100 YEARS AGO....
The largest fire in the history of Thorndale destroyed nine downtown buildings. Its origin was traced to an explosion in a tailor’s shop.
The fifth annual Rockdale Fair was drawing the largest crowds in the history of the town. Publisher John Esten Cooke said streets for the downtown parade were “jammed to suffocation” and crowds were estimated at 8,000 to 12,000, adding “those who gave the latter estimate evidently counted the political candidates.”
A delegation from Granger, led by R. J. Stager, attended the fair. Cooke wrote: “(Stager) drew upon his supply of hot air with magnificent effect.”
In a close election for the Rockdale School Board, F. H. Graves polled 133 votes and W. D. Bagley 129.
FORTY YEARS AGO....
The committee planning Rockdale’s centennial, then scheduled for 1973, was set to hold its first meeting.
A 25-year-old Hearne man died at Alcoa’s Rockdale Works in an electrical accident at Potline No. 7.
Don Thoede, assistant band d i rec tor at Rockd a le Hig h School, was hired to replace band director Bill Grusendorf, who had accepted a position as superintendent in the Lampasas ISD.
What was the large bonfire on the grounds of Richards Memorial Hospital? A training exercise for hospital personnel, conducted under the watchful eye of Fire Marshall Raymond Walker.
TWENTY YEARS AGO....
“Half-roofs” at two Fair Park kiosks were being replaced by full roofs as part of preparations for the 1992 Rockdale Fair.
The Rockdale ISD settled a demolition contract with a Austin firm for $19,800 after deciding not to raze the former junior-high building on the elementary campus. Original contract had been $52,000.
Lexington trustees okayed construction of an eight-classroom building, plus a cafeteria, gym and offices.
An out-of-town gang member was being sought in connection w ith a drive-by shooting in downtown Rockdale, according to Police Chief Dale Wilmeth. No serious injuries were reported.
TEN YEARS AGO....
Citizens group Neighbors for Neighbors dropped its formal opposition before the Texas Railroad Commission to Alcoa’s quest to obtain a mining permit for its Three Oaks Mine.
A 41-year-old registered nurse from Georgetown was charged with a series of drug thefts at Richards Memorial Hospital.
It was about as brazen a daylight theft, in a busy location, as Rockdale ever recorded when a 16-foot trailer and two fourwheelers were stolen from the Walmart parking lot.
It was a wet Jubilee Days in Rockdale as the annual early summer event dodged a 2-inch rainfall. July rainfall had already totaled over 7 inches, third wettest July on record.