Doris Cullins
“Doris Crawford Cullins was born into a pioneer Rockwall County family, graduated from Rockwall High School, and received her bachelor of science and master of education degrees from East Texas State University. Doris Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary School was named in her honor. She began teaching in 1943 and served more than 20 years in the classroom. She was the first principal of three Rockwall ISD campuses: Rockwall Intermediate School, Amanda Rochell Elementary School, and Virginia Reinhardt Elementary School. She retired in 1987 after a 42-year career in education. In her retirement, Cullins was very active in philanthropic, educational, and civic organizations. She was part of the “Fate Girls,” a group of Fate natives who took on the task of preserving the history of the Fate community. (Photograph courtesy of Rockwall ISD.)”- Legendary Locals of Rockwall by Sheri Stodghill Fowler. Find this book and more in our museum at 901 E Washington!  Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
South Side of Rockwall Square About 1885
Looks like downtown Rockwall was a busy place back during the 1880s. The Palace Saloon held a prominent location on the square. Are you familiar with what is there now?  Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
Elijah Elgin
“In 1854, pioneer settler Elijah Elgin contracted to purchase 40 acres of land from Watson B. Bowles. The location was prime property on a hill that overlooked the East Fork of the Trinity River, and Elgin platted the original town site of Rockwall on this 40 acres. The plat included a public square and surrounding streets for businesses and homes.”- Legendary Locals of Rockwall by Sheri Stodghill Fowler. Check out this book and much more at our museum at 901 E Washington! Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
James Truitt
“In 1849, James Truitt brought his family from Illinois to Texas. He settled about two miles north of what is now the city of Rockwall. The Truitt family established the first cotton gin in the area in 1866. Truitt was a lieutenant in the Confederate army and fought in the Texas army against Mexico. He and his wife, Celia Ann, gave one acre for a school that was called Locust Grove. (Photograph courtesy of the Truitt-Willess family.)” -Legendary Locals of Rockwall by Sheri Stodghill Fowler. See this book and more at our museum at 901 E Washington!
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.

The T. W. Bailey family moved to Rockwall County in the 1880s and became associated with the development of early Rockwall. Mr. Bailey owned a hardware store and later built the Bailey Hotel in 1887, to provide train travelers a place to spend the night. That hotel burned in 1903. He also served as a Justice of the Peace and County Tax Assessor for four years. Mr. Bailey was a stock holder in the Rockwall Light, Ice and Gin Company and actively engaged in management of the company until his health failed. His sons followed in his footsteps. Scott became a pharmacist, owned Bailey Drug Store and served as Mayor of Rockwall. Perry had a garage, the Ford Agency and served in WWI. John Titus Bailey, known as “Tite” to family and friends, worked in the banking business for more than twenty years, serving as cashier for the Citizens National Bank, later called Farmers National Bank.
Tite married Rockwall native, Lucy Estelle Curry in 1906. She was a graduate of Wells College and worked as a telephone operator before their marriage. Years later, she became the first woman to serve as County Clerk in Rockwall County, a position she held for eight years. Tite and Lucy had their home at 301 N Goliad built in 1909. Their four daughters were born in this home. From a family history published in the Brown History Book: Tite and Lucy had many friends they loved but home and family were most important to their lives.” Tite died April 30, 1919 but Lucy lived to almost 103 years of age dying on September 8, 1982.
It is a fitting tribute to the Bailey family legacy that the home was donated to the Foundation for preservation through relocation. Come see us at 901 E. Washington!
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.

Fannie Truitt Hays: Aunt Fannie is the first recorded birth in Rockwall County. Aunt Fannie Hays was born on the same piece of property where she lived until her death at the age of 103. The property was owned by her father James Truitt. He owned much of the land north of Rockwall which was either passed to or bought by some of his children. The property where Fannie’s house stood now has a public school on it. I think Fannie’s father would appreciate this as he had donated property for a community school many years earlier. Locust Grove School ,where most of my siblings attended school, was erected on the site he donated.
Birth: Apr. 11, 1873
Rockwall County
Death: Oct. 22, 1976
Rockwall County
Original post By Janice Willess Johnson on Willess Family site. 
