Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 414 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
R. B. PARROTT,
R. B. Parrott was born in Amherst County, Va.,
in October, 1848. His father, William J. Parrott,
died in 1893. His mother, nee Miss Jane C.
Blanks, was a niece of the founder of the Smithsonian
Mr. Parrott entered the University of Virginia
before he was fourteen years of age, and was the
youngest student who ever matriculated at that
great college, before or since. When the war
came on he ran away from college, having been
there only six months, joined the Southern troops
under Col. Mosby and served through the war as a
non-commissioned officer. December 24, 1864, he
was captured and taken to Boston Harbor, where
he was kept in confinement with Hon. Alex. H.
Stephens. He was released June 16, 1865.
After the war be returned to Virginia and
engaged with a large commission house in Richmond,
in which he was "on 'change." He was
the youngest man on 'change in the city and carried
off first premium on best sales every year that
he was there. In 1872, he came to Texas and settled
in Waco and at once identified himself with
the interests of that city and of the State. He
embarked in the insurance business, which he has
successfully continued. He is now the general
manager for Texas, Arkansas and the Pacific Slope
of the Provident Savings Life Insurance Company
of New York. While in California he projected
the novel and effective scheme for advertising
Texas land by moving-cars. He was largely instrumental
in causing the organization of the Texas
and Real-Estate Association, he having first suggested
and urged the organization before the Waco
Board of Trade, of which he is president. He is
also president of the Provident Investment Company
which owns a valuable suburban addition to the
city. He has been honored by the bishop of the
diocese by appointment as one of the trustees of
the University of the South, at Sewanee, Tenn.
During the World's Fair he filled the position of
chairman of the Texas World's Fair Committee.
It was through his influence that the Provident
Savings Life Insurance Co. erected in Waco one of
the most complete and magnificent office buildings
in the South. He has always taken an active
interest in the cause of popular education. He
was chairman of the School Committee of the city
of Waco for a number of years and has done much
to bring the schools up to their present state of
efficiency. The nearest approach to a political
office he ever consented to accept was a position on
Governor Hubbard's staff, with the rank of Colonel.
Owing to his efforts and those of S. W. Slayden
and others, a splendid natatorium was built in
Waco, one of the first, if not the first, constructed
in Texas. It is located on Fourth street, near the
Pacific Hotel, and cost $75,000.
Col. Parrott was united in marriage, June 12,
1873, to Miss Alice Farmer Downs, the accomplished
daughter of W. W. Downs. They reside at the
old homestead of Maj. Downs, a beautiful and
historic home on South Third street. Their union
has been blessed with six children: Charles B.,
Rosa, Alice, Robert B., Jr., Willie, and Lillian.
Rosa died at the age of three years.
Col. Parrott is a member of the Masonic, Elks
and Knights of Pythias fraternities.
During the Hogg-Clark campaign he championed
the cause of George Clark and was indefatigable in
his efforts to secure his nomination and then to
elect him. He was called unanimously to the
leadership of the Prohibition forces and the
work accomplished by him shows how well he
discharged the duties of the trust confided to
Few men have contributed more to the prosperity
of Texas, and especially of Waco, than Col.
Parrott. His great efforts have been to introduce
into the State a cheaper system of life insurance
than that of the old lines, which drained the State
of money. After years of struggle against bitter
opposition and obstacles that would have crushed a
less resolute man, he has been eminently successful
and has saved millions of dollars to the people and
has greatly aided in advancing the material prosperity
and development of the State.
A pleasing phase of Col. Parrott's work in Texas,
is its pure disinterestedness. He has no political
aspirations and there is no official position which
he could be induced to accept. He is a man of
fine physique, dignified in his bearing and pleasing
in address. He is broad and cosmopolitan in his
views and strong in his advocacy of what he believes
to be right. He stands high in the estimation
of the people of the State and of the city
in which he dwells.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/414/: accessed February 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .