Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
ROBERT R. NEAL is perhaps the
most extensive fruit grower in Lincoln county. He certainly has done considerable
work and is deserving of great credit. His place is about six miles north
from Hesseltine and consists of two hundred and forty acres, forty acres
of it being irrigated. Mr. Neal has shown great wisdom in laying out and
handling the place and has made himself a master of the fruit business,
as will be discerned by the results he has achieved.
Robert R. Neal was born in Franklin county,
Illinois, on March 29, 1852, the son of Aaron and Elizabeth (Clumpet) Neal.
The father was born in South Carolina and moved to Illinois in 1818. He
fought in the Black Hawk war and was a prominent and well to do man. The
mother was born near where the battle of Cowpens was fought. Our subject
received an ordinary education from the public schools of Illinois and
upon the completion of the same, spent six years in buying and selling
cattle in Kansas. In 1882, he came to Sherman, Washington, and first filed
on land in township 27, range 33, it being the township in which Sherman
is now located. For four years, he remained there, meeting and overcoming
the obstacles and hardships incident to a pioneer life. Then he remained
in his present location, taking a homestead and bought eighty acres. Since
that time, he has given his undivided attention to the study of the fruit
industry, and carrying on the same. He has a large orchard of all leading
varieties of apples, both winter and fall, a fine peach orchard, and also
raises many pears, prunes, plums, cherries, grapes, strawberries, and so
forth. Mr. Neal has never had a failure in the fruit crop in his section
and in addition to making an undivided success himself has done an untold
amount of good to the community in stimulating worthy efforts in this very
important industry. He raised in 1893, thirty thousand quarts of strawberries
on three acres and cleared nine hundred dollars on them. He also raises
cotton, tobacco, and sweet potatoes, and in 1888 raised one yam weighing
fourteen pounds. There were enough others in the same hill to make twenty-five
pounds. He irrigated his land from a large spring on the farm.
In 1878, Mr. Neal married Miss Louisa Van
Dusen. She died in 1894. In 1898, Mr. Neal married Mrs. Tinnie (Park) Beers.
He has the following children, William R., Ollie E., Fred O., Frank L.,
Roy R., Nora E., Mattie M., and E. Alice. He also has one step-son, Joseph
Beers. In 1895, Mr. Neal was appointed fruit inspector for Lincoln county
and held that office for six years. He is a man of progressive ideas and
good sound judgment and the success he has gained is one of the choice
bits of Lincoln county history.