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
index to Black History month articles
Written by Susie Sansom-Piper and
published in the Rockdale Reporter
                            Education, Parks and a Restaurant
                                   by Susie Sansom-Piper
                          Rockdale Reporter - February 28, 2013

Editor’s note: This is the fourth article in the sixth series of “On the Other Side of the Tracks,” a Black History Month series by former Rockdale resident, and longtime teacher, Susie Sansom- Piper

Here are more organizations who played a big role in the community life in Rockdale’s “other side of the tracks.”


The Tommie L. Sanders Memorial Scholarship was established in 1990 as a memorial to the late Tommie L. Sanders (1917-1990).

A $300 scholarship is awarded each year on Mother’s Day. Applications are obtained at the high school, and are based on GPA and financial need.

This scholarship was established by daughters Margaret Sanders-Green, Johnnie Sanders Banks and Alyce Sanders Williams.


The Eastside Tutorial Program became a reality in September, 1988, when the Aycock Center, formally known as Community Action Association, was organized.

First officers were: President, Roger Hashem; vice president, Dan Kubiak; center director, James Barnes; board member, Laura Petty.

As a board member of the Aycock Center, Mrs. Petty recruited representatives from each of the east side local churches and social clubs.

Their responsibility was to provide tutors - at least four tutors per month—and one contact responsible for two months to serve the students.

Meetings were first held at the Aycock Building but, due to inconveniences, the board requested permission from New Hope Baptist Church to use their educational building every Monday night.

In September 1990, the program was renamed East Side Community Tutoring Resource Program. Application was made for financial assistance to South Milam United way, and the program is still a recipient of annual United Way funds.

East Side also sponsors a mentoring program, has a float in the annual Christmas Parade, presents a program each year to commemorate Black History Month, and sponsors the scholarship program.


Two recreational playgrounds and parks are located on the East Side. The first, the Julius Moultry Park, Sixth and Baxter, was established by the City of Rockdale on Dec. 8, 1980.

This was established in memory of Julius Moultry, an acclaimed blacksmith throughout the state of Texas, and surrounding states of New Mexico and Arizona.

The newest park, established in 2012, was named The Sumuel Park, in memory of Ruth Ella Sumuel, and is located on Fourth Street.

She was a descendant of the Jack Shields Family, one of Rockdale’s earliest settlers, who was also a blacksmith, and daughter, Alyce P. Shields.


Located at the intersection of First and Mulberry streets stands a building that has been restored, and is now wearing the name ‘SHO’NUFF” soul foods.

This spot has worn many faces. It was the location of the Paul Moultry Blacksmith shop (the first black in Rockdale before it was incorporated).

It has also housed several night clubs. Now it proudly serves an assortment of delicious soul food each day.

In 2008, it was purchased by the institute For Teaching God’s Word.

The name reaches back to the memory of the legendary community worker, Clemmie Goins, who often loudly proclaimed “Sho- Nuff” when enjoying a Sunday morning sermon.

A definite purpose has been outlined by the owners of “Sho- Nuff.” They want others to learn about our cultures in food.

Their ambition is to serve fresh food each day. The desire is to contribute to the restoration of our east side community, to help those who are underachievers, and to encourage our young people to aim for higher goals in life.

Sumuel Park dedicaton - Rockdale Tx
Sumuel Park was dedicated Dec. 1, 2012 with members of the Ruth Etta Sumuel family present.

Rockdale Reporter
Mike Brown