Collection 12 - John Marion Robinson Family Papers, 1866-1890
Creator: Robinson, John Marion, b. 1843
Provenance Note: A financial record and stud book kept by John M. Robinson was loaned to Special Collections in 1963 by Mrs. Clarence Barclay for photocopying and returned to her afterwards. The stud book was formerly listed in the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections as entry 79-702. Additional photocopied and original documents pertaining to John M. Robinson and his son Lester's in-laws, were gathered by his granddaughter, Frances Robinson, loaned to Special Collections for copying in February 1966 and originally assigned collection number 402.
Historical Note: John M. Robinson was born in Rhea County, Tennessee on May 5, 1843 to John M. and Hannah Robinson. Robinson attended schools and worked the family farm until joining the Confederate Army as part of the 43rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment. After surrendering at Vicksburg, John and his two brothers, Albert and Benjamin, traveled to Virginia City, Montana, arriving in August 1865 and soon after homesteaded at Albrino Park in Gallatin County. The Robinson brothers operated as a partnership in their Montana ranching operations and likely operated a store together as "Robinson & Bros." In February 1873, John married Florence Bickett and the couple had four children; Leonora, Edna, Lester, and Wilbur. During his years in Gallatin County, John was a School Trustee, member of the local executive board of the Montana Agricultural College (later Montana State University), Gallatin County commissioner, and a Montana state legislator in 1884. John's son, Lester, married Winifred Kinney in Gallatin County on June 10, 1903. Winifred Kinney's mother, Harriet A. Lewis Kinney of Tallmadge, Ohio, had been a teacher for the Freedman's Bureau during the early years of Reconstruction in Mississippi.
Content Description Note: The Robinson papers consist of typed transcriptions and/or photocopies of correspondence and documents dealing with the John M. Robinson family. Included are homestead certificates, water rights, deeds, and a patent for a cultivator designed by John M. Robinson. The financial record and stud book volume lists transactions involving the Robinson ranch and store operation in Albrino Park and horse breeding records from 1867-1886. Three photocopied letters written by Harriet A. Lewis to a cousin in Ohio have been completely transcribed by library personnel. The first two letters were written in Brookhaven and Aberdeen, Mississippi and detail Lewis' experiences teaching for the Freedmen's Bureau in 1866. The third letter was written from Mountain View, California in 1870 where Lewis had moved and addresses local family activities in that location. A photograph of the John M. Robinson home in Gallatin County, Montana, taken around 1890, is included.
- Folder 1. Photocopied and transcribed documents
- Folder 2. Financial record and stud book photocopies