Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


ROBERT B. LOVE, D. V. S. Greene county has never had a more efficient, progressive and popular veterinary physician and surgeon than Dr. Robert B. Love, a man of statewide reputation, who seemed to have a natural aptitude and liking for this calling when a mere boy, and from that time to the present he has left no stone unturned whereby he could advance himself in the same, remaining a close student of everything pertaining to this science, observing, investigating and experimenting. His counsel has been frequently sought by his professional brethren and invariably followed with gratifying results, his advice in any phase of the profession being accepted as unqualified authority. His modernly equipped hospital in Springfield is known to all horsemen in southwest Missouri and he has built up an extensive and lucrative patronage during his long years of residence here. An admirer and expert judge of horses of superior breed he always keeps a number of animals, owning three stallions at this writing which have few peers in the country.

Dr. Love was born in Webster county, Missouri, February 5, 1873. He is a scion of a sterling ancestry, some of the Loves having been distinguished military men in the early wars of the nation and influential citizens of Virginia and Tennessee. He is a son of Thomas C. and Sallie Jane (Rodgers) Love. The father is a retired resident of Springfield, having been a successful farmer in Webster county during the active years of his life, and in that county his birth occurred in 1844, soon after his parents, Thomas B. and Elizabeth (Barnard) Love settled there, having emigrated from Tennessee Thomas B. Love was born in North Carolina and was a son of Gen. Thomas Love, who was a native of Ireland, from which country he emigrated to the United States in old Colonial days and he became a soldier in the Revolutionary war, finally become coroner of a North Carolina regiment. Later he moved into Tennessee and became a general of Militia and a great man there, serving thirty years consecutively in the state legislature. His oldest son, Robert, was a colonel in the War of 1812 and fought under Jackson at New Orleans. The family has always been lovers of liberty and have unhesitatingly taken an active part in the wars in which this country has been involved at various times. Thomas B. Love, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, entered six hundred acres of land upon his arrival in Webster county, and this he cleared and developed and thereon established the permanent home of the family. His son, Thomas C. Love, father of our subject, became owner of the homestead, which he retained up to a few years ago, when he sold it, retiring from active life as a farmer and moving to Springfield, as before indicated. Thomas B. Love owned about two dozen slaves at the time of his death, which occurred in 1852, after a residence of only a decade in the Ozarks. He was a man of humanitarian impulses and was also very considerate in his treatment of his slaves. His family consisted of nine children. The oldest son joined a company for the Mexican war, became a first lieutenant, but died on the march to Mexico. The widow of Thomas B. Love died in 1869. Thomas C. Love, mentioned above, grew to manhood on the home farm in Webster county, and when the Civil war came on he enlisted in the Confederate army, a Missouri cavalry regiment, under General Marmaduke and proved to be a gallant soldier. He still carries a pistol ball received in a battle in Arkansas. He was also in prison on two different occasions for some time. When his brigade was defeated in battle at Mines Creek, Kansas, where General Marmaduke and Cabell and a large number of the men were captured, he made a sensational escape by swimming a dangerous stream, and later joined a reorganized body of the same troops in Texas and served until the close of the war, surrendering at Shreveport, Louisiana, in June, 1865. After the war he devoted three years to the management of a plantation in Texas, raising cotton, then returned to Webster county, Missouri, and carried on general farming and live stock raising until 1892, when he turned his farm into an apple orchard. He first moved to Springfield in 1883 to educate his children, moving back to the farm in 1899, and in 1911 again took up his residence in the Queen City. He was formerly active in the Democratic party and served one term in the state legislature in 1882. In 1893 he was appointed postmaster at Springfield, which office he held four years.

The mother of Dr. Robert B. Love was a daughter of R. W. Rodgers and wife, of Texas county, Missouri. This family is of Scotch-Irish descent and became known in the New World at an early day. The grandfather of Mrs. Love took up his residence in Texas county long before the opening of the Civil war and became an extensive lumberman and well known to the early pioneers of that section. Mrs. Love grew to womanhood in her native locality and received her education in the early schools there. Her death occurred May 20, 1912.

Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Love, namely: Dr. Joseph W., of Springfield; Dr. Robert B., of this sketch; Thomas B., an attorney of Dallas, Texas; Ralph M., a banker, of Mt. Pleasant, Texas; Edgar P., a manufacturer, of Dallas, Texas; two sons died in early life.

