JAMES N. ROBISON of Lee township, was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, November 22, 1823. His father, Henry Robison, was born in the same county, April 22, 1798, and his father was born in Scotland, but spent his last years in Huntingdon county, dying when his son Henry was six years old. Henry after his father's death was obliged to earn his own living and remained on a farm in the same county until 1824, and then with his wife and infant son emigrated to Ohio and lived near Cadiz for two years, then returned to Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, there engaged in farming and dealing in stock. He bought stock in Ohio and drove the across the mountains to Philadelphia. He made considerable money, which he expended on a stage line, but failed in that enterprise. In 1837 he came to Illinois with his wife and four children by team to Pittsburgh, then by way of the steamer, Rion, to Phillips Ferry, landing in Pike county. In August of that year he rented some land and exercised his natural good judgment in stock and farming and in six years' time was able to purchase land. He first bought eighty acres, which he soon sold and then bought 160 acres near Pittsfield, Pike county. He occupied that farm a number of years, then sold it and moved to Adams county, lived there a few years, then bought three miles west of Perry, Pike county, and there remained until his death in 1870. The maiden name of his wife who was Margaret Taylor, born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, daughter of Robert and Mary (McElroy) Taylor. She died at her home, August 1, 1867.
James was in his fourteenth year when his parents came to Illinois. At that time this section of country was but little improved, and deer, wolves and wild-cats were plentiful. There was no railroads for years and the river towns were the only markets. He resided with his father until twenty-one and then with a horse which his father gave him he started out for himself. He went to school during the winter and worked for his board. In the following spring he rented land and farmed for three years and then bought 160 acres in Lee township. It was military land and he soon lost that on account of a faulty
title, but he then bought another farm, of 120 acres. He has been resident of Lee township since 1847, with the exception of one year in Adams County. He now has 700 acres in Lee township, 480 in Buckhorn township, 225 acres in Pike county and 370 in Johnson county, Kansas.
He was married December 1, 1847, to Mary E. Caughenon. She was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1829. Her father, Henry, was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and his father, John, as far as known was born in Pennsylvania of German ancestry. He came to Illinois in 1887, settled in Pike county, then moved to Pea Ridge in Brown county, bought a farm and lived there until his death. The maiden name of his wife was Dorathea Lawrence of Lancaster county. She died in Pike county. The father of Mrs. Robison was reared and married in Pennsylvania and resided there until 1836, and with his wife and four children came to Illinois. He lived in Pike county for two years and followed his trade of miller and then built a mill on McGrees creek and operated it for ten years. He then traded the mill for a farm, three miles west of Mt. Sterling, remained four years, then traded the farm for a stock of goods, engaged in the mercantile business in Clayton, Adams county, and remained there until his death in 1859. The first name of his wife was Agnes, daughter of William and Nancy (Tayler), likely natives of Ireland and Pennsylvania. The grandfather was of Scotch ancestry. Mrs. Robison's mother died in Clayton in 1889.
Mr. and Mrs. Robison have eight living children: Henry, Mary, William, Robert, Enos M., Fred, Belle and Walter. The first child, Margaret, the wife of Rev. J. O. Jennings, died in California, January 29, 1891. Three others died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Robison are members of the Presbyterian Church, and he has served as Trustee of the church and his wife has taught in the Sunday school. He has been a Republican since the formation of the party.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 172-174.
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