"The Legacy"
published by the
Milam County (Texas) Genealogical Society
Rockdale, Texas

The Legacy

The Newsletter of the Milam County Genealogical Society

c/o Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library
201 Ackerman St.
Rockdale, Texas 76567

May - June 1997

President 末 Peggy Wright
Vice President 末 Bill McDaniel
Secretary 末 Gloria Martin
Treasurer 末 Jon Cook
Newsletter Editor 末 Marie Hubert
Program Chairman 末 Charles Hubert
Publicity/Cameron 末 Melba Wells
Publicity/Rockdale 末 Francie Herring
Ways & Means 末 Florene McDaniel
Publicity/Thorndale 末 Lucille Towery
Library Chairman 末 Melba Wells
Purchasing 末 Eugenia Newton
Research Chairman 末 Jeanette Jewart

NEXT MEETING: Thursday, June 5th, 7 p.m., NBC Bank Meeting Room - Program by Charles Hubert in how to begin your research to write a family history.

JULY MEETING: Due to the July 4th holiday, the MCGS will meet on July 10th.

DUES: $15 per year due in Jan (age 65+ is $10 per year). The full yearly membership includes all 1997 Legacy copies. if for some reason you have not received yours, please let us know. The Legacy is published bi-month.

With this issue and future ones, as room allows, we will be publishing various historical information on Milam County. We will begin next issue with Sybil Chapman, our own member and former editor, writing a series on the found of Robertson Colony and how Milam County evolved. Syble is a charter member of the MCGS and knows a lot about Milam County and its people. In this issue, we have included a history of the Minerva Community and the Sanders Cemetery.

OTHER NEWS: The microfilm of Milam County records has arrived and is now being indexed by Gloria Martin. As soon as that is finished, they will be on the shelf at the library. It is still our hope that somehow, somewhere we can secure the view/copier that is needed in order to copy these and other records at the Lucy Hill Patterson Library.

At present, we can only SEE, not PRINT!

Jon Cook, a member of the MCGS, is in charge of the local Rockdale Family History Center. He will have a regular column in each issue of The Legacy.

The Rockdale Family History Center (FHC) has a number of resources available for use in addition to the FamilySearch program featured in the Mar/Apr issue of The Legacy. A brief description of these research helps are:

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Genealogical data collection computer program; used to organize your own records and information on disk.

Temple Ready To prepare computer disk for temple submissions.

Family History Library Catalog Locality File, Surname File, Subject File, Author/Title File for all records in the mail Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT. Many of these records are on microfilm and can be ordered through the local FHC.

International Genealogical Index (IGI) Deceased persons for whom LDS baptisms, endowments and sealings have been performed.

Family Registry Individuals and families researching specific names.

Accelerated Indexing System US Index of various records.

Periodical Source Index Genealogy periodicals/annuals

Research Outlines Research Guides for individual states and countries (see Research Aids Notebook)

Genealogy Forms Census worksheets, pedigree charts, family group sheets, etc.

Access to Salt Lake Family History Library Microforms Microfilm rental $3.50 for a 6-week loan & microfiche 15「 each for indefinite time.

In addition to the Scottish records discussed in the last issue, FamilySearch also includes a Social Security Death Index, Military Death Index (Korea & Vietnam) and the databases described above.

QUERIES: We have many queries from the Milam County webpage on the Internet and as many of those as possible will be published. If you have any information on any of these queries and do not have a computer, please send your name to the MCGS and we will see that it is sent via e-mail to the requestor.

QUERY: David Guthrie - e-mail: < dguthrie@ICSI.net > - I have been able to find a lot of information on the Guthrie Family of Milam Co. My g-g-grandfather, John Franklin Guthrie, remains a mystery to me. I have information he settled in Milam Co. in the early 1800s, but have been stumped trying to find out where he was born. All I have is family lore that he may have been from in Alabama about 1803. I noticed you have some information on a John Guthrie and I was wondering if in your research you may have come across something on my John Franklin Guthrie. I hope to make it up to the New Research Center in Rockdale but in the meanwhile perhaps you can point me in the right directions. [Note: Peggy Wright has information on Guthrie and will be sending it to him.]

