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
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Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
                              It's a Crown-ing Achievement
                   Volunteers Bring Town’s Old Cemetery Back to Life
                    by Yvonne Yount - President  - Crown Garden Club
                             Rockdale Reporter - 2015-07-30

The club was originally contacted by Jack Brooks to ask if we would consider putting in
some flower beds at the entrance of the cemetery, which he and his wife Beth were already
working on with a group of volunteers to clean up and beautify.

We voted to continue and member Barbara Nelson called on her friend, Robin Howard Moore
of Austin, a landscape architect, to draw up a plan for the beds. She suggested native
plants that would be attractive and also attract butterflies and bees to the area.

In the meantime, the site (base) of the old water standpipe in Rockdale was uncovered in
some of the clean-up work and its round size and site made it the perfect place for
adding a gazebo to the grounds.

The club knew that would call for funds the club didn’t have and would involve a fund-
raising effort, but decided to go ahead with the project.

Last November, club member and artist Michelle Fletcher presented a drawing of the area,
complete with the flower bed entrance and the gazebo.

Janice King, then Chamber of Commerce chair, offered to donate an unused gazebo behind
the chamber rock house to be used at the cemetery.

Although it was in fragile and aging shape, the club accepted this generous offer after
conferring with volunteers who could help with the restoration.

Club members met with the City Cemetery Committee to get permission for the gazebo plans
to move forward.

At this point, the entire project took on a life of its own. Volunteers came from every

This is an incomplete list of those who worked diligently with the Club until this
project was completed: Jack and Beth Brooks, Gary Jackson, Rockdale Chamber of Commerce/
Janice King, Knife River Concrete.

Herb Brown, Ernest Garza, Louie Edelmon, David Yount, Charles Bland, Craig Debault
Welding, City of Rockdale and City Manager Chris Whittaker.

City Cemetery Committee, Wallace Jones, Vickie Everhart, Payne-less Landscaping and Kevin
Payne, Carolyn Burford and others not known.

The project is completed and Crown Garden Club is proud to be a part of it. We hope
Rockdalians will at least drive by and enjoy it.

There are not enough ways to say thank you to all who stepped forward and volunteered
their time and hours of hard work to get this work completed.

Volunteers are a big part of what makes Rockdale a great place to be.

Editor’s note: The renovation work at Rockdale’s Old City Cemetery on South Main is now complete. It was
spearheaded by the Crown Garden Club. Here’s a brief chronology:

Photos by Jack Brooks and Mike Brown

All Credit for this article
goes to Yvonne Yount
and the
Rockdale Reporter
New gazebo (L) is on the site of a former city water standpipe which fell and flooded the area in 1921. It’s adjacent to new landscaping.
Old City Cemetery - Rockdale TX gazebo
Old City Cemetery - Rockdale TX
Crown Garden Club members
Old City Cemeery drawing by Michele Fletcher
Volunteers Louiw Edelman, Gary Jackson, Ernest Garza
Left: Crown Garden Club members who worked on the cemetery project included: Front row (L-R) Jean Haupt, Roberta Pounders, Peggy Cooke, Martha Newman; second row, Barbara Nelson, Renee Pounders, Michele Fletcher; back row, Patsy David, Yvonne Yount, Betty Bartlett, Carol Newman.

Below: Volunteers (L-R) Louie Edelmon, Gary Jackson and Ernest Garza take a break from the gazebo construction during the big renovation project.
Below: Club member Michele Fletcher envisioned the cemetery’s new look with this sketch in November, 2014. Volunteers worked from this concept.
George Robinson tombstone
Anton Wolf tombstone
Several Confederate veterans are buried in Old City Cemetery. Col. Nat Tracy was the namesake of the Tracy community, northwest of Rockdale.
Nat Tracy confederate soldier tombstone
Above: TIMELESS — One of the more touching epitaphs in the cemetery is that of George Robinson (L) in the African-American section: “He had no enemies; and deserved none.” Robinson died in 1907 at age 38. At right, Rockdale hotel owner Anton Wolf, who died in 1924, took a picture of the iceberg which sunk the Titanic in 1912. Wolf and wife Elizabeth were aboard the German ship Frankfurt, heading toward a visit in their native Austria.
Photos by Jack Brooks and Mike Brown
Photos by Jack Brooks and Mike Brown
Photos by Jack Brooks and Mike Brown