Society

‘Compliments of Scarbrough & Hicks’

‘Old Rockdale’ promotional art found in pages


Popular Victorian Era artist Frances Brundage (1854-1937) was renowned for her images of attractive and endearing children. This print, apparently given away to customers by Scarbrough & Hicks of Rockdale, was one of two found in an art book. Popular Victorian Era artist Frances Brundage (1854-1937) was renowned for her images of attractive and endearing children. This print, apparently given away to customers by Scarbrough & Hicks of Rockdale, was one of two found in an art book. When Rockdale-area resident William Zientek opened up his old book “ South by Southeast” he was pleased to find it was autographed by co-author Walter Cronkite, the legendary newsman.

Then he got a bigger surprise. Pressed between the oversized pages were t wo “framing-quality” raised letter color prints from Rockdale’s distant past.

The well-preserved prints bore the inscription “Compliments of Scarbrough & Hicks, Rockdale, Texas.”

Scarbrough & Hicks was Rockdale’s showcase business in the early part of the 20th Century.

It burned in a landmark fire Sept. 3, 1935, which claimed the lives of two Rockdale volunteer firefighters.


Above, marker at city library, site of Scarbrough & Hicks, commemorates J. W. Hooper and Wilbur Williams, firefighters who died there Sept. 3, 1935. At right “Christmas 1889” print by artist Frances Brundage. Above, marker at city library, site of Scarbrough & Hicks, commemorates J. W. Hooper and Wilbur Williams, firefighters who died there Sept. 3, 1935. At right “Christmas 1889” print by artist Frances Brundage. The prints were apparently given away as promotional items to Scarbrough & Hicks customers. That’s quite a gift, considering the era and the amount of work which would have gone into color reproductions of that quality and scale.

Artist was Frances Brundage (1854-1937), whose work ranged from postcards and valentines to children’s classics like “Little Women” and “Heidi.”

Art was her life and family. She was taught by her father, Rembrandt Lockwood, and she married the artist William Tyson Brundage.

Her work is still considered highly collectable.




Click here for digital edition
2011-09-15 digital edition



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


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