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ROBY, TX

ROBY, TEXAS. Roby, the county seat of Fisher County, is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 180 and State Highway 70 in central Fisher County. In 1885 M. L. and D. C. Roby, developers from Mississippi, attempted to get the county government for the newly organized Fisher County to be established at a site they owned in the center of the county. After a bitter struggle with the nearby community of Fisher (now called North Roby), the backers of Roby won the day. In 1886 construction was begun on the county courthouse. That year also the Roby post office and the Roby School opened; the community had thirteen houses by that summer. By 1890 the community had an estimated 300 inhabitants, Baptist and Methodist churches, two general stores, a hotel, a restaurant, and the weekly Fisher County Call. Other newspapers at Roby over the years have included the Bannerand the Home Guard. A stone jail was constructed at Roby in 1892, and the first bank was chartered in 1898. Also in 1898 the Roby school district was formed, and the area it covered slowly grew over the next ninety years as it absorbed small rural schools in the vicinity. Roby had grown to 712 inhabitants in 1900, and by 1914 it had Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Nazarene churches, a bank, and telephone service. The Texas Central Railroad built from Stamford to Rotan in 1907, and in 1915 the 4.4-mile Roby and Northern Railway was built from Roby to North Roby, a station on the Texas Central line. Roby incorporated in 1915, and its population grew to 801 in 1930 and 904 in 1940. The Roby and Northern line was abandoned in 1942. Roby reached its peak as a trade center for area farmers and ranchers in 1950, with sixty businesses and a population of 1,040. Inadequate water supplies plagued the town from its inception until 1953, when longtime efforts finally brought in water from Oak Creek Lake at Blackwell. As the area rural population declined after 1950, Roby also diminished, falling to 784 inhabitants and twenty-two businesses in 1970. A new courthouse was built in the early 1970s. Roby had a population of 616 in 1990 and 673 in 2000. It was the headquarters for a nine-county electric cooperative and had a hospital and a nursing home.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Fisher County Historical Commission, History of Fisher County, Texas (Rotan, Texas: Shelton, 1983).

Mark Odintz

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Mark Odintz, "ROBY, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlr28), accessed July 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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