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Roby, Texas

History

Roby. Located on land originally included in a land grant to Texas War for Independence veteran Thomas H. Cosby, the town of Roby was first platted in 1885. The land was purchased by D. C. and M. L. Roby of Mississippi, relatives of Cosby's second wife, Martha. The Robys hired Walton, Hill, and Walton, a Travis County law firm, to represent their interests, and instructed the attorneys to organize a town to be named county seat of Fisher County. On behalf of their clients, the attorneys donated land for churches, schools, a park, and a cemetery. Town lots were also given to settlers who would build homes within ninety days. In an election held in April 1886, Roby was declared the county seat. The first county court was held in a shed behind the V. H. Anderson House, which served as the town's first post office. A frame courthouse was built on the southwest corner of the town square and was replaced over the years by a succession of other structures. Schools, churches, and businesses were established as settlement in the town increased. Retaining its small town atmosphere, Roby remains a center of commerce for Fisher County. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1989.  Located at intersection of US 180 (S 1st) and SH 70 (Concho St.) in a small park across from the courthouse.

Roby History 1922. The town of Roby was established in 1886 on land owned by D. C. and M. L. Roby of Mississippi, and in this way got its name. It was organized in 1886, and Roby and Fisher, four miles north on the Clear Fork, were in the race for the county seat. At this time a two-story frame building was erected for a court house, and a few years later a substantial two-story rock jail was built, which still stands in good condition. In 1910 a modern brick court house was erected. All the original business buildings were of wood and most of them are gone now. In their stead are now brick. The town has two banks, one national and one state, both strong institutions, ten business houses, well stocked with goods, a number of smaller business houses, a concrete garage, three gins, four church buildings, a light plant and water works and a large two-story concrete school building. The Woodmen and Odd Fellows own their own hall together. The Masons own their hall, in which meet the Blue, Royal. Arch Council and Eastern Star Lodges.

The Canadian and Del Rio Highway No. 4 runs north and south through the county and the towns of Roby and Rotan. This highway is about finished across the county. Roby is the center of one of the finest bodies of land in this part of the state. The poorer land of the county is on or near the boundaries. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.

First United Methodist Church of Roby. The oldest active church in Fisher County, this congregation dates to the earliest years of the county's settlement and organization. The town of Roby was laid out as county seat in 1885, and citizens began establishing churches, schools and businesses. Methodists met in the home of Captain and Mrs. V. H. Anderson under the leadership of circuit-riding preacher J. W. Dickinson. The congregation formally organized as the Roby Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1886 and held a revival that summer. The eight charter members included Vachel Anderson, Melvina Anderson, James Patterson, Barbary Patterson, Gabie Simpson, Lou Simpson, Jane Roy and Fannie Barron. Until the first sanctuary was constructed in 1889, worship services were held in the Fisher County courthouse. Later church buildings, completed in 1901, 1926 and 1981, have all stood at this site, on property sold to the church trustees in 1887 by M. L. and D. C. Roby and in 1889 by E. H. Dowel. Throughout its history, this congregation, known as the First United Methodist Church since 1968, has demonstrated its commitment to mission and ministry. Membership over the years has included a number of civic and political leaders, and several members have entered the ordained ministry. Roby's First United Methodist Church serves as an important part of the community's cultural heritage. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 2001. Located at junction of SH 70 and County Road 203, north side of Roby.

Roby Cemetery. Settlers began arriving in this area in the late 19th century. The oldest grave marker in the Roby Cemetery, that of Mable W. Deming, bears the date 1884, one year prior to the organization of Fisher County and the establishment of the town of Roby. Brothers D. C. and M. L. Roby purchased over 4,000 acres of land in 1885. They had a townsite platted; donated sites for schools, churches, and a park; and designated the land containing Mable Deming's grave as a public cemetery. The original cemetery plot consisted of seven acres, and the brothers stipulated that no fee was to be levied for grave sites in that section. The Roby Cemetery served as the principal burial ground for citizens of Fisher County. In the late 1950s the county deeded the cemetery lands to the city of Roby. In 1975 the Roby Cemetery Association was chartered and accepted the deed to the cemetery property from the city. Later land acquisitions increased the graveyard's size to twenty-one acres. Those interred in the Roby Cemetery include pioneer settlers of Fisher County, veterans of the Civil War, and one former slave, "Aunt" Abbie Alborn, who came to this area from Tennessee in 1886. The graveyard serves as a reminder of the area's early history. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1988. Located at North 2nd and Church streets, Roby.

Woods Chapel Cemetery. Settlement of this area of Fisher County began in the early 1880s. A small frame building, erected near this site in 1883-1884, was used as a school and church. A cemetery was established and was in use by 1884. The church was named in honor of its first pastor, J. B. Woods. Among the first settlers here were Henry Clay Lyon (1815-1889) and his family. Lyon, a native of Tennessee, was a veteran of the Republic of Texas Army as well as the Confederate forces of the Civil War. Although Lyon is buried in the Woods Chapel Cemetery, a granite marker in his honor was placed in the Roby Cemetery at this site of the graves of his wife and children. Plans to reinter him next to his widow during the Texas Centennial of 1936 were never completed. The earliest marked grave in the Woods Chapel Cemetery is that of Sarah H. Lawrence (1881-1884), a granddaughter of Henry C. Lyon. Of the twenty-six marked graves here, thirteen are those of infants or small children. The graveyard also contains at least twenty-eight unmarked graves. An important part of Fisher County history, the cemetery is the site of an annual San Jacinto Day observance on April 21. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1988. Located 10 miles east of Roby on US 180, at intersection with FM 1812..

Location

Roby, TX 32° 44' 41.3916" N, 100° 22' 39.3852" W