Robert R. Hobbs

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie Crook
September 19, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 250
Hancock County

ROBERT R. HOBBS. Included among the men who have
the responsibility for good government in Hancock County
on their shoulders is Robert R. Hobbs, occupying the posi-
tion of clerk of the County Court. Mr. Hobbs is well known
to the people of the county a.a an efficient, energetic and
conscientious official, for he is. now serving his second
six-year term in his present office, and prior to becoming
the incumbent thereof had acted in other public capacities.
He has spent his entire life in the county, where he has
been the architect of his own fortunes.

Mr. Hobbs was born at Fairview, Hancock County,
September 5, 1875, a son of John Wesley and Elizabeth
Jane (Brenneman) Hobbs. The mother of John Wesley
Hobbs was Margaret Ray, a daughter of Joseph Ray, said
to have been a Eevolutionary soldier, who settled on
Brown’s Island, six miles below New Cumberland in the
Ohio River, and reached an advanced age, being buried
at Pughtown. The father of John Wesley Hobbs was
Leonard Hobbs, who died at the age of thirty-four years
at Wellsburg. John W. Hobbs was sheriff of Hancock
County during the Civil war period, following which he
became a merchant at Pughtown. In 1881 he was elected
to the State Legislature, when the capital was at Wheel-
ing, and after completing his term of office returned to his
store at Pughtown, in which community he died at the
age of seventy years. Elizabeth Brenneman was a daughter
of Jacob Brenneman, a descendant of the original settler
of the county, Jacob Nessley, whose home was opposite
the mouth of Yellow Creek, Ohio, but over the West
Virginia line. There Elizabeth had been brought at two
years of age and was reared on the farm in the Ohio
Valley. She died at the advanced age of eighty-two

Robert R. Hobbs secured his education at Pughtown,
where he lived until reaching the age of sixteen years,
at that time becoming an employe of a merchant at
Hookstown, Pennsylvania. At the end of three years
he went to Pittsburgh, where he became a clerk for
Joseph Hern & Company, and then ran a store at Chester,
West Virginia, until 1909, when he was elected sheriff of
Hancock County. After spending four years in that
capacity he returned to his mercantile operations at
Chester, and applied himself thereto without interrup-
tion until elected clerk of the County Court for a period
of six years, on the republican ticket. When his term
expired the citizens, in looking back over his record, found
it so satisfactory that he was chosen to succeed himself for
another six-year term, and is still the capable, conscientious
incumbent of that position.

Mr. Hobbs married Miss Effie K. Knowles, of East
Liverpool, Ohio, and to this union there have been born
four children: Robert Knowles, who graduated from the
high school at Chester, West Virginia, in 1922; Ruth Louise,
who is attending high school; and Mildred Elizabeth and
Ralph Brenneman, who are attending the graded schools.
Mr. Hobbs has a number of civic and social connections,
and is accounted one of the progressive men of his com-
munity, where he has numerous friends.