A Guide to the Reuben G. White Family Papers, 1819-1929
Reuben Grayden White and his wife, Mrs. Rachel Peebles White, lived in Hempstead, Texas, around 1927, where they owned a cotton plantation. Rachel Peebles White was the daughter of Dr. Richard Rodgers Peebles, a pioneer Texas physician, and Mary Ann Calvit Groce. Dr. Peebles established a large medical practice in Texas, tended to the wounded during the battle of San Jacinto, and led successful mercantile ventures including the construction of the Washington County Railroad. He helped rent Independence Hall for the Convention of 1836, and was therefore the recipient of a gift of "The Ark of the Covenant of the Texas Declaration of Independence." This relic of the Republic of Texas was handed down, and the Whites donated it to "the people of Texas," via the University of Texas in 1927. In 1961 the relic was delivered to Governor Price Daniel and placed under the care of the Texas Library and Historical Commission.
Dr. Peebles was responsible for the routing of the Houston and Central Texas Railway through what would become Hempstead, Texas, and the White and Peebles families were founders of the town.
Sources: Shuffler, R. Henderson. "The Ark of the Covenant of the Texas Declaration of Independence." Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (July 1961).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Peebles, Richard Rodgers," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/PP/fpe10.html (accessed August 4, 2010).
Letters, a diary, legal papers, financial papers, an exercise book, and clippings concerning members of the White and Peebles families comprise the Reuben G. White Family Papers, 1819-1929. The papers relate to early Texas history, conditions during the Republic period and the Civil War, and the founding of Hempstead, Texas. Additionally, the collection contains letters to Richard M. Bozman while a student at the University of the South, 1895-1899; Rachel Peebles White’s correspondence with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas about the protection and restoration of the Alamo; and Sarah M. Peebles’s diary and book on exercises in writing and arithmetic. The papers also concern Reuben G. White’s cotton plantation, the development of cotton fertilizer and insecticide, and personal affairs. Finally, the collection contains T. H. Pointer’s account book, 1914-1917.
The collection is open for research.
Reuben G. White Family Papers, 1819-1929, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers