Kid Pee Wee, 120 pounds, of Rockdale, and 140-pound Young Weisel of Houston. Admission 50 and 35 cents, “ladies free and especially invited.”
Rockdale’s Platheas Club meeting in the home of Mildred Moses was pleasantly interrupted by a phone call from Dixie Theatre owner “Mr. Long” who said “come on down to the show as his guests.”

Rockdale’s $14,000 collection of city taxes in January was thought to be the largest for any one month in town history.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “If one thing strengthens belief in the prohibition faith, it is to be forced to listen on the street to the ramblings of a half-drunken man who can’t keep off your feet or out of your face,”

N. J. “Nat” Alford announced his candidacy for the elected office of Rockdale City Marshal.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Rockdale Benevolent Association was formed to consolidate the charity efforts of several existing entities.

Driller Dave Hornbeck told The Reporter developments in the Rockdale Oil Field were expected after drillers got through a tough section of underground rock.

Two steel bridges over the Brazos River in Robertson County, replacing structures washed away by the December, 1913, flood, were in the planning stages.

Gaither Motor Co. advertised it was selling the “Oakland Motor Car - The Car With a Conscience.
100 YEARS AGO....
It was “hog day” in Rockdale as buyers Turner & Hale paid out $2,200 in spot cash to area farmers.

Rockdale’s Wolf Hotel was the site for the annual Fire Department banquet, presided over by president J. E. Longmoor.

A new Rockdale to Tracy road, under construction, was being touted as “the only blackland road in the county autos can get over at all.”

Voters in Thorndale, Ellison Ridge, Conoley, Salty and Watson Branch were set to vote in a $100,000 road bond election.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was calling for a citywide election to force closing of Rockdale’s pool rooms.

E. A. Camp announced he would seek the office of Rockdale City Attorney.

A project to restore the Hafley Levee on the Little River was beginning. The levee was damaged in the December, 1913, flooding.

A three-year-old Ben Arnold boy died after contracting meningitis

100 YEARAS AGO....
Monroe Bullock, a contractor involved in cleaning up the Valley Junction area from the Great Flood of 1913, told The Reporter damage was so severe “it could not be described.”

The San Antonio & Aransas Pass (SAP) Railroad announced Rockdale would continue to serve as a freight division line. Two train crews spent every night in Rockdale.

A petition was circulating in the Thorndale area to call for a $75,000 to $100,000 bond issue for construction of new roads.

The Rockdale City Council selected Citizens State Bank as the city depository. All three local banks had submitted bid proposals to the council.
100 YEARS AGO....
A Burlington man was charged with murder as the result of a quarrel with his wife. Investigators said he threw an oil lamp in the woman’s face, which exploded, causing fatal burns.

State Representative R. R. Tyson, whose district included Rockdale and Milam County, announced he would not be a candidate for re-election in 1914.

Rockdale’s two pool halls agreed to voluntarily close at 9:30 p.m., same time the town’s saloons quit for the night.

Traffic on the I&GN Railroad east of Rockdale was curtailed when a freight train derailed at Big Lump.
100 YEARS AGO....
It was a more peaceful Christmas in Rockdale than in past years. Town Marshal John Bonds had made his round the previous day and “persuaded” all saloons and pool halls to close at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day.

More news from the great flood of 1913. Thomas Evans of Bryan was in Rockdale to visit. Evans was the only survivor of a four-man crew which launched a boat into the flood-swollen Brazos River in an attempt to rescue stranded persons.

The body of Thorndale businessman John Lehman was found in a water-filled ditch. Foul play was suspected.

Eugene Oglesby was named The Reporter’s new compositor, succeeding Horace Switzer who had accepted a job with Rockdale State Bank.


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
100 YEARS AGO....
Ex-Reporter publishers R.W.H. Kennon (Shiner) and C. L. Tanner (Alice) looked back on Christmases in Rockdale with Kennon remembering his 1909 meal of “spare ribs, hog liver and sausage.”

It cost only 15 cents to make a 2-minute phone call from Rockdale to Cameron, down from 25 cents.

Milam County received the portable jail it would use to house 18 to 25 inmates at a time while they worked on roads.

A fire at the Jesse Offield farm in Tracy claimed a barn, sheds, feed and a grist mill. Total loss, about $1,500.

100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale’s “Goodfellows” organization, led by W. A. Coffield, G. M. Ryan and Lon Hudson, was collecting food and toys for needy families at Christmas-time.

The Rockdale City Council clarified its recently- passed ban on peddling by noting it did not apply to farmers bringing their produce to town for sale.

Rockdale firefighters came to City Hall in full dress uniform and paraded to the Wolf Hotel on Main Street for their annual Christmas banquet.

Milam truck farmers met in Rockdale and worked out a cooperative plan for growing potatoes, melons, cantaloupes and tomatoes.