Reunion Auction

by Sylvia Caldwell Rankin, Editor/TCFA on March 12, 2017

Each year at our family reunion, we hold a Live & Silent Auction to benefit family cemetery upkeep, promote our DNA projects, sustain our scholarship funds, and for upkeep of the Historic Peter Cauble House.

We’d love to have items for auction!
Crafts, books, antiques, collectibles … or “white elephants”!

Anyone that wants to donate auction items, please make sure that the auctioneer has a good description of the item and if there is a low bid amount, please make sure and include the amount. For more information: Email

Watch our Facebook page for previews of the auction items!

Donations for Cauble House

by Sylvia Caldwell Rankin, Editor/TCFA on May 2, 2015

I hope you have had a chance to look at the pictures of the Cauble House as it was furnished for the Tyler County Historical Tour. Many of the items were on loan but are available for purchase. However, some of you had mentioned you had items you would like to donate to the house.

We could use 2 bedspreads, several quilts, 2 chamber pots, several oil lamps, several chairs, trunk(s), small tables for the bedrooms, items for the fireplace mantels, storage cabinet for the kitchen and some kitchen items.

The white table in the entrance has been given to us and the round table in the kitchen is supposed to be replaced. Helen Hays has bought dolls, doll clothes and beds, a bassinet, chest, 4 china plate setting for the kitchen and several more items.

If you would like to donate anything, please let me know. All donors and their item will be appropriately recognized at the house. If you are planning on attending this year’s reunion, I could get the items from you there and take it to the house.

  I look forward to hearing from you.


Tyler County on Tour

by Sylvia Caldwell Rankin, Editor/TCFA on March 22, 2015

The Tyler County Historical Commission’s “Tyler County on Tour” took place yesterday and as you probably remember, the Peter Cauble House was included in that tour and Ernestine and I served as docents.

Period furnishings

We wanted period furnishing for the house and you authorized me to purchase two iron beds. Time was short and I was unable to find any suitable old beds and purchased two reproductions for $843.60. Later one lady in Woodville donated an old bed and after seeing it I decided to use it and return one of the new beds. After shipping and restocking fee the one bed cost us $632.95. Erlene Ingle of Woodville used items from her three antique shops and home to furnish the rest of the house. When you see the pictures I think you will agree, she did a really nice job.

Now to the tour …

I know most of you are living in a drought area but down here we have had very few days in the last few weeks without rain and that also applies to Tyler County. When we arrived at Peach Tree Village Friday afternoon the ground was saturated and water standing in all the low places. It started raining that evening about 7:00 pm and rained all night and continued through out Saturday – non stop. We decided to stop people at the highway and shuttle them to the house and back in order to keep them from getting stuck and help get them to and from the house without getting too wet. 2″x12″ boards were used as a bridge over the ditch next to the road. Unfortunately we only had 16 paying guest and 25 total which included Camp Ta Ku La Staff and Commission members. Those that did brave the weather seemed to really enjoy the house and learn about the history of it and the Peter Cauble family. Huntley mentioned possible having the Cauble House on next year’s tour since very few people got to see it this year.


We hope everyone enjoys this posting of pictures of the event on our website so everyone can see how the house was decorated and get ideas on what we want to do on a more permanent basic. I have attached a picture of the docents which should bring a smile to your face and maybe even cause you to laugh out loud. It will hopefully also serve to increase your interest in seeing the rest of the pictures.

Ernestine and I enjoyed dressing up and representing the family. We met some nice people and had a fun day sharing our family history.
Your kin,

Photo Tour

by Sylvia Caldwell Rankin, Editor/TCFA on March 21, 2015

These photos of the Tyler County on Tour event were provided by James and Ernestine Cauble … and don’t they look handsome in these period costumes! Click on the thumbnails to see full sized image.

Reunion 2014 Wrap

by Sylvia Caldwell Rankin, Editor/TCFA on July 28, 2014

Twenty-one members of the Cauble-Rotan family met in Woodville on Friday July and attended the tour of the Heritage Village. The Village is a living museum of pioneer history. Most of the buildings (Blacksmith shop, church, Post Office, General Store) had been relocated from other parts of Tyler County. At one time they considered moving the Cauble House to the Village but decided against it due to the weight and difficulty in moving such a structure.

After viewing a demonstration of yarn making and weaving, the group was treated to a family style dinner at the adjoining Pickett House Restaurant. Everyone enjoyed the fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, fresh vegetables, peach cobbler, visiting and musical entertainment by a local couple.

