Thomas W. Cutrer

PARROTT, ROBERT B. (1848–1903). Robert B. Parrott, Confederate soldier and business executive, was born in Amherst County, Virginia, on October 16, 1848, the son of William J. and Jane C. (Blanks) Parrott. His mother was a niece of James Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institution. After receiving early training at the Davis Primary School and the Lanza Academy, Parrott, at age thirteen, entered the University of Virginia. In 1862, however, after only six months of classes, he dropped out to enter Confederate military service. He enlisted as a private in Lt. Col. John Singleton Mosby's Forty-third Virginia Cavalry Battalion and was soon elected second sergeant of Company F. He was captured at Rectortown, Virginia, on December 21, 1864, and was confined to Fort Warren in Boston harbor for the duration of the war. After his release on June 16, 1865, Parrott returned to Virginia, where he worked for a commission house in Richmond and Charlottesville. In October 1872 he moved to Waco, Texas, and became an agent for the Nashville Life Insurance Company. He married Mrs. Alice Downs Farmer on June 12, 1873, and became the father of six children.

In 1874 Parrott became an agent for the Mobile Life Insurance Company, and in 1875 he went to work for the Alabama Gold Life Insurance Company. He became president of the Provident Savings Life Insurance Company of New York and general manager of its Texas, Arkansas, and the Pacific Slope organization. He was also a director of the Provident National Bank of Waco. Parrott was a principal founder of the Texas Real Estate Association. He served as a trustee of the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee; he was chairman of the Texas World's Columbian Exhibition Committee in 1893 and of the Waco School Committee. He was responsible for the construction of the Provident Building at Fourth and Franklin streets, a Waco landmark, and he served on the Waco city council and was president of the Waco Board of Trade. In 1892 he was an aide on the staff of Governor Richard B. Hubbard with the rank of colonel. Parrott was a Democrat, an Episcopalian, a Mason, an Elk, and a Knight of Pythias. He was also an ardent prohibitionist and served as secretary and general manager of a statewide campaign against liquor sales. He died at Hot Springs, Arkansas, on December 12, 1903, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Waco.

Lewis E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Representative Men of Texas (Austin: City Printing, 1887; 3d ed., San Antonio: Maverick, 1892). A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1892). James Joseph Williamson, Mosby's Rangers (New York: Kenyon, 1896).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas W. Cutrer, "PARROTT, ROBERT B.," accessed October 19, 2018,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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