Robert Lee Pridgen
The R. L. Pridgen Family, Robert Lee and Lucinda, and their two daughters, Polly and Alice, moved to Grapeland in 1912. They originally lived on a farm in the old Pridgen home about 5 miles west of Grapeland. Their son, Joe Adams Pridgen, was born soon after their move to town. Robert Lee Pridgen was born June 30th, 1869, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas. He was the eldest son of Benjamin Franklin Pridgen and Lucy Alice (Wright) Pridgen. His mother was from Marshall, Texas, where the old Wright home still stands – it was called “The Wright Plantation” and also known as the ‘Locust Grove”. Lucinda (Williams) Pridgen was the daughter of James Franklin Williams and Louisa Della (Helm) Williams. She was born in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas, and November 30, 1883. The children of Robert Lee Pridgen, better known as “Bob Lee’, and Lucinda Pridgen are: Polly (Pridgen) Kennedy, retired schoolteacher of Levelland, Texas; Alice (Pridgen) Fry, retired schoolteacher of San Antonio, Texas, and Joe Adams Pridgen, well-known rancher and farmer of Grapeland, Texas – died January 4, 1983. The five grandchildren are: Don Kennedy, DDS, of Levelland, TX; Polly Ann (Kennedy) Parmer, college teacher in Levelland, TX; Frances Kennedy, Abilene, TX; Linda Lee (Pridgen) Duggan, home economics teacher in Dickinson, TX; and James Robert (Bob) Pridgen, engineer for New Mexico State University (Physics Dept.), Las Cruces, New Mexico. There are seven great grandchildren. They are Martha, Curt and Kelley Kennedy, Levelland, TX; Kenneth and David Parmer, Levelland, TX; Dacia Lynn and Douglas (Doug) Edward Duggan, Dickinson, TX. There are two great-great granddaughters. Robert Lee Pridgen was a successful cotton farmer during the period when cotton was the major crop in theHouston County area. His son, Joe, also planted cotton for several years but later planted peanuts which became the major crop in this area along with ranching.
The cattle industry became big business in Houston County. Lucinda Pridgen was considered one of the best cooks and seamstresses in this area. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star 120 of Grapeland, a charter member of the Garden Club and an active Red Cross volunteer worker during World War II. The Pridgen Family was all members of the First Methodist Church of Grapeland. Robert Lee Pridgen died January 21, 1929. Lucinda Pridgen died November 9, 1959; and Joe Adams Pridgen died January 4, 1983. They are all buried in the Grapeland City Cemetery. Catherine (Howard) Pridgen, Joe Pridgen’s widow, lives in the old Pridgen home on South Main in Grapeland, Texas.