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
received 2013-10-03
Donna Truitt
128 Lakewood Trail, Leander, TX 78641
I am looking for info on the Guano (sp?)
(GANO) Church built in the 1800's by the Campbells. It was located somewhere around Thorndale close to what is now the Pleasant Retreat Church and cemetery.
(If anyone has info, please contact Ms Truitt with copy to me.)
REPLY:2013-10-04: (email sent to MEHC members)
REPLY: 2013-10-04 - Thank you so much!
REPLY: 2014-01-28
Regarding your above post, I'll share what I have been able to find out.
For starters, the Gano community is located in the southeast corner of Williamson County where it joins the southwest corner of Milam County. In reality, considering the rural nature of the area in the late 1800's and early 1900's, some of the populace probably straddled both Counties. Attachment #1 is a 1925 Milam County map illustrating the same.
For brevity of this post, I would like to refer you to
It is well researched and should answer many of the questions that you may have regarding Gano, the church, and the deeply religious, God fearing nature of the Gano community.
An additional reference, which is the very best that I have personally found covering Williamson County, is Clara Stearns Scarbrough's "Land of Good Water". It probably is in your local library and is available on Amazon.
To quote the above referenced site, "Following damage sustained to the church building during a rain and wind storm in 1916, services had been suspended and the church was not rebuilt. Lumber from it was given to another church and the Tabernacle was moved to yet another church"(these churches were more than likely Shiloh Baptist, Pleasant Retreat and or Conoley).
I attempt to establish a "lifeline" in any community that I have an interest. They are mature long term residents who have first hand memories of the community over the years. A Mr. Graham Dickerson, who is 96 years young, is my "go to" reference for this community. We also attend Pleasant Retreat together, which you spoke of, in your post. I would be happy to "pick his brain" for you, should you have any unanswered questions that he might be able to answer.
Regarding your reference to the Campbell's, no less than 15 Campbell's, going back to 1856, are interred in the Pleasant Retreat Cemetery. Gano's DNA is alive and well in our congregation of today.
Also many of the other individuals listed in the above site are interred at Pleasant Retreat. I would be happy to take photo's of any headstones of individuals of interest. I have previously taken many photo's of the cemetery headstones and may have any that you are interested in, at hand.
I hope the above information will help you in your quest for your "holy Grail". On behalf of the Milam County Historical Commission, I look forward to hearing from you, should you need more information on Gano and its strongly religious community.
Respectfully, Jack Brooks     

REPLY: 2014-01-28
I must apologize for the incorrect information regarding the Williamson County web site. Part of it was concealed and I failed to give it to you in its entirety.  Actually I found it by only typing in: Williamson County Gano . It was the first choice that appeared. I only hope that I can correctly type the lengthy address for you.  It appears that the research was the easy part, the difficult part is getting the link address correct. There are underscores between Gano and Community, Community and Texas, Texas and williamson and williamson and county.   Good luck! John Brooks

Back to Info Sought


received 2013-11-20
43124 Icehollow Trail
Callahan, FL 32011
Your museum seems to be the only place I am able to find that has a
Kenwood Cane Mill.  I have one myself from 1896.  Can you give me some information on this mill or where I may be able to acquire the information.  Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
REPLY: 2013-11-25 - I forwarded your email to the Milam County Historical Commission members and to Charles King - the Director of the Milam County Historical Museum.  His email address is

REPLY: 2014-01-29:  Good evening Heidi,
Attached are some photo's of the Kenwood cane mill in New Cameron Park and the interpretive plaque. Mr. King said that the cane mill was donated to the Milam County Historical Museum about twenty years ago. He wasn't aware of the its prior history.
I'll bet that there is a patent trademark embossed on at least one of the major castings, although I didn't notice any in my cursory examination. Should you find one, possibly checking with the United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) might turn up a "utility " patent with design drawings. The USPTO has been in existence for over 200 years and your "mill" is a mere 116.  They have a web site USPTO.GOV  .   The Masons have a great shortcut site that you might like to try first.
Good luck with your future research regarding your Kenwood Cane Mill.
On behalf of the Milam County Historical Commission and with the assistance of Mr. Charles King of the Milam County Historical Museum, I hope that we have been of some assistance to you.
Respectfully,  Jack Brooks

Kenwood Cane Mill
Photos by Jack Brooks