Commentary

MILAM HISTORY

Nile owes its creation to steam train engines
Joy Graham
Requests have come in asking for the location of Nile. A local resident of Nile reports rainfall (when we are lucky enough to get a good rain.) This community was established in the 1870’s with a specific reason for its existence.

The International & Great Northern Railroad began building a line from Palestine to Austin.

The railroad had many employees, not only building the track but also going ahead to develop support for the steam engines that powered the trains.

As the rail line built west to Hearne, Gause, Milano and on to Rockdale, thre were two men who contacted land owners for easements for the rail lines.

The railroad needed one acre of land every eight miles along the route for a wood yard and access to water.

Check the mileage from Gause to Milano, to Rockdale and on toward Thorndale.

It’s more or less eight miles between each of those destinations.

Trains had to stop that often to reload their wood supply and take on water to generate steam.

Early settlers had purchased land in this part of Milam County beginning in the late 1830’s and by 1873, Napoleon B. Breedlove, of the Cherokee Nation, owned much of the land four miles east of Thorndale, or eight miles west of Rockdale.

Breedlove began selling off acreage.

On Dec. 1, 1873, Aden I. Worley purchased 170 acres that was surveyed in 1874 by the railroad.

Aden Worley had a daughter, Lula , who had married William Washington Clark of the, as they were known locally, “Chips from Five Cords” ( the five Clark Brothers).

A s track passed along the northern boundary of Will and Lula Clark’s place, they in turn sold one acre on the northeast corner of the property to the International & Great Northern Railroad for a water and wood yard.

There was a good well of water on that acre and wood was plentiful in the area to keep the yard full.

Just across the dirt road, which is now US 79, was a general store with a post office inside.

Just east of that building was Nile School. Scattered through that area were homesteads that included a number of families, names included Gore, Clark, Kurkendall, Turner, and Galbreath .

Today, the general store, post office, and school are gone. The area now contains several homes and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Hall.

The area which once housed the wood yard and water well, which was filled in, retains its triangle shape off the Clark place and is covered with large oak trees and tall native grasses.

marygraham99@yahoo.com


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2010-08-26 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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