Biography - DELOS ROBINSON
No man has been more prominently connected with the public interests of Sheridan than this gentleman, who for many years was postmaster and the leading merchant of the town. His fidelity in the former position, and his reliability and enterprise in the latter, won him the confidence and respect of the entire community, and he well deserves mention among the representative citizens of LaSalle county.
Mr. Robinson was born on a farm in Tompkins county, New York, July 8, 1834, his parents being Eh and Charlotte (Young) Robinson. The father was a native of Putnam county, New York, and a son of Chapel Robinson, who also was born in the same county and was a soldier in the war of 1812. His father was one of the heroes of the Revolution, and it is believed was a native of New York, of Scotch origin. The family traditions say that the original American ancestors came to this country with the Puritans in the early settlement of New England. The mother of our subject was also a native of the Empire state, and was a daughter of John Young, an older brother of Brigham Young. Delos and Mrs. Celesta Rowe, of Chicago, were the only children born unto Eli and Charlotte Robinson. The parents removed to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835, and in that place the daughter was born and the mother died, her death occurring in 1840, when about twenty-eight years of age. The father afterward married Sallie Ann Sprague, and about 1842 returned with his family to New York, but in 1854 again came to the west, locating in Mission township, LaSalle county, in the spring of 1855. Here the father died in 1888, at the age of seventy-six years, his remains being interred in the cemetery at Sheridan. He was a farmer by occupation, but lived a retired life in his later years, and from 1869 until his death made his home in Sheridan.
Delos Robinson accompanied his father on his various removals, coming with him to LaSalle county, and casting in his lot with the early settlers of this locality. His childhood days were spent on the farm, and his education was obtained in the common schools. When twenty-one years of age he started out in life for himself, and after his marriage in 1856 removed to Livingston county, where he purchased a tract of raw prairie land and developed an excellent farm of eighty acres. On the 22d of August, 1856, Miss Emeline Rowe became his wife. She was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, and by her marriage became the mother of three children, namely: Charlotte, who died at the age of two years; Ida Belle, wife of Robert Knapp, of Sheridan; and Eugene D., a merchant of Sheridan, who became his father's successor in business about six years ago. The mother of these children died in the spring of 1865, when Mr. Robinson was in the army.
On the 8th of August, 1862, prompted by a spirit of patriotism, our subject enlisted, joining the "boys in blue" of Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Illinois Infantry. He was made sergeant of his company, and continued at the front until after the cessation of hostilities, when he was mustered out June 25, 1865, in Washington, D. C. He was in the western department under General W. T. Sherman and participated in the Atlanta campaign, was with that general on the notable march to the sea, and then took part in the Carolina campaign to Raleigh. He was always found at his post of duty, and whether on the tented field, keeping guard in the silent watches of the night or in the thickest of the fight, he was always loyal to the starry banner on account of the cause it represented. He is now a valued member of Clayton Beardsley Post, No. 672, G. A. R., and for several years has been honored with the office of commander. He has for years taken an active interest in Freemasonry, being a Master Mason, and has served as secretary of his lodge for the last fifteen years.
Mr. Robinson resumed farming upon his return from the war, and was again married September 24, 1868, his second union being with Miss Eliza Howard, a native of Yates county. New York. They now have a daughter, Bertha N., and have lost two children, who died in infancy. The year following his marriage, 1869, he came to Sheridan and embarked in general merchandising. He followed that business for twenty years, conducting an excellent store, well equipped with everything found in a first-class estabhshment of the time. He received a liberal patronage, which was accorded him by reason of his diligence and his straightforward dealing, and as the result of his good business he accumulated a handsome competency, which enabled him to retire from business life about six years ago, when he sold out to his son. With the progress and upbuilding of the village of Sheridan he has always been prominently identified, and has contributed largely to its advancement and prosperity. He built the first hotel in the town, and still owns the building, which is known as the Sheridan Hotel. He was also the first postmaster, and served in that office altogether for nineteen years, his continuous occupancy being interrupted during President Cleveland's first administration. His long term plainly indicates his fidelity to duty, his administration being satisfactory to the public and the government.
In politics Mr. Robinson has always supported the party which stood by the Union in the dark days of war, and which has ever upheld American institutions and protected American interests. For more than ten years he has been a member of the Republican central committee of LaSalle county. What he has done for his town and county in political and business lines well entitles him to mention among the representative citizens. He has won the friendship of many, the respect of all with whom he has come in contact, and his example is well worthy of emulation.
Eugene D. Robinson, a son of Delos Robinson, was born near Pontiac, Livingston county, Illinois, October 7, 1862, and obtained his education in the common schools, acquiring a knowledge of the English branches that fit one for the practical duties of life. He assisted his father in the store in his youth, and in 1891 became his successor, since which time he has engaged in merchandising on his own account. He is a man of marked enterprise and energy, and his well-directed efforts are bringing to him a merited prosperity.
In 1887 Mr. Robinson was united in marriage to Miss Ola Hoffman, who died in 1897, leaving a son, Clair E. In 1899 he wedded Mrs. Addie Breuer, and in this community both are held in high regard. In his political affiliations Mr. Robinson is a stanch Republican, and socially he is a Master Mason. He ranks among the reliable business men and popular merchants of Sheridan.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 217-220.