100 YEARS AGO....
Milam County joined with Texas and the nation in re-electing President Woodrow Wilson. Locally, County Attorney Roy Baskin, running unopposed, led the Milam ballot with 2,462 votes.

The Reporter signed a contract with the Mergenthaler Company to purchase a new typesetting machine which would produce more type quicker.

An overnight blizzard kept the Gentry Brothers Circus from setting up its tents for a Rockdale appearance. The circus was on the way to its winter quarters in San Antonio.

It was not a good day for Rockdale High School. The RHS football team traveled to Taylor and lost 26-0. On they way back a car containing several fans, including Supt. C. C. Green, overturned near a bridge on the Little River
100 YEARS AGO....
Over a mile of water line had been laid on West Cameron and West Bell Street, along with 15 fire hydrants, part of a new water system improvement program by the city. Total cost was to be $10,000.

What was described as a “particularly ugly” fight was reported in Thorndale between two farmers over cotton leases. It ended when the son of one farmer slashed his father’s assailant with a pocket knife.

Rockdale voted for incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson 211-44 over his Republican opponent Charles Evans Hughes. Wilson won the electoral college 277-254.

Rockdale’s football team ripped Rosebud 51-0 and was set to tangle with Temple the next Friday. RHS and Temple both entered the game undefeated.
100 YEARS AGO....
Will Rolley of the Sharp area pleaded guilty to murdering his wife at a rural farmhouse and received a 20-year prison sentence.

The home of Dr. T. D Rountree on West Cameron Avenue was destroyed by a fire which was traced to an oil stove in the kitchen being fired up to cook breakfast.

Quick action by the Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department saved the Rockdale Oil Mill after a “hot box” on a conveyor line caught the structure on fire.

At a Halloween party of First Baptist Church young women, Mrs. W. O. Quebe, dressed as a witch, told the fortunes of unmarried women in attendance, predicting who would receive marriage proposals during the ensuing year.
100 Years Ago....
Rockdale was ready to watch “Elephant Baseball” as the Gentry Brothers Circus had scheduled a show for Nov. 14. It was to showcase “the world’s heaviest hitter.”

A football game had been scheduled for Fair Park, one of three for Rockdale High School during the 1916 season. Rockdale was to tangle with the Austin High School B-team.

“Mr. Caldwell” who lived on the Pete Keen place fell from a wagon loaded with seed cotton and the loaded wagon passed over him. It was reported that somehow no bones were broken.

A city project was reported this way in The Reporter: “The city dads have spent some of the accumulated wealth of the waterworks on a brand new fourinch water main on West Cameron Street
The Clarence Schaudies family fled their home at 4 a.m. due to a fire. The Reporter noted: “Notwithstanding the unfavorable hour, the fire boys made a splendid response in their new truck.” Later that day Schaudies was arrested and charged with setting the blaze. He professed his innocence.

The Matinee Musical Club met in the home of Mrs. W. A. Coffield. Anita Storrs of Granger was special guest. Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Stotts announced they had purchased what was known as the Alford Home, across the street from the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Depot, and were re-opening it as “The SAP Hotel.”

Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke attended the Texas State Fair in Dallas and viewed the spectacular “Last Days of Pompeii” with 400 actors and $1,500 worth of fireworks nightly.

The Reporter’s Hicks correspondent: “Cotton is at 60 cents per bushel, so I see no reason why the farmers should not be happy for at least a year.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Fire broke out in Hewitt’s Secondhand Store on Main Street. The Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department confined the blaze to the bottom story and kept it from spreading to adjacent buildings.

Weldon Caldwell of Rockdale and Bob Thomas of Thorndale won first places in the two categories of the Milam County Boys Corn Club competition in Thorndale.

County Judge John Watson had two cases come before him in county court, both for illegal possession of a firearm. One was fined $100. One was fined one dollar.

Despite opposition, Milam County commissioners reappointed County Agent George Banzhaf to serve for another year.

The Dixie Theater booked “A Night in the Show,” starring Charlie Chaplin. The Dixie’s current serial “The Shielding Shadow” was current playing to nightly standing room only crowds. At Reporter presstime,

Thorndale’s five cotton gins had processed 8,939 cotton bales for 1916. Leading the way was the C. R. Schwarz Gin with an even 5,000.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Reporter’s lead story was about Rockdale Methodist Church breaking its all-time Sunday School attendance record and contained the admonition: “The habit of going home to stay on the part of the Sunday Scholars is deplorable.”

C. W. Lichter returned to Milano to again become publisher of The Milano Gazette. Said Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “Mr. Lister is the only man who has ever given Milano a creditable newspaper... the patronage accorded him was not as good as he deserved.”

Several Thorndale School District taxpayers field a lawsuit in 20th District Court asking the judge to stop payment on a bank note the school incurred to purchase student desks.

A new 15-chapter serial was to begin at the Dixie Theatre. “The Shielding Shadow” starred Grace Darmond. Ralph Kellard and Leon Bary.
100 YEARS AGO....
A Cameron resident was killed when his mule-drawn wagon was in collision with a passenger train at the Cameron SA&AP depot.

Men from Thorndale and San Gabriel were seriously injured when their auto was struck by a Katy passenger train in Taylor.

Fire Chief Andrew Perry said the Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department’s new “automobile pumper” answered its first call as volunteers extinguished a pair of burning storage buildings near the I&GB Depot.

San Gabriel area residents were set to go to the polls and decide whether to increase their “special school tax” from 20 to 50 cents.

John Hairston, 80, announced his recent marriage. Hairston still suffered bleeding from a chest wound received as Confederate soldier in 1864 at the Battle of Morgan’s Ferry.
100 YEARS AGO....
A 66-year-old Thorndale man died when his ox-driven wagon ran over him after the animals bolted while he was sitting in line waiting to have his cotton ginned at Farmers Union Gin in Thorndale.

Rockdale electric power switched from the city-run Rockdale Water & Light Co. to Texas Power & Light. Rockdale Oil Co. changed its name to Rockdale Oil Mill and was to begin the 1916 cottonseed extraction season.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “We fail to understand why Rockdale holds the blackland trade as well as it does when (people in Tracy and Sharp) have a pike road to Cameron and a cattle trail to Rockdale.”

Evangelist John W. Marshall, in a revival at First Christian Church, was to speak on “The European War and the End of the World.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Although the 1916 cotton harvest was being described as “short,” the Hicks Gin reported it had ginned 168 bales in August, compared to 28 in August 1915.

Rockdale Motor Car Co. was hedging its bets, advertising “our Mr. Wilson has 20 years experience in shoeing horses and can shoe yours right.”

Supt. C. C. Green said enrollment on the first day of the 1916-17 school year was 356, compared to 349 in September, 1915.

Will Rolley, a fugitive sought for eight years in the murder of his wife, was captured in Corsicana and returned to Milam County to face charges.

Farmers and business people who paid for resurfacing the road between Porter’s Prairie and Rockdale were upset of the condition of the same road inside the Rockdale city limits
100 YEARS AGO....
An arrest was made after a horrific shooting south of Thorndale. A former Thorndale resident was shot in the face, all the fingers on his right hand and the forefinger and thumb of his left hand were shot off. He was not expected to recover.

In a rare front-page photo, The Reporter pictured noted evangelist John W. Marshall of Chicago who was to hold a revival at First Christian Church.

Cameron Mayor Sam Hefley led a delegation to Rockdale to see the Rockdale VFD’s new fire truck.

There were new school buildings for the first day of classes at Watson Branch and Pleasant Hill.

Clarence Ousley of College Station, director of the extension service, sent a letter in support of Milam County Agent George Banzhaf. A delegation has visited the commissioners’ court seeking Banzhaf’s resignation.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Rockdale VFD’s new pumper was delivered by the American LaFrance Company. It was to be stored at the Talley & Neely Garage. (This is the locally legendary truck christened “Nancy Hanks” by the RVFD which was in service until 1950).