QUERY: Kathye Upham - e-mail: < UphamK@aol.com > - My g-g-grandparents were Cora Elizan Anderson and her husband, Eugene L. Nunnelee. My grandfather came to Central Texas in 1866-67 after having served in the Civil War. My inquiry is regarding Anderson Nunley shown on p. 314 of the US Federal Census, Milam Co., My vision is poor enough I can no longer read microfilm. Do you know if anyone has printed this census so I can possibly find out who this man was?

QUERY: Carla - e-mail: < pratclif@swbell.net > - Seeking information on the Noack Family and Sauer Family. Both were from Germany about 1840-50s. I am interested in any information about an Emma Sauer who was born 1860 in Texas. I have no idea where or who parents were.

QUERY: Bob Cryer - e-mail: < cryer@netarrant.net > - Seeking information on maternal grandparents, Jasper Rome (Rhome) Shelton and Ada Bell Liles (Lyles). They lived in Milam Co. all my life (I知 near 60) and are buried in the Friendship Cemetery (Buckholts area). One of their daughters, Clara Bell Shelton was my mother.

QUERY: Linda - e-mail: < LDChucci@aol.com > - Trying to locate information on John Lyon Clark (d. 7 Mar 1844, Milam Co.). His brother was William L. Clark. Will share information on their father and grandparents.

QUERY: Dorothy Mullinnix - e-mail: < dotmul@tenet.edu > - Researching husband痴 family. J. W. Blackstone m. Lucy Mullinnix ca. 1910. Have been told the Blackstones had a large plantation with many slaves on the old Cameron Highway and that one could still see some of the buildings standing. After the Civil War, the 菟lantation was given to the slaves. I have been unable to find anything to back this information. J.W. and Lucy had two children: (1) Emery Blackstone and (2) Lucy Blackstone. I have information on Emery but none on Lucy.

QUERY: Diane Strelsky Pitre - e-mail: < dianepitre@aol.com > - Looking for information on the Strelsky Family of Rockdale (Bethelhem area?).

QUERY: Karen Blackwell - e-mail: < 71551.76@compuserve.com > - Looking for parents of Leonard David Blackwell (b. 1862). At age 18 (ca. 1880), he lived in Leon Co., TX by himself. He lived the rest of his life in Cameron and died there in 1922. His parents are not shown on the death certificate.

QUERY: Garen McDonnel - e-mail: < BamBam8@msn.com > - Looking for information on the parents of my father, Thomas Joseph McDonnel. His mother痴 name when she died in Thorndale was Dixie Bales. I am ashamed to say I do not know my father痴 fathers first name. He committed suicide when my father was an infant.

QUERY: Ed Johnson - e-mail: - Looking for a friend痴 half-sister, her name at birth was Joyce Marie Corbin and was born 7 June 1938 in Gause, Milam Co. Parents were Elmer C. & Beulah Clawson Smith is believed to be her married name later.

QUERY: John Randolph Laster - e-mail: < outdoor@lcc.com > - Looking for information on Williard Thomas Hill m. Mary E. Sloan. Their child and my mother, Thelma Charlotte Hill (b. 1922, Buckholts). Williard and family moved to Pasadena in the 1930s.

QUERY: Sue Ashby - e-mail: < canova@jjj.net > - Researching Milam Co. Families: Kirk, Clark, Oxsheer & Hodges. They were in Milam Co. ca. 1860-70s and came from Williamson Co., TN. The Hodges moved to Wichita Falls in the 1900s. Do not know where the others went. Working on book of the families.

QUERY: Sherry Egermeier - e-mail: < eger@webzone.net > - Surnames: Graves, Blackburn, Dunn, McLaughlin. Looking for information on John T. Graves and wife, Arrena found on 1880 & 1900 Milam Co. Census. The 1900 Census shows James P. Dunn, son-in-law and granddaughter, Mary Blackburn. Children of John & Arrena: (1) William Graves; (2) Annie Graves; (3) Robert Graves; (4) Mary Graves m. Harvey Otis McLaughlin in 1891 (5) James Graves; (6) Charles Graves; (7) Ola Graves; (8) Nora Graves & (9) Lula Graves. Would like to find the grave of John & Arrena.

