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.
Motto(s): "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
Country United States
State Texas
County Milam
 • Total 3.1 sq mi (8.1 km2)
 • Land 3.1 sq mi (8.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 466 ft (142 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 5,439
 • Density 1,735.8/sq mi (670.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 76567
Area code(s) 512
FIPS code 48-62672[1]
GNIS feature ID 1366723[2]
Website City of Rockdale, Texas
Rockdale welcome sign
The Chamber of Commerce building in Rockdale
U.S. 79 is the main street of Rockdale.
Rockdale Police Department; Chief Thomas Harris (2011)
First Baptist Church of Rockdale; pastor Jack Chelf, Jr. (2011)

Rockdale is a city in Milam County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,851 at the 2010 census. It is approximately 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.[3]


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).[4]

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 system, Rockdale has a humid subtropical climate, "Cfa" on climate maps.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,185
1890 1,505 27.0%
1900 2,515 67.1%
1910 2,073 −17.6%
1920 2,323 12.1%
1930 2,204 −5.1%
1940 2,136 −3.1%
1950 2,321 8.7%
1960 4,481 93.1%
1970 4,655 3.9%
1980 5,611 20.5%
1990 5,235 −6.7%
2000 5,439 3.9%
2010 5,595 2.9%
Est. 2016 5,628 [6] 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,439 people, 2,077 households, and 1,420 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,735.8 people per square mile (670.9/km²). There were 2,379 housing units at an average density of 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. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.93% of the population.

There were 2,077 households out of which 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 non-families. 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 population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 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 years of age 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 the median income 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.[8] 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.[9] The Alcoa plant closed in February 2014 when production at the atomizer ceased.[10]

Rockdale is also the site of the Sandow Power Plant.[11] The power facility is scheduled to close in early-2018 which will cost 450 jobs including the Three Oak Mine.[12]


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.[13]

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 Rockdale and retired there after his professional career.

Blues guitarist Pee Wee Crayton was born in Rockdale.

Texas A&M Director of Football Sports Performance Larry Jackson, who was a member of the Wrecking Crew from 1991-1994, is from Rockdale.

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


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Rockdale, Tx". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Rockdale, Texas
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ Alcoa - Rockdale
  9. ^ "Alcoa stops aluminum production at Texas smelter". Reuters. September 30, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Rockdale Operations atomizer now closed". March 20, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Sandow Power Plant". Luminant. Retrieved October 15, 2017. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Daniel Kubiak". Retrieved June 7, 2011.