William Robinson resides in Earlville and has been
associated with the development of the county both as a farmer and as a skilled
artisan, having worked for a number of years as a mason. He was born in England
on the 26th of August, 1839, a son of John and Jane Robinson, natives of
Nottinghamshire. In 1855 they came to this country and made their way to
Delaware county, Iowa, living with their son, George, who owned a farm here. At
the end of three years they purchased twenty acres of land in Delhi township and
there the father passed away at the age of eighty eight years. In his early life
he followed the shoemaker's trade and subsequently learned the mason's trade, at
which he worked for a number of years in England. As the result of the explosion
of a gun he lost a hand and this incapacitated him for manual work. In his
family were four children, one of whom, a daughter, died in England in
childhood. George passed away in Cleveland, Ohio, about 1894. William is the
next in order of birth. Charles, mentioned elsewhere in this work, is a resident
of Delaware county.
William Robinson began to learn the mason's trade while
still residing in England and completed his apprenticeship after coming to this
county. He helped to lay the first brick in the erection of the Lenox College
building at Hopkinton and also worked upon the first bridge across the river at
Manchester. The town was very small at that time and known as Burrington. Mr.
Robinson has done a great deal of work in the county along the line of his trade
and is also connected with the agricultural development, as he owns a fine farm
comprising two hundred and forty acres in Delhi township about two and one half
miles from Earlville. He rents his land to his son and lives in Earlville, but
derives a material addition to his income from his farm.
On the 17th of March, 1859, Mr. Robinson was married to
Miss Jane Pym and six of the eleven children born to them survive, namely: Mary,
who is the wife of George Morris, of Delhi township; Anna, who married Alexander
Young, of Delhi township; Charles, residing on the homestead in Delhi township;
Nellie, who lives in Earlville; Addie, who married Frank Loomis and resides in
Earlville; and Elizabeth, at home. The wife and mother was called to her reward
on the 3d of April, 1885, and Mr. Robinson subsequently remarried, Miss Sarah
Swinburne becoming his wife on the 27th of October, 1887. Her parents, John and
Sarah (Burley) Swinburne, are mentioned at greater length in the sketch of J. W.
Swinburne, which appears elsewhere in this work.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are members of the Methodist
Episcopal church of Earlville and their lives are consistent with their
religious profession. He is a republican in his political belief and is loyal in
his support of the principles of that party. He has resided in Delaware county
for almost six decades and it is a matter of much gratification to him that he
has had a part in the development of the county as well as shared in its