A fascinating story …

Peter Cauble (1786-1870) was born in Guilford County, North Carolina in 1786. Although little is known about his early life and his family, he reportedly received a good education. By 1810 Cauble moved to White County, Tennessee, where he married Mary Ann Rotan (1794-1860), a daughter of Rosey and William Rotan of South Carolina. Two daughters and a son are believed to have been born to them in White County, Tennessee. They were probably Elizabeth Cauble (about 1811-unknown), who may have married James Osborn; Lucinda Cauble (about 1813-about 1849 probably Alabama), who married Robert Hughes (1792 Tennessee-by 28 September 1852 Tyler County, Texas); and, John W. Cauble (12 February 1816-13 June 1868 Hill County, Texas), who married Mary Evaliza Chaney (01 October 1819 Virginia-10 February 1907 Dewey County, Oklahoma).

Before late summer of 1819, when Helen Elmira Cauble (15 August 1819 Franklin County, Alabama-03 April 1889 Tyler County, Texas), who married Valentine Ignatius Burch (14 February 1813 Bullit County, Kentucky-17 October 1892 Polk County, Texas), was born, the family moved to Alabama. The other Cauble children were born in Alabama. They were Isaac Butler Cauble(25 December 1820-05 April 1904 Hill County, Texas), who first married Sarah E. Green (15 September 1822 Tennessee-07 March 1893 Hill County, Texas); Sarah Cauble (about 1826-unknown), who married __ Weights; Martha Cauble (1828-by 1875 Hill County, Texas), who married Benjamin Green (1819 Alabama-1859 Hill County, Texas); Peter Cauble, Jr. (1829-1857 Texas or Indian Territory), who married Nancy Ann Curtis (1832 Louisiana-after July 1870); and James W. Cauble (1832-1867 Hardin County, Texas), who married Sarah Ann Butler (1841 Alabama-unknown).1

Peter Cauble may have come to Texas before 1830 to survey the area for possible migration. But, he did not bring his family to Texas until late in the 1830s, when they settled in old Liberty (now Tyler) County at Peach Tree Village. Like many settlers living in old Liberty County before and during the Texas revolution, Cauble did not secure a land title until 1839. Although Cauble was reportedly living and farming at Peach Tree Village in the late 1830s, the land he used was awarded in a five-league grant on 17 March 1834 to Gavino Aranjo, a Mexican company commander at Fort Teran who never took possession. Without regard to legal ownership of the land, Cauble built a hewn-log house at Peach Tree Village beside the well-traveled Livingston Road in the 1830s. The house became a landmark. It was used to describe the boundary of the newly-created Polk County in 1846. The Cauble house was also the dividing point for road work assignments in Tyler County, with overseers appointed for each direction away from the house.2

When the General Land Office under the Republic of Texas awarded land, Cauble received Certificate No. 56 for 640 acres. An early deed by Frost Thorn conveyed land at Peach Tree Village to Peter Cauble on 2 April 1844. By 1860, with the Aranjo land available, Cauble built a large farming operation and maintained one of the county’s first cotton gins.3

Cauble was Road Commissioner and Justice of Tyler County Court for several years. In August 1861, he enlisted as a private in the Mount Hope Home Guard, an organization of under age and over age men who protected Tyler County during the Civil War.4

Peter Cauble seldom missed an economic opportunity, acquiring substantial holdings through the use of borrowed land and slave labor. He stubbornly stood his ground in controversies with his neighbors, leading to fistfights and court suits.5

Mary Ann Rotan Cauble died 9 November 1860 and was buried in the family cemetery, later called the Cauble-Burch Cemetery, which was located a few hundred yards from the log house. Cauble continued to live in the house. Since his sons had moved farther west to areas newly-opened to settlement, the family of his daughter, Helen Elmira Cauble Burch, moved into the log house to help manage the Cauble farms.

Cauble married Sarah E. Hulett (16 August 1806 South Carolina-16 August 1806; buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Polk County, Texas) on 25 December 1862, but the marriage ended in divorce. On 1 May 1866 he married Mary Jane Lea. A few months before his death, on 24 November 1869, Peter Cauble and Mary Jane Lea Cauble, deeded his land at Peach Tree Village to Valentine Burch, his son-in-law, for the stated sum of $500 in gold. However, after Cauble’s death on 9 March 1870, his inventory of property revealed that Burch still owed $570 in four notes. One note was three months late in payment. Peter Cauble, survived by his third wife, was buried in the Cauble-Burch Cemetery.6

By Julia Cauble Smith
Texas historian


  1. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850: Population, Tyler County, TX, families #160, #174, #184, #188, #191; James E. Wheat and Josiah Wheat, Sketches of Tyler County History (Bevil Oaks, TX: Whitmeyer Printing, 1986), 108, 231; Cauble Family Tradition, File 1, Writer’s Files; John Henry Kirby, Letter to Ida Cauble Harp, Houston, TX, 8 January 1937, Copy in Writer’s Files; Peter Cauble headstone, Mary Ann Cauble headstone, Helen E. Burch headstone, Cauble-Burch Cemetery, Tyler County, Texas; Peter Cauble will, Tyler County, Texas Probate Book D: 885-887, 25 February 1870; B.B. Paddock, A History of Central and Western Texas, Vol. 2 (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1911), 513-515.
  2. Wheat and Wheat, Sketches of Tyler County History, 12,13, 231, 290, 291; Seventh Census of the U.S., 1850, Tyler County, TX, family #188; Tyler County, Texas Deed Book C: 638; General Land Office of Texas, Tyler County: Map of Original Owners; H.P.N. Gamble, ed., Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, Vol. 2 (Austin: Gamble Book Company, 1898), 1333.
  3. Wheat and Wheat, Sketches of Tyler County History, 231; Thomas Lloyd Miller, The Public Lands of Texas, 1519-1970 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972), 30; Peter Cauble’s Unconditional Certificate No. 56, File 284, General Land Office, Austin, Texas; Inventory of the Community Property of Peter Cauble and His Late Wife Mary Cauble, Tyler County, Texas Probate Book C: 689-691; John P. Landers, “Valentine Burch,” Texana 3:2 (Summer 1965), 105-114.
  4. Wheat and Wheat, Sketches of Tyler County History, 231; Mount Hope Home Guards, Beat 4, Tyler County, Texas, Civil War Muster Rolls, Texas State Archives, Austin, Texas; Lou Ella Moseley, Pioneer Days of Tyler County (Bevil Oaks, TX: Tyler County Heritage Society, Inc., 1985),86.
  5. Wheat and Wheat, Sketches of Tyler County History, 108, 231; David Barclay, Letter to John Mc Barclay, Tyler County, Texas, 26 September 1852, Copy in Writer’s File; Numerous court cases in the early Loose Paper Files and Volumes A-D, Tyler County, Texas District Court.
  6. Mary Ann Rotan Cauble headstone, Cauble-Burch Cemetery, Tyler County, Texas; Landers, 105-114; Polk County, Texas Marriage Book B-1: 98; Tyler County, Texas Marriage Book 2/3: 83/85; Peter Coble Deed to Valentine Burch, Tyler County, Texas Deed Book G: 358, 24 November 1869; Peter Cauble Will, Tyler County, Texas Probate Book D: 885-887; Peter Cauble headstone, Cauble-Burch Cemetery, Tyler County, Texas.