Milam County, Texas - Communities

Bushdale, Milam County, Texas
(Researched by Mrs. Roy Lee von Gonten)

Bushdale is said to have been named for the valleys and woods characteristic of the area. The earliest settlers were of German descent. Among the group that came were Adolph Stork, Jacob Stork, Frizt von Gonten, Sr., George A. Doss, Bernhardt Hirt, Henry Brockenbush, Herman Henniger, Ludwig Menn, Henry Gustav Backhaus, A. Mayer, John Strube, Paul Pieper, John Brockel, Ferdinand Voss and Mrs. Tracy Seidl.

Ben Loewenstein, a Rockdale resident, came to the home of Mrs. Tracy Seidl, a widow, to teach the children in the community. Later a building was erected near the graveyard and was used for church services and for a school. Bushdale school consolidated with Rockdale on July 6, 1949.

The Reverend Immanuel Glatzel organized Peace Lutheran Church on June 24, 1883, in the small German community a short distance from Rockdale. The first resident pastor, Reverend Julius E. H. Schroeder, a young theological candidate from a German seminary arrived in 1888. Under his leadership the first church and parsonage were built.

Bushdale was a lively community in the early days with a large dance hall where the Herman Sons Lodge #61 sponsored picnics with plenty of barbecue and barrels of beer. The parade with a brass band under the direction of August Seidl, Sr. would begin in Rockdale and continue to the hall for a dance.

The May Feast, July 4th holiday, October Feast and Christmas were the big celebrations. After the leaderís death in 1907 the band disbanded. A manís signing group and the Farmersí Union held their meetings at the hall. In 1894 a Society of Froshin was organized.

Besides the hall, there was a grocery store operated by Johnnie Brockenbush, a cotton gin and a blacksmith shop owned by Henry Gustav Backhaus.

Herman Henniger, a farmer in Bushdale and the man who gave the seven acres of land for the first Lutheran Church, immortalized himself in the local graveyard by erecting an almost life size statute of himself in Federal Army uniform with the inscription which recorded that he had been a ďlate and honored member of Company B of the 12th Regiment of Illinois Calvary.

Another interesting citizen of this community was August Seidl, Jr. who was disabled by paralysis from the age five years. He was interested and active in all community affairs. He was election manager for 52 years. He was a school trustee, and an officer of the Cemetery Organization.

SOURCE: Marshall, Ida Jo (ed.), Rockdale Centennial: A History of Rockdale, Texas, 1874-1974. Rockdale, TX: Rockdale Reporter, 1974. (p. 92)


Bushdale is located near Farm Road 908, about 3-miles northwest of Rockdale in southern Milam County, was supposedly named for the area vegetation.

Its early settlers were of German descent. In 1903 Bushdale had a one-teacher school for fifty-seven students. The school, a business, and several scattered houses were reported at Bushdale in the 1940s. Its school was consolidated with the Rockdale Independent School District in 1949. There was no evidence of the community shown on the 1988 county highway map.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lelia M. Batte, History of Milam County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956); Milam County Heritage Preservation Soc., Matchless Milam: History of Milam County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984); Handbook of Texas On-Line

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Created on 15 Feb 2001 and last revised on 2 Dec 2006.

Copyright © 2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.

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