Minutes of meetings
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
                                 Minutes of the meeting of
                            Milam County Historical Commission
                                     December 12, 2011

The Milam County Historical Commission met at the Milam County Historical Museum in
Cameron on Monday, December 12, 2011.  The chairperson, Geri Burnett, presided.

Chairperson Burnett recognized visitors Grace and Gene Mitchan from Cameron.  Mr. Mitchan
is the narrator on the special DVD presentation on Santa Fe Town.  This DVD was prepared
under the direction of MCHC members Dolores Mode and Mary Ann Eanes.

Minutes of the October meeting were discussed.  Jackie Thornton requested brief
clarifications on a statement regarding Worley Bridge and on the proposed application for
Beckys Sandwich Shop.  Lucile Estell said that she will prepare the application for that
marker either for the Undertold Marker story or as a regular application due November 15. 
Jackie announced that those preparing to submit a marker application should complete it
by September 1.  Upon motion by Mary Ann Eanes, second by Dolores Mode, the minutes were
approved as printed.

Treasurer Mary Ann Eanes reported a beginning November balance of $18,147.96.  She
reported a  balance  in the Preservation Trust Fund as of  November 30, 2011 of
$9,004.91.  Upon motion by Mary Nell Neely, second by Willyne Stanislaw, the report was
approved as printed.

Lucile Estell said that she has Comprehensive Management Plans for everyone.  She and Joy
Graham announced excellent progress in the signing process.  Also, they expressed their
thanks for the $2,000 recently awarded the project by the Milam County Preservation Trust

Willyne Stanislaw reported on activities for Archeology Month, 2011.  She requested
suggestions for next years observance, noting that participation was not good this year. 
Joy Graham noted that field trips have been quite successful at Apache Pass.  Learning
stations can be set up, making them attractive for schools.

Mary Ann Eanes reported on the Santa Fe DVD recently completed.  This tells the story of
the Santa Fe District in Cameron.  The idea began when today's speaker, Gene Mitchan
spoke to the Cameron History Club on this subject.  She and Dolores Mode heard the
program and wanted the information preserved, hence the DVD prepared by Rob Reed
Productions of Cameron.  The DVD was then played for the Commission.  Using this medium,
Mitchan artfully tells the story of this part of Camerons history.  He uses a map and
photographs to relate an interesting and lively history.  The DVD is available for
purchase.  Mary Ann and Dolores presented this DVD to the Milam County HistoricaMuseum. 
Also, they presented a copy to the Milam County Historical Commission and to the
Mitchans.  Proceeds from the project will go to the Milam County Historical Museum. 

Geri Burnett asked for a volunteer to head the meeting of area county historical
commissions scheduled to be held this summer.  No one volunteered, so she said that the
Executive Board for the Milam County Historical Commission will set the time and place
and plan the meeting.  The MCHC members will be asked to help with the event.

Geri appointed the nominating committee for officers for 2013 as follows:  Joan Ratliff,
chair; James Bradford, Dolores Mode and Elaine Baumann.

Jackie Thornton reported on markers.  She commended Elaine Baumann for having their
property named as a Heritage Farm.  This is a great honor and members were encouraged to
know about it and support it.  She also announced that September 1, 2012 is the deadline
for submitting marker applications to her.

Darleen Tucker reported on Heritage Tourism.  She has produced and distributed the
December calendar. Several members expressed their appreciation for this service.

CLG chair Joy Graham said that meeting dates for 2012 will soon be announced.  Also, she
told of present activities regarding oil companies and drilling efforts beneath
cemeteries, some of them historic cemeteries.  There are no regulations concerning this. 
Persons with questions should contact Anne Shelton with the Texas State Historical
Commission.  She also said that she has nominated the CLG Committee for a special award
from THC.

Joan Ratliff said that an announcement would be made soon of the projects awarded
Preservation Grant Funding for 2013.  Also, she said that updates for the Strategic Plan
should be sent to her.

Geri Burnett thanked Charles King for use of the Museum as a meeting place.  Also, she
thanked members from Cameron for the lovely refreshments.

