Son of Joseph and Laura Bobbitt
Tilford Oscar Bobbitt was the first son and child of Joseph Alderson Bobbitt and Laura Abigail Duff Bobbitt. He was born on November 10, 1883 at Hillsboro, in Hill County, Texas. Tilford Oscar was the first of four sons and three daughters born to Laura (Duff) Bobbitt. When Tilford Bobbitt was twelve years of age, his mother died on December 7, 1895. Tilford was at this young age to share the responsibility of earning a living for his six brothers and sisters, and his grandparents, James Toliver and Malinda Catherine Bobbitt.
The Duff family were people of high quality and strong character. Many of the Duff relatives lived nearby the Joseph Alderson ranch and offered their aid and assistance in rearing the children of their Laura (Duff) Bobbitt. There is no doubt that Tilford Bobbitt was much influenced by the Duff family and inherited many of the finer qualities of the Duff family.
For the next eight years of the life of Tilford Bobbitt were spent in hard work and learning the art of managing a complete and self contained cattle ranch. In 1896, Joseph Alderson Bobbitt married Irene Ficklin. To their marriage was born nine additional children. The household added to the duties of Tilford Bobbitt and afforded him the opportunity to know and live with people long before he entered into a marriage of his own.
During the years following his mother's death, Tilford Bobbitt learned to become a skilled blacksmith. At this point in the history of the country, blacksmithing was essential to every rancher and family. As a successful blacksmith, Tilford Bobbitt was able to earn an excellent living anywhere he wished to live. During his lifetime, he lived and worked in Floyd, Hill and Denton counties of Texas.
On March 4, 1904, Tilford Oscar Bobbitt married Jo Kinley of Roanoke, Texas. The couple were married in Denton County, Roanoke Texas. Seven children were born to the marriage, six of whom lived to maturity. Those who lived were three sons and three daughters.
James Tilford Bobbitt born Jan. 14, 1906 Floyd Co. Texas
Henry Austin Bobbitt born Dec. 16, 1909 Hill Co. Texas Bertha Mae Bobbitt born Dec. 5, 1911 Hill Co. Texas Nannie Dora Bobbitt born Aug. 3, 1916 Denton Co. Texas Joseph Franklin Bobbitt born Sep. 5, 1918 Denton Co. Texas Nettie Lula Bobbitt born Jun. 22, 1921 Denton Co. Texas
The children were all educated in Texas rural schools. When they reached maturity all married with the exception of Henry Austin, who died young on August 28, 1928.
James Tilford Bobbitt m. Ora Mae Strickland Dec. 25, 1942 Bertha Mae Bobbitt m. Clarence A. Weatherford Jun. 10, 1932 Nannie Dora Bobbitt M. Lawson Bryant Cothron Jan. 30, 1934 Joseph Franklin Bobbitt M. Mary Ruth Miller Sep. 3, 1940 Nettie Lula Bobbitt m. James W. McDaniel Aug. 22, 1941
When the automobile began to take the place of horses, blacksmithing became less useful. In 1927, Tilford Bobbitt was appointed Game Warden for Denton County, Texas. He served as game warden until hi I s retirement at the age of 70. He retired on April 1, 1954. During hi I s tenure as game warden there were numerous newspaper articles about the integrity and efficiency of Tilford Bobbitt. "Kick backs and pay offs" were common in county politics for many Texas counties, but none of these worked with Tilford Bobbitt. He swore to uphold Texas law and he did just that. Following are some excerpts from Texas newspapers, mostly from The Dallas Morning News.
Kenneth Foree, Outdoor Editor of the Dallas Morning News, wrote this account when Tilford Bobbitt retired.
"It must be the kindly calm on the inside of the man. For on April 1, a man of seventy who has faced fury and threats, bribes and bullets for the fish, game and sportsmen of North Texas will end the longest career of any game warden in the same spot and with "nothing but good words" for those he has arrested.
"He is Tilford 0. Bobbitt, a medium-sized, kindly, humorous, easy-spoken, but determined and incorruptible man who for 27 years has been warden at Denton, Lake Dallas and surrounding areas.
"He has ducked at the vicious whick of a bullet by his head. He stood once and talked while a fanatic had a double-barreled shotgun cocked and aimed at his belly. And he went out into Lake Dallas to arrest a Dallas ex-Sheriff who sent word that if he caught Tilford Bobbitt on the lake he would "sink him."
"Bobbitt, native of Hillsboro and whose younger brother was once Attorney General of Texas, Robert Lee Bobbitt, came off the farm to become game warden in 1927 and found people with far less respect than now for the game laws of Texas. As a matter of fact there hadn't been too many game wardens in this area before him. He had just started when he ran into a case of back-dating of hunting licenses for men found minus them.
"One party of Dallas bankers brought an out-of-stater without a license. One of the Dallas bankers, fine fellow, you'd be surprised who he is, wrote a Denton County friend to plead the man guilty and held pay for it. The friend told Bobbitt, he ought to forget it and mentioned a suit of clothes.