photo provided by madisoninwonderland

The daughter often got “pap” and “mam” to sit up until a late hour.  This occurred when she did not “like” her visitor and was the fashionable way of letting him know that his “room was better than his company.”  There were no buggies in those days and courting on horseback was in vogue.  To know how to help a lady on and off the horse was quite an accomplishment.
In those days there were no bridal tours to be undertaken over mud and corduroy roads, further than the grooms home, and as they had not yet learned to swap sunlight for electricity, and as the bride and groom were not ashamed to be seen in daylight the ceremony was usually performed at noonday; then the old country dinner followed.

The question has been asked, “Is life worth living?” Grandma has proved that life has not been a failure in as much as she has toiled on and on in early life with so many disadvantages to contend with, and yet she never faltered in doing her duty as wife and mother.  We know that she has been blessed in being able to reach the century mark in life and we hope that her days yet be many, and that her pathway may be full of sunshine along the rest of her journey in life, and that she has done what she could and won the victory of a grand old age.

1908 Grandma Cauble's 100th Birthday 
Ready for the guests

Photo courtesy of

Family Life in the1800s
photo courtesy of americanhistoryusa

Mary 'Polly' (Hubbard) Cauble

As each new-comer arrived at the Cauble home the first thought was to see “Aunt Polly” and hundreds of people had seen and spoken to her before the regular program was announced.

Reminiscing About the Early Days 

The writer enjoyed a few moments conversation with the centenarian and was much pleased at her cheerful manner and surprised at her descriptive power.  In excellent language she talked of the olden time and graphically described the territory on which Salem stands during the year 1813, where she, with her parents settled on what is now the Jeptha Morris farm.  Not a tree had been cut from the stump by the use of an axe.  The entire country was a dense forest – there was no Salem here.  It was a year after her arrival when the town was laid out by the use of grape vine.  The rich soil was covered with magnificent growth of lofty timber while the undergrowth of leatherwood, wild pea vines, paw-pawsand other bushes made the place almost impenetrable.  She told us that through these dense solitudes the wild denizens of the forest roamed; that the panther was often seen and heard and that the bear was a not an infrequent prize of the hunter while hundreds of wolves lurked in the deep forests.  Many varieties of birds, no longer found here, were abundant, while the yellow and black rattlesnakes were abundant.  The treacherous copperheads were also numerous and along the streams the ugly moccasin was found in abundance.

The Courtship Days

Aunt Polly also spoke of the embarrassing circumstances attending courtship in the early days.  There were no parlors, no drawing or reception rooms; just one big inter-convertible sitting room, parlor, dining room, bedroom and kitchen, all in one.  Sunday night was the usual time when “Willie went a wooing”.   If winter, a glowing log fire in the old stick and clay chimney with its clay jams and back wall.  If summer, the fire place would be filled with green boughs of elm or wild cherry.  A tallow candle or greasy lard lamp would cast a faint sickly ray on the nervous swain as he shifted first one leg and then the other over his knee, while trying to keep up a running conversation with the entire family, which in those days, was a large one.  If the parents were friendly to the beau, they availed themselves of the first opportunity to vacate the hearthstone and leave the way clear for the commencement exercises of the evening.  But if they wished to show their disapproval of the young man’s attentions to their daughter, they would stay up and “sulk” until a late hour.  

The Wedding

Adam Cauble and Polly Hubbard were married at the residence of her father Nicholas Hubbard, September 6, 1822.  Godlove Kemp, then the Associate Judge of the Washington Circuit Court, performed the marriage ceremony.  

Grandma says her wedding dress was made in the complete fashion of that day, and contained full three yards of material; but at that time the ladies did not waste much in making trails to their dresses.  Her bridal dress was cut gore and ruffle one inch wide, waist six inches long, a large white necktie which was called a bib, a white cap and green morocco slippers completed the bride’s outfit.  To us a bride dressed in that style would be an interesting sight, but brides then were as happy as those of today.

Fifteen Children

This couple lived together at this old homestead about sixty-one years and have reared a large family – eleven sons and four daughters making fifteen in all, besides they brought up one grandson, Adam C. White.  

One son died in infancy, the rest grew up to man and womanhood, married and had families of their own, but death came to all sooner or later and this family had to share with others the sorrow of having the family chain broken and first to answer the summons was Mary Cauble, the youngest daughter and wife of Thomas S. Stanley.  She died December 18, 1876, and the next was Grandfather, Adam Cauble, who had lived his allotted time and the old frame seemed to give way and could no longer tread life’s pathway answered the summon on the 26th of June 1883, aged 85 years.

