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Chicago: Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers 1912

This biography was submitted by a researcher and are abstracted from the above named publication.. Errors could occur, so one should always verify the correctness by obtaining copies of vitals and performing all necessary research to document what is contained herein.

Page 1570

ROBERTSON, MARCUS BROWNING - Children born of honored parents appreciate the record of their family history, which otherwise might be lost as time progresses. It is therefore really an obligation which their relation to them lays upon the shoulders of such parents, to set down in logical order what has been accomplished by those from whom these children sprung. One of the best types of American citizenship in Sangamon County is Marcus Browning Robertson of Old Berlin, born in Missouri, January 31, 1857. The family moved to Kentucky in 1860, and to Illinois in 1871, where a year was spent in Quincy, and then in 1872, location was made at Pleasant Plains. In 1877, another change was made, and a year was spent in Berlin. Following this Mr. Robertson went west and spent two years on the plains, but returned to Berlin in 1880, and this locality has since been his home.

The grandfather of Mr. Robertson was Martin Robertson, who graduated from the University of Edinburg, Scotland, in his eighteenth year. The family had been associated with that institution of learning from its foundation, and belonged to one of the important clans which played so aggressive a part in Scottish history, it being the same that claimed the doughty McDonalds and Campbells, and they were also closely related to the Beckwiths. Martin Robertson, doubtless for religious reasons emigrated in 1795 to the land of promise beyond the seas, where he found a home in Virginia. There he married Mary Morton, daughter of a wealthy Virginia planter. Their son, W. R. Robertson, father of M. B. Robertson, was born there in 1800, coming with his parents to Kentucky in 1815. He was graduated from the Transylvania Medical School of Kentucky in 1821, becoming one of the successful physicians of his day. He was also a large planter and slave holder. In 1855, he moved to Missouri, but at the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned to Kentucky, and from that State entered the Union service as a surgeon. Owing to the war, he lost heavily, and in 1871, moved to Illinois, where his death occurred at Pleasant Plains, March 23, 1876. He was a Whig and Republican in politics. The family faith was that of the Presbyterian Church. Of his three wives, the last was the mother of M. B. Robertson. She was Ann Davis Browning, a relative of Jefferson Davis, born in Harrison County, Ky., in 1819, coming of very good stock. One brother, Orville H. Browning of Quincy, Ill., was a United States Senator, and a member of President Johnson's cabinet, as well as an able lawyer. Another brother, Milton Browning of Burlington, Ia., was a prominent man of his period. Mrs. Browning's mother bore the maiden name of Sally Brown, and was an aunt of Captain James N. Brown of Inland Grove. The Brown family was prominent in legal circles and public life in both Kentucky and Illinois. This most estimable lady died at Quincy, at the home of her brother, O. H. Browning, February 3, 1872.

M. B. Robertson taught school for four terms after his return from the west, and then entering a mercantile line in Berlin, in 1881, was engaged in agricultural pursuits. On June 17, 1885, Mr. Robertson was married to Lou Scott, of Berlin, Ill., born there in 1856, daughter of John W. and Martha (Yates) Scott, and granddaughter of Andrew Scott who came from North Carolina to Sangamon County in the early twenties and located in Island Grove in 1824. The Scott family is of Scotch descent. Mrs. Scott was a sister of War Governor Richard Yates, and daughter of Henry Yates, who settled in Berlin in 1831, the family coming originally from Virginia, but later from Kentucky. Nearly all the ancestors on both sides of the Robertson and Scott families were Revolutionary soldiers. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Robertson: William Scott died in infancy; Colin Morton, born November 13, 1888; Harry Yates, born August 7, 1890; Pattie, born October 30, 1892; Thomas Browning, born August 4, 1895; William Beckwith, born July 6, 1897, and Donald Alexander, born April 2, 1901.

Mr. Robertson was reared in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, but united with the Christian Church at Berlin in 1888. In politics he is a Democrat, and his party has honored him by electing him to the following offices: Supervisor, Collector, Town Clerk, member of the Village Board, School Director and Justice of the Peace. He has held that office for ten years, and still occupies it. He is a man of solid characteristics, and high standing, proud of his family and devoted to his wife and children. As a public official, his actions have been governed by justice and sound judgment, and no one is considered as better representative of the best interests of this part of the county, than he.

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