The Austin History Center has curated a collection of the family papers of the founding family of Old Enfield. Following is an overview of the family history.
The Pease-Graham-Niles family papers represent five generations that span a
period of 150 years and several U.S. states.
At the top of the family tree is Christiana Griswold Niles, mother of six children, including four daughters, Juliet Niles (1811-1903), Lucadia Christiana Niles Pease (1813-1905), Maria “Riar” Harriet Niles Moore (1822-?), and Augusta Flora Niles Ladd (1825-ca.1859). She was married to Richard Niles (1785-1846) on May 17, 1810, in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut.
Juliet Niles never married and resided at the family home in Poquonock, Connecticut, now part of Hartford. A supporter of women’s rights, Juliet was responsible for funding the education at Vassar of her niece Christine “Kitty” Ladd-Franklin (1847-1930), who later became a noted scientist and mathematician. Juliet long resided with her friend and housekeeper, Annie Ennis, until her death in September 1903, at the age of 93.
Lucadia Niles Pease, Juliet Niles’ younger sister, was married August 22, 1850, at Poquonock to Elisha Marshall Pease (1812-1883), her cousin through her paternal grandmother’s, Naomi Marshall Niles, family. E. M. Pease was born January 5, 1812, in Enfield, Connecticut to Lorrain Pease (1788-1848) and Sarah Marshall Pease. E. M. Pease came to Texas in 1835 and participated in the Texas Revolution. He studied law in Brazoria and in the 1840s established a partnership with John W. Harris for the law firm Harris & Pease. From 1853 to 1857, Pease served as governor of Texas. He later served as provisional governor from 1867 to 1869, during Reconstruction. The family briefly
lived in Galveston in 1879 while Pease acted as collector of customs. E.M. Pease died August 26, 1883, at Lampasas Spring, Texas, leaving a large estate to be managed jointly by his widow and daughter Julia.
Lucadia and E. M. Pease had three daughters, Carrie Augusta Pease (1851-1882), Julia Maria Pease (1853-1918) and Anne Pease (ca. 1854- ca. 1860). Julia Maria Pease, also known as Julie, was born March 14, 1853, in Brazoria, Texas. She attended the Hartford Female Seminary in Connecticut and Vassar College, from which she graduated in 1875 with a B.A. in music and art. Julia was active in charity and social organizations throughout her life. She remained interested in the fine arts, and became good friends with sculptor Elisabet Ney.
Carrie Augusta Pease married George Thomas Graham (1847-1897). Carrie and George had three children: Marshall P. Graham (1875-1910), Richard Niles Graham (1881-1959), and Carrie Margaret Graham Crusemann (1882-1961). When Carrie Augusta Pease Graham died in 1882, her sister, Julia, and her mother, Lucadia, assumed the care of the Graham children. Mr. Graham occasionally visited his children in Austin.
R. Niles Graham, son of Carrie and George Graham, went to Hartford, Connecticut in 1901 to attend Trinity College. He became a member of the Epsilon Chapter of the Delta Psi Fraternity and remained active as an alumnus throughout his life. When he left Trinity in 1904, he returned to Austin and worked for Crawford & Byrne, a cotton company. R. Niles Graham was a partner in various business ventures with his cousin W. Murray Graham. In the 1920s, R. Niles Graham was secretary of the Infield Petroleum Company, Inc. which had offices in both Austin and Brownwood, Texas. They also formed the Enfield Reality & Home Building in 1916 and developed the first residential addition on the west side of Austin using land from the Pease estate, creating such Austin
neighborhoods as Enfield, Westenfield, Westfield, and Tarry Town.
The name Enfield came from the town in Connecticut where Niles’ grandfather, Governor Pease, grew up. Popular with friends and business associates and known for his sense of humor, R. Niles Graham maintained a full schedule of business, civic, and social activities. A traveler throughout his life, Niles spent summers in Connecticut or Europe and once made a trip around the world. While working in the oil industry in the 1920s, he traveled throughout Texas. Active in many organizations, R. Niles was a lifelong member of the
Ben Hur Masonic Lodge in Austin, as were both of his grandfathers. Some of R. Niles’ many interests included: book, stamp, and autograph collecting; genealogy; and buildings of historical significance.
R. Niles Graham married Anita Laura Goeth (1889-1953) on January 4, 1910, daughter of A. C. Goeth and granddaughter of Walter Tips, both well-known Austinites. Niles and Anita lived at Woodlawn, also known as the Pease Mansion. The original estate was around 3,000 acres, bounded by what is now West 12th Street on the south, on the east by Shoal Creek, on the north by what is now West 24th Street, and on the west by the approximate line of Exposition Boulevard. Governor Pease donated 22 acres along Shoal Creek to the City of Austin in 1875, now Pease Park. R. Niles donated another four acres before developing Enfield. The family resided in the mansion, built in 1853 by
Abner Cook, until 1956 when Governor and Mrs. Allan Shivers purchased the property.
R. Niles and Anita Graham had three children: Marshall Pease II (1911-1977), Thomas Adolf Goeth (1912-1983), and Julie Anita (1923-1987). Marshall Pease II, who was named for R. Niles’ brother who had died at age 35 in 1910, became a lawyer. Thomas established an insurance agency, Graham-Lundgren & Company, in Austin. Julie Anita, called “Rabbit” by her parents, attended Austin High School and the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority; she graduated in 1944 with a B.A. in English. On April 20, 1945, she married James William Harman (1922-?), from Welch, West Virginia. After living in Fort Worth for a short time, they moved to Richmond, Virginia, where James worked as a newspaper journalist, before returning to live in Austin around 1950. Julie and James had two children, Margaret Graham (1947- ), who as a child was called “Graham”, and Douglas Marshall (1948- ). While in Austin, Julie Anita Graham played an active role in a number of civic groups. Later in her life, she was involved in historic preservation. Mary Harriet Graham (1917-1992), a cousin of Julie Anita Graham and daughter of W. Murray Graham and Helen Hood, lived in Austin her entire life. She was a member of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Austin.