Milam County, TX Talking Points
Hope Lutheran Church - Founded in 1890, this congregation began with twelve charter members led
by German missionary Julius Schroeder. Early worship services were held in homes and in a local
school building. The Rev. H. F. Daude was called to serve the church in 1891, and in 1901 the
first sanctuary was erected. It was replaced by a second structure in 1925. Some worship services
were conducted in the German language until 1949. A new sanctuary was erected in 1975. The oldest
church in Buckholts, Hope Lutheran serves a predominantly German and Czech membership
Burlington: (Milam County ?)
Site of Wilson School - The Wilson School that once stood here traced its history to the 1890s,
when entrepreneur William Anderson Barclay deeded one acre of land for a schoolhouse. Typical of
many rural schools in Texas in the late nineteenth century, the Wilson School was functional in
design. Built of clapboard construction and topped with a shingle roof, the building contained
three rooms. Continued in Details. Two rooms were classrooms; one for grades one through four,
the second for grades five through eight. The third room was a communal room shared by both
classes. Ray Hodges served as one of the earliest teachers here. During the depression of the
1930s payment to the two teachers was often delayed, and barter was sometimes used instead of
money. The average graduating class was four or five students, many of whom served with
distinction in World War II. In 1950 the Wilson School District was absorbed into the Rosebud
Independent School District as part of the Gilmer-Aikin Minimum Standards Education Bill passed
by the Texas Legislature. The school building was dismantled in 1955; only a few physical
reminders remain to mark the site.
St. Monica's Catholic Church - Founded in 1883, the congregation erected this structure in 1927-
28 after a fire had destroyed their previous place of worship. The building exhibits influences
of both Palladian and Italian Romanesque architectural styles, an unusual combination for a Roman
Catholic church in Texas. Outstanding features include the Doric portico and the Lombard
Romanesque style bell tower. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1983
First United Methodist Church - This congregation began as part of the early Methodist missionary
effort in Texas. A camp meeting was held in Milam County in 1841, four years after the first
Methodist preachers came to Texas. By 1847, the Rev. Josiah Whipple had helped to organize this
church. Until 1885 the Methodist congregation in Cameron was part of a preaching circuit. Early
ministers included the Rev. Pleasant M. Yell and the Rev. John W. Devilbiss. Continued in
Details. By 1885, the church had grown so that it was given a full-time pastor, the Rev. J. E.
Green. Four years earlier, in 1881, the congregation had constructed its first church building,
during the pastorate of the Rev. J. H. Collard. Larger facilities were needed by the end of the
nineteenth century, and a new brick sanctuary was completed in 1901. The current building was
first used for services in 1923. Over the years, First United Methodist Church of Cameron has
provided significant service and leadership to the community. The congregation has been host to
the Texas Annual Conference of Methodist Churches and has produced several ministers from its
membership. Today the church continues to reflect the ideals and traditions of its founders.
Dr Nathan & Lula Cass House - National register of historical places
Milam County Courthouse - This is the fourth structure to serve as the Milam County Courthouse.
The local Masonic Lodge laid the cornerstone for the building on July 4, 1891. Designed by
architect A. O. Watson of Austin, the courthouse at one time featured a Second Empire style roof
and a cupola with a four-sided clock. The clock was removed and the roof altered in a 1938
renovation project by the Federal Works Progress Administration. As the center of county
government for over a century, the courthouse stands as a significant part of Milam County
Milam County Jail of 1895 - When the 1875 Milam County Jailhouse grew too crowded in the 1890s,
it was removed to make room for larger facilities. In March 1895, the Milam County Commissioners
awarded a contract to the Pauly Jail Building and Manufacturing Company of St. Louis, Missouri,
for the construction of a larger prison. The company furnished all supplies, including St. Louis
pressed bricks. Continued in Details. County Judge Sam Streetman, who later served on the Texas
Supreme Court, approved the contract, although he had preferred the use of local building
materials. This structure, designed with Romanesque revival features and stone detailing above
the windows, had three main floors and a "hanging tower" equipped with a trap door. The tower was
never used for executions because most hangings took place outdoors. The first floor had ten
rooms, three for storage and the remainder serving as a residence for the sheriff and his family.
