Robert Lee Bobbitt was born on January 19, 1888 in Hill County, Texas. He was the third child and third son of Joseph Alderson Bobbitt and Laura Abigail (Duff) Bobbitt. His father was born in the home of Rufus Bobbitt, near Summersville, West Virginia. His mother was born in McNairy County, Tennessee. His father was a very successful farmer, who owned a large ranch called "Plum Hill". Cattle and cotton were the chief products of the farm.
When Robert Lee was six years of age, his mother died, leaving Robert Lee in a household with his father, his older brother Oscar Bobbitt, who was twelve years of age, his grandfather, Captain James Tolliver Bobbitt, his grandmother, Malinda Catherine (Alderson) Bobbitt, brother, Joseph Tolliver Bobbitt, brother Daniel Frank Bobbitt, and sister, Mattie Sue Bobbitt.
Laura (Duff) Bobbitt died December 7, 1895. On December 3, 1896, Joseph Alderson Bobbitt married Irene Ficklin who was 23 years of age. By 1913 the household in which Robert Lee was living had a membership of nineteen persons. Robert Lee was 25 years of age, and he along with most members of that family were working on the plantation.
James Ficklin Bobbitt, brother of Robert Lee, told the story of working in the cotton fields all day. Cotton was picked and bailed, loaded high on a wagon drawn by horses. Robert Lee was on top of all the bales of cotton, lost in thought. When the wagon came to a gate that had to be opened, those walking behind the wagon, shouted to Robert to get down and open the gate. Robert thought a moment about the situation, immediately got down and opened the gate without a word of argument. James Bobbitt said they thought when Robert was deep in thought that he was just being lazy. Time has of course proved that Robert Lee was not lost in idle thoughts or that he was ever unwilling to help his brothers and sisters or any of his fellow members of mankind.
There are many members of the Bobbitt family we Bobbitts of the name can be truly proud. There are none who lived between 1673 and 1972 we can be more proud of than Robert Lee Bobbitt. His character, personality, accomplishments, and contributions to his time, are indeed remarkable for one man. There are thousands of letters and documents, newspaper clippings, tributes, and testimonies that could be used in an outstanding biography of this remarkable man. I have hoped that his grandson, Dr. Robert Lee Bobbitt III, Ph.D. a professional historian, would write a biography of Robert Lee Bobbitt for his family, friends, and all of the Bobbitt name to cherish. Perhaps it will be done some day soon. For the brief account, selections will be taken from the wealth of material available to acquaint all Bobbitts with Robert Lee Bobbitt and his life's work.
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