Roy Willis, the driller credited with bringing in the Thrall Oil Field boom, was killed when his car overturned one mile west of Thorndale.

Texas Power & Light Co. was stringing wires from Thorndale to Rockdale, preparing to take over the existing power company from the City of Rockdale. State Insurance Commissioner John Patterson was shot dead in a Teague bank and the bank president was arrested for the shooting. Patterson was in the process of closing the bank after an investigation.

“Sea Shell,” The Reporter’s Sand Grove correspondent wrote this as a revival meeting closed: “I never seen such a time on the preachers. No souls were saved, not even the back-sliders reclaimed.”
100 YEARS AGO....
In what was called “the most interesting announcement ever made concerning a Rockdale movie theater,” actress Billie Burke was set to appear, in person, at the Dixie. (Miss Burke would later appear as Glinda the Good Witch in “The Wizard of Oz.”)

The Reporter editorialized in favor of County Agent George Banzhaf. A delegation had appeared before county commissioners asking Banzhaf be fired because he had not visited them.

Evangelist Rev. A. P. Lowery, who was called “the Billy Sunday of the South,” was to hold a large tent revival on the Curlee property on Ackerman Street.

The Milam County Board of Education reminded Milam parents a new law now required all students ages 8-14 to attend school at least in the months from December to February.

A bond issue was planned for the Thorndale-Union Ridge area asking for $15,000 to construct a macadam road from the Williamson County line to the Felton Farm.
100 YEARS AGO....
E. A, Camp wrote a lengthy article detailing the split in the Milam County delegation to the state Democratic Convention over the issue of Prohibition.

A road from Porter’s Prairie to Rockdale was nearing completion and county officials were praising the cooperation of area farmers. Charles Bridges wrote to The Reporter to report two watermelons were stolen from his unattended buggy in Tracy. Bridges said he knew who the thief was. “I’m deeply disappointed I have not received any thanks,” he penned.

The Rockdale VFD was awaiting delivery of a new pumper-ladder truck. Its cost was $5,800.

The city council decided to turn off the lights at the new downtown public drinking fountain at 10 p.m. to save energy costs.
100 YEARS AGO....
Temple’s business boosters club were on a promotional trip south. Rockdale boosters prepared 50 chilled watermelons and laid them out on tables at the local depot. “But the train did not stop,” Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke wrote. “So the Rockdale boosters enjoyed their own watermelon feast.”

The annual census of Milam Count schools showed there were 76 rural schools and four school districts in the county. Largest was the Cameron ISD with 1,141.

Milam County’s minor parties — Republicans and Socialists — said they would have full slates of candidates in November to compete with Democrats.

The Dixie Theater boasted seven fans to cool its customers on the hot August nights, including a 8-footer powered by a 6-horsepower motor.

Gaither Ford announced new car prices, ranging from $345 for a runabout to $645 for a sedan.
100 YEARS AGO....
“Abba,” Rockdale’s beloved street person — he was born partially paralyzed, hearing and speech impaired — was hit by a train. Quick treatment by Drs. T. H Barkley and I. P. Sessions saved his life.

After pleas from almost every elected official in Milam County, Milam resident Gene Marshall was pardoned by Gov. Jim Ferguson just six months into a 15-year murder sentence.

Rains ruined the corn and cotton crops but farmers reported a good crop of mosquitoes.

The Texas Dept. of Agriculture was planning a series of meetings throughout Milam County.
100 Years Ago....
An 11-year-old boy tossed an iron bolt through a car window, slightly injuring a 3-year-old girl. The family did not press charges but The Reporter reported the boy’s father “acted as judge, jury and executioner and gave his offspring a strapping.”

County Commissioner John Barrett of Ben Arnold “became unbalanced in mind while discussing politics, so much so that he was violent in mind and had to be restrained.”

A 9-year-old Brown’s Gin area boy became lost in the woods while squirrel hunting, but wandered into a neighbor’s yard eight hours later.

