Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
                            MILAM COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
                    San Gabriel Christian Church, San Gabriel, Texas
                              Minutes - February 13, 2017

The first meeting of the Milam County Historical Commission for the year 2017 met at the San Gabriel Christian Church in San Gabriel, Texas, on February 13, 2017.  The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Lynn Young at 10:05 a.m.

Chair Lynn Young then led the Pledge to the flags of the United States of America and Texas.  Lynn circulated the attendance and work related hours sheet.

Lynn graciously thanked our hosts, the San Gabriel Christian Church, Annabelle Hodge-Heine and Carole Simank.  Annabelle Hodge-Heine welcomed visiting guests Zane Stigall and Eunice Stigall.  Lynn also warmly welcomed new members to the commission, Randy Billingsley and Holly Jentsch.

The corrected minutes of the December 12, 2017, meeting previously emailed to members were accepted by motion of Geri Burnett and seconded by Randy Billingsley.  The motion was adopted.
Darleen Tucker presented the Treasurer's Report as follows:
For the month of December, 2016 the beginning balance was $12,679.00, revenue of $204.85. After deducting $4,000.00 reserved for the Rosenwald School, the actual balance for the year ending December 31, 2016 is $8,883.85.
The MCHC Preservation Fund reflected a beginning balance of $9,175.47, revenue of $535.93, disbursement of $550.00, (2016 grant payment to Milam County Museum) for an ending balance on December 31, 2016 of $9,161.40.
January 2017, reflected a beginning balance of $12,883.85, revenue of $183.15 from Milam County Historical Bridges book sales, including $4,000.00 reserved for the Rosenwald School, leaving an actual balance of $9,067.00.

The MCHC Preservation Fund showed a beginning balance of $9,161.40 with revenue of $5.97, interest income.  Disbursements included $4,000.00 to Rockdale Historical Society leaving an ending balance on January 30, 2017, of $5,167.37.

Motion was made to accept the Treasurer's Report as presented by Randy Billingsley, seconded by James Bradford.  The motion was adopted.

Lynn Young reminded all members to turn in their money collected for book pre-sales.


a. “Historic Bridges of Milam County” book:  Lucile Estell and Geri Burnett reported that the books will be shipped on March 20 or March 21.  Geri displayed an advance copy. The Rockdale Chamber of Commerce has agreed to store the books in their offices.  Posters provided by the publisher will be placed throughout the county for advertisement purposes when the books arrive. Several local businesses have agreed for us to place books in their businesses for consignment.  Geri reported book pre-sales are going very well with $2,445.00 having been sold, still owing $4,752.00 to be paid thirty days from date of receipt of books.  Scheduled book signings are:
     April 7, 2017, Lucy Hill Patterson Library from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
     April 18, Milam County Museum, Cameron – 1:00 pm
     April 20, Lucy Hill Patterson Library, Rockdale - 6 – 7:00 pm
     April 12, 2017, Thorndale Chamber of Commerce, time TBA

b. El Camino Real de los Tejas National Trail report:  John Pruett announced a lot of activity in this area.  John Pruett and Lynn Young serve on the Board of Directors. John recommended that anyone interested in this field become a member. John reported the possibility of the development of a Model Trail Community with Milam County leading the effort. John noted that it is very imperative that the public be educated in the archaeological history.  Members of the Board of Directors will be visiting the Gause Survey site in February.

c. Historic Wallis home:  This historic home was built in the 1880's near the railroad and is believed to be the oldest home in Rockdale.  Geri Burnett reported that the home was destroyed by fire about one year ago.  The City of Rockdale has purchased the property to build a new Police Station.  MCHC has permission to enter the property to remove the Victorian stained glass windows.  One window in particular, located on the west side of the home, shows promise for possible salvage in making mementos or other items of interest.  Annette Stone and Friends of the Library suggested the possibility other salvageable items in the home might be used for the same purpose.  Some relics are unsalvageable.  It was also mentioned by Geri that plants on the grounds of the property will be transplanted to various locations at opportune times.  This project is ongoing.  Work is still in progress.

d. Rosenwald School:  Geri Burnett reported conferring with John Reddington, Milam County Assistant District Attorney, who advised they have monetarily settled with other citizens but will not pursue restitution of the $6,000.00 donated to Rosenwald School by MCHC for the re-roofing project. Mr. Bean was paid the $6,000.00 but failed to complete the project for various unacceptable reasons. This appears to be a lost cause.



a. Old City Hall public hearing:  Chair Lynn Young announced a scheduled public hearing on March 2, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at The Patterson Center,  Rockdale, Texas, to discuss the future of the Old City Hall.  Various suggestions have been submitted and will be heard at this time.  Lynn asked that all MCHC members be present if possible to voice their opinions and input.

b. Rancherio Grande visit:  Dr. Estell reported on the planned visit February 21, 2017 and encouraged the MCHC members to attend.  Presentations will be made by Sergio Ireguas, Archaeologist and Steven Gonzalez, Executive Director of the El Camino Real National Historic Trail. Dr. Estell encouraged all to read Texas in the Middle 18th Century by Herbert E. Bolton.

c. The Central Texas Historical Commission:  The Central Texas Historical Commission was organized January 25, 2015.  The Association is dedicated to the preservation of Central Texas history and culture; to the support of state and local historical society’s museums, and archives; and to the teaching of all areas of history related to the Central Texas region.  Their recent publication featured Rainbow Courts.


a. Bridge Committee: Jack Brooks
Chairperson Lynn Young reported in the absence of Jack Brooks that Perry & Perry have placed Sheckles and Galbreath Bridges on their new pylons at Bridge Park.
b. CLG-Geri Burnett:  Geri Burnett reported that our grant application for a video on the history waterways of Milam County was not approved.  However, suggestions were made for other avenues for the video.  She also reported the CLG Committee would be assessing the condition of all of the historical markers in the county and prioritizing repairs.

c. Preservation Grant Fund:  Denice Doss reported that the committee met in January. She explained that the City of Rockdale decided to restrict the expenditure of their $5,000 contribution to historic properties within the city limits.  The Committee selected two recipients:  Rockdale Historical Society ($2700) and the Kay Theater ($2300). Other recipients outside the city of Rockdale include the Milam County Historical Museum ($700) and the El Camino Real National Historic Trail ($1,000).
d. Cemetery Committee:  Jack Brooks
James Bradford, Jack Brooks and Holly Jentsch visited the Liberty Hill Cemeteries and straightened headstones.  James and Holly reported, in the absence of Jack, finding the old cemetery to be in good condition but the new cemetery in need of care.  This is possibly due to some conflict as to the actual ownership of the new cemetery.

e. Marker Committee - Joan Ratliff
In the absence of Joan, it was reported by Lynn Young that there are no applications pending.  She also shared with the members the Historical Marker Maps of Milam County from the Cameron Herald and Thorndale Champion newspapers.

Annabelle Hodge-Heine gave a brief history of the town of San Gabriel and the San Gabriel Christian Church. The Stigalls provided a brief history of San Gabriel Baptist Church and the school.

Chairperson Lynn Young announced the next meetings to be on April 10 at the Thorndale Chamber of Commerce and visit to Prosperity Bank and June 12 at the Beard Rock House in Milano.

Chairperson Young thanked everyone for supporting the efforts to preserve, protect and promote the history of Milam County. The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m. by motion from Randy Billingsley, seconded by Geri Burnett.  The motion was adopted.

Respectfully submitted,

Annabelle Hodge-Heine, Secretary

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