Commentary

Looking back... Through The Reporter Files

10-20-40-100 YEARS AGO

100 YEARS AGO....

The first list of 27 area men to be called up to the Texas National Guard for World War I was announced. It included Hicks and James Carlyle, brothers who would be killed in action the next year. Rockdale’s American Legion Post is named for the Carlyles.

Rev. W. E. Copeland of Rockdale Presbyterian Church, a Civil War veteran, announced the church was keeping an honor roll of all men serving in the military and would give each one a pocked-sized New Testament.

Elbert “Pee Wee” Fannin of Rockdale, a noted wrestler who was undefeated within his weight level, joined the cavalry, stating: “I think I will be able to pin any lightweight riding a horse for Uncle Sam.”

San Gabriel School Trustees let a contract to build a new 4,176-square-foot, two-story school to replace the current building. Total cost was $7,000.

FORTY YEARS AGO....

Employment at Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations was put at 2,1,66, with 561 of those listing Rockdale address. Rockdale Operations employed persons living in 67 towns.

Industrial Generating Company (power plant/mining) employed 374 persons with 176 of them living in Rockdale. IGC employees lived in 27 towns.

Rockdale’s fiscal agent recommended the city call for a $500,000 bond issue to address street, water and sewer improvements, noting the city sewer lines were overloaded.

A new horse barn was expected to be ready for the second Rockdale Fair. The current show barn was being upgraded and new gates and bleachers were also planned.

TWENTY YEARS AGO....

Sheriff Charlie West said arson was “strongly suspected” in a series of rural fires that culminated when vacant houses near the FM 486-FM 4878 crossroads burned.

Milam County missed having a fatality-free Fourth of July weekend by about a hundred yards when a Temple motorcyclist died on the half-mile portion of FM 112 which just nips the southwestern corner of Milam going from Lexington to Taylor.

A 16-year-old Buckholts resident, and a three-year old child, somehow escaped serious injury when their pickup was hit by freight train at the Buckholts Burlington Northern Santa Fe intersection.

TEN YEARS AGO....

It was already Rockdale’s wettest July ever, but for the second time in 10 days, the city got an inch an hour rain for four hours. Five persons were rescued from high water on roadways near Milano.

TxDOT had proposed an 8.3-mile loop around Rockdale but Milam County commissioners were trying to figure out how to come up with the county’s $512,000 share of the project.

A referendum on allowing mixed drinks inside the Rockdale city limits was looming as the county and city hoped to settle their differences over paying for new voting machines.

Rockdale High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, with faculty advisor Rick Vaculin, was named one of the five percent of American chapters to qualify for national competition.


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