Dr. Robert B. Love grew to manhood on the homestead in Webster county and there did his share of the general work when he was a boy. He received his early education in the district schools. He came to Springfield in 1881 and served as money-order clerk at the post office for three and a half years. Prior to that time he spent a term in Drury College, after which he entered the Western Veterinary College at Kansas City, where he made rapid progress and from which institution he was graduated in 1898-1899. He was valedictorian of his class. Returning to Springfield he opened an office and has been engaged in the practice of his profession here ever since, each year showing a further advancement than the preceding. He has maintained the same office all the while, his hospital on Convention Hall avenue is equipped with all up-to-date appliances and apparatus to insure prompt and high-grade service. He has kept fully abreast of the times in his chosen line of endeavor and has long ranked among the leading veterinary physicians and surgeons of the state, and for many years has held the office of deputy state veterinarian of Missouri, having served in this capacity under the past five governors of the state. His long retention is evidence of his ability and satisfaction. In 1899 he took a post-graduate course in the Western Veterinary College. He has had a large practice here from the first, and is often called to various parts of the state on consultation. He was placed in charge of all the territory south of the Frisco lines on the tick-eradication work several years ago.

During the Boer war, Doctor Love was hired by the British government as chief veterinarian in charge of steamship Kelvingrove, which carried a load of mules from New Orleans to Cape Town, South Africa, for the army. He did his work so thoroughly and ably that the English officials complimented him highly, reporting that he had made the best record in transporting animals from New Orleans to South Africa ever made for the British government up to that date. He lost but two mules out of nine hundred and ninety-nine on the entire voyage. While in South Africa Doctor Love was offered a position as chief of veterinary hospital and outfitting army station at Queenstown. After traveling over the southern portion .of the Dark Continent he visited the important cities of England, visiting Paris during the World's Fair in 1900.

Doctor Love was married, July 11, 1894, to Mable M. Williams, who was born in Springfield, December 19, 1873. She is a daughter of John and Julia (Vinton) Williams, a prominent family of this city, the father having been a leading hardware merchant here for many years, but is now living in retirement. A complete sketch of this family appears on another page of this volume to which the reader is respectful referred. Mrs. Love grew to womanhood in this city and received a good education in the local schools. The union of the Doctor and wife has resulted in the birth of three children, namely: Robert W., born July 2, 1896, is attending high school; George McDaniel, born October 18, 1901, is in school; and John Thomas, born March 17, 1905, is also a student.

Politically, Doctor Love is a Democrat, but professional duties have prevented him from taking a very active part in political affairs. Fraternally, he belongs to the Loyal Order of Moose, having passed all the chairs in the local lodge up to dictator. He was brought up in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, the family attending the Christ Episcopal church. For recreation the Doctor formerly devoted considerable time to rod and gun, and is an expert shot, but of late years he has had little time to devote to sportsmanship owing to his extensive practice.

Our subject is an ardent lover of good horses and is an enthusiastic breeder of thoroughbred and saddle horses, and has sold more of them than, perhaps, any other breeder in Missouri. He has often acted as judge at various county fairs within a radius of two hundred miles of Springfield. He is at this writing owner of three of the finest and most valuable stallions in the state, namely: "P. J." 0167, is one of the fastest and best breeding combination stallions, and one that has sired more high-class, level-headed family horses than any other horse in this section, a horse that has shown two-minute speed and possesses unquestionable disposition for which his gets, are also noted. The year book shows that "P. J." was one of the gamest and most successful race horses in his day. He has been shown in almost all the street fairs and show rings in the vicinity of Springfield and has never met defeat. His last appearance was at the Springfield show, October 9, 1909 for combination stallion with five of his gets, competition advertised open to the world. "Peacock Chief" 1585, is the durable saddle stallion that has been advertised without successful contradiction, to show more gaits both under the saddle and in his gets than all the rest of the saddle stallions in Greene county combined. Chief has sired more high-priced saddle colts than any other saddle stallion ever having made a season in Greene county, many of his colts having sold from one thousand to eighteen hundred dollars. "Ilot" 70649 (79746) Percheron stallion, was imported from France for the Charles Holland stock farm, and purchased by Doctor Love in January, 1914, whose pedigree shows him to be one of the richest bred Percheron stallions in the United States, and unquestionably the best stallion for this section ever imported by the Holland stock farm, one of the most noted farms of its kind in the state.

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