Driscoll, Robert, Jr. (1871–1929)

By: Frank Wagner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Robert Driscoll, lawyer, banker, rancher, and early advocate for the port of Corpus Christi, was born near Victoria, Texas, on October 31, 1871, the son of Robert and Julia (Fox) Driscoll. He attended public school in Rockport and surrounding areas, and then went to Georgetown University before finishing a degree in 1893 at Princeton University. He maintained a private law practice in New York until 1903, when he accompanied his elderly mother to England for medical treatments. Upon her death in 1906, he returned to Texas. That year he began concerning himself with aggressive management of the Driscoll estate, of which he assumed control after his father's death in 1914. At their apex, the Driscoll holdings included 125,000 acres in Duval, Jim Wells, and Nueces counties.

Driscoll was extensively involved in banking and land speculations and in bringing farming to the lower Texas coastal plains. He was president of several large corporations, among them Corpus Christi National Bank, Corpus Christi Trust Company, Kingsville Producing and Milling Company, and the International Refining Company of San Antonio. He was also a director of the Frost National Bank in San Antonio, the San Antonio Joint Stock Land Bank, and the Guaranty Title Company of Corpus Christi. He was a coincorporator of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway. Driscoll was instrumental in developing the Rabb Pasture into farmlands and in founding the towns of Bishop and Robstown, the latter of which, along with the nearby town of Driscoll, was named after the Driscoll family. He was chairman of the port of Corpus Christi from 1926 until his death in 1929.

An earnest Catholic, Driscoll endowed and supported several church benevolences and was a member of the board of the Corpus Christi College-Academy, a Catholic institution, for a time. He died in San Antonio on July 7, 1929, from complications following the amputation of his leg. Driscoll was buried at the family mausoleum in the San Antonio City Cemetery. On the day of the funeral the mayor of Corpus Christi, P. G. Lovenskiold, requested all businesses to close for the hour of the burial. A memorial to Driscoll was erected at the port, and his sister and only survivor, Clara Driscoll, left, upon her death in 1945, the Robert Driscoll and Julia Driscoll and Robert Driscoll, Jr., Foundation, which included among its beneficiaries the Driscoll Foundation Children's Hospital in South Texas.

Corpus Christi Times, July 8, 1929. Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The New Encyclopedia of Texas, 4-volume edition. The Driscolls: Benefactors of South Texas (MS, Kilgore Collection, Corpus Christi State University). San Antonio Express, July 9, 1929. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Robert Driscoll, Clara Driscoll, Driscoll Family).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Frank Wagner, “Driscoll, Robert, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/driscoll-robert-jr.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994