Milam County Commissioners George Tomek, pct. 1, Kenneth Hollas, pct.2, Dale Jaecks, pct.
3, Jeff Mugge, pct. 4 and County Judge Dave Barkemeyer joined the group for refreshments. 
Geri Burnett expressed the sincere appreciation of members of MCHC for their continuing


                                Minutes of the Meeting of
                            Milam County Historical Commission
                                     October 10, 2011

The Milam County Historical Commission met in the Minerva (Texas) Community Center with
the chairperson, Geri Burnett, presiding.

Ms. Burnett introduced a guest, Ed Magre, recently retired district judge for Milam

Upon motion by Carter Collins, second by James Bradford, the minutes of the August
meeting were accepted as printed.

Treasurer Mary Ann Eanes presented the Treasurer's report.  This report showed
$17,931.28 in the regular fund and $8,985.87 in the Preservation Trust Fund. Upon motion
by Joan Ratliff, second by Sandra O’Donnell, the report was accepted as presented.

Chair Burnett announced that the next meeting would be in the Milam County Museum which
is located in Cameron.  It will be on December 12, 2011  Christmas decorations will be in

Geri Burnett reported that the Wied Marker Dedication went smoothly. Also, she announced
that two mission markers located near Apache Pass will be moved in order to make them
more accurate.  One is for Mission Candelaria and one is for Mission San Ildefonso.  Both
will be located on CR 908.  Also, she reported on progress on the Worley Bridge.  She
said that it is eligible for inclusion in the National Register. Joy Graham, CLG Chair,
said that she has the necessary information.  No decision was made concerning who will
work with the Marker Chair to complete the application.

Under new business, Sandra O'Donnel gave a report on improvements to the Milam County
Museum. There will be an open house on December 3. She said that the gift shop will be
much improved.  She encouraged Commission members to volunteer for the Museum.

Also under new business, Willyne Stanislaw reported on plans for Archaeology Month. A
major event will be an evening meeting featuring the head of THC Archaeology Department,
Stan Graves, as the major speaker. Also, programs will be presented in all of the
schools. Geri Burnett, Willyne Stanislaw, and Randy Billingsley will present in the
schools. Dolores Sonntag will prepare exhibits in the public libraries.

Lucile Estell and Joy Graham discussed proposed signing of the Trail in Milam County. 
Large maps were available for Commission members to view after the meeting. They also
encouraged attendance of members at the Annual El Camino Real de los Tejas meeting
scheduled for Bastrop on October 20 and 21.

Jackie Thornton presented a brief history of Minerva. She said that it existed because of
the railroad. Adeline Minerva Sanders sold the right of way for the railroad and later
donated land for a depot. She stipulated that they must keep the depot and an agent for
50 years. The last train to come through Minerva was 1949, hence her stipulation was met.

Thornton said that Minerva was a wonderful place for a child to be and said that she
would love to write a book about her experiences growing up in Minerva. 

The building in which the Commission met was built in 1913.  It is now a community

Committee reports were next on the agenda. Jackie Thornton reported on Research and
Markers.  She said that in the future, she will check references so that there will not
be questions such as were present for the Wied Marker. One of Mr. Wied's daughters did
protest because she was not interviewed for the application. Lucile Estell, who wrote the
application, noted that this particular application was about a business, not a person. 
However, Thornton feels that more research should have been done, including an interview
with the protesting daughter. She stressed the need for use of primary sources.

The Texas Historical Commission reviewed the application and found it satisfactory.

September 1 was the deadline for this year's applications.  Lucile Estell asked if this
means that we will not have any this year, noting that the building owner across the
street had requested an RTHL.  No answer was given.

Willyne Stanislaw reviewed activities for Archeology Month.

Darleen Tucker said that she is revising the Heritage Tourism Schedule which she sends to
all members periodically.

Lucile Estell said that she will send press releases regarding Graves talk on October 20.

Joy Graham reported on activities of the Certified Local Government, noting the
importance of this group in achieving the status which we currently have with the
National Trail.

Joan Ratliff encouraged members to keep the Strategic Plan up-to-date.  Also, she asked
that the members of the Preservation Trust Fund Committee meet immediately after this

Jackie Thornton coordinated refreshments for this meeting.