This drawing was done by Ruby Laverne Willess Wampler, daughter of Benjamin Wayne (Ike) Willess. Fannie was the youngest sister of Amanda Lucinda Truitt Willess, Benjamin’s mother. – Jan Johnson
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
“Born in 1830 in Kentucky, Terry Utley Wade became one of the original pioneer settlers in what would one day be Rockwall County when he established a farmstead in the area in 1852. In need of a well, Wade and two neighbors began digging in the dense blackland soil and soon struck a hard surface that resembled stacked rocks. The men noted their discovery of this unusual “rock wall” and continued to dig to the full depth of the well, utilizing the rock wall as one side of the finished structure. This was the first documented discovery of the rock wall. Two years later, in 1854, when local leaders were looking for a name for their new city, Wade suggested Rockwall. In 1873, when a new county was formed, the name Rockwall was again utilized as tribute to the unusual underground formation.” – from Legendary Locals of Rockwall by Sheri Stodghill Fowler. Come find this book and much more at our museum at 901 E Washington. 
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
The “Old Red Brick School” was a 3 story structure on Fannin St. Rockwall passed a bond in 1908 for $25,000. to build this structure. It stood near the site of our current City Hall. Clipping shared by Rosemary Crawford Miller in Pioneers of Dallas County. Photo appeared in “Blue Ribbon News”. No details mentioned since photo was part of a contest about Rockwall history. (Pictured: Helen Anderson, Opal Jackson Willess, and Ebbie Andrews)
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
Watson B. Bowles
“An original pioneer to the area, Watson Bowles moved to what is now Rockwall in 1847 and remained until his death in 1874. In 1852, he purchased 160 acres of land from Benjamin Boydstun. In 1854, he sold 40 acres of that land to Elijah Elgin, who platted Rockwall’s original town site. As a result, Benjamin Boydstun, Watson Bowles, and Elijah Elgin share the distinction of being the city founders. Bowles was very active in the affairs of the community and became partners with John O. Heath in the first full-sized corn-grinding mill in Rockwall. This significantly improved travel for farmers, as the next nearest full-service corn mill was near the Red River—a week’s round trip. Bowles is also known for donating a portion of the land for the Rockwall cemetery with the understanding that no charges would ever be made for any grave lots.”- from Legendary Locals of Rockwall by Sheri Stodghill Fowler. Come see this book and much more at our museum 901 E Washington.
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
Date unknown, but check out the Ford Model T Coupe and the kerosene lamps on either side of the windshield. The headlights were gas operated, too!
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
Downtown Rockwall 1908
Note: First Baptist Church on right next to Wells College.
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
The Hartman windmill began its working life in 1866, pumping water from a well at a cotton gin near the corner of Hartman and Renfro streets. James Hartman and son Augustus ran the mill after their family moved from Tennessee to the Rockwall area following the end of the Civil War….
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
William Lawhorn Home
William Lawson Lawhorn was born June 5, 1844 in Scott County, Mississippi. The son of Noah Lawhorn and Harriet (Slay) Lawhorn married Martha Kara (Mat) Smith on December 12, 1866 in a double wedding ceremony with her sister Elizabeth. She was only seventeen years old.
Bill Lawson Lawhorn was converted and made a profession of faith in Atlanta, Georgia in 1864 while serving his country (Civil War) under the leadership of Robert E. Lee. A band of soldiers was singing “Pass Me Not 0 Gentle Savior!” This tells us he was away from his home and family.
When Bill returned home in 1865 to Old Beach, Mississippi, he was baptized into the fellowship of the Baptist church. To this faith and fellowship his entire family served until death. The history of the family and its connections has been traced through the American lineage to some of the first families of Texas. Records show the ancestors of some go back to ancient times, to England in 1656.
Among the first families to migrate to Texas from Hillsboro, Mississippi by wagon train, the Lawhorns traveled with in-laws, relatives and close friends. There were many stops on the long journey. Sickness and other hardships caused some of the families to leave the wagon train and settle in different environs before reaching their Texas destination.
Among those who endured the trials and hardships were William Lawson and Martha Kara Lawhorn and their first six children, which were all born in Old Beach, Scott County, Mississippi. The children were Aubrey Elizabeth, Dona Inez, Martha Adelaide, William Henry, Noah Fields, and Thomas Lawson.
