ROBERTS, LUVENIA CONWAY (1849-1940). Luvenia (Lou) Conway Roberts, author and chronicler of life with the Texas Rangers, was born on September 14, 1849, in Crockett, Texas, the daughter of John and Henrietta (Renfro) Conway. As a young woman she moved with her family to Columbus, Texas, where she married Daniel Webster Roberts on September 13, 1875. Her new husband, a veteran of the Texas militia during the Civil War, had joined Company D of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers in 1874, when the rangers were reorganized to offer protection to pioneers on the Texas frontier. Lieutenant Roberts originally planned to resign his position to marry but was told he could bring his wife into the company. Luvenia Roberts first settled in Mason, forty miles from her husband's ranger camp in Menard County but soon was forced to move into the camp after the Mason County War erupted. At the camp she and her husband lived in a renovated camp house, and she learned the skills of shooting, fishing, and horseback riding. Roberts enjoyed her unique position as a woman in a frontier ranger company, and she was well-received by her husband's colleagues. In six years with the rangers, during which time her husband was promoted to captain and commander of the company, she lived in several frontier camps, including those at Sabinal and Junction City. She frequently met and developed friendships with pioneer women in these areas. In 1882, due to her health problems, her husband resigned his position. The couple subsequently moved to New Mexico and lived there for thirty years.
In 1914 Lou and Dan Roberts returned to Texas, where they lived the remainder of their lives. In 1928 she published a sixty-four-page memoir of her years with the rangers entitled A Woman's Reminiscences of Six Years in Camp with the Texas Rangers. Lauded for its contributions to both the military and social history of the Texas frontier, this work was reissued in 1987 by State House Press in a volume that also contained her husband's 1914 work Rangers and Sovereignty. Luvenia Conway Roberts died in Austin on July 14, 1940. Preceded in death by her husband and one son, she was survived by her daughter-in-law and several grandchildren. She was buried with her husband at the State Cemetery in Austin.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jo Ella Powell Exley, ed., Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine: Voices of Frontier Women (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1985). Annie Doom Pickrell, Pioneer Women in Texas (Austin: Steck, 1929). Mrs. Daniel Webster Roberts, A Woman's Reminiscences of Six Years with the Texas Rangers (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1928?; rpt., Austin: State House Press, 1987).
Debbie Mauldin Cottrell
"ROBERTS, LUVENIA CONWAY." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Tue Aug 21 13:25:41 US/Central 2001].