QUERY: Gus Fargarson - e-mail: < AAFARGARSON@MAN.com > - Researching James T. Swanzy and family in Milam Co. in 1870-80s.

QUERY: P. Flose - e-mail: < Pflose@aol.com > - My g-grandmother, Lille Augusta Howard (b. 30 Sep 1878/1877, Milam Co.) who was the daughter of James R. Howard, a Confederate Veteran, originally from Alabama. I do not know Lillie痴 mother痴 name. Later, Lillie moved to Rosebud, Falls Co., where she married George Isleib, raised and family and died. Seeking information on the Howard Family.

The following is dedicated to the community of Minerva, Texas.

Minerva will be honored at the Rockdale Expo and Home Cooking to be held June 7th & 8th. An exhibit of the History of Minerva including many old photographs, stories and family histories will be on display at the New Salem Building in Fair Park on Saturday, June 7th and it will be moved to the KC Hall for the home cooking on Sunday, June 8th. If you plan to be in or around Rockdale this particular weekend, try to stop by and view the exhibit.

Researched by Mrs. Ida Jo Marshall

Minerva is an agricultural community on the Jose Leal Survey south of Cameron. It痴 located in central Milam County, six miles north of Rockdale. Also, it is a rural community which contained churches, a school and a village. It was named for Mrs. Adeline Minerva Sanders who gave land for the town site, for the railroad, and for the Methodist Church.

Midway was the small village from which Minerva originated. Midway was about a mile or more from where Minerva was later built. It was a small village on the public 都andy road. It was midway between the two larger towns of Rockdale and Cameron; therefore, it was named Midway. This small village consisted of a few homes with residents, a Church of Christ, a school, but no stores. The people he to go Rockdale or Cameron to purchase their supplies.

About 1891, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Company from San Antonio, Texas, was building their railroad from Waco to Yoakum. Mrs. Minerva Sanders sold this company the right-of-way through her property to induce the bringing of the railroad through this area. When they wanted to survey a town site there, she gave them about thirty acres of land for this purpose, requesting they keep a depot and an agent there for fifty years. In appreciate for her gift, they named the town Minerva in her honor. The last time their train went through this station was August 31, 1949.

Mrs. Minerva Sanders gave the land for the Methodist Church, also. The first pastor of this church was Reverend S. P. Brown and the first Sunday School Superintendent was Mr. W. O. Cone. The first wedding in this church was that of Mr. John C. Wallace and Miss Willie B. Cone.

During the eighty active years of the Methodist Church, it was the center of the religious and social activities until it was closed on March 2, 1969. This is evidenced by former residents who return to visit the Annual Homecoming each year since it was started on October 7, 1961.

Minerva was a larger village than Midway, but it was still small. The town then consisted of a drug store, a few grocery stores, a post office, Methodist Church, Church of Christ, and the Baptist Church.

The first public school was built in 1884. It consisted of two rooms and was named Midway School because it was about half way between Rockdale and Cameron on the highway. It was Milam County School District #33. In 1913, the trustees, Mr. J. W. Wallace, Mr. W. A. Robinson and Mrs. J. W. Gore, gave the school building and lot for one and one-half acres of land adjacent to Minerva town lots which were east of the Methodist Church. A three-room building was erected just outside the city limits. The name was changed to Minerva School. This was in 1913-14. The Milan County School Board annexed one-half of the Minerva School, south of Cooper Hollow to the Rockdale School on July 6, 1949. The school building was donated to the Minerva community as a social center. It was named The Minerva Community Center.

One day oil was struck near Cattail Creek in Minerva. This discovery was made by Sam Whonstein about 1920. He worked with an oil drill and oil tools which sometimes broke and then would have to be fixed together again. Then one day he found oil. It was the year of 1921.

This oil was first leased and bought by individuals, but later companies came and bought the oil. Minerva increased greatly in population. Not only did it grow in population but soon consisted of many houses, stores, markets and a post office. The oil refinery, in the oil fields, was supervised by Mr. W. A. Jones who was from the State of Oklahoma. This oil field is closed now.

The first post master was Dr. Harber who was also a doctor. Mrs. Mason (Bernice) Longmire was the last post mistress. The post office closed on October 13, 1972.

