Lester G. Bugbee was born in Woodbury, Texas, on May 16, 1869, to Almond and Mary Fannie (Nunn) Bugbee. His parents named him L. G. and called him Dutch; Bugbee later adopted the name Lester Gladstone. He spent his boyhood on his father's farm near Pleasant Point and began his formal education at the Pleasant Point school. He attended Mansfield Male and Female College from 1884 to 1886 and passed the entrance exam for the University of Texas in January 1887. He completed his B.Litt. degree at the university in 1892 and received his M.A. the following year. He won a fellowship to Columbia College, New York, and spent two years there before returning to the University of Texas as a history tutor in 1895. He was promoted to instructor in 1896 and to adjunct professor in 1900. He assisted in the founding of the Texas State Historical Association in 1897 and served as corresponding secretary and treasurer of that organization until 1901. Between 1897 and 1899 he published several articles about the history of colonization in Texas, one of the most important of these being "Slavery in Early Texas," published in the Political Science Quarterly (1898). In 1898 he also began a successful campaign to get the Bexar county commissioners to place the Bexar Archives in the University of Texas library. Bugbee was known as an inspiring teacher and a promising scholar. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1901 and took a leave from the university to live in El Paso, but the change of environment did not slow the course of the disease. He moved home to his father's farm at Pleasant Point in January 1902 and died there on March 17.