The Caruths are a family of pioneers, planters, community planners, real estate entrepreneurs and generous philanthropists who helped shape the Dallas we know today. Caruth family members lived at Caruth Homeplace for almost 150 years, from 1858 to 2000.
William Barr Caruth & Walter Caruth
William Barr Caruth (1827-1885) came to the small village of Dallas – essentially a cluster of modest houses on the Trinity River – in 1848 to make his fortune. Family legend has it he arrived on horseback with $100, a watch and a pony. He persuaded his brother Walter Caruth (1826-1897) to join him in 1849, and Walter arrived with a less legendary but more helpful loan of $1,000 from their father, John Caruth. The brothers opened W. Caruth & Brother General Store and prospered, selling everything from bacon to buggy whips to pearl buttons to the growing number of migrants arriving in Dallas and the U.S. Government provisioning nearby forts.
William Barr Caruth & Mattie Worthington Caruth
Mattie Worthington Caruth (1836-1907) was the daughter of a Methodist minister and was raised on a large plantation in Mississippi by her well-to-do Uncle Aaron and Aunt Polly Wycliffe, whose portraits still hang in the dining room. To flee Civil War hardships, Mattie came with her family to Texas, where she met William Barr Caruth and married him in 1864.
William Walter Caruth, Sr. & Earle Clark Caruth
William Walter Caruth, Sr. (1876-1949), was born and died on Caruth Homeplace. The only child of William Barr and Mattie to survive out of infancy, he devoted himself to running the family’s farming operations, seeing them through the challenging Depression years. He is reputed to have worked seven days a week, up to 18 hours a day, to help produce enough crops and cattle to pay the mortgages, large tax bills and other overhead of his family’s immense land holdings.
William Caruth, Jr. & Mabel Peters Caruth
William Walter's and Earle's son, William Walter Caruth, Jr. (1912-1990), took the family's traditions of land development, business and philanthropy to new heights.