Their first stop in Texas was on November 5, 1877 when they registered at the old Excelsior House in Jefferson. Their first settlement was on Duck Creek, now Garland, on January 1, 1880. They did not stay there very long but moved to Rockwall County where they built their home five and one-half miles southeast of the town site, using lumber hauled by ox teams from Jefferson and Marshall, Texas. This beautiful two-story farm home was the gathering place for family and friends. The house still stands as a landmark. William Lawson and Martha Kara reared their family here. Three of their children, Oliver, Allen and Frankie, were born in the house. The daughters were married here and the first Lawhorn grandson was born here.
Down on the corner of the farm, land was set aside for a community cemetery, known today as the Lawhorn Cemetery. It’s still in fair shape and the family hopes to receive an historical marker. As you walk among the grave markers today, you can read family names of many pioneers: Haskins, Green, Webb, Sims, Keahey, Coats, Arthur, Hanley, Floyd, Horn, and others. Anniece Lawhorn
Taken from Jennifer Drakes’ Facebook post.
Archibald Register Hartman, like his brother, J. A. Hartman came to Texas as a Confederate veteran. However, his war record, on several occasions, was a source of embarrassment to his family. During the Civil War, he had served the Confederacy as a spy. Schoolmasters having been in short supply, he had moved behind enemy lines, from one rural community to another, to report troop movements and gather other important information.  A few months before the War ended, Archie was drafted into the Union Army, from which he shortly received an honorable discharge!  This Union service record was made available to “Carpetbaggers,” who were seek-ing state and federal offices in Texas. They appealed to A.R. Hartman for his protection and the endorsement of their candidacies! He had sought to establish himself as a farmer and a teacher, and the people had elected him county judge. In fact, he was the first county judge to serve in the sandstone courthouse, which was razed in 1940. Some skeptics never quite forgave him for his so-called “Yankee Friends.”
Archibald Register Hartman was born in Washington County, Tennessee, May 8, 1839, and died in Rockwall March 19, 1917. He married Margaret A. Fender (1839-1930). They bought a farm east of Rockwall, adjacent to what is now the airport. They built the barn first and lived in there while the two-story house was being constructed. This took a long time because Archie left the family several times to teach in Kaufman. Alice Hartman (Underwood) liked to tell that she, like Jesus, was “born in a barn.”  Other children were Margaret (Maggie Lawson), Emma (Maxwell), Theophilus, and Horace. Archie taught in the first school in Rockwall. It was a private school and classes were held in the Masonic Lodge, of which Archie was a member. He was usually addressed as either “Professor” or “Judge” Hartman.
Mr. and Mrs. A.R. Hartman had five children. Alice, Emma, Margaret (Maggie), Theophilus, and Horace. Alice (1870-1933) married Jim L. Underwood (1864-1951), who became the first chief of Rockwall’s Volunteer Fire Department. Jim and Alice Underwood had ten children, three of whom died as toddlers. Of the others there were two daughters, Margaret and Florence; and five sons, James L. Jr., Archie, Fred, John, and Tom. Only James L. , affectionately known as “Goose,” made the city of Rockwall his home for life. Probably no other citizen was more beloved or honored than he.
Emma married a Mr. Maxwell, who was a widower with three children. One of these three, Ida, grew up to marry Wallace Hartman, her stepmother’s first cousin. Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell had two daughters of their own, Emma, and Ruth. Maggie “ran off” with a hired hand. This disgraceful conduct resulted in a happy marriage of lifetime duration. Mr. Lawson became a successful contractor and builder in Dallas. A list of their children is unavailable at this time. Theophilus (1863-1899) was killed at the age of 36 by an explosion of a “gasometer,” which his brother, Horace, had just assembled. He left a widow, Cynthis Evalina Chambers Hartman, and three children: William, age 9; Florence, age 6; and Alfred Donoho, age 4 months. Of these three children, Will spent most of his life in Pennsylvania; Florence married a Mr. Townsend and lived in Rockwall; Alfred continued to live in Rockwall.
Horace and his wife, Annie (Reeves), married on the home place where they reared one son, Reeves. Probably the first tennis court in the county was that of Reeves Hartman. For many years Horace operated a gristmill on the farm. People from all over the county brought him their corn to grind. At the time of this writing, only two of the many great-grandchildren of Archibald Register Hartman reside in Rockwall. They are Alice Blakemore Townsend, and Mildred Townsend King.
By Mildred Townsend King. Photo: Will Hartman, A. R. Hartman, Annie & Horace Hartman, Mrs. A. R. Hartman and Florence Hartman at home east of Rockwall.
Info from Jim Foster on Pioneers of Dallas County