Son of Wm. Dale Cole and Flora Tennessee Corley, of Hamilton Co., TX, and a descendant of Wm. Corley and Jane Chamberlain, of Blount Co., TN. In 1914, Robert married Dorothy V. Shatel in Sparks, NV. A daughter, Elizabeth S. or Sarah Jane, was later born to the couple. In 1917, he was appointed Labor Commissioner for the state of NV and later served as secretary of the federal governments's National Mediation Board in Washington, D. C. He was also an amateur genealogist, having published a volume of research tracing the lineage of his own Cole and Dale families.