ABRAHAM ROBINSON - Abraham Robinson, who was formerly engaged in merchandising, but since 1897 has lived a retired life, making his home in Berry, was born in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, September 1, 1843, a son of Edward and Mary H. (Buckels) Robinson. The father was born in the same state, June 8, 1799, and was of Scotch decent, representatives of the name coming from Scotland and founding the family in Virginia and Pennsylvania at an early day. When Edward Robinson was only eighteen months old his father died and he was then reared by his uncle, James C. Robinson, who bound him out to a blacksmith until he was twenty-one years of age. He then began trading in horses, which pursuit he followed until his marriage. In Buckelstown, West Virginia, the birthplace of his bride, he wedded Mary H. Buckels, who was born September 22, 1814, and was of English lineage. Her ancestors came from Yorkshire, England, and settled in Virginia in colonial days. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson became the parents of seven children. Entering the United States Army he worked in the shops and government works at Harper's Ferry for eighteen years, and in 1852 he emigrated westward, settling on a farm twelve and a half miles east of Springfield, where he carried on agricultural pursuits until his death on the 31st of May, 1862. His widow afterward purchased a farm on which she made her home until December 24, 1874, when she was called to her final rest. Her children were: Ed L., who was born October 9, 1836, and died December 29, 1900; James W., who was born October 26, 1838, in Taylorville, Illinois; William M., who was born August 27, 1841, and died July 22, 1846; Abraham; Sarah Elizabeth, who was born August 28, 1845, and died August 9, 1846; Mary Ann, who was born March 25, 1842, and died August 18, 1896; and louis, who was born June 19, 1852, and died February 14, 1875.
Abraham Robinson had but limited school privileges in his youth and obtained his education by studying at night by the light of a candle. He has read quite broadly, however, and in the school of experience has acquired much practical knowledge. At the age of nineteen he began learning the carpenter's trade, which he actively followed for many years. He formerly took contracts and his handiwork can be seen in many substantial buildings of this part of the county. He built the church and depot at Breckenridge and most of the buildings in Berry, Illinois, where he is now located. For a time he was engaged in general merchandising at Custer, but in September, 1897, he sold his store to Thomas B. Hall, and has since largely lived retired from business life. While in Custer he also served as postmaster under President Cleveland's second administration. For four years he served as constable, for four terms as assessor of Cooper township, for four terms as collector and for six years as justice of the peace. He is now serving as supervisor of Cooper township. In politics he has always been a Democrat. Frequently he has been a delegate to the county, congressional and state conventions of the party.
Mr. Robinson was married in Springfield, April 1, 1873, to Mahala Driscoll, who was born September 15, 1850, a daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Gregory) Driscoll, pioneers of Sangamon county. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson have five children: Mary D., who was born February 22, 1875, and is the wife of Lew Maltby, of Berry; Lulu Belle, who was born February 23, 1877, and is the wife of A. M. Berry, railroad agent at Berry, by whom she has two children, Carmel and Lemi; Andrew W., who wedded Mary, daughter of William H. Boyce; Mahala Ann, who was born April 19, 1882, and died November 24, 1883; and Lyman, who was born October 7, 1885, and is with his parents. Mr. Robinson belongs to the Odd Fellows' Lodge at Berry, of which he is financial secretary, and he is also secretary of the Modern Woodman Camp at Berry. During a long residence in Sangamon county and through active connection with its business interests, Mr. Robinson has formed a wide acquaintance and his friend speak of him in terms
of respect and commendation, because he has so lied as to merit their regard and good will.