                                Minutes of the meeting of
                            Milam County Historical Commission
                                      August 8, 2011

Members Present:  Darlene Anglen, Margia Barkemeyer, Geri Burnett, Lucile Estell, Owen
Rachel Graves, Dee Dee Green, Dolores Mode, Sandra O'Donnell, Dolores Sonntag, Willyne
Stanislaw, Darleen Tucker, Joy Graham (CLG Chair)

Members Nor Present:  Elaine Baumann, James Bradford, Carter Collins, Joyce Dalley, Mary
Ann Eanes, Adeline Kohotek, Mary Neely, Joan Ratliff, Carole Simank, Jackie Thornton

The Milam County Historical Commission met in regular session on Monday, August 8, 2011
at the Thorndale Chamber of Commerce in Thorndale.  Chair Geri Burnett presided.

No guests were present.

Geri Burnett noted two documents that were available for review by Commission members. 
These included a letter from Mark Wolf, executive director of the Texas Historical
Commission thanking those who supported THC during the recent legislative session.  Also,
there was a letter from Senator Steve Ogden thanking those who contacted him and gave
their input during the recent session.

Minutes of the previous meeting were distributed prior to the meeting.  Upon motion by
Willyne Stanislaw, second by Owen Rachel Graves, the minutes were approved as printed.

In the absence of the treasurer, Dee Dee Green presented the financial report.  Upon
motion by Dolores Sonntag, second by Dee Dee Green, the report was accepted as presented.

Geri Burnett reported on the July meeting of county historical commissions which was held
in July in Caldwell.  Five counties were present, including Milam, Robertson, Burleson,
Brazos, and Lee.  Milam County will host the meeting next year.

Geri announced that the Distinguished Service Award was presented to MCHC in a recent
Commissioners Court meeting.  It will be placed in the museum along with awards from
previous years.

Renovation of Worley Bridge was discussed by Geri Burnett.  She said that this was one of
four options presented by TXDOT to the Commissioners Court.

Geri Burnett reported on the meeting with courthouse architects Sharon Fleming and Dennis
Cordes.  She will work with them and with Lucile Estell to develop a maintenance plan for
the Milam County Courthouse.  Judge Barkemeyer is working with this committee.

Margia Barkemeyer reported on activities in the Milam County Museum.  She and Sandra O’
Donnel have worked toward the formation of an auxiliary to assist with Museum operation. 
She distributed by-laws which will govern the operation of this auxiliary.  Also, she
discussed the gift shop and walking tours which will be established for the jail museum,
which will now simply be an exhibit in the Milam County Museum.  The auxiliary now has
about 20 members.  The next meeting is September 6 at 1:00 p.m.

Lucile Estell discussed the draft signage plan which has been developed in cooperation
with the National Park Service.  NPS has an employee designated to mark sites for signs
on a map using Google Earth.  Lucile and Joy provided her with paper maps indicating
locations for the signs.  Also, the National Park Service has designated $5,000 to help
with the signs.  Also, there is $2,000 in the Milam County Preservation Trust Fund for
this purpose.  Milam County will be the first county in Texas to have El Camino Real
signed by the National Park Service

Under committee reports, Geri announced that marker applications will be due between
September 1 and November 15, 2011.  Also, she announced that the dedication of the marker
for the Wied Store will be on September 10 at 5:00 p.m.  Burnett announced that the
Executive Committee had voted to begin a program of marker maintenance.  This will be
discussed at a later date.

Willyne Stanislaw said that plans for Archeology Month are almost finalized.  Stan Graves
will be the speaker.  Also, we will present programs in schools.

Darleen Tucker reported on activities in Heritage Tourism.  She is maintaining a schedule
of events throughout the region.  This is very helpful.  She is considering another
format that can be used on the MCHC web site.  Also, she announced that we now have a
recorder for use in documenting oral histories.  Anyone wanting to use it should contact

CLG Chair Joy Graham reported on activities involving Certified Local Government.  She
said that the July meeting was rescheduled for August 25, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. at Bit O’
History in downtown Rockdale.  She has been working with Matt at THC to determine
activities for this year.  Also, she is continuing to help Rockdale attain Certified
Local Government.

