Robert Maclin Lively, legislator and county judge, was born in Washington County, Arkansas, on January 6, 1855. In 1864 the family moved to Texas and settled in Smith County. After attending private schools in East Texas, Lively went to Kaufman in 1875 to read law with George D. Marion and Z. T. Adams. He was admitted to the bar in 1876 and established a practice at Wills Point, Rockwall County, and later at Canton, Van Zandt County. On November 24, 1878, Lively married Julia Cannon; they had four children. From 1882 to 1884 he served as prosecuting attorney of Van Zandt County, then resumed his law practice. He was appointed county judge to fill an unexpired term in 1910 and won a special election as a Democrat to fill the Sixty-first Congress vacancy caused by the resignation of James Gordon Russell. Lively served from July 23, 1910, to March 3, 1911, and was not a candidate for reelection. From 1916 to 1918 he was again county judge. Lively was a member of the Methodist Church and one of those who purchased land for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Canton on August 3, 1886. He died in Canton on January 13, 1929.