Adam Cauble, Jr., died on May 14, 1894.  Alexander Cauble died September 1901.  The children have always resided in Washington County, except two.  Peter G., resides in Mansfield, MO, and Hiram in Texas. 

The names of the children of this union are as follows:

George W. Cauble
James Cauble
Alexander Cauble
Sarah A. (Cauble) Bundy 
Adam Cauble
John H. Cauble
Eliza (Cauble) Bush
Charles Cauble 
Barbara (Cauble) Baker
Andrew Cauble
Peter G. Cauble
Hiram Cauble
William Cauble
Benjamin F. Cauble
Mary C. (Cauble) Stanley

There have been nineteen marriages in this family and fifteen deaths – three sons, one daughter, four sons-in-law, and seven daughters-in-law.  The descendants are many reaching to the fifth generation, and we have made an effort to get the exact number of the descendants of the five generations as follows.

15 children; 111 grandchildren; 204 great-grandchildren; and eleven great-great grandchildren, making a total of 311.  Of the grandchildren ninety-one are living, sixty-five have been married, twenty have died and twenty-five are yet single.  Eight of the great grandchildren are married.  Total number of marriages in this family ninety two.

1908 Grandma Cauble's 100th Birthday 
The tables are set.

An immense gathering of people at Oxonia last Sunday to celebrate the centennial of Mrs. Polly Cauble.  Eleven children; nearly a hundred grandchildren; about two hundred great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren present.  Last estimate placed at 1,500 (attendees).

Sunday, December 1, 1901, will be remembered by hundreds of Washington County citizens as one of the pleasantest they ever enjoyed.  It was the occasion of the 100th, anniversary of the birth of Mrs. Polly Cauble and was celebrated at the home of her son, James M. Cauble, who lives on the Monon railway, four miles west of Salem, at Hitchcock station, latterly yclept Oxonia.

Great weather

The day itself was an ideal one – a remarkable one for December, the sun shone out warm and cheerful, and overcoats, overshoes and wraps were really uncomfortable.  Few were worn and the day reminded us of a bright October one.

Arriving in Buggies, Phaetons, Carriages and other Vehicles

The first arrivals at the scene of the anniversary and the Cauble reunion came from Salem over the Monon (railroad) about 9:20 a.m. and were citizens from Salem to the number of nearly 200.  From that time on the arrivals in buggies, phaetons, carriages and other vehicles continued incessantly until long after one o’clock, when the crowd was variously estimated at from 1,500 to 2,100.  No estimate placed this number below 1,500.  At 2 o’clock p.m., there were, by actual count, 476 vehicles in the Cauble grove, just north of the house, and there were other conveyances distributed at other places on the farm, not counted.  This will give our readers a pretty fair idea of the number of persons who attended the great reunion last Sabbath.

The large marshmallow cake around with 99 small and one large candle was burning, attracted the attention of all.  It was dedicated to mother Cauble and beautifully lettered, “Cauble, 100 years old.”  The cake was the idea and the work of Miss Emma Cauble the daughter of Charles, and the granddaughter of his mother.

The table was also laden with fruits.  One dish of apples were grown on the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, by Peter Cauble, the 8th son, and who was present at the reunion.

At the first table were seated mother Cauble, her eleven children, grandchildren, grand, great-grand, and great-great-grandchildren.  It was impossible for us to count them but there was approximately 200, young and old.  It was a sight we had never seen before and never expect to see again.

Hundreds gazed on the interesting scene and hundreds more attempted to but failed to get close enough to see it.  It was five generations seated at one table and aggregating 200 persons.  The combined ages amounted to nearly 5,000 years.  The oldest was 100 and the youngest a few months.

For nearly two hours the guests were served and after all had been fed there remained an abundance of food.

It was undoubtedly, one of the most remarkable dinners ever served in this county.  Aunt Polly was as jocular and communicative at the table as any one, notwithstanding the fact that many hundreds of eyes were turned towards her.  When someone passed the chocolate cake she motioned it away with the remark, “I don’t believe I’ll eat any portion of that as the makers hands were dirty.”

Another incident was that of him and his neighbor being attacked by thirty wolves which caused them a little worry but they were not much alarmed.  This was on the farm now owned by Adam Cauble. 

Many other stories have been told of the early life of this dear old couple who were always glad to amuse the grandchildren and others who visited at this old home of which the latch string always hung on the outside for visitors.  


Grandfather has told the story that in 1824 the second year of their marriage, then went out in the corn field to get some corn, and it was between sundown and dark.  After he got the corn he started to the house and he heard an awful screaming as of a woman and quickly he looked around him in every direction and about twenty steps from him sat a panther (A note from Kristin Peterson: Other names include "catamount" (probably a contraction from "cat of the mountain"), "cougar", "mountain screamer" and "painter"), and he had nothing with which to defend himself.  He paused, not to take counsel with the beast, he had always been known as a very resolute man, but on this occasion his speed was so great that no grass grew under his feet.

Mary Polly (Hubbard) Cauble

Front row (seated) James Martin Cauble, George Washington Cauble, Mary Polly Hubbard (Cauble), Sarah Jane Cauble (Bundy), Elizabeth "Eliza" Cauble (Bush), Barbara Cauble (Baker). Back row (standing): John Havilla Cauble, Charles Cauble, Andrew Cauble, Peter G. Cauble, Hiram W. Cauble, Ben F. Cauble. 
Taken at Mary Polly Cauble's 100th birthday party.

From the Salem Democrat, Salem, Indiana, December 4, 1901

Polly Cauble is the Great Great Grandmother of Jon Quentin Peterson.

Emma Malora (Morris) Peterson > Mariah Arvada "Vada" (Cauble) Morris > 
1st ) Charles P. Cauble > 2nd) Mary 'Polly' (Hubbard) Cauble

See Morris Kin

Additional Photos and links added by Kristin Peterson

Oh, mother!  Had you wings!
But more, sweet mother, tell us more,
  Of things no others know,
Of playmates, schoolmates, long before
  You learned to knit and sew;
The girls and boys,
  Sweet Friendship’s joys
    When Cupid bent his bow;
The olden times,
  The golden times
A hundred years ago.

What flowers would bloom in yonder dale,
  What violets by the spring;
What birds would charm the vocal vale,
  Would make the woodlands ring;
You heard their song,
You listened long,
  You loved to hear them sing,
You loved the flowers,
The wildwood flowers, 
  That bloomed in early spring,

But tell us more; How trailed the woods
  The Red man with his bow,
The bear, the wolf, in angry moods,
  Wild deer and cariboo?
And how the men
From hill and glen
  Went forth to lay them low,
Those brave young men,
Those brave old men
  A hundred years ago!

You are tired now, so long, so far,
  Your journeyings to and fro,
Then rest awhile, just where you are
  Before you farther go;
And we will twine
  The ivy vine,
While friendship’s fountains flow,
  And you may dream
  Of flower and stream
    A hundred years ago.

It was interesting to hear mother Cauble talk of these old time customs and might interest many of our readers to relate all of her conversation, but the want of space prevents further notice.  At 11:20 the regular program of the day was announced by William H. Ward.

Elder Enoch Parr opened the exercises by invoking Divine aid and asking a special blessing upon Mrs. Polly Cauble who had lived to see her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren take high and honorable positions in this and other counties of the state and even in other states of the union.

Colonel Stephen D. Sayles was then introduced and made a short, impromptu address, which was unusually interesting and which pleased the guests.  The Colonel spoke in glowing terms of the aged mother whom we had met to honor and of her children, all of whom were an honor to her and to our country, four of whom had taken up arms to defend the flag.

History of the Cauble Family

Miss Eva Cauble, a granddaughter of mother Cauble, and the daughter of John C. Cauble, then read the following:

Friends and relatives;  We have assembled today, December 1, 1901, to celebrate the one-hundredth Birthday Anniversary of Grandmother Cauble, who can boast of that which no other person in Washington County has ever been able to.  That is, she has reached the one hundredth milestone in life and the dear old lady is proud of the honor.  Now in order to complete the program of today we will give a brief history of the family of this honored lady.

Her husband, Adam Cauble, was born March 6, 1798, near Salisburg, Rowen County, North Carolina.  His father brought the family to Washington County, Indiana in October 1815.  They settled in Salem when there were not more than eight or ten families in this place, and a single store kept by General John Depaw.

Settling in Washington County

Polly Hubbard was born December 1, 1801, in Botetourt County, Virginia.  Her father moved to what was then called New Virginia and settled near the Holstein River and remained there for four years.  When she was seven years old her father brought his family to Washington County and settled on the farm now owned by Jeptha Morris.  The farm was then a heavy timbered thicket of leatherwood and wild pea vine undergrowth.  Grandma says that a man could not be seen ten steps distant.  

