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 meetings
                        Milam County  Historical Commission
                            Conoley Church, Milam County
                                   Minutes 02/08/16

The Milam County Historical Commission was called to order by Geri Burnett at 10:00
a.m. Geri reported on member volunteer hours sent to THC as 4,000 hours for 2015. 
This number was well over the 50 hours per member recommended by THC.

Geri recognized our three guests Joy Graham, Carolyn Temple and Kristen Brown, the
Texas Historical Commission Certified Local Government coordinator.  Motion was made
by Lucile Estell and seconded by Jack Brooks to approve the December minutes as
presented.  Motion carried.

Darlene Tucker gave the Treasurer’s report which were approved by members with a
motion by Joan Ratliff and seconded by Carole Simank.

Rosenwald School Update:  Geri spoke with Sheriff’s Department and there will be no
criminal charges filed against Mr. Beane because they did not feel there was enough
evidence for theft charges.  She also spoke with John Redington, Assistant County
Attorney.  He suggested there might be grounds for a civil suit.

Bridges of Milam County Book:  As reported in our Treasurer’s report, we owe Arcadia
$4,752.00.  We hope the book will be out sometime in November .  We have paid
$475.00 to this point.  Plans will be made for publicizing the book and decisions on
pricing the book will be discussed at the next meeting.  Discussion was tabled until
next meeting with motion by Darlene Tucker and seconded by Carole Simank.  Motion

Bratten Thomason will be the special guest at the April MCHC meeting.  Bratten
recently retired from THC as Director of the History Division.

Mary Nell Neely presented an appreciation award from the Milam County chapter of the
Texas Master Naturalists for our donation of bricks to one of their projects. 
Lucile reported that the damaged centennial plaque has been replaced in the DAR Park
with assistance from Paul Luckey of Rockdale Monument Company and Jack Brooks. 
Other plans are being made for the park in 2016.

THC News:  Geri has submitted the yearly report to THC and is hoping for another
Distinguished Service Award. The CLG report is being completed by Geri and will be
submitted next week.  James Brymer will be in charge of this report for the year

Committees for 2016:  Committees were included in the December 15, 2015, minutes
with no changes.

2016 Meeting Places:  Meeting times and dates were included in the December 15,
2015, minutes.  

MCHC will be observing Archaeology month.   Geri Burnett will be leading this
committee with assistance from DeeDee Green, Mary Neeley, Annabelle Hodge/Heine and
Darlene Anglen. 

Committee Reports:
Bridge Committee:  Jack Brooks reported that he has contacted Carlos Neveau, Milam
County’s engineer with TXDOT in Bryan, regarding their records on the Galbreath and
Sheckles bridges.  He also contacted Linda Henderson at THC concerning the
possibility that THC could receive TXDOT historical records of the bridges in lieu
of TXDOT disposing of them.  Joan stated that the contractor is currently placing
the piers for the Sheckles and Galbreath bridges in “Bridge Park”.  

CLG Report:  Joy Graham discussed her work with CLG and the preservation
opportunities available in Central Texas.  She stated that it is imperative for all
to volunteer and work diligently toward these projects.  She will have historical
displays available in her building for all to view and enjoy as a rotating artifact,
family museum.  James Brymer apologized to committee members for not successfully
contacting all members for the January 8 meeting.  He discussed the duties of the
CHC to care for our many historical sites and markers.  Milam County history is to
be taken care of and preserved.  Other topics that were discussed: Grants from CLG:
a “calaboose” or concrete jail in need of being removed in Thorndale; an iron bridge
(Brushy Creek Bridge) south of Thorndale on FM 486 needs to be relocated.  Geri
discussed the problem of housekeeping for the courthouse.  She and James revisited
the courthouse and could not see a lot of improvement.  This situation is still in
the investigation process.  THC information suggests that the fundamentals of caring
for a restored building include cleanliness and good repair.

