Author: John Outcalt (1925)


The subject of this interesting review, Dr. William Robinson, was born in Athens County, Ohio, September 12, 1828, a son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Hamilton) Robinson. The father died at Zanesville, Ohio, in 1833. At the age of fourteen years, William Robinson assumed the responsibility of providing for himself, and until he was sixteen years old worked for four dollars a month. In December, 1844, he went to Des Moines, Iowa, and there took up a government claim, on which he built a cabin. In a short time he went to Schuyler County, ILL., and there engaged in the trade of broom-making. In 1847 he enlisted in the service of his country in the war against Mexico, being a member of Company C, commanded by Capt. N. C. Cunningham. He arrived at the front too late to participate in the actual fighting, but did patrol duty until he was honorably discharged on July 7, 1848. During his service in the war with Mexico he mastered the Spanish language, becoming very proficient. On September 1, 1848 he went to Independence, Mo., where he was in the employ of a railroad company, for a time, and then returned to Schuyler County, Ill., and worked at the cooper's trade until 1850.

In 1850 William Robinson was married to Miss Susanna Woodruff, and they removed to Henderson County, Ill., where he devoted his energies to agriculture until 1854. His next abiding place was Oskaloosa, Iowa, and there he farmed and worked at the cooper's trade until 1863. Then came a call for additional troops to defend the old flag, and he volunteered in Captain Sherry's 3rd Iowa Cavalry, serving in the quartermaster's department at Davenport for nine months, when he was discharged on account of the death of his wife, who left five children: William H.; Joshua A.; Annie Jane, who married Joseph Brady of Kansas City, Mo.; George Edward; and Addie Leona, who married Peter S. Skelly. He then worked at the carpenters' trade for a while. In September, 1869, Dr. Robinson was married a second time, this union joining him to Miss Melissa Yonker. After their marriage they removed to Missouri, where he farmed from 1869 to 1874. Then followed the journey to California, where Mr. Robinson became the owner of one of the productive farms in Merced County. Of this second marriage the following children were born: James B.; Nellie M., who married Joseph Harrigan of San Francisco; Benjamin B., a rancher near Snelling; Frank D., in Merced; Flora B., wife of John Wolfsen of Merced County; Sheldon, who died aged twenty years; and Alice, who died in childhood.

Dr. Robinson's career was marked with many changes, and he experienced many different phases of life, but the attractions of the Golden State were sufficient to hold him for the balance of his life. He passed away in Merced in 1905, aged seventy-seven years. Mrs. Robinson passed on in 1911. Dr. Robinson was an exemplary citizen. He was strictly temperate in his habits, a profound student of the Bible, and in every way a man whom it was an honor to know; and he was recognized as one of the most esteemed citizens of Merced County.

Additional Comments:

The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development
from the Early Days to the Present



File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Joy Fisher February 6, 2006, 12:33 am