The Robinson family is an ancient and numberous one, both in England and America. There are several coats-of-arms belonging to different branches of the name, but in all of them an antlered stag or buck is prominent. The one which is borne by the Robinsons of the north, from whom the early American immigrants are descended, consists of a gold field, crossed by a green chevron, with three gold cinque foils set between three bucks tripping.
There were two John Robinsons of early record. One of these, with eleven others from Ipswich and Newbury, Mass., made the orginal settlemtn of Haverhill, Mass., in 1640.
(I) Rev. John Robinson, founder of Plymouth colony, was born 1575, probably in Lincolnshire, England. he entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 1592, and received a fellowship there in 1598, which he resigned in 1604. He began his ministerial labors in and near Norwich, Norfolk, in 1606, and became a leader among the Puritans, with whom he went to Leyden, Holland, as preparation for emigration to the new world. His determination to emigrate in search of religious freedom was formed about 1617, and he was preparing to sail from Leyden soon after the first boyage of the "Mayflower." He was taken ill during the prevalence of a plaugue at Leyden, and died Feb. 19, 1625.
He married Bridget White, who came with her three sons to America after his death.
Children: John, Bridget, Isaac, Mercy, Fear and Jacob.
(II) Isaac, second son of Rev. John and Bridget (White) Robinson, was born about 1610 in England, and came in 1631 to Plymouth, where he was made freeman in 1633. He went to Scituate in 1636, and, with Rev. John Lathrop and his flock, settled at Barnstable in the autumn of 1639. About 1663 he went to Falmouth, Mass., then a new settlement, and was at Tisbury, in Martha's Vineyard, in 1673, remaining till 1701, when he returned to Barnstable and resided with his daughter, Fear, wife of Samuel Baker. During all these changes, for a period of nearly seventy years, he was a member of the Barnstable Church, and died about 1704.
He married (first) June 27, 1636, Margaret Hanford, of Scituate, who died before 1650. His second wife bore the baptismal name of Mary.
Children of first marriage:
Susanna, John, Isaac, Fear, Mercy and an infant daughter which died unnamed.
Children of second marriage:
Isarel, Jacob, Peter and Thomas.
After the death of Isaac Israel was known by the name.
(III) Lieutenant Peter, fifth son of Isaac Robinson, and third child of his second wife, was born between 1653 and 1656, in Barnstable, and lived in Tisbury until 1706. He was at Norwalk, Conn., in 1710, and afterward resided in Preston, Conn., where he died about Feb., 1740. He married Experience, daughter of John Manton, of Tisbury.
Children: Sarah, Abiah, Israel, Peter, Thomas, Abigail, Simon, Benjamin, Joseph, Isaac and Ann (twins), Mary, Rhoda, Martha and Elizabeth.
(IV) Benjamin, fifth son of Peter and Experience (Manton) Robinson, was born about 1704 in Tisbury, and resided in Windham, Conn., until after 1742. Before 1746 he removed to the adjoining town of Lebanon, whence he disappers after 1749. He was living in Middletown in 1757, and may have moved to some other colony after that.
He married Jerusha, daughter of Samuel Bingham.
Children: Eunice, Irene, Elijah, Eliphalet, Lydia, Jerusha, Benjamin and Daniel.
(V) Daniel, youngest child of Benjamin and Jerusha (Bingham) Robinson, was born May 19, 1757, in Middletown, Conn., died March 25, 1838. He was a soldier of the revolution, enlisting May 19, 1775, and served until June 12, 1783, when he was discharged. He removed from Middletown to Plattsburgh, N.Y., and lived on Margaret street in that town, and at other points in Clinton county. He was known as "Governor" Robinson, and had a mill on the Saranac river, near Plattsburgh, and was carried won the stream in a freshet, while trying to save some of the machinery. He said he rode on the millstone for about one hundred rods, and the discovery of the millstone after the flood had subsided at the point where he was rescued seemed to confirm the tale. One who knows the power of waters in flood can easily conceive of their bearing a millstone one hundred rods, though no one believes it will float in still or ordinary moving waters.
