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Robert Lee Blakely

Robert Lee Blakely was born on his father’s farm in Johnson County, Arkansas on Feb. 12, 1867. This farm became later a stage station on the Little Rock and Ft. Smith line and was the site of a large portion of the town of Lamar which built up later.

Thomas M. Blakely and Mary Amanda (Brown) Blakely were the parents of Robert Lee Blakely. His father was born Feb. 6, 1814, in Laurens Dist. S.C., a son of John and Margaret Blakely. Robert Lee Blakely’s mother was born in Dickson County, Tennessee on Oct. 25, 1628, a daughter of John B. and Ruth (Houston) Brown. In 1836 the family moved to Johnson County, Arkansas. John B. Brown was a Colonel under Gen. Jackson at the battle of New Orleans. The parents of Robert Lee Blakely were married in 1844, His father died Oct. 29, 1889, and his mother died Aug. 25, 1892. They were the parents of nine children, Robert Lee being the youngest.

He moved to Johnson County, Arkansas in 1841. He was a Confederate soldier and served in John F. Hill's Regiment of Cabell's Brigade.

Robert Lee Blakely received his primary education at Ewing Seminary near the present town of Lamar. He also attended the State University at Fayetteville. His first business experience was in the large general Merchandise store of Cazort Brothers at Lamar in 1883. Later he was interested with his brothers in a drug store and grocery store in Lamar.

He came to Prescott, Nevada County in March 1889 and entered the Mercantile business with his brother-in-law, B.F. Brown whose interest he purchased in 1897. In 1911 he sold the mercantile business and in 1912, the Nevada County Abstract Company was established by him and his son, R.L. Blakely Jr.

On Feb. 14, 1894, Robert Lee Blakely was married to Mary Alice Shankle, daughter of Wiley E. and Amanda Elvira (Sorrells) Shankle. Wiley E. Shankle was born May 25, 1825, in S.C., a son of George and Elizabeth (Dyer) Shankle. Amanda Elvira Sorrells Shankle was born Jan. 2, 1841, in Marshall County, Mississippi, a daughter of Andrew EB. and Nancy R. (Brooks) Sorrells. The Shankle and Sorrells families settled in Dalles County near Holly Springs during the 1840s and Wiley E. Shankle and Amanda Elvira Sorrells were married there in 1860. Mr. Shankle was also a Confederate soldier in Cabell's Brigade. He died October 11, 1890, and Mrs. Shankle died July 5, 1915, both in Prescott, Arkansas.

Robert Lee Blakely and his wife, Mary Alice (Shankle) Blakely were members of the First Christian Church at Prescott. He served as a member of the official Board of that church for over 30 years. He served as Alderman for the city of Prescott for 25 years. He introduced the resolution to establish the town's Municipal Water and Light Plant and was Chairman of the Cemetery Committee for 20 years.


Children of Robert Lee Blakely and his wife, Mary Alice (Shankle) Blakely:


Robert Lee Jr. who married Chessie Buchanan, Sept 23, 1925.

Jackson Brown who married Louise Durham, Jan. 1, 1920. She died May 30, 1936.

Thomas Wiley

Robert Lee Blakely passed to his reward on Oct. 2, 1947, at Prescott, Arkansas. Buried Deanne Cemetery.


(Arranged from an autobiography written Jan. 10, 1940)

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