Hardy C. Robinson, the present probate judge of Washington county, is one of the pioneers of Kansas who followed the star of empire westward in the '60s. Judge Robinson is a New Englander, and comes of sturdy Colonial stock. He was born January 20, 1847, at South Hero, Vt., and is a son of Calvin F. and Lydia (Fletcher) Robinson, both natives of Vermont. Calvin F. Robinson was a son of Franklin and Susan (Landon) Robinson, both of whom were natives of Vermont, where they spent their lives. Lydia Fletcher was the daughter of Calvin and Lydia (Dixon) Fletcher, who were from Connecticut, her mother, Lydia Dixon, being a daughter of Captain Dixon, who was in the Continental army during Revolutionary days. Judge Robinson spent his boyhood days in the New England home, attending the country school; spent nearly one year near Montreal, Canada, learning French, and later attended the academy at South Hero, also the academy at Williston, Vt. In the winter of 1864-65 he took a commercial course at the New Haven Business College, New Haven, Conn. In 1867 he took Horace Greeley's advice and went west to grow up with the country and located at Volga, Iowa. This section of Iowa was then a new country, there being no railroads and few improvements of any kind. Here he taught school during the winter months, and in the summer time drove Mr. Henry White's mill team, hauling flour to the river town of McGregor, and hauling goods back inland. He remained in Iowa two years, and in 1869 came to Kansas, settling in Washington county. At that time this part of Kansas was decidedly on the frontier. Large game, such as antelopes and deer were sometimes seen, while occasionally a herd of buffaloes roamed over the plain one or two counties to the west. There was some Indian trouble in the next county west about that time, and the White Rock massacre occurred in Republic county, just west of Washington, the following summer. When Judge Robinson located in Washington county he bought a quarter section of agricultural college land, which he owns to this day.
He broke his land and engaged in farming and stock raising, principally the latter. He also was engaged in school teaching during the first ten years in the State. He taught in Atchison, Jackson and Washington counties, and in 1880 was elected county superintendent of schools of Washington county, and served in this capacity four years, having been reëlected upon the expiration of his first term. At the expiration of his term as county superintendent he entered the field of journalism, purchasing the Washington "Republican," the oldest newspaper in Washington county. He was the owner and publisher of this paper for five years, which at that time was considered one of the strong editorial newspapers of Northern Kansas, and wielded a strong influence within the scope of its circulation. Judge Robinson has always taken an active interest in the welfare of the Republican party since boyhood, and since coming to Kansas has occupied a prominent position in the councils of his party. He has served as a member of the congressional central committee, and was appointed postmaster of Washington during the administration of President Harrison, serving five years, the appointment having been secured for him by Congressman John A. Anderson of his district. After the expiration of his term as postmaster, Mr. Robinson was engaged in the mercantile business in a small way until 1900, when he purchased the postoffice book store and for thirteen years successfully conducted that business. In 1912 he was elected to the office of probate judge of Washington county, which office he now holds. Judge Robinson was married May 1, 1879, to Miss Susan V. Landon, adopted daughter of Thaddeus and Abbie (White) Landon, of Effingham, Kan. Mrs. Robinson was born in Chicago, but came to Atchison county, Kansas, with her parents when a child, where she was reared and educated. Judge and Mrs. Robinson are the parents of seven children: Lydia, married Harold Prentice, merchant and mayor of Clifton, Kan.; Frank, who has two claims in the Snake River country, Idaho, and is there developing the same; Eunice, a student in the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Mass.; Florence, now Mrs. F. N. Banister, of Kansas City, Mo.; Ellsworth, an employe of the Government at San Francisco, Cal.; Katherine and Howard, who reside at home and attend school.
Judge Robinson has been a student of men and affairs all his life. He is a man who is well posted in all subjects that most deeply concern good citizenship, and in his political views he is progressive. He was one of the contributing editors to the Columbian History of Education in Kansas, published in 1893. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and is elder and treasurer of that organization, and his fraternal affiliations are with the Modern Woodmen of American. Mrs. Robinson is a member of the Free Methodist church.Pages 428-430 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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