Rice community marks center of Milam County

This is the first in series on the Rice community. M ilam County is referred to as being in Central

Texas so have you ever wondered where the center spot of Milam County might be?

According to a document written by Mrs. Jeff T. Kemp, the wife of Milam County’s Judge from 1920 to 1946 that place is located in the Rice area off Texas 36 and US 77 on County Road 241.

The Cameron Herald carried a story by Mrs. Kemp on Aug. 13, 1925, of the history of that community.

Mrs. Kemp stated that while visiting the home of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Wesley Robison who lived near the Rice Community School she captured the history of the family and the community.

It seems that Mr. Robison’s field was surveyed in the 1870’s by George Wresley, who was employed to locate the center of the county during a bitter fight between Cameron and Rockdale for the location of the Milam County Seat.

Ben Robison was present when Mrs. Wresley planted his “Jacob’s staff” upon the exact spot which marked the county’s center.

After much debate and Milam County Commissioners Court meetings, Cameron was named Milam County seat.

Getting back to the Robisons and Rice Community, Ben Robison’s family had lived near Rice School since 1868 in a home they bought from Mrs. William Rice, for whom the community was named.

Mrs. Rice told the Robisons that near the Rice homestead where they now lived once stood a huge Oak tree.

It was here the first Cumberland Presbyterian Sermon was preached by Rev. Killough in 1852.

The community church was organized and the Robisons recall that a service was held under a brush arbor in 1869.

As was the custom a school house was built and this was long before the Civil War.

Continued next week.

Research: Milam County, Texas: MILAM/milam-260.htm.

Robbie Robison Oral History (9-2-2012).

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2012-09-06 digital edition

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