ROBINSON, WILLIAM T. - Many of the older residents of Springfield remember well the great Abraham Lincoln, and love to recall him as he was to his fellow townsmen. One of these men is William T. Robinson, a native of the county, who was born far enough back to remember distinctly when Indians were not merely names, but realities. He was born in Buffalo Hart Grove, August 2, 1833, a son of John W. and Lucinda Robinson, natives of Virginia and Winchester, Ky. The father came to Illinois at an early day, locating at Buffalo Hart Grove, where he resided until his death, being killed by lightning in 1840, at the home of his mother. A bolt struck the house, which was built of logs, and he was killed instantly and his sister badly injured. The poor old mother, who at the time was on her death bed, suffered the shock of seeing these two terrible accidents occur before her eyes. Mr. Robinson left a widow, who lived until about 1890, and two sons and two daughters, one of the latter being now deceased. Mrs. Elizabeth M. Finfrock resides in Waynesville, Ill., and is the other daughter. One son, John F., resides in Lincoln, Ill. Mr. Robinson comes from good old Virginia and Kentucky ancestry.
His father being a farmer, William T. Robinson was brought up to agricultural work, attending school in a little building that was also used for religious services. He worked on his father's farm until 1860, when he went to Atlanta, Ill., to conduct a grocery business, but seven years later returned to Springfield, where he has since lived. Upon his return he took a position with the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company, working as truckman for a year, then becoming shipping clerk. For twenty-three years he held this position, when he was injured in the freight house. Upon his recovery the company made him flagman at one of their crossings and he is now faithfully discharging the duties pertaining to that position. Mr. Robinson never served in the army, although he wanted to and offered his services, but failed to pass the examination. His brother John served in Company I, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry. While residing at Atlanta, Mr. Robinson served as Constable, and was also a School Director at Buffalo Hart Grove, being elected on the Republican ticket, as he has always held to the principles of that party. His personal friendship for Mr. Lincoln led him to adopt these principles as his own, and he has never wavered.. He is a member of the United Brethren Church and is faithful in his devotion to it.
Mr. Robinson was married in Springfield, December 4, 1856, at the old American House, which stood on the present site of the Bressmer dry-goods store, to Julia A. Lunbeck, born near Courtsville, Ohio, August 24, 1837. Her parents moved from Courtsville to Iowa, residing there until their deaths. Her father was a carpenter and farmer. Six children came to Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, four daughters and two sons, two of whom survive: Ida L., wife of Benjamin Fagin, living on a farm west of Springfield; Clara E., living at home, employed by the Illinois Watch Company. There are four grandchildren in the family: Bessie, Ethel and Roy and Herbert, and one great-grandchild, Helen Binney. Mr. Robinson lives at No. 1251 North Second Street. He recalls many interesting events of the days when his father's house was the stopping place of the various lawyers who rode through on horseback on their way from Springfield to Pulaski. Among them was Abraham Lincoln, who was attracted towards the intelligent young man, and the two became warm friends.