Robert B. Longbotham, participant in the Texas Revolution and early settler of Freestone County, was born in Sunderland, England, on December 29, 1797. He sailed to America around 1810 and lived in South Carolina for three years as a carpenter's apprentice. He served in the War of 1812, during which he was captured by the British and forced into service in the British Navy until the end of the war. Subsequently he settled in Alabama and worked as a carpenter and farmer. In 1821 he married Lucy Haggard. He came to Texas in 1833 and settled in what is now Nacogdoches County. In 1835 Longbotham received a grant of land that later became part of Freestone, Navarro, and Limestone counties. He fought in the Texas Revolution in 1836 and in the 1839 Indian wars. For his services he received numerous tracts of land throughout Texas. In 1848 he built two log cabins on his Freestone County land. A town soon developed on this site and was called Longbotham in his honor; the post office was named Long Bottom in 1871. The town and post office name was changed to Wortham in 1874.
Robert and Lucy had nine children and were members of the Primitive Baptist Church. Lucy died at the age of eighty, and Robert then married Louisa Harnes. He died in Wortham on August 6, 1883, and was buried in the Longbotham Cemetery. He was a Democrat. In 1933 the Robert Brough Longbotham Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas was organized in Wortham; the chapter was made up entirely of his descendants. The Longbotham Masonic Lodge in Wortham was also named after him, and in 1967 a state historical marker was dedicated at his gravesite.
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Freestone County Historical Survey Committee, Official Texas Historical Markers of Freestone County (Fairfield, Texas?, 1974). Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone, and Leon Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Longbotham, Robert Brough,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 30, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
March 1, 1995