Preservation Grant:  Carole Simank reported that grants were awarded to:  Milam
County Museum-$550.00;  Kay Theater-$1,000.00;  and Buckholts SPJST-$1,500.00.  Geri
noted that roof repair on the Kay Theater was done at no charge which has freed up
some funds for possible update to stage and/or curtains.  Grant donations were
limited this year necessitating fewer and smaller grants.  Lucille reported that
$200,000.00 of preservation has occurred in Milam County over the last 8 years due
to the in kind grants.  It was suggested that requests for grant money be made in
person next year.   Joan brought up the fact that the City of Rockdale has donated
monies for restoration purposes within the city through their Hotel Occupancy Tax
fund and Tourism Committee. 

Publicity:  Lucile Estell and Beth Brooks were recognized and thanked for
publicizing the picture in the newspapers of our December 2015 meeting.

Cemetery Committee:  Jack reported that the Brutons are still making improvements to
the Norman Valley Cemetery.  Joan Ratliff made mention that the Rockdale Tourism
Committee is considering approving the expenses of the retaining wall on Mulberry
Street and the landing and sidewalk by the existing steps at the Old City Cemetery. 
Jack spoke of the proposed interpretive sign that Chris Whittaker is planning for
Old City Cemetery.  A tentative narrative was submitted.

Marker Committee:  Joan reported on the “Old Nashville” cabin which is being donated
to Milam County DAR.  After some investigating it was found to be in pretty good
condition.  Chris Whittaker and Joan are working on finding a location for the
cabin. Joan also reported that the Old Rockdale City Hall is in very poor condition. 
It will either need to be rebuilt or restored. Rockdale HOT funds money cannot be
used for this project. To rebuild and make it into police department building would
require approximately $2,000,000.00.  Lucile mentioned signage for bridges in Milam
County, noting that all of them would not be able to have a marker.    Joan reported
that we will be planning marker dedications for Rainbow Courts and Ledbetter Park
this year.  Joan advised August 1 deadline for marker application.  Geri mentioned
that the Central Texas Historical Journal has been published with an article about
Rainbow Courts in the first issue.

Geri thanked the Brymers for being hosts at the Conoley Church.

Guest speaker Kristen Brown gave an overview and update of the CLG.

With no further business the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted by Annabelle Hodge-Heine


                        Milam County Historical Commission
                                 Friendship Church
                                  Minutes 04/11/16

The Milam County Historical Commission was called to order by Geri Burnett at 10:00
a.m.  Geri led the Pledges of Allegiance to the United States and to the Texas
flags. Geri recognized and thanked our hosts at Friendship Methodist Church, Jack
and Beth Brooks.  Geri introduced guests Brenda Pruett, Joyce Dalley and special
guests Bratten Thomason and husband, Randy Dawson.  A Certificate of Appreciation
and a pen, made from Milam County wood, was presented to Bratten Thomason, who
recently retired from the THC.  Bratten was recognized   for her dedication to
historic preservation and support of MCHC.  Motion was made by Lucile Estell and
seconded by Joan Ratliff to approve the February minutes as printed.  Motion
carried.  Darlene Tucker gave the Treasurer’s report which was approved my members
with a motion by Joan Ratliff and seconded by Carole Simank.

• Rosenwald School Update: John Brooks reported driving to the Rosenwald School site
and it is still in a state of ill repair.  Weather continues to deteriorate the
building and roof.  Lucile pointed out that Rosenwald Schools are at a premium and
suggested that the National Trust might be of some assistance.  Geri will proceed
with contacting National Trust.
• Bridges of Milam County: Lucille reported that the original contract with Arcadia
Publishing has been changed.  MCHC will have to pay Arcadia the balance owed thirty
days after the books are received, possibly by Christmas.  There will be ten to
fourteen bridges in the book with pictures and background information on each book. 
Geri reported that the executive board recommended the presale price of the books be
$15.00 each with tax included and a $5.00 fee if the books are mailed.  Preselling
287 books would pay our debt to Arcadia.  Preselling all 600 hundred books would be
a profit of $4,300.00 to MCHC.  A separate MCHS account will be set up with the
County treasurer by Geri and Darlene for proceeds from book sales.  There will be
events to publicize the book, such as book signings, after the books are received.
Motion made by James Brymer to accept proposed presales price of book and seconded
by Darlene Tucker.  Motion carried.

