|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Among the most venerable men of Livingston county is William P. Robinson, who at the age of eighty-seven years is yet active in the management of his valuable farm of one hundred and eighty-five acres located on section 6, Jackson township. He came to this county in 1854 from Spottsylvania county, Virginia, where he was born November 15, 1825, a son of William P. Robinson. The father, one of the first settlers in his part of Missouri, located on a farm in Grundy county, to the cultivation of which he gave his assiduous attention. He had the distinction of being a veteran of the War of 1812 and 1814, serving in the capacity of pay master, His death occurred in Livingston county where he passed away while paying a visit to his daughter, Mrs. Squire M. Gee, in 1867, at the age of eighty-eight years. His remains were interred in Woolrich cemetery, Jefferson township, Grundy county. The mother passed away in 1846 and is buried in Spottsylvania county, Virginia. The Robin son family is an old American one, its first American forbears having crossed the Atlantic in pre-Revolutionary times.
William P. Robinson, growing up amid pioneer conditions in the Old Dominion, had no opportunity, whatever, to attend school or acquire an education, but being of studious mind he later augmented this omission and largely educated himself, also receiving lessons in the school of experience. At the tender age of a seven years he was put to work on his father's farm who owned at that time over four hundred acres, and early became acquainted with agriculture in its various phases. He assumed more and more the management of his father's place and remained on the same until he had reached the age of thirty years. He then received for his long and faithful service from his father a tract of one hundred and ten acres of land in Jackson township, the removal of the family to this state having taken place at that time, and today he resides on this property. Applying himself with energy and industry to the cultivation of his land, he soon acquired means with which to extend the boundaries of the farm to its present extent. He engaged mostly in raising corn, wheat and oats, and also specialized in breeding live stock, gratifying results attending his labors along those lines of endeavor. When he took charge of his land the same was covered with brush and timber but with firm will and stout hand he set himself to work and gradually cleared the property, putting it under the plow and bringing it to a high state of cultivation. The buildings were erected by him and gradually such improvements, implements and machinery instituted as were considered necessary for the cultivation of a modern farm.
On July 15, 1858, Mr. Robinson was united in marriage in Jackson township, this county, to Miss Mary Walls, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Nickerson) Walls, the former of whom was one of the early settlers of this county, coming here when frontier conditions prevailed. Indians were still roaming wild and game was plentiful. He was a man of high qualities of character, enjoying the confidence and regard of all those who came in contact with him. He passed away in 1897 at the age of eighty-seven years, his wife having preceded him in death on September 7, 1884. A brother of Mrs. Robinson, J. William Walls, is a well known agriculturist of Jackson township who is mentioned at length on another page of this history. The Walls family is of old Irish origin, its first representatives coming to this country in the year 1619. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are the parents of five living children: James W., who is employed by a railroad as carpenter in Stockton, California; Joseph L., an agriculturist of Jackson township; Ida M., the wife of James B. Leeper, of whom more extended mention is made elsewhere in this volume; Lillie M., the wife of L. E. Rice, a farmer of Jefferson township, Grundy county; and Fayette W., who has achieved success in the dual capacity of editor and farmer. There were also five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Robinson who have passed away, two dying in infancy, and the others being: John E., who died in 1875, at the age of eleven years and is buried in Shelburn cemetery, Grundy county; Ann E., the widow of Dr. Edward Sailor, who passed away in 1901 and is buried at Shelburn cemetery; and Eleanor, who passed away at the age of sixteen and found her last resting place in the same cemetery.
All during his long and active life Mr. Robinson has voted the democratic ticket, giving to that party his stanch support. He is a member of the Sons of Temperance and of the Baptist church, being for many years a trustee of the latter organization. A man of high qualities of mind and character, he enjoys the esteem of all who have his acquaintance. Although eighty-seven years of age nature has been kind to him for he has never abused her laws. One usually thinks of old age as a period of mental and physical relaxation but there is an old age which grows stronger and brighter mentally and morally as the years pass and gives out of its rich store of wisdom and experience for the benefit of others. Such has been the life of William P. Robinson, who is not only me of the most venerable but also one of the most honored men in Jackson township, respected wherever known and most of all where best known.