Earl M. Robinson

EARL M. ROBINSON is one of the younger business men of Emporia, and his name at once suggests in that section of Kansas the Robinson greenhouses; which have become noted for the perfection of their cut flowers. This is a business which he has built up to extensive proportions, and its product now supplies not only Emporia but a wide surrounding territory. He is an alert and enterprising factor in business circles.

Descended from the family of Robinsons that were in Virginia during colonial days, Earl M. Robinson is himself a southerner by birth and was born at Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, December 25, 1875. His father is Maj. J. M. Robinson, a prominent lawyer and citizen of Alabama. Major Robinson was born in Huntsville in 1840, was graduated from the Tennessee Law School, and spent many years in the active practice of his profession until his retirement. He now resides at Birmingham. Throughout the war between the states he was a gallant soldier of the Confederacy with Forrest's Cavalry, in which he attained the rank of major. He had many of the exciting experiences of that body of intrepid cavalrymen, and among other important battles in which he participated were those at Shiloh,White Church, and he was once wounded in the head and again in the hand, losing three knuckles. He was also taken prisoner, but was exchanged and rejoined his command. Besides the service he has rendered in his capacity as attorney, he also served as probate judge of Madison County eight years, represented his home district in the Legislature two terms, and has always been an active and uncompromising democrat. Major Robinson is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He married M. V. Douglas, who was born in Alabama in 1854. A record of their children is as follow: D. O. Robinson, who is a commission merchant and packer at Birmingham; J. E. Robinson, a traveling salesman with home at Birmingham; Earl M.; W. L. Robinson, a farmer in Mississippi; C. O. Robinson, who resides at Huntsville, and was formerly deputy sheriff and game warden in Madison County; Shelby, who is a grocery merchant at Birmingham; Nannie married T. L. Nash, a furniture dealer at Birmingham and their two children are Robert, Jr., and J. G.; and Daisy, who married Robert McClellan, a millwright at Augusta, Georgia, and their two children are Robert and Tom.

Earl M. Robinson finished his high school education in Huntsville, Alabama, and was also a student in the Alabama University, but left the college in 1895 to enter the grocery business at Memphis, Tennessee, where he remained four years. In 1900 he established himself in the same line at Kansas City, Missouri, but sold out and came to Emporia in 1911. Since coming to Emporia he has made the raising of cut flowers both an art and a profession. He established extensive greenhouses at Twelfth and West streets and now has 20,000 square feet under glass. These are the only greenhouses in Emporia for the raising of cut flowers, and his output goes to a radius of fully 100 miles about Emporia, many orders even coming from Hutchinson.

Mr. Robinson is a member of the Emporia Country Club and Commercial Club, and is a democrat. His home is at 1015 West Street. In 1907 at Kansas City, Missouri, he married Miss Susie R. Martin, daughter of Dr. D. C. Martin, a retired physician now living at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Robinson.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed by Brent Harmon, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, September 28, 1998.

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