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
Requests for Info
Received via Website

Daniel Foster
1709 Karen Ave
Austin, Texas 78757
I am writing to contact Ms. Susie Sansom-Piper, seeking her help in a matter of history. There are two
musicians who played old-time country balls around Jones Prairie and Rockdale in the early part of the 20th
century. I have recordings of Oscar Nelson (1901-1984) and Newton Nelson (1910 -?) and am trying to
find any members of the Nelson family. I believe both men lived in or near Cameron, Texas. Ms. Sansom_Piper is
a noted authority on Milam County history and it is my hope that she may be able to provide information that
will help in my search.  Many thanks, Dan Foster, Austin, TX
REPLY: I forwarded this email to MCHC Members including Ms Piper.  If anyone has info, please contact him and
cc to me.  Thanks
Jerry, Thanks very much for your help.  Dan Foster
message rec'd 2014-05-17
I've been out of pocket, so I am just reading my e-mail. It is o. k. for them to e-mail me. The Nelsons
originated out at Coxes Providence, the once all Black community between Rockdale and Milano. I am in touch
with one of the Nelsons, who lives in Temple. A few of the late ones are on my Aycock list. Hope thie helped.
The one in Temple does not have a computer, but I do have her phone number.
>Ms Susie Piper
(I forwarded this message to Dan Foster)
Thanks very much for providing this information. I received a most helpful and interesting letter from Susie
Piper. Thanks again for your help. Dan

message rec'd 2014-05-22
Jessie Gabriel
24180 West Country lane
Hockley, Texas 77447
I'd like to know what are the hours of touring the old jail house.
I forwarded this email to MCHC members.
The scheduled visiting/ tour hours of the Milam County Historic Jail are Tuesdays and Thursdays
from 1 pm until 4 pm.  Mr. Charles King, the director, is dependent on volunteers to host tours of the jail.
When short staffed, or by special arrangements if other visiting times are necessary, Charles will personally
open the jail and tour guide your visit. His tel. number is (254)697-8963 and it is also posted on the front
door of the jail.  The Milam County Historic Jail link may be accessed via . Then click on markers in the tool bar and then click on Milam County
historic markers. Under Cameron, select Milam County Historic Jail.   Since I see that you are traveling a
considerable distance to visit our jail, our jails twin sister is located in Belleville in Austin County. It is
much closer to you. It too, was built by the Pauley Jail and Manufacturing Company in 1896 in lieu of our 1895.
Except for some interior variations, the buildings appear almost the same. We would certainly enjoy your visit
to Milam County and to our historic jail and state the last sentence only for your convenience.
Regards, Jack Brooks

A message from MCHC website:
John P Horton III
4863 Blazing Trail
Bryan, TX 77808
Hello MCHC, I was recently asked about one of my relatives that is buried in the Old City Cemetery on
South 908 in Rockdale, TX. The grave was described as having a Headstone with "Horton" inscribed and the
perimeter of the grave in enclosed with a Wrought-Iron fence.  If you could provide me with the full name on
the Headstone, I would appreciate it greatly.
Thank You,
John P. (Jay) Horton III
RHS Graduate Class of 1972
I replied that "170 Years of Cemetery Records in Milam County" shows no Horton buried in Old City Cemetery.
Hello Mr. Horton,
Regarding your relative Horton family member, I do find Horton's interred in three of our Milam County
cemetery's, but as Mr. Caywood has stated, none are shown in Old City-Rockdale cemetery.
A W.J. Horton u/k birth date died 1921 is interred in the Harmony cemetery.
A  William R.L. Horton 1829-1895 is interred in the Isaacs cemetery.
The next cemetery, International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) where 15 Horton's are interred may be the "Holy
Grail" for you. It is one of the three larger cemetery's within the  Rockdale City limits and  it is located
within four- five blocks from the Old City-Rockdale cemetery. As of 1999 it had 2,552 persons known to be
Carol (Johnson) w/o John P., Jr.                1950-
Donald twin of Ronald                       b/d 1971
Doris Corine                                    1918-1973   
James Henry "Jimmy"    Vietnam                  1940-1994 
John Pink, Jr. h/o Carol m on 7/11/1980         1927- 1986
John Pink Sr.    WWI Army                       1890-1977 
Joseph F.  h/o Nannie                           1859- 1930 
Joseph Leslie   h/o Lena                        1889- 1979
Lelah Mae    (Robbins)                          1908- 1997
Lena   (Gilleland),  w/o Joseph                 1894- 1983
Nannie  w/o Joseph F. ? Nancy Belle             1869-1934
Randall Christian s/o J.P. & Barbara            1958- 1960
Rodney Quin                                     1893- 1964
Ronald      twin of Donald                  b/d 1971
William David     WWII Navy                     1920-1941
We are currently working on an improvement project in the Old City-Rockdale cemetery. If you family member
wasn't listed above, I will be happy to double check all the headstones in fenced in plots in the cemetery,
since there  are not that many fenced plots. This would be a long shot, since as a general rule, the interred
were conscientiously inventoried. I will be within blocks of IOOF, so should you need photo's of  headstone's,
just let me know, and I'll be more than happy to oblige.
Respectfully, Jack Brooks    bjohnr2010(AT)hotmail(DOT)com    904-six08-55fivefive