Cameron businessman J. M. Ralston was seriously injured when he fell from a moving SA&AP passenger train in Minerva. Falling into a patch of soft dirt was said to have saved his life.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale Fair poultry show director Mrs. D. H Sanford termed the 1916 effort a huge success. Top winner was....Mrs. D. H. Sanford.

In a double- page ad, Scarbrough & Hicks unveiled the storefront design for their business at the Cameron-Ackerman corner.

Henne & Meyer’s store window display featured a 17-foot long anaconda skin, on loan from oil driller J. P. Luckey who had returned from a stint in South America.

The Reporter scolded manners of some residents at the new public drinking fountain, Main at Cameron, noting some were sitting on some fountain heads and stretching their legs to rest their feet on the heads at the other end.
Still unhappy over the “main attraction” at the 1916 Fair, Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke had a suggestion for 1917: “Instead of paying some cold-footed, jelly-spined amateur aviator good hard money, lets have a grand, free barbecue.”

A child identified only as “John Persky’s son” died when struck by lightning in the Tracy community.

Rockdale hosted the two day reunion of Hood’s Brigade, a large reunion of Confederate veterans who served under General John Bell Hood.

Businessmen Gus Vogel, Otto Winchil and Will Siebert returned from a fishing trip on the Little River. The Reporter reported: “First night out a large snake crawled across Siebert’s chin. He was ready to come home. The next night they slept in the wagon instead of on the ground.”
100 YEARS AGO....
The aviator booked to open the Rockdale Fair hit an auto as he landed at Fair Park. Fair officials thought he’d agreed to fix the plane and provide more flights but he did not. Reporter Publisher John E. Cooke termed it “an extreme case of cold feet” and added “his attempt at landing was amateurish.”

Fair attendance was estimated at 10,000, second only to the 1908 Fair.

The Fair Parade included 87-year-old former slave Alfred Booker who had cut wood for the first house ever built in Rockdale.

Dr. Cornelius White, pastor of Cameron Christian Church, died of a throat infection one day after being unable to preach because of the illness.
100 YEARS AGO....
A baby show was to kick off the Rockdale Fair. Winners of the best-developed, heaviest and most-muscular (boy and girl) categories won $1 each and a blue ribbon. “Prettiest boy and girl” won $5 each.

Rockdale Women’s Club installed a drinking fountain at the Main-Cameron intersection. Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “These women have accomplished something the men folks would have shook their heads over and pronounced ‘impossible’.”

A new screen, repaired piano, remodeled building and new paint were attractions at the Dixie Theater, according to new owner Roy Long.

Pvt. W. F. (Spot) Marshall reported from the Texas border with Mexico where he was on duty with the third Texas Infantry after a series of raids by revolutionary Pancho Villa.
100 YEARS AGO....
It was a special Reporter issue, coming out a day late and dedicated to the upcoming Milam County Fair at Fair Park featuring “airship flights and an air battle.”

Two booster caravans drumming up support for the Fair left downtown Rockdale en route to, among other locations, Cameron and Taylor.

Ben Loewenstein Jr. announced he was returning from Bremond to Rockdale to re-open the grocery-dry goods store run by his father from 1874 to 1909.

How were the crops doing? Headline in a Reporter country column: “Mr. Boll Weevil Has Been Busy at Liberty.
100 YEARS AGO....
Rockdale Alderman (city council member) E. H. Coffield was injured while driving a brand new 1916 Ford he’d just purchased in Waco. Just out of Cameron, Coffield was run off the road, the car rolled and trapped him inside.

The Reporter noted the preaching at a First Baptist Church revival by Rev. C. E. Andrews “was making some people very uneasy.”

A 2-inch rain was welcomed by corn growers but cotton growers were hoping for a run of dry weather.

The J. D. Peeples store in Milano was burglarized but “Judge Ruby, Sheriff Hooks and Deputy Peel are on the scent.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Five-year-old Clifford Grabener died instantly when kicked in the head by a mule in the Sand Grove community. The boy and his sister had been trying to chase the animal from the front yard.

