Robert Turner Flewellen, Texas legislator and professor of medicine, son of James and Elizabeth (Parson) Flewellen, was born on October 2, 1821, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After his father died in 1829 his mother moved to Culloden, Georgia, where Flewellen attended school. He read medicine in a private office, then attended a course of lectures in the Medical College of Charleston, South Carolina, and one in the medical department of the University of New York, from which he graduated in 1845. He married Carrie Bivins in 1848. She died in 1854, and on April 25, 1860, Flewellen married Eugenia Andrews. They had at least two children.
He moved from Georgia to California in 1850 and to Washington County, Texas, in 1853. He served two terms in the legislature from Washington County and one term from Harris County. He introduced and secured passage of legislation chartering a medical college in Texas and advocated a high standard of professional ethics and protection by law of the practice of medicine. He was professor of anatomy and a trustee of Texas Medical College in Galveston. In 1870 Flewellen became a charter member of the Texas Historical Society, and in 1872 he was elected president of the Texas State Medical Association (later the Texas Medical Association). He died on January 5, 1899, in Houston and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery in that city.
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Lewis E. Daniell, Types of Successful Men in Texas (Austin: Von Boeckmann, 1890). Ralph W. Jones, "The First Roots of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (April 1962). George Plunkett [Mrs. S. C.] Red, The Medicine Man in Texas (Houston, 1930).
Health and Medicine
Founders and Pioneers
Eighth Legislature (1859-1861)
Ninth Legislature (1861-1863)
Sixteenth Legislature (1879)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
L. W. Kemp,
“Flewellen, Robert Turner,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
February 12, 2015
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