Message Rec'd 2014-06-06
Here are a couple recent photos of the Tomascik Cemetery when the Paintbrushes were out if you're
interested in adding them to the website. If you know of anywhere I could locate some historical info on this
cemetery,  I would be interested.  Thanks, Kim
Thanks Kim, I've added the photos to the page.  We always welcome any photos! I will forward your email to all
the members of the MCHC and hopefully someone with have info on this cemetery.
Thank you for your response.  Glad you liked the photos.  Lucile directed me to some books at the library that
may have info.  Thank you much, Kim

A message rec'd via MCHC website
Dallas E. Freestone
222 North 1200 West 112
Orem, Utah 84057

My wife who lived in Rockdale in Milam County as a child and up to maturity as a young woman discovered that
she had an unknown aunt that lived to be one year old.
Her name was Sunshine Stribling who is buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery north of Rockdale.
Brownie Anne Laurence is my wife's maiden name and her father and mother, grandfather and grandmother and many
others of the Stribling family are buried in that Cemetery.
For reasons unknown this child was not mentioned to my wife's family members even though Sunshine was my wife's
oldest aunt.
For some reason this child remained unmentioned and unknown to my wife and her sisters until I discovered her
while doing research on her family line.
We wonder if a birth certificate exists for her and who was her father and mother. It is strange to realize
that this has remained silent even though Sunshine has a monument to prove that she has indeed existed as a
small babe.
Any and all information would be very helpful. There seems to be various secrets in this family.
REPLY: The book "170 Years of Cemetery Records in Milam County, TX" shows a Sunshine Stribling buried in the
I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Rockdale.  It shows that the stone reads "d/o (daughter of) C.L. (or C.K.?) with the dates
(b)1893-(d)1894. I will forward your email to the members of the Milam County Historical Commission and the
Milam County Genealogical Society and hopefully you will be receiving more info from the members.

I forwarded email to members.
Hello Mr. Freestone,  My wife and I visited IOOF cemetery this past Monday(06/09/2014) on an unrelated "back
door" inquiry. While there, we thought we'd take your inquiry with us and take a recent photo of Sunshine's
headstone for you and possibly those of related family members. Due to the size of the cemetery, it was driven.
I somehow overlooked her small tablet headstone, but did take photos of many Laurence and Stribling headstones.  
A photo of Sunshine's headstone was taken by "BE Not Forgotten" on Find A Grave web site. The parents are shown
as C. L. and M. Stribling. Should you desire other family headstone photos that you are unable to find on their
site, please let me know, because I may have taken them last Monday.  Our locally produced "Death Record Books"
start in 1903 and go thru 1935, so they would be no help due on the 1894 death. They often give exact cause of
death, Dr. attending,, funeral home and the like. The Lucy Patterson Library in Rockdale has micro-tapes of the
local Rockdale Reporter/ Messenger newspaper, but unfortunately they start in 1899 so we don't have access to
what might have been an earlier obituary. We will be in Cameron, our Milam County seat on Thursday 06/19/2014.
We'll check to see if a birth or death certificate is on file at the County Clerks office and will advise.   
Respectfully, Jack Brooks
Mr. Freestone, I visited the Milam County, County Clerks office yesterday morning. They have no record of a
birth or death certificate for Ms. Sunshine. Since death certificates weren't required in Texas until 1903, I
didn't think that I would find a record of one(that's why out local death records books start at 1903).    The
Find A Grave website that I referred you to earlier, for the photo, appears to have a discrepancy. The
headstone reads "Daughter of C. L. and M. Stribling, but the family links show parents;  Cornelius Kinchelo
Stribling (1871-1933)  Mary Jeanette Copeland Stribling (1875- 1964).  C. L vs. C. K. ???.   Church of Latter
Day Saints/ no additional help for b/d certificates.  I'm sorry that I was unable to find what you
needed. The best of luck on your continued search. Should you turn a birth certificate up, would you be kind
enough to let us know of the source and maybe provide a copy so that we may post it to this inquiry for a
conclusion?.      Respectfully, Jack Brooks
My wife as a small girl for many years lived and slept and played in and around the Stribling home. She visited
there about 2 weeks ago and was dismayed that the trees that she played in and swung on swings were now dying
or dead. She is now living in Weser, TX and any information that you may have would be greatly appreciated. Her
name is Brownie Anne Laurence Freestone.  I am sure that the trunk is very familiar to her and she really
appreciates remembering that part of her childhood.
Most sincerely, Dallas E. Freestone
Mr. Freestone, My wife, Beth, was showing some of the Rockdale I&GN Railroad Museum exhibits to the Lucy Hill
Patterson's Summer Reading Program students this morning. While reading the plaque that was on the chest, to
the students, she suddenly remembered Sunshine Stribling.
We thought that it was quite a coincidence stumbling over this after your recent inquiry. We wanted to share
the information and photos with you. It appears that some of the Stribling heritage is still alive and well in
Rockdale, Texas.
Respectfully, Jack and Beth Brooks  
Mr Freestone, Yesterday my wife and I found Ms. Sunshine's plot quite easily by looking for the wrought iron
fence that was in the background. She is interred with 5 other Stribling's adjacent. Photos
Regards, Jack Brooks

