Rockdale

Rockdale, Texas

Rockdale, Texas

Rockdale is a city in Milam County, located about 41 miles west of College Station, Texas. Photograph by Jim Evans.

Rockdale is at the intersections of U.S. Highway 79 and Farm roads 908 and 487, thirteen miles south of Cameron in southern Milam County. In 1873 George Green, B. F. Ackerman, and Frank Smith sold 400 acres of land to the International-Great Northern Railroad, which was laying track from Hearne to Austin. A sale of town lots was held on September 3, 1873, and the track was completed to Rockdale in early February 1874. The new town was named by Mrs. B. F. Ackerman for a nearby rock, which was twelve feet high and had a circumference of twenty feet. Rockdale was incorporated in 1878 and established an aldermanic government. The first major railroad town in Milam County, Rockdale quickly developed as a shipping and supply point for area farmers, who produced cotton, wool, vegetables, fruits, grain, hides, and livestock. By 1884 Rockdale had 1,700 residents, five churches, two schools, two steam gristmill-cotton gins, a 250-seat opera house, a private bank, a weekly newspaper, and other assorted businesses. Several coal mines established near Rockdale in the 1890s provided the community with an additional economic boost. In 1891 the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway completed the section of track between Lexington and Cameron, giving Rockdale the benefit of a north-south railroad as well as an east-west one. By 1914 Rockdale was shipping 7,000 railroad cars of lignite coal every week.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

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Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Rockdale is classified as a Town

Locations

  • Latitude
    30.65446610
    Longitude
    -97.00863300

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

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Rockdale by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Rockdale
Pop. Year Source
5,685 2019 Texas Demographic Center
5,595 2010 Texas Demographic Center
5,439 2000 Texas Demographic Center
5,235 1990 Texas Demographic Center
5,611 1980 Texas Demographic Center
4,655 1970 Texas Demographic Center
4,481 1960 Texas Demographic Center
2,321 1950 Texas Demographic Center
2,136 1940 Texas Demographic Center
2,204 1930 Texas Demographic Center
2,323 1920 Texas Demographic Center
2,073 1910 Texas Demographic Center
2,515 1900 Texas Demographic Center
1,505 1890 Texas Demographic Center