The second and third stories consisted of cell blocks for prisoners. In 1975 a new county jail
was constructed, and the Commissioners Court turned this facility over to the Milam County
Historical Commission. After renovation, it was opened as a museum in 1978. Recorded Texas
Historic Landmark - 1978
Milam County Courthouse & Jail - National register of historical places
Ben Milam - Benjamin Rush Milam, born in Kentucky 1788. Soldier in the War of 1812. Trader with
the Texas Comanche Indians, 1818. Colonel in the Long Expedition in 1820. Empresario from 1826 to
1835. Benjamin Rush Milam participated in the capture of Goliad, October 9, 1835; was killed in
San Antonio December 7, 1835 while commanding the Texas forces which later captured the town. Who
will follow Old Ben Milam into San Antonio Erected by the State of Texas 1936 with funds
appropriated by the Federal government to commemorate one hundred years of Texas Independence.
George Green - (Star and Wreath) San Jacinto veteran, Texas War for Independence. Ranger,
surveyor, honored citizen of Milam County. Erected by the State of Texas, 1962.
Massilon Farley - A soldier of the Texas army stationed at the camp at Harrisburg, April 21,
1836. First chief justice (county judge) of Milam County. Died in 1882.
Milam County - A part of Robertson's colony in 1834. A part of the municipality of Viesca, 1835.
Named changed to Milam, December 27, 1835 in honor of Benjamin Rush Milam, 1788-1835, who fell at
San Antonio. After Burleson and Robertson counties were cut off Nashville became the county seat
in 1837. The later creation of Williamson, Bell, McLennan and Falls, reduced Milam County to its
present size. Cameron, the county seat since 1846.
Crossroads (Milam County ?):
McNab Grocery - After the Civil War Ahab Bowen acquired this land, then an area of grape
vineyards and small farms. In 1891 he sold the lot to J. B. Franklin, who erected this brick
structure. James McNab (d. 1924) operated a neighborhood grocery here in partnership with William
A. Boren and Thomas M. Cullum, who later founded the Cullum and Boren Sporting Goods business. A
livery stable in the rear housed a horse and delivery wagon. Civic leader Frederick Appell
retained part ownership in the building until his death in 1943. Other grocers occupied the
structure until the 1950s.
William Carroll Sypert - (Nov. 15, 1815 - July 18, 1885) A native of Tennessee, William C. Sypert
entered the army of the Republic of Texas in 1836 at the age of 20. He returned to Tennessee and
married Permelia Benjamine Perry (1819-94) in 1838. After two trips via covered wagon between
Tennessee and Texas, they settled permanently in Texas in 1849. A schoolteacher and musician,
Sypert served as justice of the peace in Bell County, as postmaster at Bryant's Station in 1859,
and as Milam County Judge, 1867-70.
The Town of Gause - William J. Gause (1829-1914), born in Alabama, moved to Texas in 1849, to the
Brazos region in 1856, and to this locality in 1872. Buying lumber in Montgomery, he gave his
friend Dan Fowler half in return for hauling it here. The two built the first homes in this
settlement. In 1873, Gause gave right of way and 100 acres of land to the International & Great
Northern Railroad, and the town was platted. Gause Post Office opened in 1874, with James S.
Continued in Details. Reynolds as postmaster. The I. G. N. freighted out great quantities of
cotton, and the town thrived. Cotton gins, stores, blacksmith shops, a lumber yard, a bank,
hotels, livery stables, a newspaper and other businesses were established. Besides W. J. Gause,
civic leaders included Dr. J. E. Brown, Richard Cox, Dr. James dollar, Lafayette Ely, Bill
Faubian, Dan Fowler, J. C. Lister, C. C. Moore, Dr. John Porter, Frank Thomas, and T. L. Watts.
Churches were organized and a Masonic Lodge chartered. The county's first independent school was
established in Gause. Good highways, mechanized farming, and decline of railroading halted
commerce in the town of Guase. It survives, however, as a residential site chosen by descendants
of the pioneers and by commuters of industrial plants and businesses in this vicinity.
