SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 568 & 569.
Robert H. Hicks - The subject of sketch is the junior member of the firm of Scarbrough & Hicks, merchants of Rockdale and Austin. Mr. Hicks is a native Texan. His parents, A. W. & P. M. Hicks, came to Texas in 1845 and settled in Lavaca county, where Robert was born and reared. His boyhood was passed on the farm and ranch and was occupied with labors and sports suitable to his age. The free, open-air life which he enjoyed gave him a vigorous development and insured him a splendid physique well calculated to withstand the strain of the active business career which he has since led. His educational advantages were limited, being only such as were afforded by the poorly-taught local schools of the day. But he was a shrewd observer and possessed a bright, receptive mind, and gathered from observation a fund of practical information which has since been of great value to him in the dealings of daily life.
At the age of seventeen, when the Civil war had closed, and his family, like so many others throughout the South, was left without subsistence, young Hicks began his lifework in earnest, supporting not only himself. but helping to provide for a family of younger brothers and sisters. The cattle business being the only industry that then gave much hope of substantial returns he gave his attention to this and was engaged in it for about five years. In 1875 he gave up these pursuits and located at Rockdale, then but recently started. Here he became bookkeeper in the mercantile establishment of H. P. Hale & Company. In January, 1883, after the death of General Hale, he took an interest in the business, the firm becoming Scarbrough & Hicks, and for ten years past he has devoted his time and attention solely to the interests of this house. Since 1889, the date of Mr. Scarbrough's removal to Austin, Mr. Hicks has had personal charge of the business.
This house is well known throughout central Texas, being one of the largest and financially the most solid establishments in this section of the State. The firm employs twenty clerks, uses both the cash and credit system and does an annual business of $250,000. A reputation for honest dealing, for goods of the best quality at the lowest living prices, for courteous clerks able to converse with buyers in any local vernacular, backed by ample means, vigorous brains, keen business forsight, tact and good management have made the mercantile house of Scarbrough & Hicks what it is. The firm annually handle a large amount at cotton and are leading stock-holders in every progressive enterprise.
Mr. Hicks' name always heads every list gotten up for charitable purposes. If the cause is worthy be does not seek to know its creed but donates liberally and substantially as becomes one of his position and means. He has been a Trustee of the Rockdale public schools since the date of their organization and he has taken an interest in them second only to that which he has taken in his own personal matters. He is an upright member in and officer of the Baptist Church, giving it the warmest moral and financial support.
In 1879 Mr. Hicks married Miss Maggie Hall, daughter of John Hall, deceased. Miss Hall established and taught successfully for five years before her marriage the first permanent school in Rockdale. Intellectually her husband's equal, her finer qualities a foil to his more sturdy traits, the union has been one of unusual happiness that charms and cheers all who come under its benign influence. Three bright, intelligent children bless their home.
We must say a special thank you to Lyndal Fisher of San Angelo, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
Created on 12 Aug 2004 and last revised on ____________