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Lovett, Robert Scott (1860–1932)

S. G. Reed Biography Entry

Robert Scott Lovett, attorney and railroad-company chairman, son of William and Susan (Hardy) Lovett, was born in San Jacinto County, Texas, on June 22, 1860. He attended high school in Houston and read law under Congressman Charles Stewart. Lovett was admitted to the bar in Houston on December 22, 1882, and went to practice law at Cold Springs, Texas. In 1884 he became general attorney for the Houston, East and West Texas Railway Company. In 1889 he was assistant attorney for the Texas and Pacific Railway Company. In 1892 he moved to Houston and became a member of the law firm of Baker, Botts, Baker, and Lovett (see BAKER AND BOTTS), which in that year became general counsel for the Southern Pacific lines in Texas.

Lovett moved to New York in 1904 to become general counsel for the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroad companies. In 1909 he succeeded E. H. Harriman as president and chairman of the board of the companies. After the companies were separated in 1913, except during World War I, he continued in the same position with the Union Pacific until he retired from active supervision on October 23, 1923.

During 1917–18 Lovett was chairman of the committee on cooperation for the American Red Cross Priorities Commission, member of the War Industries Board, member of the Allied Buying Commission, and director of Capital Expenditures on American Railroads under federal control. In the early 1920s he was also director of the Western Union Telegraph Company. Lovett was a Baptist and a Democrat. He married Lavinia Abercrombie of Huntsville, Texas, on October 29, 1890, and they had one son. Lovett died on June 19, 1932, and was buried at Locust Valley, Long Island.

Houston Post, June 20, 1932. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Railroad and Transportation Law

Time Periods:

  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas


  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

S. G. Reed, “Lovett, Robert Scott,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 22, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: