Austin History Center

Ben Lee and Rosa Catherine Woolsey Chote Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Chote, Ben Lee, Chote, Rosa Catherine Woolsey
Title: Ben Lee and Rosa Catherine Woolsey Chote Papers
Dates: 1841-1970
Abstract: The Ben Lee and Rosa Catherine Woolsey Chote Papers is a small collection of material relating to the Woolsey and Chote families. In addition there is an assortment of early Republic of Texas, State of Texas, and Travis County government documents that don't appear to be directly related to either family.
Accession number: AR.2006.030
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Archives Stacks, qAR
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Dr. Samuel Albert Woolsey was born in Round Rock, Texas on August 20, 1882. Dr. Woolsey was the City of Austin Health Officer from 1913 to 1920, excluding the period he fought overseas in World War I. His first wife Loula (Lula) Hall was born in approximately 1882 in Burnet, Texas. They had two children: Rosa Catherine (b. 1911) and Samuel Jr. (b. 1915). Rosa Catherine graduated from Austin High School in 1927. Loula died in 1932. Dr. Woolsey died on August 29, 1953

Ben Lee Chote was born in 1908 in Austin to E. M. and Minnie Gage Chote. Ben also attended Austin High School and graduated in 1928. Ben married Rosa Catherine Woolsey and they had three children: Richard, James Benjamin and Catherine Diana. He was the Travis County Deputy District Clerk from 1932-1942 and the District Clerk from 1943-1947. Arnold P. Chote (perhaps Ben's uncle or cousin) was also in Travis County government as the Travis County Commissioner for 18 years in the 1940s and 1950s. A. P. died in 1971 and Ben followed in 1974.

Scope and Contents

The Ben Lee and Rosa Catherine Woolsey Chote Papers is a small collection of material relating to the Woolsey and Chote families. In addition there is an assortment of early Republic of Texas, State of Texas, and Travis County government documents that don't appear to be directly related to either family. Since two members of the Chote family worked in Travis County government it is possible that these documents came into their possession through their positions at the Travis County Courthouse. Or perhaps Ben Lee and Rosa Catherine were collectors of Texas historical documents.

The Chote Family series (1921-1975) consists of two photographs of A. P. Chote with his daughter; a photograph of a Travis County grand jury with Ben Lee as the foreman; a letter to A. P. from Lyndon B. Johnson; Ben Lee's school diplomas and a newspaper article announcing Ben Lee as one of the new directors of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Also included is material about Ralph Yarborough, a friend of Ben Lee and Rosa Catherine. The Chote's retained some of Yarborough's political flyers, books he autographed and a certificate of designation by the governor of Texas disqualifying Yarborough (then Judge of the Fifty-third Judicial District of Texas) from trying the case of The State of Texas, Et Al. Vs. Gulf Production Company, Et Al. in 1939.

The Woolsey Family series (1918-1950) contains postcards from Samuel to his family while he was stationed in France during World War I; Rosa Catherine's school diplomas; and newspaper clippings about, and letter from Samuel to, Edna Schulz who was a member of the first nursing class at Brackenridge in 1915. Schulz was the superintendent of the City Hospital in September 1918 when the influenza epidemic hit Austin.

The Historical Documents series (1840-1901) is composed of an assortment of Republic of Texas, State of Texas, and Travis County government documents as well as shipping documents and a live stock contract. There are several documents of interest among the government material including a 1840 statement written by the first commissioner of the Texas General Land Office John P. Borden certifying that the special grant to James Norton (early settler and alcalde of the DeWitt colony) in 1830 was on file at the General Land Office; the 1864 bond notice issued by Travis County Justice of the Peace E. McLaughlin concerning Ben Thompson's arrest on the charge of "assault and battery with intent to kill and murder" (John Coombs may have been the victim); the 1866 arrest warrant for Ben Thompson to answer the charge of theft of forty-six sacks of coffee; the 1841 Republic of Texas, Travis County summons issued for Thomas W. Ward, General Land Office Commissioner, to appear at the District Court in the case of Sterling C Robertson (early Texas empresario and statesman) versus President Sam Houston; a 1855 sworn affidavit by Samuel C. Taylor that stated he "will not, for the space of twelve months from this date, drink any spirits or malt liquors, wine or cider" witnessed by the Travis County Clerk Frank Brown; a 1849 certificate appointing Dennis Walsh to the Office of County Commissioner for the County of Travis signed by Governor George T. Wood; and a 1874 certificate presenting a land grant to Edward B. Wood for three hundred and twenty acres signed by Governor E. M. Pease.