He married, Sept. 25, 1783, Thankful Sage, of Middletown, born Aug. 15, 1758, died Dec. 20, 1837.
Polly (died young), Deborah, Daniel, Patty, Lewis Samuel, Lucy, Leudiah, Sally, Thankful, Ira and Lydia.
(VI) Lewis Samuel, second son of Daniel and Thankful (Sage) Robinson, was born Sept. 7, 1791, in Plattsburgh, died June 8, 1864, at Chazy, where he owned a farm. For many years he kept a hotel on the turnpike, and from his home distinctly heard the cannonading at the battle of Plattsburgh, thirteen miles away. On a little brook near the hotel the trustees of the town of Plattsburgh gave a reception to President James Monroe, July 28, 1817, while he was on a tour of inspection through the northern states, en route from Plattsburgh to Sacketts Harbor. Having become tired of keeping hotel, and especially of dealing in intoxication, Mr. Robinson closed the hotel to the public shortly before the completion of the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain railroad, and thenceforward occupied it as a farmhouse, while engaged in tilling his land.
He married Oct. 15, 1812, Hannah Eldred, born Feb. 22, 1792, died Jan. 4, 1873. They were tenderly cared for in their old age by their youngest chld, Samantha, who resided on the homestead.
1. Eleazer Williams, mentioned below.
2. Lewis, born July 8, 1816, in Chazy; married Lucy Meader and had children: James Meader, Henry Williams, and Helen Elizabeth.
3. Calvin L., Sept. 9, 1819; married Caroline Lewis and had children: Henrietta Chloe, Zina Dudley, Philena, Clarissa and Lemuel.
4. Matthew S., April 1, 1821; married Mary Ann Kellogg of Middlebury, Vermont, and had chldren: Rufus T., Brinton S., Orange B., George, Charles, Frank and Minnie.
5. Rosetta, April 26, 1824; married Hiram Walker and had eight children: Fidelia, Elvira Averill, Lucy, Samantha, Jerry L., Hannah E., Matthew O. and William P.
6. Filena, July 20, 1826; married Platt Harris and had children: Rosetta C. and Alice E.
7. Samantha, Feb. 15, 1829; married William F. Rowlson and lived on the paternal homestead, having a son, Frederick J.
(VII) Eleazer William, eldest child of Lewis Samuel and Hannah (Eldred) Robinson, was born Sept. 10, 1813, at Chazy, died March 31, 1889, in Plattsburgh. He was a farmer in Chazy and later in Altona, Clinton county, where he continued until 1874, when he sold his farm and purchased a home on Margaret street, in Plattsburgh, which was his place of abode during the remainder of his life, about fifteen years.
He married, Oct. 17, 1837, Mary Ann, born Dec. 30, 1816, daughter of Calvin and Hannah (Cogswell) Stearns, of Bermont (see Stearns VI). They had a son and daughter, Daniel S. and Catherine Emogene. The latter, born July 5, 1853, married Chester Corydon Horges, and died March 24, 1885. They had children: Anna May and Catherine Emogene, born March 23, 1885.
(VIII) Daniel S., only son of Eleazer W. and Mary Ann (Stearns) Robinson, was born April 12, 1839 in Chazy, and continued to reside on the patrernal homestead until he was past thirty-one years of age. He moved to Plattsburgh, March 18, 1870, and engaged in the boot and shoe business in partnership with Gilman Breed. They manufactured as well as sold shoes and carried on a successful business under the style of Breed & Robinson. In August 1873, Mr. Robinson purchased the interest of his partner and soon after admitted to partnership Charles K. Stearns, who continued one yar and sold out to Mr. Robinson. The latter continued in trade about twenty years alone and retired, being succeeded by his son, Orrin E., and his brother-in-law, Charles Corydon Hodges, who are still continuing the business, under the firm name of Hodges & Robinson, the store continuint to be one of the leading establishments of Plattsburgh. Since his retirement from the shoe business he has given his attention to the real estate business.
He made his home in Boston for four years in order to give his sons the advantage of college education.