Geri Burnett reported that annual reports for 2015 were sent to THC (the CHC report
and the CLG report) and that a 2015 MCHC Report was presented to Judge Barkemeyer
and the Commissioners at the Commissioner’s Court on April 22.  The Court was very
complimentary to the MCHC and Geri thanked the Judge and Commissioners for their
support and assistance to the MCHC.
• Marker Dedications:
Geri reported two dedications upcoming.  Wilson Ledbetter Park will have a
dedication on September 17 at 10:00 a.m.   MCHC will be one of the sponsors for the
dedication with the City of Cameron and the Cameron History Club.  MCHC will
participate to the fullest extent.  More information will follow.
John Brooks suggested that we try to be more interactive with all local
organizations.  Geri agreed that that has always been our goal. Rainbow Courts is
the second marker dedication and will be held at a later date. 

• Heritage Days Celebration:
Lucile discussed the upcoming Heritage Days Celebration to be held April 21, 22 and
23.  The three day event will host well known speakers, authors, and will feature a
bus tour and on site histories to be given by Leo’s from Milano, throughout downtown
Rockdale.  The Executive Board recommended that the MCHC, as a sponsor, donation
$300.00 to Heritage Days.   Darlene made the motion and it was seconded by Joan. 
Motion carried.

• MCHC Web Site:
Geri discussed the value of the MCHC website and of Jerry Caywood  as the webmaster. 
The number of visits and historical inquiries to the website is an indication of the
interest in Milam County history.  The website is a good resource for a variety of
information on Milam County.

Bridge Committee: 
Jack Brooks reported that Bridge Park is progressing.
• CLG: 
James Brymer reported difficulty in getting word to all members regarding scheduled
meeting dates and times, but is going to pursue different methods of communication. 
James mentioned visiting the courthouse with positive results. The roof on the
courthouse needs minor repairs but should not be a major undertaking.  The Salem
School Cemetery project is going well with a lot of enthusiasm being shown.  The
Thorndale calaboose project is proceeding well with conversation planned between
James and the owner of the property.
• Preservation Grant: 
Carole Simank reported that all recipients of 2016 grants have been notified.  Geri
mentioned that it will soon be time to ask for contributions for the Preservation
grant.  She brought out the importance of personally requesting these contributions
face to face.
• Cemetery Committee: 
Work continues successfully on the Old City Cemetery in Rockdale.  Jack has had
contact with the Gilleland Cemetery group.  Rhett Parker, Cameron City Manager asked
the MCHC for help with a city cemetery and will be contacting Jack to consult on the
cemetery restoration.
• Publicity:
Lucille and Beth were thanked for pictures of MCHC and meeting announcements that
have been in the newspapers.  They also plan publicity for upcoming Historical
Bridges of Milam County book.
• Marker Committee: 
Joan encouraged members to become more involved in training and education on
markers.  There is a training video offered by THC that is educational and
informative.   Lucile reported that she is interested in writing a marker
application for bridges in Milam County.  A story board for Bridge Park is in the
process of being designed by the city of Rockdale.  Bridge Park is looking good with
much interest shown by various groups.  The Rainbow Court marker has been delivered
and will be dedicated at a date to be announced.  Joan noted that she is in contact
with Lisa Benford concerning the Aycock School, in Rockdale, and is hopeful they
will be agreeable to applying for a subject marker. 

Jack Brooks gave a very interesting background history of Friendship Methodist
Church originating in 1860 with circuit riding ministers.  In the year 1872 a one
room schoolhouse was built.  Five acres of land was donated to the church in 1884
with the present church built in 1922.  The first interment in the cemetery was in

Joan made the motion to adjourn and Lucille seconded.  Motion carried and meeting
was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Annabelle Hodge-Heine


                           Milam County Historical Commission
                                  Gause Baptist Church
                                    Minutes 06/13/16

The Milam County Historical Commission was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Darleen
Tucker in the absence of Geri Burnett.  Darleen reported that Geri, Lucile and Joan
are attending a three day workshop in Austin hosted by the Texas Historical
Commission. Darleen passed attendance and volunteer hours sheet. Darleen led the
Pledges of Allegiance to the United States and Texas flags. Guests Holly Jenctz and
Jennifer Hoffman were welcomed.  Darleen thanked Mary Neeley, Elaine Bauman and
Darlene Anglen for hosting our meeting.  Motion was made by Jack Brooks and seconded
by Patsy Brymer to accept April minutes as presented to members.  Motion carried. 
Darleen Tucker gave the Treasurer’s report which was approved by members with a
motion by James Brymer and seconded by James Bradford.  Motion carried.  Darleen
read thank you notes from Bratten Thomason for the special pen presented at the last
meeting and Thorndale Independent School District for archeology book given to their