A message received via MCHC website:
William Odom
Hattiesburg, MS

I am sending a friend to Rockdale to look for my great-grandmother's grave. Can you tell me how to get to the
cemetery? Also, do you have any information on a grave for Elizabeth Maud Richmond Odom?
William Odom
REPLY: Old City Cemetery in Rockdale is easy to find.  From US 79 in downtown Rockdale, turn South onto Main
Street/FM 908. The cemetery is 2 blocks from US 79 - right past the railroad tracks.

I checked the books "170 Years of Cemetery Records in Milam County, Texas" by Norinne Holder Holman and found
this information:

Old City Cemetery:
Bettie Maud Odom - inscription: "20 Y, 9M, 26 D"  "1860-1880"

There are also Odoms buried in two other cemeteries in Milam County:
Bryant Station:
Coke Odom - b/d 1885
Lonnie H. Odom - WOW - 1891-1912

Oak Hill:
Annie Pearl Odom - w/o Scott Greg - 1890-1927
Auggie C. Odom - h/o Birdie - 1893-1962
Callie D. Odom - w/o George W. - 1865-1952
Edith Odom - w/o Eldridge - 1922-?
Ercel Eldridge Odom - "E.E." - h/o Edith - 1916-2000
George W. Odom - h/o Callie D. - 1861-1945
Jamie Powell Odom - 1954-2000
Scott Greg Odom - 1889-1951

Also in Woodland Cemetery in Falls County (which was at one time in Milam County but Milam was split into
several counties)
Beatrice (Peeler) Odom - 1910-1981

There has been a lot of work done on the Old City Cemetery in the past few weeks.  It is not a huge cemetery
but I do not know the exact location of the grave you seek.  But it should be fairly easy to find.

I will forward your request to the members of the Milam County Historical Commission and you may hear from some
of them. Good Luck in your research.
Jerry Caywood
Many thanks. Can we tell from the listing in the Holman book about where  the grave is?
Bill Odom
No, the book only shows grave sites in alphabetical order. But you may hear from other MCHC members who can
pinpoint it.  But it is not a large cemetery.
Jerry Caywood
From John Brooks <bjohnr2010(AT)hotmail(DOT)com>
Hello Mr. Odom, I am able to add an additional two bits to my friend Mr. Jerry Caywood's reply to your inquiry.
As stated, there is a cemetery improvement project (Old City - Rockdale) in progress by various individuals and
groups in the community. "Before" photo's were taken of many of the headstones that needed leveling and/or
repair. You are able to see that Ms. Bettie is one of those candidates that we have yet to address. The bottom
of her base is flush with the ground level and over the years has slid about two feet down the slight incline
out of position in her row. The mortar has also failed where the headstone is attached to the base causing it
to further lean. Now that you've moved her to the top of our "things to do" list by your inquiry, we'll
complete her repairs early next week for you.   The typical repair here is to make an excavation in line, in
her row about 3 " deeper than her base height. Then put in 5-6" of stabilizing gravel base which "wicks"
moisture away from the stone and aids in leveling. Then reset and level the base, backfill and tamp. It is now
considerably deeper and has more of a chance for staying level in the future. Then clean the "track" in the
base and bottom of the tablet of all old deteriorated mortar. Finally mortar the track with thin-set mortar and
reset and level the tablet and brace with a 2 x 4 x 8' anchor until set. Hopefully they'll all have the luxury
of a future approved chemical (D2)cleaning.  I just added the photo in attachment number one to the "Find a
Grave" web site for you. Attachment number five will "coach" your friend to the approximate location of Ms.
Bettie, so that he/ she doesn't have to search the entire cemetery for her headstone. We dream of a future
kiosk for that very purpose.   If I understand correctly, is Elizabeth Maud Richmond Odom an additional
individual that you're interested in, or Is Bettie a nickname for Elizabeth vs. Beth?.   My field notes concur
with Ms. Holman's excellent book, that no other physical Odom's headstones were visible in this cemetery. There
are a number that are illegible though.       
Respectfully, Jack Brooks 


Location of ODOM burial

Milam County ODOM birth records:  Page 1     Page 2