Mr. Robinson married, April 3, 1862, Margaret, born Oct. 25, 1842, in Grenville, Canada, daughter of James and Sarah (Midgeley) Pringle, natives of Scotland and Canada, of Scotch lineage.
1. Orrin Eleazer, born Jan. 12, 1864; married Edith Smith and has two children: Robert Daniel and Harry Smith.
2. Ernest James, Nov. 26, 1870; married Caro M., daughter of Rev. G. H. Barrett; children: Margaret Barrett, Harold Alvin, Carl E. and Daniel T. Mr. Robinson was town clerk from 1889 to 1901, and was appointed postmaster by President McKinley in the latter year and served nine years; was engaged in job printing.
3. Laforest George, May 28, 1874; electrical engineer; married Sarah Powers and has a daughter, Genevieve.
4. Dr. Harry Pringle, Nov. 23, 1875; physician; married Mary M. Truex, located at Amesbury, Massachusetts.
The Robinson family is an ancient and numerous one, in both England and America. Many early immigrants appear of record, several bearing the name of John Robinson, bound for Virginia, Barbadoes and New England points. The most conspicuous of these was Rev. John Robinson, father of the Pilgrim colony at Plymouth. John Robinson, of Ipswich and Newbury, Mass. was among the original settlers of Haverhill and later of Exeter, New Hampshire, and it is possible that he was the father of the next mentioned.
(I) The first record of William Robinson appears about 1670, when he is said to have lived in Concord, and in Cambridge in 1671. He had a farm of two hundred acres on the narrow neck of land claimed by both Concord and Watertown, and was probably identified with Cambridge, as, in 1678, he signed the petition for the separation of Newtowne and Cambridge.
He married, in the latter town, as early as 1677, Elizabeth Cutter, born July 15, 1645, in Cambridge, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Williams) Cutter.
Elizabeth Williams is said to have come with her father, Robert Williams, in the ship "John and Dorothy," to Massachusetts, April 8, 1637. Robert Williams was born in 1608, in Norwich, Norfolk, England, and was a cordwainer. His wife, Elizabeth, born 1626, in England, was admitted to the church at Roxbury, Mass., in 1644. She died at Cambridge, March 5, 1662.
William Robinson was born about 1640 and died in 1693, between March 22 and June 26.
Elizabeth, Hannah (Ann), William, (mentioned below), Mercy (or Mary), David, and Samuel and Jonathan, twins.
(II) William (2), eldest son of William (1) and Elizabeth (Cutter) Robinson, was born July 10, 1673, and lived in Newton, Mass., where he died in 1754. His will, executed Dec. 25, 1742, probated March 11, 1754. He had, in Newton, one tract of seventy-nine acres and another of fity-eight and one-half, beside land in Mendon, Milford, and waht is now Auburndale, and his will shows him to have been possessed of a large estate for that day. By it his son, Ichabod, received 660 pounds. The real estate was valued at 7,221 pounds, 5 shillings, and the personal property at 1,014 pounds, 17 shillings, 6 pence.
His wife Elizabeth died in 1747.
Elizabeth, Hannah, Thankful, William, Jeremiah, Josiah, Ichabod (mentioned below) and John.
(III) Ichabod, fourth son of William (2) and Elizabeth Robinson, was born Sept. 2, 1713, in Newton, and settled between 1734 and 1737 in that part of Mendon now Milford Center, where he died in 1756. His farm was mostly on the easterly side of Main street, and he gave the site for the first church erected there. In 1746 he was licensed to keep an inn.
He married (first) June 20, 1739, Ruth, daughter of Ebenezer Morrison, of Milford, and she was the mother of:
Ebenezer, Ichabod (mentioned below), Ruth and Elizabeth.
His second wife, Sarah, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Stratton) Myrick, was born Dec. 19, 1722/
(IV) Ichabod (2), son of Ichabod (1) and Ruth (Morrison) Robinson, was born Oct. 10, 1742, in Milford, and died Sept. 21, 1804, in Massena, N.Y., while on a visit to his son there. About 1778 he settled on a farm near Cuttingsville, in the town of Shrewsbury, Vermont, and there cleared up the wilderness and made a home for his family.