One day workshop: John Pruett reported on the one day orientation workshop he
attended as being very informative with a wealth of information regarding
responsibilities of new members.  John also mentioned their website that is most

Rosenwald School Update:
In the absence of Geri, Darleen reported that Geri has been unsuccessful in reaching
the National Trust and Rosenwald Trust Foundation by telephone.  No report at this

Bridges of Milam County:
The presale of book was discussed.  Discussion on record keeping for presales and
the importance of keeping list of money and name of purchaser. Annabelle suggested
that we draft an introductory flyer sheet to assist in the presentation of the book.

Heritage Days in April:
John Pruett discussed the origination of the Milano Leo Club and suggested we work
more closely with the schools to stimulate interest in our local history.  John also
complimented the Leo Club members for their costumes and participation in the
Heritage Days activities.  Darleen suggested that improvements in future Heritage
Days festivities would be additional time between speakers and activities in order
to partake of all activities.  She also discussed possible improvement on location
of some of the events. 

Support of Gause Archeology Survey:
John Pruett reported on a research program underway attempting to find remains of an
18th century village with multiple Native American tribes in Milam County.  El
Camino Real de los Tejas Rancheria Grande is an effort between the ECR National
Historic Trail Association, area landowners,   the Milam County Historical  Society
and GTI Environmental.  Historical documents from the early 1700s  confirmed the
existence of a Rancheria Grande in this area. This project includes archival
research, archaeological investigations and archaeological sites.  An application
for a $30,000.00 Texas Preservation Trust Fund grant has been made and an additional
$30,000.00 in matching funds is needed.  A decision should be made as to how we want
to participate with TPF and landowners.

Request by Jerry Caywood to answer persons to new requesting historical information
and send Jerry copy of information was discussed and noted.

Bridge Committee:
Jack Brooks reported that efforts are underway for moving Sheckles Bridge and
Galbreath Bridge to new foundation in Bridge Park.

• CLG:
James Brymer reported that Old City Hall is still in limbo.  Several priorities for
the building have been discussed.  MCHC is in favor of preserving the building if
possible.  We want to approach the city in an appropriate way.  Possibly drafting a
letter of support for preservation would be a positive step.  James also noted that
the Pleasant Retreat, Conoley and Sharp Presbyterian Churches are struggling and
need some attention.  Bridges, cemeteries and churches are all part of our heritage
and need our care.

Donation request letters have been sent to Milam County and to each town and
community in Milam County , with no response to date.

Jack Brooks reported that the Locklin Cemetery had a very successful workday with a
good number in attendance. Jack has been in touch with an individual requesting
assistance in locating family member possibly interred in Sand Grove Cemetery.

Lucile and Beth were thanked for publicizing our meeting information in the
newspapers.  It was suggested that we include the Thorndale Champion and Cameron

It was announced that the marker dedication for Wilson-Ledbetter Park will be on
September 17, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. and Rainbow Courts dedication will be held on
September 24, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

Holly Jenctz gave a very interesting summary of her profession and hobby of cemetery
preservation, researching and identifying old markers that have lost their
identification.  She is concentrating on the Gause area.
Mary Neeley made the motion to adjourn and Annabelle seconded.  Motion carried and
meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Annabelle Hodge-Heine  


                              Milam County Historical Commission
                                      Salty, Texas
                                     August 8, 2016

1.The Milam County Historical Commission met at the Salty Community Church Annex on
Monday, August 8, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.  The meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m.
by Chairperson Geri Burnett.  The signup sheet was circulated for attendance,
volunteer hours and mileage related to MCHC.  Members attending were:  Geri Burnett,
Beth Brooks, Jack Brooks, Patsy Brymer, James Brymer, Mary Neely, Darlene Anglen,
Lucile Estell, Dolores Mode, Elaine Baumann, Denice Doss, John Pruett, Joan Ratliff,
and Darleen Tucker.

