Thorndale city government forms, dissolves

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of columns on the city of Thorndale. I n W. B. Elliott’s 1960 letter written to Gary Satterwhite in Caldwell an interesting fact was discovered.

Elliott wrote:”

“At the time the railroad built the tracks en route to Taylor, they planned to make a division point where the town of Thorndale is now located in Milam County, an equal distance from Palestine and San Antonio.

“However, when they drilled for water in Thorndale, they discovered mineral water that could not be used in steam engines So they chose Taylor.

“A water source in the Nile Community three miles east of Thorndale solved the water problem.”

Now that the city of Thorndale had moved from Williamson County to Milam County and Caruthers had moved the buildings from Williamson County, people began settling the area.

The 1914 three-story school building that contained 12 classrooms and an auditorium filled up with children as the town grew.

In 1940 a storm damaged the third story of the building. It was then that the school added the West Building which was used as an elementary building.

Some of the mercantile establishments in former years were: W. S. Caruthers, Quick & Hockwall, Otto J. E. Urban, H. M. Moerbe (Moerbe & Michalk), J. K. Quinn, D. R. Webster; Charles Williams, Summerlin & Melde, Dr. P. A. Ramsel, Elliott & Barnes, Gus Norman and Clement & Gore.

There were three hotels, two movie theaters, doctors and dentists.

In 1926 a group of citizens gathered signatures on a petition to organize a municipal government.

An election was held and the vote was in favor of incorporating.

In that election, G. S. Summerlin was elected mayor.

But, after a year, another petition was circulated to dis-incorporate.

This time the vote went the other way and the town government was dissolved.


• Isabelle L ock lin’s Notes from a Civic Presentation May 5, 1960.

• W.B. Elliott’s letter to Gary Satterwhite, Caldwell, May 7 1960.

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