He married, in Milford, Oct. 6, 1768, Abigail, born Dec. 2, 1746, daughter of Ebenezer and Abigail Smith, of Lexington, later residents of Weston, Mass.
Ruth, Calvin, Daniel (mentioned below), and Abigail.
(V) Daniel, junior son of Ichabod (2) and Abigail (Smith) Robinson, was born Nov. 19, 1774, in Milford, and died July 8, 1855, at Massena, N.Y. He was about four years of age when the family moved to Vermont, and was educated in the state and studied at the medical school in Castleton. Soon after he settled at the Long Sault rapids on the St. Lawrence river, in the town of Massena, his deeds for land bearing date 1802. He acquired a tract of about twelve hundred acres, part of which he subsequently sold to settlers, reserving some four hundred acres for himself. Here he engaged in farming and lumbering until his death, and the land remained in possession of his heirs until 1909, when it was sold to a power company. He was a man of influence in the community, and served several years as justice of the peace.
He was a Federalist, later a Whig, and died just before the birth of the Republican party, with which he was likely to have become identified.
He married, Feb. 21, 1804, Esther Kilburn, born Oct. 12, 1788, died Feb. 2, 1828, fourth daughter of John (5) and Content (Carpenter) Kilburn, of Walpole, New Hampshire, where she was born (see Kilburn VI).
Augusta, Horatio, Luther, Ichabod, George K. (mentioned below), and Algernon.
(VI) George Kilburn, fifth son of Dr. Daniel and Esther (Kilburn) Robinson, was born Jan. 29, 1819, in Massena, and died Jan. 24, 1902 in Canton, N.Y., where most of his life was passed. He received the ordinary education of his time and region and began early to turn his attention to business pursuits. When sixteen years old he was employed by the owner of mills and a store at Mill Roche, Canada, and thus secured a valuable business experience. This occupation continued about three years, at the end of which time he entered the employ of Samuel Dix, a hardware merchant of Ogdensburg, and ultimately became a partner in the business.
Mr. Robinson was appointed postmaster at Ogdensburg by President Taylor, serving four years. In 1853, in partnership with his brother, Algernon Sidney, he purchased the saw mills and grist mill on the Grasse river, at Morley, in the town of Canton, and these they operated until 1865. Having retired from the operation of the mills, Mr. Robinson removed to Canton, where his home continued until his death.
He was a man of active and industrious habits and could not be contented to remain idle. Frequently called to the public service, he served as supervisor of Canton in 1857-58, and subsequently served on a commission as agent of the authorities in the disbursement to soldiers from St. Lawrence and Franklin counties of more than $3,000,000 in bounties. He was deeply interested in the issues of the civil war, and gave freely of his time and influence in support of the national government.
A life member of the New York State Agricultural Society, he served many years as secretary of the St. Lawrence County Agricultural Society, of which he was one of the founders. He was active in the estabishment of butter and cheese factories in northern New York, which contributed greatly to the advancement and profit of agriculture in that region.
In 1870 Mr. Robinson was made superintendent of the poor of St. Lawrence county, and continued to fill that position nine years. Previous to the organization of the Republican party he had been a Whig, and was active in furthering the interests and development of the former.
Always an earnest Universalist, he contributed liberally of money and personal services to the foundation and support of St. Lawrence University. He became a trustee of that institution in 1872, and ten years later was made its treasurer, so continuing until his resignation in June, 1899, when over eighty years of age. He came to this office at a time when the finances of the institution were in a straitened condition and when many of its friends believed that its work would have to be abandoned. With firmness and energy, Mr. Robinson set about securing a substantial and permanent endowment, after first contibuting liberally to the fund. From a campaing which he set in motion, within six months $50,000 had been added to the endowment and by the end of another year a further like sum was secured. Thus the university was placed upon a substantial basis, and it has since continued to grow in power and usefulness, and constitutes, in a large measure, a monument to the efforts and fidelity of its faithful treasurer.
Shortly after his death, the Laurentian, a magazine published at the university, said this of him: "Mr. Robinson has always seemed of much the same type of Plutarch's men - forceful, inflexible of purpose, absolutely without fear of consequences where he felt that he was in the right. His standards were high, and he held both himself and others to a strict accounting. No man could be more loyal or more helpful to friends whom he trusted or a cause in which he beliveed; but he had small patience with laxity of any sort, and cared little for mere amenities of speech when he thought that a principle was at stake. Doubtless his outspoken frankness sometimes caused him to be misjudged. But not by those who really knew him."
In a letter written just after Mr. Robinson's decease, John S. Miller, S.L.'69, of Chicago, in the light of an acquaintance extending over many years gives the following admirable estimate of his character: "He was in every way a good man - earnest and active for the good of the community, and absolutely upretendtious about it all; of strong convictions and positive and forcible in maintaining them, but gentle and modest as a woman; a man of great information and correct judgment and right principles - and all of this he appeared to me to be in a marked degree. He was of the best type of American citizen."
Ex-President, A.G. Gaines, of the university, said of him: "A fairly intimate acquaintance with Mr. Robinson for thirty years strongly impressed me with the sterling qualities of his character. These were honestly, fidelity to duty, sound pactical judgment, and tireless industry in all the work he had to do and in all the relations of practical life. I had abundant reason for being specially grateful to him for his faithful economical and - according to my judgment - wise administration of the funds and income of St. Lawrence University. He took charge when the finances of the college were in a tangled and most ciritical condition, and he brought order out of chaos. His skill and liberality in starting the memorable movement for raising $50,000 to increase the endowment was a main factor in awakening the zeal which made that movement successful. For many years he was to me a valued friend and a trusted conselor. May St. Lawrence University never lack friends such as he was to uphold, administer and direct its interests and its work."
He married, Sept. 11, 1856, Cordelia Victoria Buck, born Jan. 19, 1829, in Madrid, N.Y., died June 6, 1902, in Canton, daughter of Lemuel and Elizabeth (Baldridge) Buck, of Addison, Vermont, and later of Madrid. They were the parents of two sons, Nelson L. and Frederick; the latter died in infancy.
(VII) Nelson Lemuel, only surviving son of George K. and Cordelia V. (Buck) Robinson, was born July 27, 1857, at the village of Morley, in the town of Canton, and was educated in the public schools and academy of that town, and St. Lawrence University, from which he graduated in 1877. Later he entered Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1881. In the meantime he had studied law with Hon. Leslie W. Russell, at Canton, and was admitted to the bar at Albany in 1880. After leaving college he began the practice of law at Canton, where he continued until 1895, and still (1910) maintains an office there. In the last named year, he located in the city of New York, where he has established a handsome and satisfactory practice. He continued alone for ten years, and in 1905 became the head of the firm of Robinson, Allen & Hoy. The firm conducts a general practice, and is widely known in the city.
Mr. Robinson is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, of Beta Theta Pi and Phi Beta Kappa college fraternities, the St. Lawrence County Society in New York, and of the Harvard Club.
A Universalist in religion and an Independent in politics, he has maintained his principles at all times, but has rarely held public office, though he served as deputy commissioner of bridges of the city of New York under Mayor Low in 1902-03.
He succeeded his father as a trustee of St. Lawrence University. Of genial and companionable nature, Mr. Robinson has made and maintained warm friendships, and is esteemed in every circle where known.
Mr. Robinson married (first) Clara Weaver, born March 10, 1854, in St. Louis, Missouri, daughter of Rev. Charles Sumner and Sarah (Kendall) Weaver. She died Oct. 2, 1905, and Mr. Robinson married (second) June 26, 1907, at Lexington, Kentucky, Maude Richmond Henderson, a native of Lafayette, Indiana, daughter of Albert and Loraine (Richmond) Henderson.
There were four children of the first marriage:
Ethel, May 31, 1883.
George Weaver, Dec. 16, 1884; died Nov. 26, 1885.
Marjory, July 29, 1886.
Ernest Leffert, April 11, 1900.