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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 818~


Frank Albert Robinson



A skilled engineer and loyal citizen of Oelwein, Iowa, is Frank Albert Robinson, who was born in Bremer county, this state, in November, 1858, the son of Alfred and Lucy Ann (Wilson) Robinson, both born near Toronto, Canada, the former being the son of Sala Robinson and wife and the later the daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Huston Wilson, her father being a native of Vermont. The parents of Frank A. Robinson, of this review, were married at St Charles, Kane county, Illinois, and from there they moved to Seaton, in the north part of Fayette county, Iowa, in 1855. The following year they moved to Franklin township, Bremer county, this state, and it was while living there that their son, Frank Albert, was born. He grew to maturity on his father's farm and assisted with the general work on the same; however, when only fifteen years of age, he went to De Kalb county, Illinois, where he worked at farming for a period of two years, then went to Lancaster county, Nebraska, and continued farming. Two years later he returned to his old home in Bremer county and took a position at the state asylum at Independence and his services were continued there for four years. The old desire for travel seized him again and for the next four or five years he visited may different places, residing in Kankakee, Illinois; Mendota, Wisconsin; Lincoln, Nebraska, and Clarinda, Iowa, remaining one year at the last named place. While there he began learning steam engineering and has followed that occupation ever since, having mastered all the details of the same and become and expert in this line, so that his services have always been in great demand. He was engineer at the state asylum at Hastings, Nebraska, for a period of five years. From Hastings he went to Elgin, Illinois, where he was second engineer for four years at the state asylum of Illinois. He has been employed in the engine room of seven different state asylums, two in Nebraska, one in Wisconsin, two in Illinois and two in Iowa. He was at Elgin, Illinois, twice, and twice at Mendota, Wisconsin. About 1896 he came to Oelwein, Iowa, and took a position at the electric light plant. About two years later he began working at the power house of the Chicago Great Western shops, where he remained a little over a year. In 1902 he was paced in full control of the Oelwein water works pumping station, where he has done a most excellent work, a work, perhaps, that few people realize the importance of, relating to the maintenance of pure water to drink by the people of this city and for fire protection, etc. The city water works were established in 1896 and since Mr. Robinson took charge of the station the capacity has been increased form seven hundred and fifty thousand gallons daily to one million, seven hundred and fifty thousand gallons daily.


Mr. Robinson was married February 16, 1904, to Ida May Galloway, daughter of William and Ida (Harris) Galloway. Mrs. Robinson and her parents came from Henry county, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Robinson three children have been born, namely: Alfred, Edgar, Edna May and Frank Orville. The first named died when fourteen months old.


Mr. Robinson belongs to the Modern Woodmen, the Modern National Reserve and the Knights of Pythias. Politically, his is a Republican. He has always been a great student of general text-books, especially anything that relates to his vocation. He belongs to engineering societies when possible and always seeks to improve in his work and he stands high in engineering circles. He is a man of exemplary habits, industrious, painstaking and careful. He is in many respects like his father, who was a man of sterling traits, one of the progressive farmers of Bremer county, Iowa, where he bought land soon after his removal there. He was in Company G. Fourteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was a gallant soldier for the Union. He was wounded in the battle of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, and on account of his injuries received and honorable discharge. These injuries finally resulted in his death in 1870."

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Richard Smith


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