A huge tent had been secured and spread just east of James M. Cauble’s residence.  Under this tent were improvised three tables, each 48 feet in length and one table twelve feet long.  The combined length of these tables was 156 feet.  The tables were covered with snowy white cloths and on them were arranged the most remarkable menu, we venture to say, that was ever spread before guests.  Every table fairly reeled under the weight of roast beef, pork, and turkey, stacks of cakes, pies and crullers, with bread and butter and all plentifully interspersed with potatoes, sweet and Irish, pickles, slaw, preserves and everything else that the appetite of man could desire.  It was a bountiful display and reflected much credit upon the Cauble young ladies who managed this part of the affair.

Polly Cauble’s 100th Birthday

A Letter from Dr. King

The following letter written to Mrs. Cauble by Dr. A.W. King, of California, was read by E.W. Menaugh, at the request of the mother and children:

Dr. A.W. King’s Congratulations.
Redlands, California, November 26, 1901

My Dear Mrs. Cauble:

I learn from the Salem Democrat that you are to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of your birthday on the first of December, and I wish as an old resident of Salem, to congratulate you on your rare good fortune in having attained so great and honorable an age, a distinction enjoyed by scarcely one person in a million.

And this great boon that our kind, Heavenly Father has granted you, is, I am sure, the reward of a life of virtue, industry and temperance – a faithful observance of all the laws of God and Nature.

I well remember you and your husband, though more than half a century has passed since I saw either one of you.  I shall never forget that the name Adam Cauble was only another name for the strictest honesty and integrity, and I am rejoiced that he too, was permitted to live to an honorable old age.

Were it not a vain petition I would pray that another century might be added to your years, but as that cannot be, I can wish that you may be spared yet a little longer to be a comfort and joy to your family and your friends.

Commending you to the fatherly care of Him who has made you and preserved you, and the infinite love of Him who has redeemed you with his  own precious blood, I am happy to subscribe myself.

Very sincerely, your friend, A.W. King.

The Oldest Guest and other Elderly

Dr. E.M.C. Neyman, who is approaching the 94th, anniversary of his birth, was the oldest person present.  He was born in France February 29, 1808, a leap year.  He came to this country over 60 years ago and has had a continuous residence here ever since, being a well known physician, a resident of Satillo.  He still practices medicine and is undoubtedly, the oldest practitioner in Indiana.  Although approaching the 100th mile post of life’s journey,  Dr. Neyman still maintains that military bearing which has been characteristic of him during his long life in this country.  He would be noticed and pointed out as a man of distinguished bearing, in any crowd.  This venerable citizen and physician compiled with the request of the family and for a few minutes entertained the assembly with an address, after which the Salem photographer, Mr. McPheeters, secured several negatives of the Cauble family and group pictures of the assembled guest, the tent and surroundings.

It was the largest gathering of the kind ever assembled in the county.  The Monon agent, Mr. Reiff, sold 132 tickets to Salem people and many had to board the train with decuring them on account of the rush.  Every livery stable in Salem let all their conveyances to persons who attended the reunion, while every private carriage in town was out.

It was a big event.  Dr. Neyman…”Aunt Polly is 6 years and three months older than I, but not old enough to be my mama.”

On the gate leading to the residence of James M. Cauble was in large yellow letters was painted with command:  “Prepare to meet Thy God.”

The remarkable number of elderly people present was observed and commented on by all.  Among the older persons we jotted down the following names:
Dr. E.M.C. Neyman, 94
Anderson Brown, 84
Joseph Spurgeon, 80
Mrs. Ann M. Thompson, 77
Mrs. Mary Chaney, 77
William C. McCoskey, 74
Levi Stanley, 72

100 Cakes

Aunt Polly was the recipient of many useful and ornamental presents, among them were several new dresses and a beautiful rocker, she also prepared and baked a lot of doughnuts which were distributed among the guests.  A great number of them were carried away as souvenirs.

We counted 100 large cakes on the tables and there were stacks of pies and bushels of toothsome baked sweet potatoes.

Gathering the Information

E.E. Cauble a distant relative of the original family, was 28 last Saturday, his birthday occurred December 1.  He will have to job along 72 years yet to catch up with his ancient mother.  Henry C. Bundy, age 16, is the oldest son of the oldest grandson.  The history of the Cauble family published above was prepared and written by Miss Eva Cauble who spent much time and pains to have it absolutely correct.  It was no easy matter to delve into the misty past and gather data for the paper.  Then there were the long line of grand, great grand, and great-great grandchildren to hunt up and interview.  It was a big undertaking but she completed the work in a creditable manner and deserves the thanks of the family.