2.Chair Burnett led the group in the pledge to the U.S. Flag and the Texas Flag.

3.Geri Burnett thanked the host, Darleen Tucker, and recognized the guests in
attendance:  Chris Whittaker, Rockdale City Manager; Joyce Dalley, Rockdale City
Councilwoman; Loy Edmiston; Brenda Pruett; Lynn Young, past national president of
the DAR; Joy Graham; and Carolyn Temple.

4.The minutes of the June meeting at the Gause Baptist Church were emailed to the
members.  The minutes were approved as presented on a motion by Lucile Estell,
seconded by John Pruett.  Motion carried. 

5.The treasurer’s report was presented by Darleen Tucker for June 2016 with an
ending balance of $10,565.00 in the MCHC Fund, which includes $4000.00 for the
Rosenwald School, for an actual balance of $6,565.00.  The June 2016 balance in the
Preservation Fund showed an ending balance of $7,980.44.  Darleen noted that a line
item has been added to the account for the Historic Bridges of Milam County book to
help track the expenses and income from this project.  Darleen also explained that
$1830.00 had been deposited in this line item for book sales and included a donation
from Luminant for $1500.00.

6.Special guest Chris Whittaker gave a presentation on:
Progress on Bridge Park in Rockdale which included schematics of the trails,
playground area, signage, walking trail, gathering areas, and parking.  He noted
that the city is now soliciting funds to complete the project.

•Progress on Rockdale City Hall which included a structural engineering study and a
tourism assessment.  Possible uses could include a Rockdale Museum, El Camino Real
display area, office spaces, and a space for an MCHC office.
•He also noted that $5,000 has been added to the new 2017 budget for a donation to
•He updated the historic preservation on the Old City Cemetery, the Aycock building,
Moultrie Park, and the addition of a calaboose to restore.

•Geri Burnett presented Chris Whittaker with the official Historic Cemetery Record
for the Old City Cemetery 


•Rosenwald School Update:  Geri Burnett reported that she had been in touch with
Beth Wiedower, a field representative from the National Trust for Historic
Preservation.   The National Trust for Historic Preservation is very interested in
preservation of the Rosenwald Schools.  An architect is needed to assess the
building but a deed is needed for permission to go on the property and to apply for
funds to upgrade the property.  Money is available in a matching grant but the deed
must be found.

•Bridges of Milam County:  Geri Burnett reported that flyers are being prepared for
the sale of the book and that all members need to have a receipt book.  The book is
$15 pre-sale price and $5 extra if it is to be mailed.  The $1500 donation from
Luminant was deposited and Judge Barkemeyer was a great help in securing this
donation.  Lucile Estell stated that the book should be out in November and they are
in need of any old photos of the bridges.  Lucile, Joy Graham, Carolyn Temple and
David Galbreath are working on copy for the book.

•Mission Site National Registry:   Lucile Estell reported that Kathleen Gilmore is
responsible for the attention to the Milam County mission sites.  She noted that
there is a need for markers at the sites
•Distinguished Service Award:  Geri Burnett stated that Dolores Mode accepted the
award for the Milam County Historical Commission at the Commissioners Court.  Milam
is one of a few state-wide to receive this award, which it has received for
approximately fifty years.

8. New Business:

•Gifts to MCHC:  Geri Burnett shared several gifts that had been donated to MCHC
including a tie from the Lowenstein store in Rockdale and a photo in front of the
Milano Post Office.  She added that she has several other items at her house and so
does Lucile Estell.  A permanent place is needed to store these items.

•Nominating Committee:  Geri Burnett announced that Joan Ratliff has agreed to chair
the committee.  Committee members are  Elaine Baumann, Lucile Estell and Darleen
Tucker.  The election of officers will be held at the October meeting.

•By-Law Amendment:  Geri Burnett announced that the By-Laws need to be amended to
separate the Secretary/Treasurer position into two separate positions.  Section 4
will become the Secretary office and Section 5 will become the Treasurer office. 
That is the only change.  This will be voted on in the October meeting and members
will be emailed a copy for their consideration.

•Archaeology Month:  Geri stated that October is Archaeology Month.  She has ordered
posters and she will  contact Randy Billingsly to see if he will make presentations
to all fourth graders in Milam County,

•Meetings:  Geri Burnett advised of several meetings coming up in the next few weeks
and months that might be of interest to members.
•THC Conference:  Joan Ratliff and Geri Burnett attended the conference and reported
that it was an excellent meeting.  Joan attended boot camp conference in Colorado on
Heritage Tourism and reported that it was very informative.
•El Camino Real Membership:  Darleen Tucker stated that the ECR membership for the
new year is due.   The membership is $100 for one year.  Joan Ratliff moved to pay
the $100 membership, seconded by Darleen Tucker.  Motion carried.

9.Committee Reports:

•Bridge Committee:  Jack Brooks and Joan Ratliff reported that the historic bridges
at Bridge Park in Rockdale are on schedule to be placed on the new concrete
supports.  Perry and Perry have been instrumental in helping with this project. 
Darleen Tucker moved to present the firm with a plaque of appreciation, seconded by
Jack Brooks.  Motion carried.

•CLG:  Geri Burnett stated that James Brymer has resigned as chair of the CLG but
will stay on as a MCHC member.  His resignation was accepted with regrets.  Since it
is late in the year, Geri Burnett will assume this chairmanship.  This committee is
working with the Gause Survey Group and El Camino Real.  They have submitted a grant
proposal to the National Park Service with help from Sergio Iruegas.

•Preservation Grant:  Geri Burnett reported that Rockdale has committed $5,000 for
2017 and Thorndale should be able to do a $1,000 donation for 2017.  Gause reported
that they should be able to make a donation for 2017.

•Cemetery Committee:  Jack Brooks reported on several email inquiries he was able to
respond to with information.  One was to the Jewish Cemetery in the Old City
Cemetery.  He responded that the Girl Scouts have been very helpful in working on
the cemetery and that they could probably use some monetary help.
•Publicity:  Beth Brooks reported that several articles have been published as well
as the meeting notices.

•Marker Committee:  Joan Ratliff announced the following marker dedications:
-Wilson-Ledbetter Park:  The date for the dedication is September 16 at 10:00 a.m. 
Jackie Thornton wrote the application for the marker.  MCHC has been asked to
provide 150 cookies.

-Rainbow Courts:  The date for the dedication is September 24 at 1:00 p.m.  Joan
requested volunteers for the dedication committee.  Denise Doss and Dolores Mode
volunteered.  MCHC members will need to provide cookies for this event.  MCHC
members are asked to be present for the ceremony.

-Rockdale Post Office:  Joan Ratliff stated that Donna Nichter is interested in a
marker for the post office.

10.Darleen Tucker gave a brief overview of the history of the Salty Church and
Cemetery.  She thanked the Brymer family for restoring the annex to the church and
the windows in the sanctuary.  She also noted that she is undertaking a database for
the cemetery marker information and a plotting of the cemetery.

11.The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m. on a motion by Mary Neely, seconded by
Elaine Bauman.  Motion carried. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Darleen Tucker, Acting Secretary

                         Milam County Historical Commission
                                    Maysfield, Texas
                                     October 10, 2016

1. The Milam County Historical Commission met at the Maysfield Presbyterian
Historical Association on October 10, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.  The meeting was called to
order by Dolores Mode in the absence of Chairperson Geri Burnett.  The signup sheet
was circulated for attendance and hours related to MCHC.  Members present were James
Bradford, Beth Brooks, Jack Brooks, Lucile Estell. Annabelle Hodge-Heine, Dolores
Mode, Mary Neely, John Pruett, Joan Ratliff,  Darlene Tucker and new member Lynn
2. Chair Dolores Mode led the group in the pledge to the U. S. Flag and the Texas

3. Dolores Mode thanked our gracious host, Randy Billingsley, especially for
preparing his “old time” chicken soup and all others who furnished refreshments. 
She also recognized the guests in attendance:  Randy Billingsley, Melissa Williams,
Marilyn Anderson and David Blacklock.
4. The minutes of the August meeting held at the Salty Community Church Annex were
emailed to all members and approved as presented on a motion by Lucile Estell,
seconded by Annabelle Hodge-Heine.  Motion carried.

