Commentary

1908 Rockdale boomed with businesses

This is the second in a series on downtown Rockdale businesses during the early 1900's.

Rockdale's economy was booming as one of the railroad towns in this area of Texas.

The International & Great Northern (I&GN) Railroad afforded passenger and mail transportation and freight played a big part in getting cattle shipped to the large stockyards.

Many families traveled to a new home when the railroad built lines toward the west.

Businesses were cropping up along Ackerman, Main, and Cameron Streets.

Bettis Mercantile Company advertised their business in the 1908 Rockdale Fair Book.

E. M. McClincock, proprietor of The Leader Studio on Main Street claimed: "We lead in Fine work and promptness of Execution."

R. S. Wilson Furniture and Hardware Store advertised highest price paid for "Household goods of all kinds, also Brass and Copper."

W. D. Bagley and Company advertised two businesses: Bagley & Company Lumber dealers and Columbian Poultry Yard with stock and eggs for sale.

Mistrot Brothers and Company advertised dry goods, notions and clothing.

Phillips and Tanner, were the owners of Col. Kahlo "one of the finest colts in the country."

The horse was a dark chestnut sorrel, 15 hands high and weighted 1250 pounds.

He was said to be "kind and gentle and any lady could drive him on the road with perfect safety."

Phillips and Tanner were located at Gaither & Tanner Wagon Yard.

Another popular business was Louis Diehl's Blacksmith and Wood Work Store.

The business of Coffield Hardware Company advertised farm machiner y, buggies, wagons, barbwire, nails, stones, tin ware, collars, harnesses and saddlery.

Their store was on the northwest corner of Main and East Cameron and is occupied in 2009 by Antique Queens and Talk of the Town in downtown Rockdale.

Research: Dr. Lucile Estell's copy of "First Annual Fair Booklet 1908"; The Rockdale Reporter, 1908.

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