Perry and Quebe Drug Store informed customers since the start of World War I the price of drugs they sold had increase between 250 and 1,600 percent.

The war was having an impact. County Judge John Watson issued a “preparedness proclamation” and the July Rockdale Fair Parade was re-christened a Preparedness Parade.

“Hippykio, the Most Famous Indian in Texas” brought his show to a large crowd at the Sand Hill Schoolhouse
100 YEARS AGO....
William Linke of the Duncan community had compiled a collection of Indian artifacts. Those included knives, tomahawks and more than 400 arrowheads.

Rosa Stolterfoht was Queen of the May as Rockdale Primary School held its annual Mayfest observance.

Rockdale residents were fighting an infestation of flies. Detailed instructions on making a fly trap were published in The Reporter and widely used.

Reporter Publisher J. E. Cooke claimed a Yegua Bottom farmer was planting onions and potatoes together, noting: “The onions make the potatoes’ eyes water and irrigate the crops.”
100 Years Ago....
A horrible crash of an I&GN on-the-tracks motor car five miles east of Rockdale killed two men, critically injured another and seriously hurt four more.

Dick Batte of Cameron drowned while trying to rescue cattle from a Little River-flooded pasture.

Dr. Frederick Ebi was to be commencement speaker for the 15-member RHS graduating class of 1916.

Opponents of a successful 2014 road bond issue triumphed at appellate level, prompting Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke to lament “farmers around Rockdale are doomed to paddle around in the mud and sand....”
100 YEARS AGO....
Talbott Hill school graduation included two melodramas, one comedy play, several other plays, a dozen recitations, six musical numbers and a speaker. An estimated 600 people attended with 300 having to stand.

There were 27 musicians in Rockdale’s new city band, which was planning its first public appearance.

Former Gov. Tom Campbell, now a U. S. Senate candidate, spoke to an overflow crowd at City Hall.

Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke was having a friendly exchange of barbs with the Taylor State News: “I’ll agree to spell Cooke without the ‘e’ if you’ll agree to spell Taylor without the ‘y’.”
100 YEARS AGO....
Milano railroad agent R. E. Thweatt lost an eye in a freak accident. Thweatt was making out a ticket, using a pencil, when the tip snipped off and struck him square in the center of an eye.

Aviator Hector Worden, who had appeared at the 1913 Rockdale Fair, and was likely to appear at the 1916 event, died when his monoplane crashed as he was attempting a loop-the-loop near Dallas.

Former Texas Gov. Thomas Campbell, now a candidate for the U. S. Senate, was to speak at Fair Park.

President Woodrow Wilson called out the National Guard after violence from the Mexican Revolution spilled across the border with three civilians killed in a raid on Glenn Springs, Texas
100 YEARS AGO....
Knights of Pythias and the Matinee Musical Club were teaming to stage a four-act play “Village Farm” at the opera house, touted as “the best home talent play ever produced in Rockdale.”

Rockdale Fair planners were debating whether to continue with horse racing at the July 4-5 event or switch to auto racing.

An eight-year-old Maysfield boy was in serious condition after a shotgun, dropped onto a floor, discharged and struck him in the face.

A second pecan thrasher was planned in Milam County, this one in the Gause area. There was already such a facility in the Milano area.
100 YEARS AGO....
In what was described as “the most striking example of malicious mischief in Rockdale’s history,” vandals threw three bricks through windows at Supt. C. C. Green’s home.

Hood’s Texas Brigade, statewide Confederate veterans organization, announced it would hold its annual reunion in Rockdale.

Taylor decided not to hold a fair in 2016, so Rockdale Fair organizers decided to hold their event on the holiday weekend left vacant, July 4-5.

The Austin American profiled Rockdale as: “a thriving little city with a citizenship of as fine a people as were ever gathered together.”
100 YEARS AGO....

Dr. R. W. “Rob” Wallis of Rockdale married Regina Stiles at the Stiles family place near Thrall. Rev. W. S. Elliott, “who had married every member of the Stiles family,” officiated.

