History of Rockett -Ellis County, Texas
Prepared By: Marie Spain
Submited By: Shirley Jackson Graves
Rockett is located eight miles northeast of Waxahachie on Farm Road 813. Rockett is one of the oldest settlements in Ellis County, having been settled in 1846 by Hans Smith and his family. They came from Missouri where Hans Smith had been a Legislator. They settled on Red Oak Creek about two miles southeast of present day Rockett. He soon opened a small store of groceries and dry goods. Among other communities that had been settled in Ellis county at this time, were: Howe, Reagor Springs, Ovilla, and Sardis.
Hans Smith brought cotton seed along with him when he came to the area and he planted it on the rich soil along Red Oak Creek. That was the first cotton seed in Ellis County.
Among the other families who soon came to the area were: Thomas Andrews in 1859, John Rockett (who settled between Rockett and Red Oak) in 1852, Robert Russell Graves in 1852, the Gibbons family, the Sullivan family, and the Bell family.
Rockett was first called Liberty. When John Rockett opened a store, the name was changed to Rockett in about 1894. The early school was called Liberty school. The early school building stood in Rockett. That building was used through about 1916, or later. Then a two-story brick building was constructed. That building was destroyed by fire and a replacement building that was constructed on that site still stands. School was discontinued in Rockett in the mid 1940's.
Early churches in the area began by meetings in the homes. Rockett Christian Church stems from such meetings that began in 1853. In 1858, a crude building with measurements of twenty-six feet by forty feet was constructed in what is now Rockett. The Rocket Christian Church building, that stands today, was constructed in 1900-1901. This building has a historical marker. Today in 1994, this is still an active church. There is also a- Baptist Church that was constructed and organized in recent years at Rockett. It is located one mile northeast of Rockett on Farm Road 983.
In September 1861, Texas Cavalry Regiment #12 was organized at Rockett springs. W. H. Parsons was elected as Colonel, Jno. Mullens was elected as Lt. Colonel, and Emory W. Rogers (the founder of Waxahachie) was elected as Major. Three companies - E, F, H were formed. Part of the regiment bivouacked at Rockett springs during the following winter -known as Parson's Brigade. companies from this regiment were active in the War Between the States. Rockett springs is located two miles north from Rockett on the Red Oak road. The water from the spring had been in use for the area from early on. It is located on the farm of the late Marion T. Rockett. Through the years Rockett Springs was used as a meeting place for picnics and church activities. The spring still flows today.
Rockett had a post-office in the early years. Some of the postmasters in later years were: James Rawlins in 1894, John M. Sullivan in 1895, Walter H. Rice, Laura E. Rogers, and James W. Prude in 1905. The post office was discontinued on January 2, 1907.
There are four cemeteries that were established in the early years near Rockett: the Smith Cemetery in 1852, the Graves Cemetery in 1859 and deeded in 1895, the Bell's Chapel Cemetery in about 1874, and the Andrews Cemetery. All of these were begun for family and friends. The land for each of these cemeteries was given by individuals. Allof these are well-kept today and they are still being used by descendants and related families and friends.
In early years Rockett had three grocery stores, a blacksmith shop, a drug store, a barber shop, a telephone exchange, a cotton gin, and two doctors living in the town. Today, Rockett has only two businesses -the Rockett Cafe and a Grain Elevator.
Rockett is not incorporated but it has several new subdivisions that are bringing new homes to the area.
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