Reproduced here with permission from the Dublin Citizen from an article published Thursday Oct. 11, 2001, page 12:

Caudle Cemetery to be recognized with state historical marker

Descendants plan day of visiting, exchanging photos, building family trees

By Karen Wright, Citizen Editor.

One hundred and six years after the last burial took place there, the Caudle Cemetery will receive an official historical designation.

The Texas Historical Commission marker will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at the tiny cemetery south of Dublin.

Descendants will gather at the Dublin Senior Citizens Center, 202 E. Clinton, about 8:30 a.m. for coffee and doughnuts before caravaning to the cemetery for the presentation. They will return to the center for a barbecue meal to be served at 1:30 p.m. The center has been reserved until 10 p.m. for visiting and exchange of photos and family tree information.

The event marks completion of a quest which started several years ago when Caudle descendants went in search of the cemetery.

"By good fortune, one of the descendants, Bruce Cunningham, knew where it was," said Bill Caudle of Shoreview, Minnesota, a direct descendant who has compiled a detailed and colorful family history.

Another direct descendant, Mae Tanner of Dublin, recalls the day — Memorial Day of 1997 — when family members got their first look at the almost-forgotten cemetery which was obscured by briars and brambles. Once she saw the marker of Rebecca Clayton Caudle, Mrs. Tanner admits she was hooked.

"We had been to the dedication of the old tabernacle at Pecan Cemetery and one of my distance cousins was there. We talked about the Caudle Cemetery and he knew where it was so he took us there," said Mrs. Tanner, who was 76 year old at that time.

The cemetery is located on the Flying B Ranch owned by Jeanine Brannon who was eager to help the group locate their ancestor’s markers.

"I had on a silk dress, hose and white shoes—the whole nine yards," laughed Mrs. Tanner. "We turned off the road and drove through a big pasture. Then finally we came to a fence but it didn’t have a gate. So we crawled through and under and over it. Then we had to cross a little creek that didn’t have much water but it had a lot of mud. We waded through that and climbed up the bank and then, glory be, there was another fence. After I got under it, I walked through briars and brambles up to my armpits—and then I saw Rebecca’s stone and it was all worth it."

The family member who trekked to the cemetery that day came away with a strong conviction that something must be done. So the group, with the help of Mrs. Brannon’s ranch foreman, Gaylon Bullard, organized the first clean up in October 1997.

"Forty-one people met at the Sunset Cafe and we drove out there -- but we were dressed more appropriately this time," Mrs. Tanner said.

After the clean up was complete, a total of 15 marked graves and had been found and plans were made to restore tombstones.

Centrally located was the marker for Rebecca Clayton Caudle, the great-great-grandmother of Bill Caudle who has created a website for the Caudle family history.

He has traced the lineage to his great-great-great-grandfather who was born about 1775 in North Carolina or Virginia. James was the patriarch of the Caudle lineage and was great-grandfather to James Robert Caudle who once owned the farm where the cemetery is located.

Texas land deeds show that by November, 1841, the James Caudle family with sons William Mark and Bennett and their families moved to the Red River District of Texas. This district now includes Lamar, Titus and Franklin counties. By March of 1842, the family had all filed for fourth class land grants.

"Fourth class headright certificates of 640 acres for family heads and 320 acres for single men were granted conditionally by the Republic of Texas to residents who immigrated to Texas between Jan. 1, 1840 and Jan. 1, 1842," Mr. Caudle said.

"After the end of skirmishes with local Comanche Indian bands in Erath county, some of the families from the Red River District and some descendants of the John and James Green Caudle families from Arkansas had migrated to counties including Bosque and Erath," Bill Caudle reports.

The Caudle families were farmers and as their families grew, more land was needed to support the children and to replace land which had become infertile due to over-farming. Unless a nearby farm was available, families sometimes moved considerable distance, Mr. Caudle explained. Many families moved together rather than separately to provide support for each other in new locations.

The Caudle families may have selected Texas because of the aggressive recruiting by the newly formed Republic of Texas which offered land as inducement. According to Mr. Caudle, several large land grants were issued to land companies during the 1830s and early 1840s which resulted in substantial population growth.

The cemetery was originally known as the South Bolton Cemetery. When James Robert Caudle and his wife, Tennessee Petty Caudle, buried their one-year-old son J.T. in the little cemetery in 1885, it became known as the Caudle cemetery.

Families known to be associated with the cemetery, or have descendants buried there, include Caudle, Clayton, Denton, Follis, Harman, Houk, Junell, Langston, Lawson, Petty, Hamrick and Simmons.

The cemetery is located 2.5 miles south-southwest of Alexander.

From Dublin, take Highway 6, turn onto FM 219, drive through Purves, turn left on CR 284 for 2.8 miles to the gate of the Flying B Ranch.

From Hico, take Hwy 6 to FM 914 (Alexander), cross bridge, turn right on CR 296 which intersects with CR 284, turn left to gate of the Flying B Ranch.

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