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Richmond & Arnold
Chicago, Illinois

Page 451

GEORGE C. ROBINSON, postmaster at Hettick, Macoupin County, and one of the county's prominent and substantial citizens was born April 18, 1855, in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, England, and is a son of James and Catherine (Crossland) Robinson.

The family and all its connections are of English extraction. James Robinson, the father of our subject, was born March 5, 1826, at Knottingley, Yorkshire, England, and died in 1861 at Madras, India, from the effects of poison. For a number of years he was a sailor in the merchant marine service and our subject has in his possession the paper showing his honorable discharge, as mate of the "Ann and Mary," his last ship, bearing the date of May 24, 1848. He was a man of business capacity as was shown by his being sent to Madras as overseer of the workmen engaged in the construction of the first English railroad built in that land. Those were dangerous days for foreigners in India, on account of fanatical prejudices, and his very useful life was cut short by poison administered in large quantities by some of the natives. Mr. Robinson was survived by a widow and six children, namely: John W., George C., Mary C., Elizabeth, Charles C. and James. Elizabeth married Albert E. Dennis, a farmer at Rockbridge, Greene County, Illinois, and they have had seven children, those surviving being: George F., Sidney, James F. and Catherine. Mary C. married Joseph G. Bilbrook, a farmer living near Hettick, Macoupin County, and died in 1881. Charles C. married Kate Reddington, daughter of John Reddington, a farmer of Hagaman, Macoupin County. Charles C. was postmaster at Hagaman under President Cleveland, and is now coroner of Macoupin County. He has three children - Leo, Mamie and Charles. John W. resides at Hagaman, where he is deputy postmaster and conducts a general store. He married Johanna O'Conner, of St. Louis, Missouri, and they have four children, viz: John, James, Edward and Mary Ellen. James, who is postmaster at Hagaman, married Grace Cooling, and has two children - Mabel Margaret and James Byron.

After the death of her husband, our subject's mother supported herself and children by selling garden products. Two of her sons migrated to America in 1866, and in October, 1871, she came with the others of the family, and settled at Hagaman, Macoupin County. At a later date she married Robert Hayworth, a farmer living near Hagaman, who was born in England and died in 1879. Mrs. Hayworth died October 8, 1902, aged 75 years. She was a most excellent woman, a devoted mother and had borne many trials with patience and fortitude.

George C. Robinson came to America with his elder brother, John W., arriving in New York City, October 12, 1866. They came immediately to Illinois, and after one week at Alton located in Macoupin County. Our subject found work with his uncle, William Crossland, and for his clothes and board worked for his uncle from 1866 to 1871, when his mother came to Hagaman. In 1871 he went to jersey County and remained five years with Charles Sanders, at $18 per month with board, and two years with V. L. Dodge, a neighboring farmer. He then opened a small store at Kemper, Jersey County, and was appointed village postmaster by President Garfield. In 1881 he sold his stock to Still Brothers and removed to Chesterfield township, Macoupin County, where he opened a general store and conducted it for two years, selling out in order to take a pleasure trip to England with his uncle William Crossland. During its duration of six months, he visited London and many other places of interest, including his old home. Upon his return he again located at Kemper, with less than $100, buying out the general store of G. B. Harland, and remained in that village until the fall of 1886, when he sold out to B. C. Elliott and purchased the store of John Burrell at Hettick, which pleasant village has been his place of residence ever since. He has held the office of postmaster under every Republican administration since James A. Garfield became president in 1881.

Mr. Robinson is a large real estate owner, his properties including 500 acres of prairie and bottom land, several stores and dwelling houses in Hettick, 450 acres of land in Shipman township, near Medora, and the brick hotel in that place.

Mr. Robinson was married October 7, 1880, to Margaret Kirkland, who is a daughter of Thomas Kirkland, a carpenter and joiner of Kemper, Illinois. Thomas Kirkland married Margaret C. Gilbert and their family were all born in England except the two youngest who were twins. Their names in order are John Thomas, William, Margaret C., Luella, and Frank Huin and Charles (twins). Mrs. Robinson as well as her parents was born in England and she was four years old when she was brought to America in 1868. Six children were born to this union, namely: Florence Viola, John W., George Thomas, William, Edith May and James Theodore Kirkland. Mr. Robinson has been able to give each of his children a good schooling and he and his wife are proud of their sons and daughters, all being intelligent and highly respected in the community.

In politics Mr. Robinson has always been identified with the Republican party. He has been president of the village board for two years and has held other offices at Hettick. He belongs to the Macoupin County Agricultural Society, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. The family belong to the Methodist Church.

1904 Index
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