Saturday morning 46 family members joined us at Peach Tree Village for more visiting, viewing scrapbooks and visiting the Cauble House and family cemetery. Shelly Baize and her family stayed in the Cauble House and were happy to report the Pebble Thrower did not appear, but there were a couple of unexplained things that happened inside the house.

The group picture was taken on the front steps and porch of the Cauble House followed with the Pledge of Allegiance. We then gathered at Camp TaKuLa’s cafeteria for lunch.

Our business meeting followed with the following items being approved.

  1. Minutes of last year’s meeting and Financial Report.
  2. Boards recommendation to contribute $150 each to the Prairie Grove, Old Woodbury, Roby and Bold Spring cemeteries.
  3. Increase support to the Cauble House to $600/year.
  4. Award $1000 scholarships to Kailee Carr Chick, Sydnie Long and Colton Hughes.
  5. Next year’s reunion will be in Albany, TX and hosted by Kelly Herms.

Following the scholarship presentations, Brad Christmas announced that his uncle Leo Lewis who had passed away just a few days prior to the reunion, had left a $10,000 endowment to the scholarship fund. Not only will Todd’s legacy live on but so will Leo’s.

Brother Steve Hays talked about the history of the area and the restoration process and all the hard work involved in the Cauble House. It was determined at the time that Camp TAKuLa would be responsible for maintaining the exterior of the Cauble House and the Tyler County Historical Commission would maintain the interior. The Historical Commission has been limited on what they could do due to a lack of funds and we discussed the possibility of working with them to replace existing furnishings with period items. Huntley Kenesson, Chairman of the Tyler County Historical Society, talked to the group briefly about forming a committee to oversee the process. Dee Bitner and Phyllis Hance volunteered to represent the family and work with the commission. The Commission has a Historical Tours event scheduled for next spring and would like to make the Cauble House part of that tour. More information will be posted on our website as the committee decides on the process.

The formal meeting was adjourned and members visited both the Kirby House and Museum and the Peach Tree Chapel. Those spending the night in Woodville enjoyed more good food and visiting. Another successful fun filled reunion ended with goodbyes Sunday morning as everyone departed for home.

By James S. Cauble, President


Finding the Peter Cauble House

by Sylvia Caldwell Rankin, Editor/TCFA on May 2, 2014


Contributed by James Sterling Cauble

While doing genealogy research in the mid seventies I came across an article titled “It’s Dogwood Time in Tyler County”. In the article it mentioned Valentine and James Burch being in the Battle of San Jacinto and that they were buried in the Burch-Cauble cemetery near Peach Tree Village. Since Peach Tree Village is where Peter Cauble and his family lived I assumed this was where they were buried.

In August of 1977 I went to Peach Tree Village to find the cemetery. I had no problem finding Peach Tree but there was no sign of a cemetery. I went past Peach Tree Village a few miles and before turning around, I noticed a house near the road and an elderly gentleman in bib coveralls on the front porch. I stopped and asked him about the cemetery and he not only knew where it was, he also said the old Cauble house was nearby. Finding the cemetery was my objective but finding the house that my great, great, great grand parents lived in was certainly unexpected. He volunteered to show me where they were and we headed back to Peach Tree Village.

There were no signs or markings from the road, only a barbed wire gate and road overgrown in weeds leading to the house. Below are pictures of the house, remains of the smoke house and some headstones. The house was supposedly used by hunters but I can’t imagine anyone staying in it.


The gentleman said it was a hewed log house and looking on the back where siding was missing and under the house I could see the original hewed logs. Obviously the clap board siding had preserved the structure. The smoke house was also hewed logs but not being protected by siding, time and the elements had nearly destroyed it.


The cemetery was so overgrown it was barely visible. Years later Brian Shivers told me his dad had owned the land for many years (his dad was Allen Shivers, Governor of Texas from 1949-oldCemetery1957) and while hunting deer in the 60’s he came across the cemetery. He noticed stones lying on the ground and found some markers and realized it was a cemetery. His wife loved restoring historical sites and quickly cleaned the site up, righted the markers and put a chain link fence around the cemetery and reported it to the historical society. That was probably the last time any maintenance was done by the way it looked when I first saw it.

Some time later I met Julia Cauble Smith and told her about the house and cemetery. Through her efforts and many family members writing letters to Temple Inland, owners of the property, Temple agreed to give the property to the Tyler County Heritage Society. Through a grant from Temple and several others the house and cemetery has been restored and preserved for the historical benefit and pleasure of many.