Rockdale, Texas

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Rockdale, Texas
Rockdale City Hall is located off U.S. Highway 79.
Rockdale City Hall is located off U.S. Highway 79.
"Great Things Happen Here"
Location of Rockdale, Texas
Location of Rockdale, Texas
Milam County Rockdale.svg
Coordinates: 30°39′17″N 97°0′27″W / 30.65472°N 97.00750°W / 30.65472; -97.00750Coordinates: 30°39′17″N 97°0′27″W / 30.65472°N 97.00750°W / 30.65472; -97.00750
CountryUnited States
 • Total4.01 sq mi (10.39 km2)
 • Land4.01 sq mi (10.39 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
466 ft (142 m)
 • Total5,595
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,371.29/sq mi (529.42/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)512
FIPS code48-62672[3]
GNIS feature ID1366723[4]
WebsiteCity of Rockdale, Texas
Rockdale welcome sign
The Chamber of Commerce building in Rockdale
International-Great Northern Railroad Passenger Depot -- Rockdale, Texas
U.S. 79 is the main street of Rockdale.
Rockdale Police Department; Chief Thomas Harris (2011)
Kay Theater in Rockdale,Texas
First Baptist Church of Rockdale; pastor Jack Chelf, Jr. (2011)

Rockdale is a city in Milam County, Texas, United States. Its population was 5,851 at the 2010 census. It is about 41 miles west of College Station.


In 1873, the town developed as the International-Great Northern Railroad came through the area. Rockdale was named for a nearby rock that stood 12 feet high and had a circumference of 20 feet. Rockdale was incorporated in 1878.[5]


Rockdale is located at 30°39′17″N 97°0′27″W / 30.65472°N 97.00750°W / 30.65472; -97.00750 (30.654674, -97.007439).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all land.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification, Rockdale has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)5,503[2]−1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[3] of 2017, 5,605people, 2,088 households, and 1,395 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,343.3 people per square mile (670.9/km2). The 2,379 housing units averaged 759.2 per square mile (293.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.69% White, 14.29% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 12.23% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 21.93% of the population.

Of the 2,077 households, 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were not families. About 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55, and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city, the age distribution was 28.5% under 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,612, and for a family was $39,491. Males had a median income of $30,758 versus $20,692 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,618. About 13.2% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


Rockdale was the site of a large Alcoa aluminium smelting facility, which could produce 1.67 million pounds of aluminum per day.[9] The Alcoa plant profoundly changed the city, as noted in a Saturday Evening Post article by Rockdale native George Sessions Perry. Within a few years of its arrival in 1952, Rockdale almost doubled in population, changing in character from a predominantly agricultural economy to one heavily driven by manufacturing jobs.[citation needed] Smelting operations were halted at the Alcoa plant in 2008.[10] The Alcoa plant closed in February 2014 when production at the atomizer ceased.[11]

Rockdale is also the site of the Sandow Power Plant.[12] The power facility was scheduled to close in early 2018, which will cost 450 jobs including the Three Oak Mine.[13]


The City of Rockdale is served by the Rockdale Independent School District.


Notable people[edit]

Author George Sessions Perry was born in Rockdale on May 5, 1910, and lived much of his life there.

Mary Sue Whipp Hubbard, the third wife of L. Ron Hubbard, was a Rockdale native.

Dan Kubiak, a native of Falls County, was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1969 to 1983 and again from 1991 until his death in 1998. He was a long-term Rockdale resident. Kubiak's younger brother, L. B. Kubiak, is a veterinarian in Austin and a Rockdale resident who from 1983 to 1991 held the same House seat as his brother.[14]

Former NFL linebacker Stan Blinka played for and graduated from Rockdale High School. Blinka was a NAIA All-American at Sam Houston State University.

Former All-Pro NFL linebacker Lee Roy Caffey, who played on the legendary Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s, was born in Thorndale and retired in Rockdale after his professional career.

Liz Galloway McQuitter was born in Rockdale and competed as a women's basketball player at the high-school and collegiate levels. She played professional basketball in the Women's Professional Basketball League, which was the first professional women's basketball league in the United States. She held positions as head coach and assistant coach of women's basketball at the high-school and collegiate levels. In April, 2015, she ended her career in athletics, retiring as head coach of the Rockdale High School Lady Tigers.

James Wright (born May 6, 1938) is an American retired professional basketball player. Wright graduated from Aycock High School (Rockdale) in 1956.[15] He played two seasons in the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967–68 and 1968–69, winning the ABA Finals in 1968 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pipers.[16]

Blues guitarist Pee Wee Crayton was born in Rockdale.

Former Texas A&M Director of Football Sports Performance Larry Jackson, who was a member of the Wrecking Crew from 1991 to 1994, is from Rockdale. He now serves as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland Browns.

NASA astronaut Kenneth Cockrell graduated from Rockdale High School in 1968.

Le'Raven Clark is an American football offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He played college football at Texas Tech, and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. He played for the Colts until 2021, when he signed a four-year contract with the Eagles.

Former track and field athlete Gordon McKee competed for Rockdale High School, graduating in 1985. As an elite long jumper, he was 1990 USA Indoor Track and Field national champion. Track & Field News magazine ranked McKee 9th in the world in 1990 and again in 1992.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "Rockdale, Tx". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "Rockdale, Texas Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Alcoa -- United States". Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  10. ^ "Alcoa stops aluminum production at Texas smelter". Reuters. September 30, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  11. ^ "Rockdale Operations atomizer now closed". March 20, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  12. ^ "Sandow Power Plant". Luminant. 13 May 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "Texas' largest power generator speeds up coal's decline with closure of two more plants". 13 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Daniel Kubiak". Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  15. ^ Brown, Mike (2007). "Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor". Rockdale Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  16. ^ "1967–68 Pittsburgh Pipers Roster and Statistics". 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2010.

External links[edit]