Lilac, a farming and stock raising community of northwest Milam County, is 15-miles northwest of Rockdale.
The community of Lilac grew out of the plantation and cattle raising operation of Frederick Agustus Graves, an early day settler in northwest Milam County. He was born May 17, 1847, and settled there as a young man. So far as can be determined Lilac commenced about 1867, and was known as Oak Point until a post office was established. There was another Oak Point so the name was changed to Lilac. At one time the plantation was a self sustaining operation with a cotton gin, mill, blacksmith shop, brick kiln, grocery store, doctor and dentist offices, a school, a church and a cemetery. Justice Court was held there and a very active Woodmen of the World Chapter met in the old hall above the grocery story.
Later, Fred A. Graves moved to Rockdale. His son Rufus Winton, remained in the Lilac community continuing in the cattle raising business until his death in 1965.
Thomas Graves, brother of Fred A. Graves, lived in the community and reared his family there. He and his sons, Paul and Henry, were all very active in cattle raising and farming. Mr. Thomas Graves is buried in the Lilac Cemetery.
On Dec. 9, 1884, Fred A. Graves deeded to Milam County one acre of land for a public school. (Court Records - Milam County Book 19, Page 352)
One acre of land was deeded by S. T. Rister in 1887 for a Baptist Church and a cemetery at Lilac (Court Records - Milam County Book 164, Page 1)
This community had many sturdy farm families. Some of these were W. Hill Marshall, A. Norman, John Baldridge, Sam Richmond, Breeze Wilson, Ed McRee, J. E. Hook, Will Stigall, Val Nenec, Antone Yakesch and many more. Mr. Ross McQuarry who was very active in school affairs still resides here.
SOURCE: Marshall, Ida Jo (ed.), Rockdale Centennial: A History of Rockdale, Texas, 1874-1974. Rockdale, TX: Rockdale Reporter, 1974. (p. 99)
Lilac, once known as Oak Point, is located at the intersection of Farm roads 487 and 3061, in western Milam County, about 10-miles north of Thorndale.
A post office operated at Lilac from 1883 to 1905. In 1884 the community had a steam gristmill and cotton gin and 100 residents, and area farmers shipped cotton, hides, and grain. In 1903 Lilac had one school for 32 black students and two schools for 97 white students. The Lilac schools were consolidated with the Sharp district in 1931.
By the end of the 1930s the population of Lilac had fallen to 40. A church and two cemeteries marked the community 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
Created on 15 Feb 2001 and last revised on 4 March 2003.