Geri encouraged members to use the Strategic Plan.  Joy presented an update for her
portion of the Plan (copy attached).

Geri announced progress made thus far in the Preservation Trust Fund for next year. 
Buckholts and Gause have contributed  and Milam County and Rockdale have indicated that
they will put PTF funding in their 2011 budgets. Thorndale has not replied but has
participated in the past. Further contact will be made with Cameron and Milano since they
have not responded and have not participated in the past three or four years. 

Geri thanked Darleen Tucker for the lovely and delicious refreshments and the use of the
Thorndale Chamber of Commerce.

Upon motion by Owen Rachel Graves, second by Dee Dee Green, the meeting adjourned.


                              Minutes of the meeting of
                        Milam County Historical Commission
                                  June 13, 2011

The Milam County Historical Commission met at Carter Collin's store in Milano, Texas on
Monday, June 13, 2011.  Persons present included fifteen members of the Commission, chair
of the Certified Local Government Committee, Joy Graham, and one visitor, Ann Collins. 
Chair Geri Burnett called the meeting to order at 10:00 A.M.

Minutes of the April 11 meeting previously sent to members of the Commission were
approved and ordered filed as printed.

Treasurer Mary Ann Eanes presented the Treasurer's Report showing a balance of $17,614.55
in all accounts. She reminded members that $10,000 of that amount is reserved for the use
of the Rosenwald School in Davilla.  It is being held while they are getting a clear
title to the property.

Lucile Estell gave an update on the progress of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National
Historic Trail.  A draft signage plan is being prepared.  Milam County will probably be
the first county to receive the new signage.  Joy Graham and Lucile Estell will work with
the National Park Service in implementing this plan. The $2000 grant from the
Preservation Trust Fund will go toward this signage.

Old Business was the next item on the agenda.  Chairperson Burnett announced that the
August 8 meeting would be at the Thorndale Chamber of Commerce.  Also, she reported on a
Courthouse Preservation Workshop attended by her and Lucile Estell in Austin in May. 
They will be working with Judge Barkemeyer to prepare a maintenance plan for the
Courthouse.  Burnett announced that the Distinguished Service Award would be formally
presented to the Commission at the regular meeting of the Commissioners Court on June 27
at 10:00 a.m.  She encouraged members to attend this presentation.  Also, in this section
on Old Business, Geri Burnett reviewed legislative issues facing the Texas Historical
Commission.  It appears that the THC will survive despite rather severe cuts.  Burnett
also announced that the RTHL Marker Survey required by the Texas Historical Commission
was completed and submitted by the deadline of June 1, 2011.  It was completed by
Johnnielyn Brown, Joy Graham and Lucile Estell.

Under New Business, Burnett noted that Leah Brown, representative from the Southwest
Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and an intern from that office
toured Milam County early in June.  Also, she announced that several would be attending
the CHC regional meeting in Caldwell on July 15.

The first committee report was from Jackie Thornton.  She reported on the marker
dedication for the First National Bank of Cameron (Classic Bank) was held in May.  The
marker for Wied’s store will be scheduled in the fall.  Also discussed were the building
markers now being provided by the Rockdale Downtown Association.  Joy Graham reviewed
marker requirements and the process for applying for them.

Willyne Stanislaw reported on plans for Archeology Month.  Stan Graves from the Texas
Historical Commission will be a guest speaker.  Also, programs will be provided in the

Darleen Tucker distributed an Events Calendar which will be published by MCHC
periodically.  Also, she has purchased a tape recorder for use in gathering oral

Joy Graham reported on plans for updating the CLG Survey book.  This will be completed
this year.  Meetings will be on a regular basis.

Joan Ratliff encouraged members to update the Strategic Plan as needed.  She also
reviewed grants being implemented through the Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program.

The meeting adjourned at 11:40.

                                 Minutes of the Meeting of
                            Milam County Historical Commission
                                     April 11, 2011

The Milam County Historical Commission met at the Gause, Texas Methodist Church beginning
at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 11, 2011 with the commission chairperson, Geri Burnett,
presiding. Fourteen members and 2 guests were present.  Chairperson  of the Milam County
Certified Local Government Committee Joy Graham was also present.

Gause residents Donnie and Maxine McBee were introduced.  They presented the MCHC a
framed antique advertisement.   Chairperson Burnett expressed appreciation for the gift
and for their interest in historic preservation.

Minutes of the February 15, 2011 meeting of the Commission  were previously provided
members of the Commission.  After a brief review, the minutes were ordered filed as

Treasurer Mary Ann Eanes presented the financial report. This report shows a total of
$17,614.66 on hand in all accounts.  Treasurer Eanes reminded  Commission members that
$7,000 of this amount is earmarked for the Davilla Rosenwald School. Upon motion by Joan
Ratliff, second by Carter Collins, the Treasurer’s Report was approved as presented.

Lucile Estell reported on the progress of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic
Trail Association.  She said that work is being done on planning signage to mark the
Trail.  She thanked the group for the $2,000 being provided for this purpose by the
Commission’s Preservation Trust Fund.  She noted that she and Joy Graham will working
with the National Park Service in sponsoring a one day video advertising the Trail. 

The next agenda items related to Old Business of the Commission.  Geri Burnett handed out
a list of committee members for 2011-2012.

It was announced that the June meeting of the Milam County Historical Commission will be
at Carter Collins' store located near his home.  Directions for getting to the store will
be sent prior to the meeting.

Geri Burnett, Mary Ann Eanes, Joyce Dalley, Joy Graham and Lucile Estell reported on
highlights of the Preservation Conference which they recently attended in Austin.  Geri
reported that many positive comments were heard on products completed by the Milam County
Historical Commission.  Mary Ann Eanes' book and the Traveling Trunk both received much
attention and much praise.

Geri Burnett announced the Tejas Festival held in early March in Rockdale was well-
attended and had received many positive comments.  She noted that the Nature Festival in
Cameron is scheduled for April 9, 2011 in Ledbetter Park.  Geri Burnett encouraged
support for and participation in both events.

Geri Burnett discussed the new Statewide Preservation Plan now being implemented by the
Texas Historical Commission.  They anticipate full implementation of the plan in 2012. 
Burnett says that we will revise our strategic plan to complement the new THC plan.  This
will be done in 2012.

Geri Burnett announced that a Texas Courthouse Preservation Meeting is scheduled for
Austin on May 19-20, 2011.  She and Lucile Estell are scheduled to attend.

Reports from committees were next on the agenda.  Marker chair Jackie Thornton announced
that the RTHL for the First National Bank (now Classic Bank) of Cameron will be dedicated
at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 5.  She encouraged all members to attend this dedication. 
The marker for Wied Hardware is now at the foundry.   A dedication will be scheduled when
we receive it.  Thornton said that a marker for Moss Ragsdale cemetery will be scheduled
in the spring.  Much work is being done at the Minerva Cemetery also.

Thornton announced an update required for the CLG survey.   The update is due on May 31,
2011.  This survey will be completed by Joan Ratliff, Joy Graham, Geri Burnett and Lucile

Heritage Tourism Chair Darleen Tucker reported on tourism events scheduled around the
county during the next few months.  A Heritage Tourism Calendar is attached.  Contact
Darleen Tucker to add events.

Lucile Estell said that press releases from MCHC are sent to The Rockdale Reporter, The
Cameron News-Herald, The Temple Telegram and radio stations KRXT and KM IL.  Committee
member Mary Ann Eanes will submit meeting dates.  Commission members should contact
Lucile Estell for special releases.  Requests for these should be submitted at least two
weeks prior to the date of the event.

Chairperson Joy Graham discussed plans for Certified Local Government for 2011.  The
survey completed in 2006 will be updated during this time.  Graham has contacted members
to set meeting dates.  The CLG will meet quarterly.

Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee, Joan Ratliff, distributed copies of the
current strategic plan for review by members present.  The plan was reviewed by members

Geri Burnett informed the group of preservation grants awarded for 2011.  She said that
every applicant received some funding.

