Thorndale City Contact Information


Thorndale Police Department Office - 512-898-2822

Milam Co. Sheriff's Office:
Dispatch - 254-697-7033
Toll Free - 877-697-7887

Fire: 512-898-2523

Baylor Scott & White Hospital, Taylor Tx.  512-352-7611
305 Mallard Ln, Taylor, TX 76574
Emergency room: Open 24 hours

City of Thorndale, City Hall: 512-898-2523

Public Works: 512-898-2523


History of Thorndale

THORNDALE, TEXAS. Thorndale is an incorporated  community on U.S. Highway 79 and Farm Road 486, twelve miles west of  Rockdale in southwestern Milam County. It was established in 1878 about  three miles west of its present site, shortly after the  International-Great Northern Railroad was built through the area. A  railroad employee named the town after the region's abundant thorny  vegetation-mesquite thorn, prickly pear, and sagebrush. A post office, a  store, and a hotel opened at Thorndale in the late 1870s. In 1880 the  store was sold and moved east to the present site of the community on  the railroad, and eventually the other businesses moved as well. By 1884  Thorndale had a church, a school, and 130 residents. The local economy  was largely agricultural, and Thorndale served as a shipping and supply  point for area farmers. In 1903 it had a two-teacher school for  sixty-six students, and in 1913 the Thorndale Independent School  District was formed. In 1929, the year in which Thorndale decided to  incorporate, its population was reported as 1,500, but the onset of the Great Depression reduced the number of residents to about 1,000 by 1931, and it had  fallen to 851 by 1952. During the mid-1950s, however, the population  began to grow again, possibly because of the construction of an aluminum  plant at nearby Sandow. For the next three decades the community grew  steadily, and reported 1,338 residents and sixteen businesses in 1988.  In 1990, however, its population fell to 1,092. According to the U.S. Census Report the population was 1,278  in 2000, and 1,336 in 2010.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lelia M. Batte, History of Milam County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956). Milam County Heritage and Preservation Society, Matchless Milam: History of Milam County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984).


Robert Leftwich,  a representative for the Texas Association of Nashville, Tennessee,  obtained a colonization grant from Mexico in 1825 that included the  Milam County area. The grant's boundaries followed the Navasota River,  turned southwest along the San Antonio road to the divide between the  Brazos and the Colorado rivers, then northwest to the Comanche Trail, and east back to the Navasota. Sterling Robertson assumed leadership of the colonization effort in 1827, but in 1830,  because the company had made no progress in settling the area, the  contract was suspended. The following year Stephen F. Austin and his partner, Samuel May Williams,  persuaded the Mexican government to transfer the grant to them. In  1834, with Austin out of favor with the Mexican government, Robertson  regained control of the grant, and actual settlement of the region  began. The colony was known to the Mexican government as the  Municipality of Viesca, but in 1835 the legislative body of the Provisional Government of Texas renamed it the Municipality of Milam, in honor of Benjamin Rush Milam. It was during the first Congress of the Republic of Texas that the municipality came to be called Milam County. At that time the  boundaries of the county were roughly the same as those of the colony  granted to Leftwich, comprising one-sixth of the land area of Texas. In  addition to the present Milam County, the counties of Bell, Bosque,  Burleson, Coryell, Erath, Falls, Hamilton, Hood, Jones, McLennan,  Robertson, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, and Williamson were  eventually carved out of the original Milam County. Brazos, Brown,  Burnet, Callahan, Comanche, Eastland, Haskell, Hill, Johnson, Lampasas,  Lee, Limestone, Mills, Palo Pinto, Parker, Stonewall, Throckmorton, and  Young counties also received land from Milam County. By 1850, with the  exception of a small area between Williamson and Bell counties, Milam  County had been reduced to its present size.

Bibliography: Ann Arthur, "An New Era for Milam County," Texas Historian, March 1972. Lelia M. Batte, History of Milam County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956). Cecil Harper, Jr., Farming Someone Else's  Land: Farm Tenancy in the Texas Brazos River Valley, 1850–1880 (Ph.D.  dissertation, University of North Texas, 1988). Katherine Bradford  Henderson, The Early History of Milam County (M.A. thesis, University of  Texas, 1924). Curtis Henley, "Alcoa's Impact on Milam County," Texas Historian,  September 1974. Margaret Eleanor Lengert, The History of Milam County  (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1949). Morris Zim, "Milam County's  Oil Industry," Texas Historian, January 1975.