stream near Tivoli
TE Photo, May 2003
in a Seashell
According to the Handbook of Texas Tivoli (pronounced
Ty-vole-ah) was founded in 1907 by rancher Preston R. Austin. Austin
(with partners) was also responsible for the founding of nearby Austwell,
Texas. Tivoli was the name of Austin's ranch.
("It was, in fact, Captain Newton Cannon Gullett who founded
Tivoli, Texas on his ranch of the same name." - Randy Neumann.
Please see complete letter
The town was first platted in 1907 and a post office was granted in
1912. The St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway was extended through
Tivoli (to the terminus at Austwell)
that same year. The Lieuen Rogers Masonic lodge was chartered in 1914.
The town was re-platted in 1913 - doubling the size of the town from
five blocks to ten. Austin donated the town's first church and school.
Hurricanes hit Tivoli in 1919 and 1942, but the shallow bay, high
bluffs and slight population spared the community from obliteration.
The town reached its population zenith in 1928 with a population of
|An old tractor
TE photo, May 2003
I recently read,
with pleasure, your brief history of the town of Tivoli, Texas.
While your story is technically accurate, it lists Preston Rose
Austin as the founder of Tivoli. Actually, Preston R. Austin platted
the town of Tivoli which had been in existence and actually serviced
by a U.S. Post Office since the 1890's. A telegraph station was
actually in place (the first in Refugio County) at about that same
It was, in fact, Captain Newton Cannon Gullett who founded
Tivoli, Texas on his ranch of the same name. Gullett erected a cotton
gin, store and a boat landing on the Guadalupe River to export cotton
and receive supplies. He was instrumental in bringing the railroads
into that section of Texas, establishing the Gulf Coast Fair Association,
and is reputed to be the first person to use wire fencing in Texas
to close the open ranges. He was a familiar face in Washington D.C.
and a pioneer member of several cattlemen's organizations.
In deference to history, please preface your story of Tivoli, Texas
with a mention of its actual founder, a colorful character, indeed!
- Randy Neumann, May 03, 2006
Dear TE, My name is Robert Barber of San
Antonio, TX. I have many family members buried in Tivoli cemetery,
an aunt whom still resides there, and an uncle in Austwell,
TX. Also, we have a road named after us on the outskirts of
town where my great uncle had his ranch which is still in his daughters
possession. My question to you is what history do you have on my
family with regards to Tivoli? I know from listening to older family
members about how much my ancestors had to do with the founding
of the town and operations of daily business and the cattle industry.
Any info would be dearly appreciated. My father is Amos R. Barber
(b.1942, Refugio, TX), his uncle
was Dick Barber (b.1899-1987?). Thank You. - Robert F. Barber, San
Antonio, Texas, October 21, 2006
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