Members present broke into committees to plan their work for the year.

The meeting adjourned at 11:55 A.M.

                                 Minutes of the Meeting of
                            Milam County Historical Commission
                                     February 14, 2011

The Milam County Historical Commission met on February 14, 2011 at the Depot Museum in
Rockdale Texas.  Sixteen members were present, in addition to Joyce Dalley, Museum
Representative.  Geri Burnett, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m. The
group had been invited to tour the caboose and the dining car on the depot grounds prior
to the meeting.

The chairman introduced the following guests: Bert Dockall, Loy Edmonston, Linda and
Leonard Kubiak.  Linda Kubiak is writing a series of childrens stories incorporating the
depot, along with other Rockdale landmarks and people.  She shared her Christmas story
that had been read at the Rockdale Christmas Celebration at the depot.  She also shared
excerpts from her March story.

Joan Ratliff gave the report from the Preservation Grant Committee after a change in the
order of the agenda.  There were nine applications and the following awards were
recommended and approved by the executive board:
1. La Escuelita (Rockdale)               $1000.
2. Milam Co. Museum                      $1000.
3. SPJST (Buckholts)                     $1700.
4. Kay Theater (Rockdale)                $2000.
5. El Camino Real National
      Trail Association                  $2000.
6. Rockdale Historical Society           $2000.
7. Friends of the Bailey Bank (Milano)   $ 800.
8. Thorndale Area Chamber                $1500.
9. Gause Community Building              $1700.

Minutes were read by Mary Neely and were approved as read.

Mary Ann Eanes gave the Treasurers report.  The ending balance for the commission is
$14,749.72 as of December 31, 2010.  The ending balance for the Preservation Fund on
December 31, 2010 was $ 8,881.58.  A motion was made by Carter Collins to accept the
Treasurers report and a second was made by Dee Dee Green.  Motion carried.

The chairman had available a copy of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic
Trail draft comprehensive management plan and environmental assessment.  She added that
Milam County has seven sites designated for signage.

Old Business:
Calendars for meeting dates and places were distributed to the members.
The April meeting will be in Gause and work will be done on the strategic plan.
New committee assignments were made and members were asked to volunteer to fill empty
The chairman expressed appreciation to the past committee members.
Four members who had perfect attendance last year were recognized: Darlene Anglen,
       Dolores Sonntag, Dolores Mode, and Elaine Baumann.

New Business:
The Milam County Historical Commission’s representative to the Milam County Museum is
       Sandra O’Donnell.
The Milam County Museum’s representatives to the Milam County Historical Commission
       are Margia Barkemeyer and Joyce Dalley.
The annual Preservation Meeting will be held in Austin March 31-April 2.  The local
       commission has an opportunity to sell books, etc.  The MCHC will participate on
       April 1st with a booth manned by Joyce Dalley and Mary Ann Eanes.  Expenses can be
The Tejas Arts and Book Festival will be held in Rockdale on March 5.  James Bradford,
       Dee Dee Green, Carole Simank and Darlene Anglin volunteered to sell books, etc.
       the MCHC
The Certified Local Government received $1747.70 in redirected funds (left over grant
       money) for doing an outstanding job on their original grant.
On April 9th, the Nature Festival will take place in the Wilson Ledbetter Park in
       Cameron from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The MCHC will sponsor the archeology dig
       a vote from the membership.  Mary Nell Neeley made the motion; Elaine Baumann the
The chairman encouraged everyone to get in touch with our representatives over the
       recommendation from Governor Perry that the Texas Historical Commission not be

Committee Reports:
-Research and Markers - no news.
-Archeology - Willyne Stanislaw will chair the committee.
-Heritage Tourism - Darleen Tucker will chair the committee and she reported on events     
       taking place in the county.
-Oral History - after much discussion Darleen Tucker agreed to chair the committee.
-CLG - Joy Graham will chair.

The meeting was adjourned after a motion by Elaine Baumann and a second by Carter
Collins. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted:

Jackie Thornton for Lucile Estell