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A HISTORY OF THE CORNELUS "CALE" DOORNBOS, JR. FAMILY

By Mrs. Peggy Jo Thomas

Cornelus "Cale" Doornbos, Jr., was born on June 5, 1916, in the original Doornbos home, near the present-day Jefferson County airport, west of Nederland, Texas. He was the fifth child of Cornelus Doornbos, Sr., and May Newman Doornbos. In 1919, the family moved to their new home, a two-story house at 1136 Helena. He began school at the old Langham School at Twelfth and Franklin in 1922, and he graduated from the old high school building at 200 South Twelfth and Avenue A (where the YMCA is) in 1934. He was living in the Doornbos home at 1140 Helena.

Cornelus "Cale" Doornbos married the former Callie Louise Clement on June 29, 1941. Louise Doornbos was born in Evergreen, Louisiana, on June 27, 1919, to William Clement and Rubena Robertson Clement. Louise and her mother moved to Port Arthur when she was nine years old. After graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1937, her family moved to Peek Road in Nederland, now South 29th Street and Highway 365 (where Sycamore School is located). Louise met Cale Doornbos while he was working cattle in the Doornbos pasture across the street from her home (now Central Mall).

When Cale Doornbos and Louise Clement married, they lived at first in the Doornbos "rock house" that still stands at 1136 Gary Avenue. When Cornelus Doornbos, Sr. and his wife built a new home at 1148 Helena in 1948, Cale, Louise and their family moved into the family home that still stands at 1140 Helena. They lived in this home until their deaths, Cale on December 3, 1970, and Louise on September 18, 1981.

Cale and Louise were the parents of three children, Peggy Doornbos Thomas, born in 1944; Billy Wayne Doornbos, born in 1947; and Cornelus Doornbos III, born in 1954. They were the parents of six grandchildren. Billy W. Doornbos and his wife, Donna Webb Doornbos, are the parents of two daughters, Heather Jo Doornbos, born in 1969, and Gretchen Leigh Doornbos, born in 1971. Peggy Jo Doornbos Thomas and her husband, Robert Wiley Thomas, are the parents of four children, two sons, Ashley Calton Thomas, born in 1976 (died in 1978), and Kirk Christopher Thomas, born in 1979, and two daughters, Amanda Louise Thomas, born in 1980, and Kristen Dawn Thomas, born in 1983.

Cale Doornbos was tall man, much like his father, more than six feet tall and 200 pounds in weight, and if seen on horseback while rounding up cattle, he was an impressive sight to behold. He was in charge of the family's rice farming, cattle-ranching, and hay-baling operations. Normally, the family's Texas herds numbered 1,000 to 1,500 heads, that wintered in the salt grass marshes at Sabine Pass. The family hay-baling operations in the fall were perhaps the largest in the county, employing scores of persons in the hay fields. He also helped to run the family investment business which still stands at 1148 Helena.

Cale Doornbos was very active in community and civic affairs. Cale, like his brother Bill, was involved in just about every worthwhile endeavor in Nederland. He was an officer of the Nederland Lions' Club, the Coastal Cattlemen's Association, the Beaumont Farm and Ranch Club, and the Nederland Chamber of Commerce. He also served several years as a Nederland city councilman, as well as mayor of Nederland.

Louise Doornbos was also very civic-minded, involving herself in many community affairs. She served on the boards of the Port Arthur Community Center, Lioness Club, Eastern Star, Parent-Teacher Association, Pilot Club, and Lamar University Friends of the Arts.

Cale and Louise Doornbos also belonged to and were very active members of Nederland's First United Methodist Church. Louise taught the three-year-old Sunday School class for over twenty years.

Although Cale and Louise Doornbos are known for their civic and community involvement, they are most fondly recalled for their discrete helping of many people, most of whom were unaware of where the help came from. They were a quiet and unassuming pair who never sought the public spotlight of attention. Their three children recall their parents as a loving couple who disciplined them with kindness and affection.

Cale and Louise Doornbos are also fondly remembered and sorely missed by relatives and a whole host of friends whose lives they touched.

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