About the Julia Cauble Smith, Former Registrar

Cousins Gail Ann Loving H23.10.1, Julia Frank Cauble H2353, Fred Oliver Loving H23.10.3, Phyllis Olivia Loving H23.10.2, Linda Marlene Cauble H2354 in 1944 in Fisher County, Texas.

Although I was already forty years old and a high school history teacher before I became interested in my father’s  Cauble family, I quickly learned the research of that family would not be easy. Where could I begin?  I had first asked my father, Frank E. Cauble, what he knew several years earlier and he related the few names he had heard and he thought the family came from the Hill Country of Texas. I remembered that my grandfather, James Andrew Cauble, told me his mother’s Christian name was the same as mine–Julia.  And he said her maiden name had been Hardin. I added those facts to a comment a fellow graduate student had made when she saw that I used my maiden name on a paper. She asked if I knew about Peter Cauble, an ancestor of her mother’s family. This was exciting news! There was someone in The Handbook of Texas with a surname like mine?

In the spring of 1986 after reading all I could find about Peter Cauble, I drove to Tyler County to find Peter Cauble’s house and to find any public records at the courthouse about this man who might be my ancestor. I found Peach Tree Village and two men who knew where the house and cemetery were located among tall weeds and even taller trees. With all I had learned in Tyler County, I drove to McLennan County, where I knew Julia Hardin had married W. M. Cauble. At the public library in Waco, I was told I should contact Wendel O. Montgomery in West, Texas. This descendant was the first person I found who actually had first-hand information about the Cauble family–but he knew nothing about my dirt-farming  family in West Texas. Mine turned out to be descendants of Peter Cauble, Jr., while Wendel’s family descended from Isaac Butler Cauble, an older son of Peter Cauble, Sr. Wendel introduced me to other Cauble descendants who were willing to tell their stories and by the next spring we began to talk about a family reunion and a newsletter. I started compiling a family genealogy, or the Cauble Family Registry, and later assigned unique family numbers to all descendants.

Photos by Jim and Connie Waller

The historic Peter Cauble house: Then and now

The historic Peter Cauble house, built in the late 1830s, was still standing in the 1980s, but it was in sad condition. All who saw it felt something should be done to save the house. Marialice Shivers, widow of former Texas Governor Allan Shivers and a former owner of the property, wrote to encourage me to take the project. Me? I had more work than I could ever get done–teaching, writing, editing? But someone had to do this! It was three years and hundreds of letters and telephone calls later that Temple-Inland Foundation agreed to give the house and three acres around it to the non-profit group of my choosing–Tyler County Heritage Society. That impressive society managed to save the house and make it useful again as a guest quarters for speakers at Camp KaTuLa located nearby. Although I may have been nudged into working to save the historic house, I am proud of the accomplishment. 

In my career as a Texas historian, I wrote hundreds of articles for The New Handbook of Texas (1996) over a twelve-year period, including all billion-barrel oil fields in the state. I researched, wrote, and presented dozens of papers at historical meetings. I edited countless articles for historical publications and newsletters. I taught history in public school and at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. I enjoy public history, but my work on family history, especially the Cauble family, gives me the satisfaction of knowing from where I and my family have come!

Julia Cauble Smith H2353
Former Registrar