Biography of Robert L. Reaves

Successful Teacher after the Civil War

Robert L. Reaves, son of the late Stephen and Elizabeth (Cobb) Reaves, was a successful teacher in Franklin as well as several other Alabama counties. Mr. Reaves was reared in the Dillard’s Mill and Ebenezer communities north of Russellville, and attended the rural schools of those communities. Having been born about the time of the Civil War, he, as many others, lacked many of the present-day educational opportunities, or the opportunities of those days enjoyed by the more wealthy. But his mother was a woman of remarkable industry, energy and ambition. She pushed her children through the rural schools and encouraged them to attend higher schools. So Mr. Reaves, acting on this inspiration, began to teach in the rural schools of Franklin County when quite a young man. He won considerable praise for being a successful teacher. In 1895 he graduated from the Florence State Normal College and was then able to teach in higher schools. He was principal of the high school at Reform; president of the First District Agricultural School at Jackson; principal of the Fayette County High School at Fayette; and principal of the Fayette Grammar School when his death occurred in the fall of 1922. He also served Fayette County as superintendent of education a few years prior to his death.

Mr. Reaves was one of the finest looking men in the teaching profession in Alabama and was recognized as an honorable man. He was twice married, each time to a Franklin County girl. His first wife was Miss Addie Pace, a daughter of J. O. A. Pace, the Baptist minister; his second wife was Miss Flora Walker, daughter of Alpha W. Walker, of Russellville, He survived both wives. Several children, one by the first marriage, survive their father.

Source: Source: James, R. L. Distinguished Men, Women and Families of Franklin County, Alabama. Russellville, Ala., Private Publication, 1928. 111 p.

1 thought on “Biography of Robert L. Reaves”

  1. Phyllis Shirley Thompson

    Robert E. Lee Reaves was my great grandfather. How I wish I had known him! I do know that he was a very kind man and a great father to his children! I heard that from one of his daughters, my Grandmother, Inez Reaves Shirley. I am so glad that he was an educator! One of his sons and three of his daughters were also teachers. I am now a retired teacher and so is one of my cousins who is in the Shirley line. I almost forgot that two of my aunts on the Shirley side were also teachers. What a wonderful life he had in teaching, helping and caring for his students! I can tell you that for a fact! Teaching was fun! I am so grateful that my great grandfather, Robert E. Lee Reaves led the way for our family! Blessed!

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