At a spelling contest, students (grade 3-12) in the Rockdale and Cameron schools were asked to spell 4,264 words. Cameron students missed only 20 words, Rockdale’s only missed 17.

The Dixie Theater was showing a Dorothy Gish movie as a fund-raiser for the Ladies Cemetery Association of Rockdale.

Wrote Reporter Publisher John Esten Cooke: “The country to the south and east of Rockdale has at last ‘gone wet’ via the J. Pluvius mode.” (Translation: It rained. Also, a prohibition joke/reference.)
Supporters of peanut growing in the Rockdale area were heartened when Rockdale Oil Mill owners announced they were purchasing machinery for crushing peanuts.

A group of Rockdale business people signed a contract to fund a bridge over the San Gabriel River at San Andres.

An early spring heavy freeze damaged corn and fruit crops, home gardens and “what little cotton was showing,” according to The Reporter.

Musicians living in the Rockdale area were asked to meet an attempt to form “a first-class concert band for our town.”
Arthur Jenness, a Milam road supervisor, was killed when a tree being cut down, alongside a road being worked on near Rockdale, fell the wrong way and a branch struck him in the head.

W. S. Noble said he had purchased a site for a Milano canning factory and construction was expected to start within the week.

Rockdale Mayor H. C. Meyer was re-elected, running unopposed in the annual Rockdale city election. He received 108 votes. All other Rockdale city officials were also re-elected without opposition.

Fourteen-year old Clara Yoe of Cameron was killed when she was struck by lightning at her home during a thunderstorm
A North Milam newspaper was purchased by former Reporter Publisher R. W. H. Kennon and reported thusly by current publisher John Esten Cooke: “The Burlington Tribune has been rescued from the hands of a bunch of convivial tourists and re-initiated as a sure-enough newspaper.”

A woman’s suffrage society was founded in Rockdale, seeking to lobby for a constitutional amendment to secure the right to vote for women.

A cousin of Rockdale resident Mrs. H. B. Smith was one of six persons perishing in a fire at a San Antonio country club.

A Lindale businessman said he planned to open a canning factory in Rockdale.
Legendary milliner (designs/makes/sells women’s hats) Mrs. E. S. Loper retired after a 41-year career in Rockdale. Mrs. Loper opened her hat shop in 1875 only a few months after Rockdale became a city.

Area farmers donated the labor and materials and business people in both communities were contributing the money to improve the road between Rockdale and Lexington.

Capt. Richmond Hobson spoke for almost an hour in favor of prohibition at the 0pera house to one of the largest crowds recorded up to that time.

Winner of out 330 children entered in the Milam County Better Babies Contest was three-year-old Vaughn Paul Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. V. T. Paul of Rockdale.
Spanish-American War hero Richmond Hobson was to speak at a huge Prohibition rally at City Hall. His topic: “Alcohol: Destroying the Destroyer.”

Leo Strelsky offered to raise a militia of Rockdale men and deploy them to the Texas-Mexico border where there had been raids.

Rockdale Confederate veterans endorsed a bill before Congress which would pension them and their spouses for life.

Henne & Meyer offered a carload of (horse-drawn) buggies for sale at prices ranging from $40 to $90.
First Christian Church of Rockdale was the winner of a “how many can we get to Sunday school” contest with Thorndale First Christian. The Rockdale church drew 1,487 and morning services had to be moved outside to the lawn. The Thorndale church drew 1,095.

A 1916 Rockdale Fair was assured as the local Fair Association was re-formed with Mayor H C. Meyer as president.

A Tanglewood farmer, on a trip to Williamson County, reported seeing 42 recently killed rattlesnakes hung on a fence.

The “Better Baby Contest” in Milam County promised interpretors at public meetings promoting the event “German and Bohemian women who do not speak English can attend.
Rockdale resident George Miller was seriously injured when he suffered a stroke while sitting by a fire in his home and fell across the hearth.

Fred Graves, A. E. Perry and John Esten Cooke were named to a committee seeking to gauge interest in resuming the Rockdale Fair, which had not been held since 1913.

