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MEANS, ROBERT MADISON (1878–1972). Robert Madison Means, oilman and philanthropist, was born in a log cabin near Whitsboro in Grayson County, Texas, on July 25, 1878, the son of pioneer ranchers in Grayson and Andrews counties. He grew up in Andrews and operated Andrews Abstract Company until 1914, when he moved to Abilene. He later moved to Florida and worked for American Telephone and Telegraph company. He returned to Andrews in 1927 and then to Abilene in 1934, an area where he owned several ranches and oil wells. Means was a member of the First Christian Church of Abilene, where he was also a deacon and trustee. He made many large donations toward the upkeep and improvement of the church. In 1968 he contributed $20,000 for a new organ and later paid for the new education building at First Christian Church of Andrews. Other acts of philanthropy include the contribution of a two-story hospital to the Juliette Fowler Homes in Dallas in 1957, and a later donation of athletic buildings and a boys' dormitory. In 1970 a Texas historical marker was erected in his name on the original townsite of Andrews, since the land had originally been owned by Means. He was a lifetime member of the Texas Cowboy Reunion, the Gideon chapter of Abilene, Andrews Masonic Lodge, the Salvation Army, and the downtown Lions Club. He was also a member of the Texas Lions League for Crippled Children. He married Annie Atwood Wilder on June 28, 1908, and the couple had two daughters. Means died in September 1972 in Abilene. He is buried in Elmwood Memorial Park, Abilene.


Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Robin Dutton


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Robin Dutton, "MEANS, ROBERT MADISON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 10, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.