Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992 Page: 160
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A Rock Island Reader
compiled by Elizabeth Schoellmann and Bill Stein
The establishment of Rock Island by a company of land speculators who called themselves the
Rock Island Land and Colony Company generated quite a bit of excitement in nearby Columbus. The
Columbus newspaper, The Colorado Citizen, covered the development of the new town thoroughly, even
going so far as to interrupt its regular, weekly publication schedule andprint a Rock Island Special Edition.
That edition, dated January 20, 1897, was packed with information about the new community and its
earliest residents. Additionally, in its regular editions, the Citizen frequently ran a column entitled "Rock
Island Ripples, " written by a Rock Island resident, which contained both invaluable tidbits of information
on the town's progress and gossipy items about the travels and experiences of its residents. The
contents of the Rock Island Special Edition and, with the gossip removed, of "Rock Island Ripples, "and
other articles and items relating to Rock Island that appeared in the Citizen in 1896 and 1897 have been
reproduced herein. The date of the newspaper in which they appeared is printed to the left of each item.
If the article originally was presented independently with a headling of its own, that heading has been
printed above the text. If the item originally appeared in a column such as "Rock Island Ripples, " "Marie
Dots, "or "Eagle Lake Items, " or in another newspaper such as the Hallettsville Herald or the Rock Island
Journal, the relevant heading has been printed in italics before the text.
March 19, 1896
May 14, 1896
May 28, 1896
December 24, 1896
Eagle Lake Items: W. E. Loesser, one of our energetic druggists, is building a nice
business house in Rock Island, and will soon establish a branch drug store in that
promising young town.
Land and. Lot Sale at Rock Island
Colored posters announce the land and lot sale and big barbecue at Rock
Island, on the S. A. & A. P. railway, in this county, on the 25th, 26th and 27th
of this month. Rock Island is a new town in Colorado county, its first building
having been completed last February, and it now has forty buildings, two good
wells, a new school building and other improvements. The M. K. & T. and the
S. A. & A. P. railways will sell round-trip tickets at one fare, good to May 29th,
and ample accommodations are promised all who may attend this sale.
Eagle Lake Items: The Eagle Lake boys crossed bats with the Rock Island team
Monday. As usual the Eagle Lake boys were victorious.
Under conduct of Mr. F. G. Mahon, our well-posted land and real estate
agent, the proprietor of the Citizen last Thursday visited the embryo city of Rock
Island, situated about twelve miles southwest of Columbus. We haven't been
exactly in that section of the county for thirty-five years, when it was our hunting
ground, and deer, turkeys and other game was abundant. The game, it is
unnecessary to say, has almost wholly disappeared, and in its stead a bustling,
energetic little town marks the progress of that hitherto sparsely settled section
of the county.
The Citizen was somewhat surprised to note the marks of improvement and
progress visible in and around Rock Island. The place was established on the San
Antonio and Aransas Pass railroad last February, midway between (seven miles
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992, periodical, September 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151386/m1/32/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.