S.S. Cyril & Methodious Catholic Church - Through the efforts of fellow immigrant Joseph Russek,
many Czech families came to this area of Milam County in the 1880s. The first Catholic Mass in
the Maraksville settlement was conducted by a visiting priest in the Kaspar Kubecka home in 1883,
and later services were held in other homes. In 1889 the Kubecka family donated land for a
Catholic school and church, and the community began raising funds to erect a building. Continued
in Details. A wooden church structure was completed in 1904 and dedicated in 1905. Named for the
patron saints of the Moravian immigrants, the congregation was served by the Rev. K. Kacer.
Worship services were conducted in Latin, German, and Czech for many years. The congregation has
been associated with parishes in Cyclone and Cameron over the years, and additional church
facilities have been built and adapted for various purposes, including a school, rectory, and
parish hall. Two burial grounds, known as the Old Marak Catholic Cemetery and the New Catholic
Cemetery, were established on land donated by church members. The church has been the social
center of the community since its founding, and the annual parish picnic has become a popular
event in Milam County.
Little River Baptist Church & Cemetery - Organized in 1849 with eight members. Met in local homes
for worship. First building was a small log cabin. Church grew as settlers entered area. In 1855
70 members joined congregation following a three-day revival. Church was center of social life
here, as throughout rural Texas. Important members sat in front, in "Amen Pews." Had separate
sides for men, women. Present building was finished in 1873 by church together with Masonic
Lodge. Cemetery started in early days. The structure was enlarged to present size in 1909. (1970)
Maysfield United Methodist Church - Though area Methodists met as early as 1847, this church was
not formally organized until 1854. Itinerant preachers of the Cameron-Port Sullivan-Maysfield
circuit served the congregation, which met in a school building. In 1885, a separate Maysfield
circuit was organized, and the Rev. William G. Nelms was appointed pastor. A sanctuary was built
in 1897 and stood at this site until destroyed by fire in 1933. The congregation met in the
Presbyterian Church until 1952, when the present structure was donated and moved here from Ben
Arnold, Texas. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986
Detmold Cemetery - The small agricultural community of Detmold was settled near the turn of the
century by German immigrants. In 1900, local residents Carl Fick, August Boening, and Ernst
Richter deeded land at this site for the establishment of a Lutheran church and cemetery. The
oldest recorded grave, that of Gottfried Eschberger, dates to 1903. Over 175 graves are located
here, many with tombstones bearing German surnames and inscriptions. In 1963, the church
congregation relocated to Thorndale, but the cemetery remains as a tangible reminder of the small
First Christian Church - Organized in 1887, this church was first served by the Rev. A. J. Bush,
Sr. (1846-1920), a Civil War veteran who was instrumental in establishing Christian churches in
many areas of the state. Previous buildings on this site were replaced in 1958 by a new brick
sanctuary, with volunteers from the congregation providing most of the labor. The church has been
involved in local and foreign missionary activities for many years. Offering assistance to people
in need, the First Christian Church continues to be an important part of the Rockdale community.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986
George Sessions Perry - The son of Andrew and Laura Perry, George Sessions Perry was born May 5,
1910, in Rockdale. In 1933, he married Claire Hodges of Beaumont. Four years later, he published
the first in a long line of fiction and non-fiction stories and novels, many of which were based
on people and events from his growing-up years in Rockdale. As a World War II correspondent, he
brought first-hand accounts of the war to readers of "The New Yorker" and "The Saturday Evening
Post." Perry won several major awards, including the 1941 National Book Award, before his death
I&GN Railroad - National register of historical places
William Persky - (Nov. 21, 1844 - Feb. 9, 1945) A native of Germany, William Persky migrated to
the United States with his family at the age of eight. He enlisted in the Confederate army during
the Civil War and served time as a prisoner of war. A farmer, Persky lived in Austin and Bell
counties before moving to this area in 1925. He lived to be 100, and at the time of his death in
1945 was the oldest resident and the last Confederate veteran of Milam County.
Sharp Presbyterian Church - This church traces its history to 1872, when the Mt. Herman
Cumberland Presbyterian Church was founded. It was divided into the Davilla and Leachville
congregations in 1893. The Leachville church was renamed Sharp in 1902, the same year this
structure was built. The vernacular church building, exhibiting influences of the Italianate
style of architecture, features a truncated tower, window hoods, and horizontal milled siding.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1988