Those who have Served in the Military

At the request of Grandmother Cauble we took the names and ages of all the members of Company “E” 5th Ind. Cav who were present at the birthday celebration, three of her sons having served their country in this company during the civil war, one of the number Alexander having died last September.  One other son, Hiram, served in another regiment.  The following ten in number were present and received the congratulations of Grandma Cauble.  
Jas. S. Brooks, age 63; 
A .J. Cauble, 66; 
Peter G., 63; 
Dennis Isaiah, 64; 
Alf V. Hardin, 65; 
Mitchell Hiram F., 60; 
E. W. Menaugh, 57; 
W. H. Stanley, 64; 
T. L. Reyman, 69; 
H. W. Ward, 69: 

(From the Salem Democrat, Salem, Indiana, December 4, 1901)


A hundred years, a hundred years,
  The clocks all strike today.
A hundred years, a hundred years,
  While mother comes this way;
We meet her here,
  Our mother old and gray,
We wreath the flowers,
  The birthday flowers,
For mother, young for aye.

Afar away her children lies,
  A something like a dream;
And far away to fairer skies
  Her friends have crossed the stream;
But other friends,
And younger friends
  A host, almost, they seem,
Are here today
  Are here to pay
Their tokens of esteem.

A hundred years the milestones stand,
  Not one can ever fall
And on each one her gentle hand
  By each her footsteps fall,
So young, so fair,
  A prize most rare
  She hears a lover’s call,
Stands by his side,
  Young Adam’s bride,
To share his lot and hall.

Then children smile, and cradles rock,
  And business fills the air,
For each must have a little frock,
  A suit of clothes to wear,
A dinner, too,
A supper, too,
  And mother’s loving care,
A lullaby
  Or tear to dry,
A mother’s holy prayer,

Oh mother dear, how could you do,
  So many, many things,
While children cling so close to you,
  Hung on your apron strings?
How dress them warm
  For winter’s storm,
  Or cool for balmy springs?
How do it all,
  Both Spring and Fall.

Photo courtesy of


The Afternoon

The program in the afternoon was an interesting one and besides the large crowd that listened to the mornings proceedings, a great number had arrived filling the east yard and every room of the house to overflowing.

The first speaker was Elwood Trueblood.  An interesting talker, who has known mother Cauble for more than half a century.  Mr. Trueblood said that when Aunt Polly Cauble was born Thomas Jefferson was president and the great Louisiana purchase had not yet been made.  Napoleon, following the plan of LaSalle, was endeavoring to found a new France in America.  He was then at his zenith and some of the most remarkable men that this country has ever produced were then living and shaping the destinies of the greatest government on earth.  While all these things were going on mother Cauble was busy carving out future homes for a long line of descendants,.  He had been her neighbor for years, knew her and the large family well and all are an honor to the community in which they live.

The Salem High School band under the leadership of Robert Myers, then rendered the air, “Nearer My God to Thee,” after which a beautiful poem, written for the occasion by Rev. I.I. St. John, was read by Mrs. Laura A. Stanley a granddaughter of mother Cauble.  Mrs. Stanley’s rendition of the poem was excellent and showed that she carefully studied the production and was well prepared to perform the duties assigned her.  

The first year

The first year of their marriage was spent with Mrs. Cauble’s father, Messrs. Cauble and Hubbard carried on the blacksmith business.  Mr. Cauble purchased the farm on which B.F. Cauble the youngest son now lives.  They engaged in housekeeping in a little log cabin about one hundred yards southeast of the present residence.  The cabin had a puncheon floor, one door and one window.

The household and kitchen furniture consisted of one bed, a square table, four chairs, some three-legged stools, a pot, a skillet and what was then called a dutch oven and a coffee-boiler.

The Dinner

Think of preparing a dinner for more than 1,500 persons!  And yet that is what was done by the children, grandchildren, great, and great-great grandchildren of mother Cauble.  How could we keep notes and how can we do justice to all this remarkable family for the excellent arrangements made and the great variety of food prepared for the immense number of guests they entertained last Sabbath?  It is simply out of the question and we shall be compelled to confine our description of this affair to a small space.

Puncheon Floor
photo courtesy of windsox

The family lodged in their wagon under a large beech tree for three months, until a log cabin was erected.  The nearest neighbor was two miles distant.  There were five Indians to one white man.  Her father was a blacksmith.  He often made gun locks and tomahawks and butcher knives for the Indians.  Wild game of all kind abounded.  It was not uncommon thing for her father to kill a deer before breakfast.  If some of the sportsmen today could have that chance at sport of that kind they would not accomplish much otherwise.

1901 Lambert Union Car
photo provided by

Panther also known as a Mountain Lion
photo courtesy of