"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


September - October 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

OCTOBER MEETING: We will have our regular meeting on Oct. 2nd at the NBC Bank Community Room at 7 p.m. We will finalize plans for the yearly dinner on Oct. 9th. After a short business meeting the final dinner arrangements will be discussed.

OCTOBER 9TH: Our annual combined Milam & Lee County Dinner will be held at the Patterson Civic Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. This usually means we will dine around 7 p.m. This meal is catered by Poor Boy痴 and reservations will have to be made by Oct. 2nd. Tickets are $7.50 each. Dinner will be steak and tickets can be purchased at the Library or through members until Oct. 2nd. Our speaker will be local teacher/historian, Mark Brady. Ask your friends to come along with you and enjoy a good meal and program. Lets have a good turn out! It is a good 堵et together for these two counties who share much of their history.

SEPTEMBER MEETING: Vice-President, Bill McDaniel presided. Visitors Mr. & Mrs. Lee Cone of Rockdale. Various reports were given concerning the meeting announcements in the Cameron paper, donations of the Williamson County History and some Alabama Quarterlies to the Library. Additional family sheets have been added to the vertical files. These files will become more important to research in months to come as those with whom we have had correspondence with have been asked for their pedigree and family sheets. There was a brief discussion on just how much information we should give on the e-mail queries without a charge. It was agreed that for any time consuming and in depth research the individual should be notified it would require some expense on their part. Sandra Walker was complimented on the great work she has done in filling in as Research Chairman. Sandra lives in Austin and has access to research facilities that we do not have here in Rockdale. Gloria asked the Society to join the Federated Genealogical Society. Dues are $25 per year and we will receive their Forum Quarterly. Motion was made and carried. A video 擢ederal Land Records and National Archives Maps was shown, the last half to be viewed at a later time. Harrison Lanham has been asked to be our speaker for the Nov. 6th meeting.

DEATH: Mike Basham of the Dallas Genealogical Society and leader of the TXGenWeb project died Monday, Sept. 15th during a game of tennis. He will be missed by those who worked with him on the project as well as the many others who knew him. Mike was a native of Johnson County.

NEW HERITAGE SOCIETY: Interested in the Civil War has never been greater. The Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865, is a new heritage society and are inviting women who are lineal descendants of a Union veteran to join. For information, write:

DUVC Membership
2025 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 525
Washington, DC 20006

All records will be kept by the National Headquarters and free Public Civil War Museum in Springfield, IL.

ARE YOU RELATED TO A PRESIDENT?: Statistically, if you have an ancestor in the United States prior to 1700, you are probably related to one or more American Presidents, says Lloyd Bockstruck author of 擢amily Tree published in the Dallas Morning News. He recently wrote about author Gary Boyd Roberts, whose latest book, Ancestors of American Presidents. In the article he says the book is much more than a treasure trove of genealogical trivia. The book discusses, at length, patterns in presidential ancestries that reflect American social history. For each president born in the 18th Century, Mr. Roberts seeks to identify all the ancestors for seven generations, eight for those in the 19th Century and nine for those in the 20th Century.

Our presidents are rather closely connected genealogically. Seven descend from passengers on the Mayflower: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Collidge, Millard Fillmore and Will Howard Taft are descended from Henry Squire. Abraham Lincoln, Gerald Ford and George Bush are cousins. So are Richard Nixon and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, both descend from William Swift of Sandwich, MA. Jimmy Carter is a cousin to both Harrisons.

Agnes (Yoemans) Wheeler may fittingly be styled the mother of presidents because she is the only American female who has had four descendants elected to the office. They are: James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford and George Bush.

Mr. Bush is related, though distantly, to approximately half of the Americans whose government he headed as well as to 14 other presidents. Also 16 of our presidents and 14 of our first ladies are descended from European royalty.

QUERY: Helen Hull, P. O. Box 275, 3695 Clinton St., Interlaken, NY 14847 - e-mail: < phull@epix.net > - Information is being sought on the Knodle Family of 1911. The names of the sisters of Mary M. Hull are being sought. She received a letter in March 1911 from O. I. Kidd, attorney (could be O. L.) who was handling the Estate of W. D. Knodle for the First National Bank of Cameron. Mary was to receive one-fifth of the estate, sharing with her four sisters. Mary was an orphan when adopted by Thomas Lewis of Tioga Co., NY. She was born in Brooklyn, Susquehanna Co., PA of German immigrants. Mary was my husband痴 grandmother and would like to know more about her sisters and parents. Do you have any way of finding the names of her sisters, who also received money from this estate and who was W. D. Knodle?

QUERY: Phyllida Clayton Bailey - e-mail: < 48500@classic.msn.com > - Grandfather was William Christopher Clayton and grandmother was Ella Keen who were early Milam Co. settlers who later moved to Brownwood. She has documented from him to g-grandfather, George Washington Clayton and g-g-grandfather Jessie Clayton all the way back to Tennessee where he was lost. She has located a Jesse Clayton, Charles Clayton Jr., Charles Clayton Sr. and an older William Clayton in Guilford Co., NC and reappear in Tennessee. Thought maybe some Claytons might still be around that might throw some light on this mystery. She has much information from genealogist, Budd Keen, 5305 30th St., Lubbock, Texas 79407 about the Keen and McKnight families of Rockdale. She thought someone might be interested in contact him. Her g-aunt, Daisy Keen Franklin lived in Rockdale. Will come to Rockdale to visit the gravesites of Levi Compton Keen someday.

QUERY: Darrell Spaulding - e-mail: < drspldng@flash.net > - Looking for information on the Spaulding Family of Milam County. My relatives lived in Milam County from 1878 to 1930s. William Tecumseh Spaulding m. Lola Belle Westbrook in 1907.

QUERY: Sally Roberts - e-mail: < robertsl@brightok.net > - Searching for information on Nathan S. Buckley who is found on 1880 Milam County Census. He was a brother of my grandfather, Joseph Elijah Buckley. They came from Mississippi to Texas.

QUERY: Leonard B. Cloud - e-mail: < CLOUDSRT@aol.com > - He is interested in a gravesite for a Cloud family ancestor located in a pasture near where Marie & Charles Hubert live in Milano. Leonard grew in the Sharp community, around Cameron and Calvert and knows about Milam Co. He is interested in the Goodnight and Westbrook families for his wife.

QUERY: Jim Brown, 901 Oakwood Ave., Hurst, Texas 76053 - Seeking information on the Brown Cemetery located just west of Rockdale on the north-side of a secondary road off Highway 79. According to his map, it is about half-way between Rockdale and the Alcoa turn-off). The secondary road is running almost parallel with Highway 79 but ス-mile apart at that point. Hickory Grove Cemetery is also shown nearby. His grandfather, William H. Brown died ca. 1864-65 and was buried in the Rockdale area. They have never been able to find his grave. His first wife, Elizabeth Coleman Brown died 1856 and may also be there.



Historical Marker for Bushdale
by Charles Hubert

Dedication of a Texas Historical Marker for the Bushdale community has been scheduled for 10 a.m., Oct. 4th at the Bushdale Cemetery located on FM 908, approx. 4.5 miles north of Rockdale.

Bushdale was established in the early 1870s and is said to have been named for the valleys and woods characteristic of the area. Early settlers were mostly of German origin, many of whom had come to Texas in the 1840s and 1850s and first settled in Austin, Colorado, Fayette and Washington Counties.

Some of the first surnames of the early pioneers who settled in the Bushdale area are Backhaus, Bauer, Brockensbush, Broeckl, Dockall, Dornhoefer, Doss, Druschke, Foehner, Gruttner, Henniger, Hirt, Leschikar, Loehr, Ludwig, Mayer, Menn, Nieschwitz, Pieper, Seelke, Seidel, Stolte, Stor, Strelsky, Strube, Timmerman, Vogel, Von Gonten, Voss, Wanoreck, Wenzel & Withowski.

It should be noted that some of the names reflect Czech, Swiss and Polish ancestry. It is known that at least one of these families came from Czechoslovakia but arrived via a German immigrant ship hence settled with their fellow travelers. It is reasonable to assume that this was not an uncommon occurrence with other nationalities during the great Western European migration of the mid-1800s.

Bushdale was a thriving agricultural community by 1900. A cemetery was established in the late 1870s, a schoolhouse erected in 1879 and Peace Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. Immanuel Glatzel on June 24, 1884. The community continued to grow into a small village with a grocery store operated by Johnnie Brockenbush and a cotton gin and blacksmith shop owned by Henry Gustav Backhaus.

Community life centered around a large 2-story hall of Hermann Sons Lodge No. 61 where community picnics, holiday celebrations and dances were held with plenty of barbecue and barrels of beer. Often, the local brass band, under the direction of August Seidle, Sr., would begin in Rockdale and continue to the hall for a dance. The May Fest, July 4th, October Fest and Christmas were the big celebrations. A local men痴 signing group and the Farmer痴 Union held meetings at the hall. In 1894, a Society of Froshin was organized.

Bushdale has had many interesting, respected and well-known citizens of Milam County. Not one of the least of these being Col. Herman Henniger. Colonel Henniger was a farmer and philanthropist that gave the 7-acres of land for the first Lutheran Church in the community. His enduring fame however comes from the life size statute of him in Federal Army uniform with the inscription recording he was a 斗ate member of Co. B of the 12th Regiment of Illinois Calvary. [NOTE: According to an article in the Milam County Historical Commission Newsletter dated, Dec. 2001, vol. no. 4, - ... in 1974 the Historical Statue on Herman Henniger's grave was demolished.脳

[NOTE: A search of the IL State Archives Civil War Veteran Database resulted in the following information: HENNIGER, HERMAN - Recruit & Private - B 12 IL US CAV]

As a young boy attending the Bushdale School, located just across the little gravel road from the cemetery, this author remembers being impressed with that great statue standing some 12 to 15-feet above the surrounding stones and looking out across the pleasant countryside. I was sorely grieved when told this historic landmark has been the victim of vandalism. We often read and hear of these crimes but it is difficult to believe there are those who would commit such mindless, insane and profane acts as to mutilate any gravestone. There is someone out there that must carry an extra burden of shame for the rest of their lives as this stone was of special and historical significance to the community.

Mrs. Velmalen Von Gonten Williams of the Bushdald Cemetery Association said the vandals pulled Colonel Henniger痴 statute from its base, breaking off the head, sword, are and one leg. In the aftermath of the investigation, both the head and sword disappeared. To repair the damage of this crime will require approx. $15,000.

Another interesting citizen of this community was August Seidle, Jr. who was disabled by paralysis from the age of five. He was interested and active in all community affairs and was a local election manager for over 50-years. He was a school trustee and an officer of the Bushdale Cemetery Association for many years.

With the passing of years, the Bushdale of yesterday is no more. Gone are the symbols of those active and exciting days. With the coming of improved transportation, communication and the decline of the agricultural economy which generated and sustained the little town, it began to die. Slowly the community of interest moved to the larger city of Rockdale, Gradually, the need for a grocery store, cotton gin and other places of commerce were met in the larger town. The Lutheran Church moved to Rockdale after the turn of the century and the decline was essentially completed by 1949 when the Bushdale school consolidated with the Rockdale Independent School District.

An invitation is extended to all those interested in Milam County history to attend the dedication of the Texas Historical Marker on Oct. 4th, according to Joy Graham, Milam County Historical Society spokesperson said, 典his is our effort to preserve the past and leave an enduring marker to remind those of the efforts of our forefathers who paved the path for us to follow, often at great sacrifice.

For information on the Bushdale Cemetery Association contact Mrs. Williams at Rt. 3, Box 101, Yoakum, Texas 77995.



Milam County history ended with the victory of the Texans in 1836 in the last newsletter. It is possible to get by inter-library loan, duplicates of books from the Texas State Library in Austin through your local library. Since most libraries will not lend genealogical books by inter-library loan, this is a very helpful source. A borrower of the duplicate books do not have to be a resident of Texas.

Three very helpful books for the researcher of early Milam County records available from the Texas State Library on inter-library loan are:

Milam County Texas Records, Vol. 1 & 2 (call number 976.4/M589)
First Census of Texas, 1829-1836 (call number 976.4/T219s)
Index to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in Texas (no call number given)

There is also a book available, Texas County Records by Michael Heskett, Local Records Division of the Texas State Library which is a guide to the holdings of the local records division of the Texas State Library of County Records on Microfilm. These records are stored in selected college libraries around the state. Milam County records are stored at the Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M University at College Station. These microfilm records are available by inter-library loan or may be purchased.

Researchers of early Texas should look for the following two books:

Character Certificates in the General Land Office of Texas by Gifford White. This book is assembled from the local land office records after Texas gained independence from Mexico. These certificates are now in the General Land Office in Austin. They established the identities of early immigrants to Texas, fix their date and place of settlement and shed light on their origins and their families. Around 5,000 early Texas settlers are included in the 266 indexed pages of this book, originally published in 1985 and re-printed in 1996.

Republic of Texas Poll Lists for 1846 by Marion Day Mullins. This book lists the names and counties of residence of approximately 18,000 Texas taxpayers. Texas became the 36t state in Dec. 1845. There were 67 county governments organized and functioning at that time but no official census was taken until 1850. The 1846 poll list was compiled from the original tax rolls in the Texas State Archives, arranged in alphabetically order and is the nearest thing available to a census of the period. The book is 189 pages and was originally published in 1974 and re-printed in 1995.



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