5. The treasurer’s report was presented by Darlene Tucker for August 2016 with an
ending balance of $12,433.38 in the MCHC Fund, which includes $4,000.00 for the
Rosenwald School, for an actual balance of $8,433.38.  The August 2016 balance in
the Preservation Fund showed an ending balance of $7,990.44.  The treasure’s report
was approved as presented by a motion by Joan Ratliff, seconded by John Pruett. 
Motion carried.

6. Darleen Tucker presented several recommended changes to the Milam County
Historical Commission By-Laws including the separation of the offices of
Secretary/Treasurer Article IV, Section 4 and to Article IV Section 4, Secretary and
Section 5, Treasurer.  Various corrections in punctuation were made.  The proper
name of the association was moved to front page of the By-Laws.  The change of By-
Laws was approved on a motion by Darleen Tucker, seconded by Joan Ratliff.  Motion
carried unanimously.
7. Old Business:
•Bridges of Milam County: Lucile reported that our book is still in the process of
being published and we are awaiting approval of the pictures that have been
submitted.  We are hopeful that the book will be available by Christmas. Darleen
handed out copies of introductory flyers which should be helpful in sales.
•Archaeological Month Events: Lucill Estell reported that noted archaeologists,
Sergio Iruegas, President of GTI Environment and wife, will be speakers at a
celebration of Archeology Month at Gause Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Thursday,
October 20, 2016.  The meeting is sponsored by the Historical Commission, El Camino
Real de los Tejas National Trail and the Rancheria Grande Project presently being
organized in Gause.  Two grants have helped in funding this organization, T.P.T.F.
and CLG, along with personal funding.
•Historical Marker Dedications: Joan Ratliff thanked all involved in the Wilson
Ledbetter Park and Rainbow Park successful marker dedications.  They were very well
attended and none of this would have been possible without the cooperation and
assistance of all members and friends.

8.New Business:
Dolores introduced Lynn Young and welcomed her as a new member of the MCHA. Lynn
moved to Milam County from Houston, Texas. She is past National president of the DAR
and has been interested and instrumental in preservation in Milam County.
9.Election of Officers:
Joan Ratliff presented the slate of officers recommended by the MCHC nominating
committee. They are Lynn Young, Chairperson; Darleen Tucker, Treasurer;  Annabelle
Hodge-Heine, Secretary; Denice Doss, Vice-Chairperson.  The slate of officers for
the year of 2017 were approved on a motion by Joan Ratliff, seconded by Lucile
Estell.  Motion carried, unanimously.

10. Committee Reports:
•Bridge Committee: John Brooks reported no new activity to date.
•CLG:  John Pruett reported in the absence of Geri Burnett.  Grants have been sought
  from Texas Historical Commission, CLG to produce a video of the 18th Century 
  Waterways of Milam County.

•Preservation Grant: No new activity to date due to the illness of Carole Simank. 
The application for grants will be updated on line for the 2017 grant.

•Cemetery Committee: Jack Brooks reported several inquiries from various family
members for assistance in locating grave sites.  This is encouraging to know of the
ongoing interest in this endeavor.

Marker Committee:  Joan Ratliff mentioned a marker for sites in Gause and also markers for bridges.  She also brought us up to date on the possible preservation of the old city hall building.  HOT Funds have been used to hire an architect for an evaluation of the present condition of the building.  She also brought us up to date on the City of Rockdale marker locations.

11. Lucile Estell reported that we have coloring books on historic sites of Milam County to provide students in Milam County. Dolores Mode announced that the executive committee has recommended that we donate $100.00 to the Maysfield Presbyterian Historical Association. Darleen presented this motion, seconded by Lucile. Motion carried. Jack Brooks brought to our attention a number of interesting locations that we might consider for future meetings.

12.Randy Billingsley gave a brief history of the church.  Among other things, he brought to our attention the date of construction, date of first church service and date of availability of electricity.  The stained glass window inside the church was of interest and has drawn much attention through the years.

