Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
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Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
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Brian L. Smith
42 Barker Ave
White Plains, NY  10601

Hello, to whom it may concern.

I am interested in learning more about the Henderson Thompkins Convict Farm. On the 1910 census in Milam, My relative John Smith is listed as a convict and is serving his sentence on the farm. I believe he did not serve for more than two years.

I appreciate any help given to me. My goal is to hopefully find out what my relative was convicted of and ultimately trace my family lineage further.

Thank you,
Brian Smith



Standard reply sent to Mr Smith.  Email forwarded to MCHC members and others interested in Milam County History.



Mr. Smith,

I spent a few hours on your inquiry and found it quite challenging, to say the least. Do you know how many Smith's and John Smith's that there are?. Let me tell you, more than a couple. I did find one small snippet of information that told me where John might have been laboring during the Henderson-Tompkins(note, not Thompkins) Convict Farm confinement.

The following link is broken and cannot be pulled up, but it gives just enough information to make an educated guess what John was doing while at the convict farm. He may not have even been a resident of Milam County when his offense occurred, since he may have been leased to Milam County as a laborer by the State of Texas. The following link also states that he may have been one of the convicts working on the levy of which I have some knowledge. See attachment from History of Milam County, pgs. 127-128. You'll note that the time frame works for his period of confinement and Henderson-Tomkins leased convicts were working on a levy in Milam County at the time.

When the levy was constructed, the road  was called Ad Hall Rd. due to a prominent gentleman and a liked named community a few miles to the north. The levy was earthen and the road rose abruptly over the levy and was quite thrilling to be taken at speed by one of the model T's and later Model A Ford's of the time. Its approaches have been filled and tapered over the years but still entertaining at 80 mph or so. One of those rights of passage things.

Texas convicts leased to the Henderson-Tompkins Farm in Milam County work on a levee under ...

The Portals of Texas (newspaper archives) web site through the Lucy Hill Patterson Library generally allows one to research digitized copies of the local Milam County newspapers back to the late 1800's.  . It may be searched by not only decades but further searched by individual years in that decade. If you'll take the time to become familiar with the site, you might be able to find additional information regarding your inquiry. Patience is the key here.

Texas convicts leased to the Henderson-Tompkins Farm in Milam County work on a levee under ...

This is another recent inquiry that we received by an individual also interested in the same convict farm. Possibly you would be able to team up and share your knowledge with one another.

I generally try to provide references whenever possible, but there is obviously a lot of postulating in the above semi educated assumptions. I hope that I stumbled across some unproven facts along the way. At the very least, maybe some interesting reading. I'm sorry that I have been unable to find the information of which you have been searching. Should you find additional information regarding John, his confinement and the Henderson-Tompkins convict Farm, would you be kind enough to share it with us and the readers of this site. Thanks.

Jack Brooks