in a Pecan Shell|
In 1885, shortly after Fisher County was organized, a dispute arose between
business partners from Mississippi and a town called Fisher. Both wanted their
land to host the courthouse. One of the partners was a man named D.C. Roby, and
the town of Fisher is now called North Roby, so one can assume the result.
The following year the county’s first courthouse was built, and a school
and post office opened. In 1890 the population was estimated to be 300 people
and the town had a hotel, restaurant and a newspaper.
Being a peaceful
place, Roby didn’t have the need of a jail until 1892 when they built one of stone.
By 1900 the population had grown to over 700 residents.
its first railroad in 1907 (The Texas Central) and in 1915 the Roby and Northern
laid 4.4-miles of track to connect Roby proper with North Roby. In 1930 the population
was 801. It actually increased during the Great Depression – reaching 904 for
the 1940 Census. The Roby and Northern line was scrapped during WWII
and its rails went to the war effort.
The population peaked in 1950 with
1,040 people calling Roby and North Roby home. The city was plagued by insufficient
water throughout its life and finally in 1953 during a long period of drought,
water from Oak Creek Lake was piped in. By 1970 the population was down to less
than 800 and over the years it has slowly declined to the present 673 (2000).
Marker - US 180 and Hwy 70 - across from the courthouse|
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.
1926 Fisher County jail on the courthouse square is still in use today.|
Jeanson, August 2006
Roby Cemetery Historical Marker|
Photo Courtesy Barclay
Gibson, April 2009
Marker - Hwy 70 and CR 203|
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.
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.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos, please contact
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