Today Minerva has gone back to a very small village. Students are attending Rockdale Schools by buss.

*Some historians and family members say 鄭manda Minerva Sanders. Minerva痴 surname was Duke.

SOME ADDITIONAL NOTES FROM YOUR EDITOR, MARIE HUBERT: Mrs. Marshall prepared this history for the book, Rockdale Centennial, A History of Rockdale, Texas, 1874-1974. As an addition to Mrs. Marshall痴 history, it could be added that Minerva was born in 1818 in Alabama and was a widow of Mr. Jacob Cone. She married Sherrod William Sanders, also a widower, in Alabama in 1852 and they came to Texas in 1855 with her three sons, William O. Cone, Henry Jacob Cone and Thomas Jefferson Cone and Sherrod痴 two children, Mark Sanders and Nola Sanders. Minerva purchased 2,000 acres in May 18578 in the Jose Leal Survey and the family moved there at that time. It is believed by some that he also had large land holdings adjoining hers. Four children were born to this union: Sherrod Franklin Sanders, Betty Sanders, May Minerva Sanders and Terrel Sanders.

From these roots, many family members are still in the Minerva community and area. You will find the surnames of Cone, Gore, Hubert and Moody who are all the direct descendants of Minerva Sanders. Charles Hubert, our program chairman and member of the MCGS is a great-grandson of Minerva.

Sanders Cemetery

The Sanders Cemetery is located near the Texas Power & Light Substation. The first burial recorded in this cemetery was in 1863. Tombstones there are as follows:

_____son, Margie w 1810-1899
_____son, Mrs. Laura w/o WBS No Dates
Cook, E. M. . 1810-1863
Day, Etta Walker . 1880-1920
Goodman, Martha S. d/o J.J. 1878-1880
Holbert, Ruby d/o R.M. 1872-1882
Jacob, Ernest E. . 1898-1971
Jacob, Louise C. . 1913-????
Jenkins, A. J. . 1850-1919
Jenkins, Edward A. s/o G.W. 1899-1900
Jenkins, L. J. Mrs. 1855-1905
Moody, Lena May d/o W.N. 1897-1901
Pruett, Margaret w/o J.W. 1841-1901
Sanders, Minerva . 1819-1898
Sanders, Sherwood (sic) W. h/o M.A. 1812-1875

There are about 25 stones with no inscriptions. Charles Hubert and his wife, Marie, visited this cemetery last year and made pictures and a video. It was clean and three sections had fences and well maintained graves. Flowers were placed on some of these graves. There was a forest of trees and underbrush surrounding it. The unfenced part was open to cattle although we did not see any there at the time. Considering most graves are about 100 years old it is in good condition. Willard Leroy Cone of Minerva, also a great-grandson, has devoted many years of his life to caring for the Minerva Cemeteries. Also several members of the community have helped with this project. It is good to know there are those out there who do remember and still care.


7 Milam Skeletons Among 32 Found in Civil War Burial

Skeletons of seven Milan County Confederate soldiers were among the 32 skeletons discovered in a mass burial site June 22, 125 years after a Civil War battle near Glorietta, NM.

Names of those mustered from Milam County as shown by the Confederate rolls were:

Pvt. Joseph Clinchey, 44
Pvt. James R. Stevens, 30
Pvt. Burton R. Stone, 22
Pvt. Joseph G.H. Able, 24
Pvt. J.S.L. Cotton, 20
Pvt. E.R. Slaughter, 26
Pvt. W.M. Straughn, 17

The Museum of New Mexico excavated the mass grave. It is believed the Battle of Glorietta Pass ended on March 28, 1862. Tom Livesay, director of the Museum of New Mexico, told The San Antonio Express-News that there is no question the remains are those of Confederate soldiers from the Texas Volunteer Cavalry and the battle was one of the most important of the Civil War. Historical accounts show the battle occurred about 18 miles southeast of Santa Fe, NM.

Discovery of the mass grave came after a backhoe, digging for a house foundation, dug up a skull. Authorities brought in a team of anthropologists from the New Mexico Museum. Reports say the dead were stacked for burial, nine men laid shoulder to shoulder and then another row placed with the heads at the feet of those in the first tier, with arms founded across chests.