Milam cotton growers were asked to diversify, noting that World War I had drastically lowered the number of ships available worldwide to transport their crop to foreign markets.

The funeral for Rockdale businessman S. G. Hodge was termed one of the largest in Rockdale history with “virtually every car and buggy in town taking part in the procession.”
Prominent businessman S. G. Hodge died on a fishing trip to nearby Randle lake with two prominent Rockdale physicians. Drs. T. D. Roundtree and Dunc Wallis said they tried to help Hodge but death was “instantaneous.”

Rockdale was set for a “Better Baby Contest” in which a Galveston physician would evaluate infants and “give instructions on how to remedy defects.”

Local wrestler Pee Wee Fannin in 14 matches had compiled 11 wins, two draws and a forfeit loss to an opponent not in his weight class.

A primary election to determine three nominees to the Rockdale School Board was called by board chair H. G. Perry.
Forest Grove farmer W. W. Kyle found a number of Indian artifacts near Yegua Creek, including 29 flint arrowheads and a rock believed to have been used as a corn mill.

Front page headline: “Rockdale defeats Cameron in spelling matches and basketball.”

It was “hog and poultry day” in Rockdale as growers shipped off four railroad carloads of hogs and a partial carload of poultry.

The eight-year-old daughter of Dr. Sheffer of the Gardner community required several stitches when she was “hooked in the face” by a cow.
Ed Moses, who operated Rockdale’s city bus, said the bus would no longer meet night trains at the depot unless a 50-cent surcharge was paid.

The director of Milam County’s University Interscholastic League program called for a county-wide academic meet to be held in Rockdale.

Rockdale City Tax Collector C. F. McCalla reported there had been 312 poll taxes paid in the city for 1916 elections.

Rockdale wrestler Pee Wee Fannin was to tangle with Nick Pontellene of Elgin at the Rockdale Opera House.
It was a slow news week. The Reporter’s front page was its country correspondents and the lead story’s headline was: “San Gabriel farmers impatient with long spell of bad weather.”

Rockdale city voters were set to pick a mayor, two aldermen, a city secretary, treasurer, tax collector, city attorney and city marshal.

New gravel was being applied to Thorndale area roads in the Brushy Creek bottom land and near Conoley.

Attendance was down in Rockdale schools due to an outbreak of “la grippe” (flu).
A small earthquake shook Lee County. In Paige, houses rocked, people ran into streets and a grave digger toppled into the grave on which he was working.

Tax Collector Bill Alex Bonds warned Milam residents poll taxes for 2016 were due Feb. 1.

Dr. McLarry of Hicks was thrown from his horse while on a call and sustained injuries serious enough to require surgery and a hospital stay.

Joe Martin of Milano passed away. Martin, who had lived in Milam County since the 1860s, was believed to be Milam’s longest residing resident.
A fire in downtown Rogers destroyed a restaurant, mercantile store and barber shop. Estimated losses were $30,000.

Anti-alcohol forces promised they would work toward a statewide prohibition referendum in Texas for the next general election.

“Scribbler,” the anonymous author of The Reporter’s Minerva news, spent three fourths of his column analyzing a sermon printed in the previous edition.

Businessman B. Ashby said he had been reappointed Rockdale’s Maxwell auto dealer for 1916.
The Rockdale Fire Department held their annual oyster feast at the Wolf Hotel with president J. E. Longmoor serving as toastmaster.

A 14-year-old Somerville boy died while trying to leap onto a moving freight train in Milano.

All three Rockdale banks elected officers. Presidents were: J. F. Coffield, First National; H. H. Camp, Rockdale State; H. C. Meyer, Citizens State.

The Reporter’s new 1916 standing head for its country correspondent columns: “Gossip by Our Correspondents That May or May Not Interest You.”
Charles Brockenbush, 38-year-old farmer, complained about a small facial boil on a Wednesday morning. That night he lapsed into a coma. Thursday morning he was dead.

