Adams, Robert (1847–1944)

By: John G. Johnson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 23, 2018

Robert Adams, rancher and pioneer, was born in Norfolk, England, on March 9, 1847, the son of Robert and Sarah (Anderson) Adams. The family moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1852. During the Civil War Adams and his brother William Adams hauled cotton to Brownsville to be shipped through Mexico to Europe. In 1867 the two brothers formed a partnership and began to raise sheep in the area that was then northwest Nueces County and later became Jim Wells County. In 1869 they preempted 320 acres on Tecolote Creek, fourteen miles north of Alice, the beginning of the Tecolote Ranch. In 1878 they fenced their land and began to breed and raise cattle; they were among the first to bring Durham bulls to Texas. In 1888 they purchased the Farías grant, two leagues adjoining their property. In 1893 the brothers divided their property, and Robert kept the Tecolote Ranch. Both brothers were involved in the establishment of Jim Wells County in 1912. Robert Adams married Lorena McWhorter on August 8, 1867. They had eight children. He died on August 26, 1944, and was buried on the ranch.

Cattleman, June 1930, October 1944. James Cox, Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry (2 vols., St. Louis: Woodward and Tiernan Printing, 1894, 1895; rpt., with an introduction by J. Frank Dobie, New York: Antiquarian, 1959). Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The New Encyclopedia of Texas, l929. Frontier Times, May 1929.

  • Peoples
  • English
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

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

John G. Johnson, “Adams, Robert,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 21, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 23, 2018