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Anne M. Rackley

ROBINSON, WILLIAM (1785–1878). William Robinson (Old William), early Texas pioneer, was born in Virginia on September 14, 1785. Little is known about his childhood years, and there is some evidence that there were two William Robinsons in Texas at this time. One source suggests that he may have moved with his parents to Kentucky or Tennessee. By 1810 he was in New Madrid County, Missouri. When New Madrid became part of the newly formed Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory, in 1815, Robinson was appointed one of the county commissioners charged with selecting a location for the Lawrence County Courthouse. He served as county surveyor and justice of the peace. Around 1810 he married a woman named Elizabeth; they had eight children. In the early 1820s Robinson and his family moved to Louisiana, where his youngest son, Joshua, was born in 1825. Robinson asked for admittance as a settler in Joseph Vehlein's colony on September 18, 1834, and was granted a league of land on March 7, 1835, in what is now Walker County. In 1830 he was fourth regidor at San Felipe de Austin. He served at the conventions of 1832 and 1833 as a delegate from the Viesca District. In 1832, during the Anahuac Disturbances, he served as a volunteer in Capt. Abner Kuykendall's company. Robinson was also a delegate at the Consultation in San Felipe in 1835, which was held to form a provisional government for the Republic of Texas. When Montgomery County was organized in December 1837, Robinson was elected county surveyor. For most of the rest of his life, he lived in what was known as Robinson's Settlement, on a hill in the piney woods eight miles south of Huntsville. Robinson was a devout Methodist; he donated 30.5 acres of his headright for a Methodist church and school. In the agricultural census of 1850 he was listed as a farmer and stock raiser. During his last years, blind and almost completely deaf, Robinson lived with his son Joshua in Burleson County. He died on December 31, 1878, and was buried next to his wife in the Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery near Caldwell, Burleson County.


Eugene C. Barker, ed., "Minutes of the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin, 1828–1832," 12 parts, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21–24 (January 1918-October 1920). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Anne M. Rackley, "ROBINSON, WILLIAM," accessed July 10, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fro40.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 29, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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