Few artifacts were found since uniforms had long since turned to dust. Only the soles of books survived after 125 years along with some buttons, belt buckles, 58 caliber mini balls (thought to be cause of the deaths), a few corroded silver dollars, the bowl of a pipe and the remnants of a comb in the gravesite.

At the time of this article, it had not been decided what to do with the remains as New Mexico wanted to declare this a national historical site, keeping the bodies. Gov. Bill Clements had tentatively approved a plan to have the remains moved to a cemetery in Austin with 1,500 other Civil War veterans.

Bruce Holliman of San Antonio provided the information for this article to W. H. Cooke from The San Antonio Express-News.


One of the most important records available to family historians for establishing birth of an ancestor is baptismal records. It was common for the 兎stablished, or 登fficial state church of the various countries of Europe to maintain such registers.

Churches which were not the established church of a country were referred to as dissident churches. Dissident churches seldom maintained registers of baptism, due to the likelihood of being persecuted for not adhering to the dictates of the established church.

On 24 May 1526, Ulrich Zwingli, an important Swiss protestant reform leader, urged the governing council of Zurich, in present day, Switzerland, to begin keeping a register of baptisms. He was upset because many parents were not having their children baptized.

In Sept. 1538, Henry VIII of England, issued an order requiring every parish priest of the Church of England to maintain a register of all christenings, marriages and burials occurring in their parish.

As a result of the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church began its record keeping in Nov. 1563.

The colony of Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn in 1681. While Penn set his colony up as a Quaker colony, his was the only colony in America that allowed religious freedom. In fact, he actively recruited settlers of all faiths to settle there. He was, particularly, active in his recruitment in Germany and Switzerland where the Protestantism was most energetic.

Among the worthwhile groups of records to be found in Pennsylvania are the baptismal registers of the German and Swedish Lutheran Churches, the German and Dutch Reformed Churches and the Church of England. Each of these churches was the established or official state church in its country of origin.

Churches that were denied official status in Europe did not choose to maintain registers in early Pennsylvania or in other American colonies. Among these denominations are the Presbyterians, Mennonites, Dunkards, Amish and the English Baptists. It was only after feeling safe from persecution, if at all, that these dissident churches began keeping records of baptisms.

FYI - LOUISIANA GENEALOGY RESOURCE: If you have an interest in Louisiana research, there is a free bi-monthly newspaper called Louisiana Roots. To subscribe: write: Subscription Dept., P. O. Box 383, Marksville, LA 71351.

ROCKDALE FAMILY HISTORY CENTER: The hours are published each week in the Rockdale Reporter so check if you plan to visit as sometimes they change due to holidays, etc. At present, they are open on Wednesday by appointment, Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is best to call and make a reservation: 512/446-6371.

MCGS BOOKS FOR SALE: The new printing of our book, Some Central Texas Obituaries has arrived and they are available for purchase at $57.50 and it contains over 4,000 obituaries.

MCGS WEBSITE: Rusty Thomas reports the new Internet location of the MCGS website is at < http:www.aisi.net/GenWeb/MilamCo/mcgs.htm > [NOTE: THIS URL WAS DISCONTINUED IN 2000 - the new URL is: < http://www.geocities.com/milamco/ >]

Our Society appreciates having Rusty in our midst. We are very fortunate to have someone so 田omputer literate who is able and willing to help the Society as we are trying to grow. Over 500 people have visited our webpage. They came to read about us, see what books we have published, read the queries and leave one themselves. We have numerous persons who have joined our Society with the application we have there for membership. Thank you Rusty.

If you do not have a computer and want to see our webpage, The Lucy Hill Patterson Library has a computer and is on the Internet. They will show you how to access this page if you do not know how. While we are on the subject of the Library computer - this computer is for anyone in the community who would like to use it. This is free! You may have to make an appointment to use it when things are busy but many times I walk in and no one is there. The ladies working there are very helpful and kind - even to me when one day I successfully 斗ock-up the printer! There is a wealth of information out there just waiting for someone to find it ....

DEADLINE: The July/August edition of The Legacy will be mailed about Aug. 1st. If you would like to contribute a page, we would be happy to accept. A history of your community? All contributions are welcome.

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Created on 15 Nov 2003 and last revised on _______.