The final series, Assorted Documents (1942, undated), is an assortment of cards, a photo and a letter announcing candidacy for United States Senate that could not be attributed to either family.


Arranged into four series:
I. Chote Family
II. Woolsey Family
III. Historical Documents
IV. Assorted Materials


Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Chote, A. P.
Chote, Ben Lee.
Chote, Rosa Catherine
Schulz, Edna.
Thompson, Ben, 1843-1884.
Woolsey, Samuel Albert.
Yarborough, Ralph Webster, 1903-
Brackenridge Hospital.
Texas. General Land Office.
Austin (Tex.).
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846.
Travis County (Tex.).
Land grants--Texas--History.

Related Material

Austin Files - Biography - Chote, Ben Lee

Austin Files - Biography - Woolsey, Samuel A.

Separated Material

General Collection

  • The Good Life in Austin: A Brief History of Brackenridge Hospital
  • One Hundredth Anniversary of the District Courts of Travis County, Texas: 1840-1940
  • Something Made Austin Grow, 1948
  • Yarborough of Texas, 1969
  • The Permanent School Fund of Texas, 1934 (autographed by Ralph Yarborough)
  • Revised Ordinance of City of Austin, 1908
  • The Constitution of the State of Texas and the Circumstances of its Adoption, 1948
  • Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses: 1832-1845, 1941
  • Travis County Annual and Texas State Guide for 1912: A Book of Information for the People
  • 19th Century Austin, 1970
  • Austin in a Nutshell, 1941
  • History of Travis County and Austin 1839-1899, 1963
  • Austin Greeters' Map and Guide

Austin Files

  • Brackenridge brochure, circa 1980
  • Camp Mabry map and brochure


  • Selected Quotations and Verses for Occasions, 1924
  • Do You Know Your Army? Here are the Answers.
  • The Texas Round-Up: The University of Texas: April 11-12-12, 1930

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by family members.

Preferred Citation

Ben Lee and Rosa Catherine Woolsey Chote Papers (AR.2006.030). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2006/076

Donation Date: 2006

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2011.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Chote Family, 1921-1975

Box Folder
1 1 A. P. Chote, circa 1930s
2 Ben Lee Chote, 1921-1928, 1948, 1956
Location FlatFile
qAR 01/20/016 High school diploma, 1928
Box Folder
1 3 Ralph Yarborough, 1934-1975
Location FlatFile
qAR 01/20/015 Austin Lawyers poster, 1947

II. Woolsey Family, 1918-1927, 1950, undated

Box Folder
1 4 Samuel's World War I postcards, 1918-1919
5 Rosa Catherine's diplomas, 1922, 1924
Location FlatFile
qAR 01/20/017 High school diploma, 1927
Box Folder
1 6 Edna Schulz, 1919, 1950, undated

III. Historical Documents, 1840-1901

Box Folder
1 7 Republic of Texas, State of Texas, and Travis County historical documents, 1840-1890
Location FlatFile
qAR 01/20/012-014 State of Texas certificates , 1849, 1874-1875
Box Folder
1 8 Assorted documents, 1852-1901

IV. Assorted Materials, 1942, undated

Box Folder
1 9 Unattributed materials, 1942, undated