Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas

All credit for these articles go to
Susie Sansom-Piper and
the Rockdale Reporter
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
"Speedyville" was always integrated
by Susie Sansom-Piper
Rockdale Reporter - February 21, 2008
Grassburr Hill began on Fifth Street, with streets east and west of Bigger (now MLK) and
Baxter Streets and ended with Seventh Street.

Seventh was considered to be the city limit ending.  However, there were a few families
who lived beyond this point.

Grassburr Hill was noted for the many children in the families.  Some had as many as 15
children at one time.  There was a unique togetherness on Grassburr Hill, and the
majority of these children finished high school and became outstanding citizens.

There were also businesses operated in that area. Henry Smith, a painter and paper hanger
was well known for his ability and had many clientele among all races.

Two businesses, "Mrs. Lucy's Place", owned by Lucy Brooks, and "Punney and Laura's Place"
owned by Billy and Laura Locklin, were operated for teenage entertainment, with short
order food sales on the side.

These teenage places operated in the 50s and 60s.

Overton Smith, carpenter and vegetable garden farmer, was recognized for the huge sweet
potatoes he grew on his farm.

Lucy Brooks was also a midwife who served Rockdale community and surrounding areas.

Olivia McDonald Mullins and Gussie McDade operated beauty shops on Fifth Street.

A. L. Moultrie was considered to be a great contributor to many city business affairs and
was often called upon for advice concerning things which affected the black community.

Aycock's new school was built in 1954 on 13 acres of land facing Baxter Street.

Evelyn Snelgro operated a kindergarten in her home, and the fist day care center in the

Washington Heights

Seventh and Eighth Streets marked the early city limits. These streets were sparsely
settled during earlier years.

Bettie Morris, Fred Williams, the Calvins, General Miller, Jewel Clark Sr., Bessie Beals,
and the Hardaway family lived on these streets.

Jewel Clark Sr. operated a blacksmith shop near the former Ideal Cleaners.

Bessie Beals was a well known seamstress and Lucille Miller served as midwife with Lucy
Brooks.  Just beyond Eighth Street lived the Catos and another family who operated small

During the late 60s, new homes were built opposite the new school and the street was
named Metcalf Street in honor of Archie Metcalf, a plumber who contributed much to the
development of the sewer systems in the city.


Speedyville, named for farmer Buddy Speed, who was noted for his peanut crops, is located
between FM 908 and FM 487, southwest of the Old City Cemetery.

This section of the town produced the first black beautician of the city, Viola Mitchell,
who lived past 100.

There were many outstanding citizens in Speedyville including: Cleo Burley Moultrie, who
was chief cook at the popular Mrosko Cafe downtown; Johnnie and Edgar (Buddy) Moultrie,
blacksmiths who operated a shop where the Kay Theatre stands; singers Lillie Johnson,
Pearl Davis, Ardie Judy and Eva Morgan, who was also a seamstress; and Eli Floyd, the
little man who rode his bicycle for many years as delivery man for Prewitt Drug Store.

Others in this community who made outstanding contributions to the community were Rev. G.
T. Burley, Arthur Morgan, the Akes Family, Jimmie Johnson, Mittie Allen, Minetta Black
and Lena Perkins.

There was a uniqueness in this section of town, for as early as the 30s, whites, blacks
and Hispanics were neighbors.  The little "Dinky" passenger train passed through this
area twice daily transporting passengers from Waco to LaGrange.

The old ice plant was located on what is now Boga Street.  People went to the ice house
during the summer months to buy blocks of ice, "toted" by hand with a single string
around it, to carry to their homes, and place in their ice box, a tin tub, or a large

This was to try to preserve their food.  After arriving home, the ice was wrapped in
newspaper or burlap sacks to slow the melting.

The Menn and Williams businesses, two white groceries, were also in this section near the
ice house.

The Julius Moultry Blacksmith shop was built on Boga Street in the late forties, and
remained in this spot until 1997.

This section of town is still well populated, housing not only residents, but the
location of the city's maintenance facilites and a Head Start Progrem.
Moultrie Blacksmith Shop stood until 1997 in the Speedyville
area near old City Cemetery.
Julius Moultry blacksmith shop - Rockdale, TX