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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Hobbs, Richard Junius Mendenhall

by Henry Hood, 1988

6 July 1888–17 Sept. 1967

College yearbook photograph of Richard Junius Mendenhall Hobbs, 1911. Image from Junius Mendenhall Hobbs, lawyer, educator, and administrator, was born at Guilford College, the third son of Lewis Lyndon Hobbs, president of the college, and Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, members of a prominent Quaker family. He was named after Richard Junius Mendenhall, a promoter, with James J. Hill, of the Great Northern Railway and a founder of Minneapolis.

Hobbs attended Westtown Friends School, Pa., and in 1909 was graduated from Guilford College where he won the Orator's Prize and was, like his brother Allan Wilson, a baseball star. In 1911 he received an M.A. degree from Haverford College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. At Columbia University Law School, Hobbs studied under Harlan Stone and was elected to Delta Sigma Rho, the honorary legal fraternity; he earned the LL.B. degree in 1914. From 1915 to 1929 he practiced law in Greensboro and Gastonia. Moving to Chapel Hill, Hobbs was professor of business law at The University of North Carolina from 1929 to 1967 and dean of the Business School from 1954 to 1956. He was coauthor of Britton and Brauer's Cases and Materials on Business Law.

During World War II, Hobbs was a member of the panel of arbitrators of three organizations: the American War Labor Board, the North Carolina Department of Labor, and the Mediation and Conciliation Services. In Chapel Hill, he was active on the school board and served as alderman of the town for seventeen years, occasionally as mayor pro tem. He was a member of Orange County Board of Commissioners for ten years and of the North Carolina Bar Association. Hobbs was one of the principal founders of the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting.

He married Gretchen Taylor and had three sons: Richard, Grimsley, and Lewis Lyndon III. After the death of his first wife in 1956, he married Katherine Smith.


Dudley DeWitt Carroll and others, "UNC Faculty Pays Tribute to R. J. M. Hobbs," Chapel Hill Weekly, 24 Jan. 1968.

Grimsley Taylor Hobbs (personal contact).

"R. J. M. Hobbs: A Tribute from Dr. Frank," Chapel Hill Weekly, 20 Sept. 1967.

Additional Resources:

"Dean Hobbs Dies at 79." The Alumni Review [University of North Carolina] 56, no. 1 (October 1967). 8. (accessed May 16, 2013).

""Richard Junius Mendenhall Hobbs. '09." Alumni Journal: Guilford College Bulletin 60, no. 2 (February 1967). 31. (accessed May 16, 2013).

"Report of Committee on Alumni Oratorical Prize." Haverford College Bulletin 9, no. 8 (Eighth Month, 1911). 11-12. (accessed May 16, 2013).

"Two Young Attorneys." The Greensboro Patriot. September 7, 1914. 1A. (accessed May 16, 2013).

"Richard Junius Mendenhall Hobbs." The Record of the Class Nineteen Eleven Haverford College. Biddle Press Inc. 1911. 80. (accessed May 16, 2013).

Image Credits:

"Richard Jones [sic] Mendenhall Hobbs." Photograph. The Record of the Class Nineteen Eleven Haverford College. Biddle Press Inc. 1911. 16. (accessed May 16, 2013).