A mad dog was shot in Fair Park. The Reporter asked dog owners to chain their animals until they were sure no symptoms were being exhibited.

The new Jules Coffield home was 3,000 square feet and contained 27,500 bricks.

The Reporter reported a wedding on its news pages, not its society page. Miss Edith Galt became the bride of Mr. Woodrow Wilson. The groom was president of the United States.

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
100 YEARS AGO....
Ooops! Texas election officials announced a constitutional amendment in July, which was reportedly passed, in fact
failed by 7,099 votes. The amendment would have given Texas school board authority to raised taxes for improvements
and the Rockdale board was considering doing just that.

Buckholts area residents filed suit to overturn the results of a $150,000 road bond election.

Merchant Ben Loewenstein devoted his ad to shoe care and noted: “Shoes are higher than a cat’s back; maybe we will
all have to go to wearing wooden shoes.”

A reported producing oil well near the Tracy community hit salt water and had to be abandoned.
100 YEARS AGO....
The Hope Camp home in the San Gabriel area burned and the family lost most of their belongings. The fire started in a chimney
flue. No injuries were reported.

“Scribbler,” a Reporter correspondent said he had a cure for diphtheria, noting that the disease had recently closed
a rural school. “Blow dry sulfur through a quill or row of papers directly into the throat.”

The City of Rockdale and Texas Power of Light agree to install 10 new street lights downtown. Home owners could pay
extra and have lights installed on their streets.

An arrest in the nighttime burglary of the Ben Loewenstein business downtown, in which $500 was taken, was made in
100 YEARS AGO....
A four-year-old girl in the Pleasant Hill Community died when her dress caught fire from a trash burn at her home.

A Hearne business purchased, at a price of $100,000, the farm and store of the J. A. Peel at Port Sullivan on the
Milam County side of the Brazos River.

An outbreak of diphtheria closed the San Gabriel schools until after the Christmas holidays. Three cases had been
reported in the community.

Rockdale volunteer firefighters, in their new truck, extinguished a blaze above the post office in an East Cameron
Avenue building owned by J.R. Perry
100 YEARS AGO....
An arrest was made in connection with a daring daylight robbery at the SA&AP Depot. The suspect was brought to The
Reporter and fingerprinted using printers ink.

Milam attorneys held a retirement banquet for outgoing District Judge James Scott. Reporter Editor John Esten Cooke’s
headline: “Milam County Bar Tenders Banquet to Honor Judge Scott.”

A recent oil discovery was christened the “Cameron-Tracy Oilfield,” raising ire among Rockdale residents who viewed
their town as the center of county drilling actvity.

The City of Rockdale passed an ordinance levying a $5 to $25 fine for any minor who set foot inside a tavern.
100 YEARS AGO....
Burglars robbed the safe of $45 at the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad Depot. During the same hour, an unsuccessful
attempt was made to rob the offices of the International & Great Northern Railroad.

A combined Rockdale- Thorndale football team defeated a combined Taylor-Thrall 26-6. Said The Reporter: “Several
Rockdale players covered themselves with glory, blackland dust and bruises”.

A three-fourths page ad and front page story greeted the arrival of the (silent) movie “Romeo and Juliet, starring
Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne,” at the Dixie Theater.

Voters in the Buckholts Road District approved a $150,000 road bond issue by 181-73. The Thorndale Thorn editor
commented: “Now let Rockdale fall in line.” 
The Reporter featured a front page proclamation from President Woodrow Wilson asking all Americans to “pray for
and support the stricken peoples of the world” as World War I was in its third year.

“Uncle Billie” Sandford, believed to be over 100 years old, passed away at the home of his daughter, Addie White.
Sandford was believed to have been one of the first persons to have settled in Rockdale.

An Early-morning fire hit the Schwartz Cotton Yard in Thorndale. Quick action by citizens resulted in damage to
only 18
of the 300 bales in the yard.

Rev. C. F. Andrews (father of the future actor Dana Andrews) was to deliver the sermon for Rockdale’s annual
Community Thanksgiving Service