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Robert Millard McClure | by David C. Foster
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Robert Millard McClure

Robert Millard McClure ("Uncle Bob") was born in Lenoir City, TN and before the age of five moved to Fountain City (Knoxville), Tennessee in about 1910. His older brother, Huey McClure, drug him on the ground around the house and severely injured his leg and hip. A physician at the time tried to correct the injury by removing all the bone marrow from his pelvic bone and that caused his leg to not grow two inches. Huey became a civil engineer and was killed during an on the job accident in Miami, Florida. Uncle Bob married Mattie Marie Hill.


He was a skilled fiddler and attended the Baptist Church in Fountain City, Tennessee. In about 1930, As a young man he helped a very sick and bed ridden Roy Acuff learn to play the fiddle. After Roy was able to leave his bed others such as Copeland furthered his fiddle mentoring. They became good friends, but eventually lost contact with one another. We still have Uncle Bob’s fiddle and I “assume” the same fiddle the Roy Acuff may have been taught to play on?


The pocket watch and chain was given to him by his grandfather Parker, who owned and operated a large hardware store in Knoxville. The gold pocket watch had to be wound with a key. There was another photo that seems to have disappeared though the years where Bob was on a large hand carved rocking horse.


His father was a William McClure, a civil engineer and his mother was Alice Parker. Both his brothers became engineers; Huey the red head who died in Miami, Florida in his twenties and William McClure Jr. who eventually worked for and retired from NASA to live Saint Petersburg, Florida. Uncle Bob volunteered for military service after the attack on Pearl Harbor while in his thirties, but was classified 4F and turned down. He and his wife never had any children of their own, but always left the door open for family members who needed a place to stay.

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Uploaded on August 10, 2009