13. The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m. on a motion by Annabelle Hodge-Heine and seconded by Darleen Tucker.  Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Annabelle Hodge-Heine,


                         Milam County Historical Commission
                          Rainbow Courts,   Rockdale, Texas
                                December 12, 2016

1.  The Milam County Historical Commission met in Rockdale, Texas, at Rainbow Courts on December 12, 2016.  The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Geri Burnett at 10:00 a.m.   Geri circulated the attendance and hours register.  The members were highly complimented by Geri for their effort and response to work related projects of the MCHC and the number of hours required to accomplish these goals.
2.  Chair Geri Burnett led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Texas Flag.
3.  Geri thanked our host Joan Ratliff who was absent due to illness.  She also welcomed guests Randy Billingsley, Derek Eades and member/consultant Stanley Graves.

4.  The minutes of the October 10, 2016, were emailed to members and a correction was requested by John Pruett.  Correction was noted and corrected minutes will be prepared and emailed to members.  Motion was made by Lucile Estell to accept corrected minutes, seconded by Mary Neeley.  Motion carried unanimously.

5.  Treasurer’s Report was presented by Darleen Tucker reflecting an ending balance for MCHC for October 2016 of $12,644.00 including $4,000.00 for Rosenwald School, actual balance $8,644.00.  MCHC Preservation Fund reflected an ending balance of $9,175.47 which includes donations by Gause Community/Baumann, Gause Community/Neeley & Anglen and the City of Thorndale.  Interest income of $15.00 for November 2016 will be included on the December 2016 statement.

6.  Old Business:
a.  Historic Bridges of Milam County Book:  Lucile Estell reported that the Historic Bridges of Milam County book will be delivered  in March 2017.  She said there is a lot of interest shown in the purchase of the book.   She also highly complimented and thanked Carolyn Temple for her assistance in the organization of the book.
b.  Archaeology Month Events:  Geri Burnett reported that she and Randy Billingsley have visited each 4th grade class in Milam County introducing  Texas Archaeology Month in Milam County with posters.  They left maps and posters for future use and hope to make this an annual event.  Geri felt they were well received by all students and teachers with very positive feedback.  An Archaeology Month Program was held on October 20, 2016, at Gause Baptist Church Fellowship Hall with speaker Sergio Iruegas.  It was well attended and successful.
c.  El Camino Real de los Tejas National Trail: Board  members  Lucile Estell, John Pruett and Lynn Young were recognized.
d.  MCHC Revised By-Laws:  The by-laws have been officially approved and signed by Judge Barkemeyer on November 20, 2016, as reported by Geri.  A copy of revised by-laws will be emailed to all members.
e.  Other Old Business:  None

7.  New Business:
a.  Appreciation of 2016 MCHC Board and Members:  Geri thanked all members for their support and assistance during her tenure.  She further noted that this final meeting for the year 2016 is for the purpose of celebration and reflecting on the many achievements of our organization.
b.  Other New Business:  None

8.  Committee Reports:
a.  Bridge Committee:  Jack Brooks reported that Bridge Park is looking good.  The bridges will soon be placed on foundations. 
b.  CLG:  Geri Burnett reported that the CLG is waiting to hear news about the CLG Grant for a video, that was submitted to THC entitled,  SIGNIFICANT 18TH CENTURY HISTORICAL SITES ASSOCIATED WITH WATERWAYS OF MILAM COUNTY TEXAS
c.  Preservation Grant:  In the absence of Carole Simank, Geri Burnett reported an addition of $6,200.00 to the Preservation Fund for a balance of $9,175.47 ending November 30,  2016.  The committee will meet in January 2017, to award grants to approved applicants.
d.  Cemetery Committee:  Jack Brooks reported several inquiries regarding  access cemeteries  located in the Alcoa area.  Due to these being on Alcoa property, permission must be granted in order to gain access to those properties.  It is necessary to investigate proper avenues to gain access for preservation and visitation purposes. 
e.  Marker Committee:  Geri reported in the absence of Joan Ratliff that Geri and Lucille will be discussing different options for Bridges of Milam County markers.  One suggestion is to make one central marker and place replicas on all other bridges, possibly working with Texas Department of Transportation on this project.

9.   A brief summary of the history of Rainbow Courts was given by Geri in the absence of Joan.  It was a very interesting reflection of the success of a family business due to much rigorous effort and determination.

10.  The meeting was adjourned by Geri Burnett at 12:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Annabelle Hodge-Heine