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Acree, Robert Fred (1878–1945)

Melanie Watkins Biography Entry

Fred Acree, businessman and collector of rare books and Texas memorabilia, was born to George Wren and Elizabeth Virginia (Grimes) Acree on March 26, 1878, at Cross Roads, Navarro County, Texas. He attended McGregor High School, Toby's Business College, and the University of Texas. He worked in a dry-goods store at Moody, then later formed a partnership, under the name Johnson and Acree, with another mercantile owner there. He also at one time owned a grocery store in Chilton with Clay Gilmore. Acree was mayor of Moody for several terms and also served as president of the local school board. He married Anna Byrd McLeod on September 19, 1906; they had three children. Acree moved his family to Waco on January 1, 1927, and established a real estate business there.

In 1892, at age fourteen, he had begun his book collecting when he purchased a pine bookcase filled with rare books. He preferred Texas, religious, and poetry books, and by the early 1940s his collection comprised some 5,000 volumes. He was also noted for about fifty drawings that he had done from photographs of famous people. Acree was a Baptist, a Mason, an Elk, and a member of the Democratic party, which he served for many years as the Moody precinct chairman. He was also a supporter of prohibition. Acree had memberships in various historical and literary organizations, including the McLennan County Historical Society, the Texas Poetical Society, and the Sons of the Republic of Texas. He died on August 29, 1945, and was buried at McGregor. After his death, much of his book collection was given to Baylor University, while many of his papers went to the University of Texas at Austin.


Fred Acree Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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

Melanie Watkins, “Acree, Robert Fred,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 24, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/acree-robert-fred.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994

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