Williams, Robert R. (1839–1941)

By: Robert F. Kroh

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 1, 1995

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Robert R. Williams, county official and state legislator, was born in Henderson County, Tennessee, on May 31, 1839. He moved to Polk County, Arkansas, in 1855. In 1861 he married Susan Ward; they became parents of nine children. In June 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a second sergeant in the Twenty-fourth Arkansas Infantry, joining the scouting service in November 1863. He was mustered out as a captain in 1865. In 1868 he moved to Texas, settling for a time at Mount Pleasant. In 1872 he became a blacksmith at Black Jack Grove, later Cumby, where he organized the Masonic lodge. At the age of sixty-five he began to study law. Known as the "Village Blacksmith of Cumby," he held county office for twenty-eight years. He represented Hopkins County in the House of the Twenty-seventh, Thirty-third, and Thirty-fourth legislatures. At the age of ninety-three he tried to resign as justice of the peace, but his constituents returned him to the office. In 1908 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas against Thomas M. Campbell. Williams died at Cumby, Texas, on March 11, 1941.

Dallas Morning News, March 12, 1941. E. B. Fleming, Early History of Hopkins County (1902; rpt., Wolfe City, Texas: Henington, 1976). Mamie Yeary, Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray (McGregor, Texas, 1912; rpt., Dayton, Ohio: Morningside, 1986).

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

Robert F. Kroh, “Williams, Robert R.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 19, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/williams-robert-r.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995