Robert H. Lane


“Captain John Lane, the oldest son, fell...”

    In 1851, after James Journey, “only child and sole heir” of Nathaniel T. reached a settlement with the Jeffries heirs, he and wife Mary soon deeded Robert H. Lane (1815-72) 2,250 acres, “it being the South portion that remains after taking off 1,200 acres for Ursula Journey” at the north end.

    Then, when Gideon Smith “represented his county” in the Texas legislature of 1857-58: “Democratic the town of Bonham, held 19th of December 1857...the object of the meeting was explained by the Chair [Col. R. H. Lane] to be that of appointing delegates to the State Convention, to be held at Austin on the 8th of January 1858...we fully endorse the patriotism, and Democracy of the delegates appointed....”

    In March 1858, when Fannin county slave-owners were threatening “Northern Methodists” on Timber Creek,

    Hon. Gideon Smith rose to a question of inquiry:  He had heard that a negro belonging to Joshua Cox had been tampered with by some of the members of this denomination on Timber Creek, and requested that Mr. Cox would come forward and state the facts in the meeting.  Mr. Cox said that his negro had commenced attending their meetings, and was entirely useless to him after so doing.  He commenced to leave home every night, and when told to remain at home, would steal off after bed time.  When I asked where he spent his nights, he answered at the house of James Rose, who used to read to him and talk to him about his freedom.  Mr. Cox further stated that he went to Mr. Rose and requested him to whip the negro and send him home.  Mr. Rose acknowledged that his negro came there on nights to hear him read, and that he did not feel like driving him away.  Mr. Cox sold the negro to Col. R. H. Lane.  Col. Lane was then called.  He did not wish to make any statement to criminate a white man on the evidence of a negro, but he mentioned that the negro said he was told by one of the Northern Methodists that if he went to Illinois he could soon make money enough by preaching to buy his freedom.... After hearing these statements, Mr. Smith proceeded by saying that sufficient had been heard to act on....

    Judge W. A. Evans will write for his series of biographical sketches,

    Colonel Robert H. Lane, a prominent lawyer, practiced law in this judicial district, which district extended from the Arkansas and Louisiana line to the west boundary lines of Hunt and Fannin Counties, making a district about 130 miles long and about 60 miles wide.  The colonel rode over these counties horseback to attend the courts.

    He was a native of the State of New York.  He was a man of liberal education.  He came from New York to Missouri and there he married Miss Rebecca McFarland.  From Missouri he came to Texas in 1855.  [Earlier?]

    In the war of 1846-47 between the United States and Mexico, he had command of a regiment, made a good soldier and won honor on several battle fields.

    He came from Missouri to Bonham, and established himself in the practice of law, doing a large and lucrative business.  In 1855 he was appointed by the U. S. government as one of the commissions upon the part of the United States to run and mark the line between the United States and Mexico.  In this service he was engaged for more than twelve months after which he returned to his home and the practice of law.  He took no part in the war between the States.  He was a strong Union man, loved the old flag under which he had so gallantly served in the war with Mexico.

    He had three sons, two of whom took service in the Confederacy and the third one would have done so had he been old enough.

    Captain John Lane, the oldest son, fell while leading his company in the battle at Perryville, Kentucky.  Robert, the second, though not of age to force him into service, volunteered and served gallantly on the east side of the Mississippi river.  During one of the battles he was severely wounded, losing one of his legs.  He died in Bonham, Texas.... 

    In 1866 Colonel Lane was elected a member of the Texas Legislature and served one term.  Before his term expired he received the appointment of United States revenue collector for the western district of Texas.

    Charles D. Grace and myself stood by his bedside when the light of life went out.  He closed his eyes that never opened again.

    Colonel Lane was a man who had his opinions and was true to his convictions.  He was brave and fearless and would freely express his opinion of men or measures, yet he was not bitter or vindictive.