Robert H. Donald, farmer, Confederate soldier, and state representative, was born in Rhea County, Tennessee, on August 7, 1821, the son of Matthew and the widowed Nancy (Cochran) Walker Donald. Donald's parents died while he was very young, and he was raised by relatives in Monroe and McMinn counties before relocating to Alabama in 1836. Here in Coosa County on December 22, 1842, Robert Donald married Sarah F. Rowe. This couple had four sons and six daughters. The Donald family immigrated to Texas in 1852, staying for two years in Smith County before settling in Denton County. Donald engaged as a farmer and developed a homestead in Denton County that eventually boasted 1,200 acres of land. Following the outbreak of the Civil War Robert Donald joined Col. James G. Bourland's Border Regiment as a sergeant for Company C. He saw action with this unit in Indian Territory and along the northern Texas border. At the cessation of hostilities Donald returned to Denton County where he resumed farming as well as established himself as a leading area politician. In 1873 he won election as representative for District Twenty-one—comprised of Collin, Denton, and Wise counties—to the Fourteenth Texas Legislature. Robert H. Donald died in 1890. He was a Mason and an Odd Fellow.
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Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas (Chicago: Battey, 1889; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: State of Texas Press, 1939). Buckley B. Paddock, History of Texas: Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest Edition (4 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1922).
Fourteenth Legislature (1874-1875)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Aragorn Storm Miller,
“Donald, Robert H.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
May 8, 2008
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 19, 2014