ROBSON, GEORGE W.
ROBSON, GEORGE W. (1837–1918). George W. Robson, the "Echo Man," was proprietor, editor, and printer of the Frontier Echo (Jacksboro, Texas, 1875–78), the Fort Griffin Echo (1879–82), and the Albany Echo (1883–84). He was born on July 30, 1837, in Farmington, New York, and spent his childhood in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was mustered into the Union Army on May 25, 1861, at Peoria, Illinois, saw service as a commissioned officer from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Lake Providence, Louisiana, and participated in an extended march to Savannah, Georgia. He was mustered out on July 16, 1864, his health ruined as a result of fever, which left him with a damaged nervous system, a chronic rheumatic condition, and partial deafness. On June 1, 1864, Robson married Julia M. Stone in Peoria; they had two children. The marriage ended in divorce, leaving Robson embittered, as the acerbity with which he treated marriage in his newspapers attests.
In 1871 he took part, with C. H. Stone, in establishing the town of Caldwell, Kansas. The call of the open road was too strong, however, and Robson wandered south over the Butterfield Overland Mail routes. He settled in 1875 in Jacksboro, Texas, where he purchased the Frontier Echo from his Yankee friend C. H. McConnell. In 1879 Robson moved his press to Fort Griffin and in 1883 to Albany. He never feared to express his opinions, played the iconoclast, never retracted a statement, and earned a reputation for being a man of integrity. He was for a time the historian of frontier Texas. Further, he was a close associate of James C. Loving and worked to organize the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Robson was one of the earliest editors to use woodcuts of cows and horses, on which he imposed the brands of cattlemen who wished to advertise for the return of strays-a device that became very popular.
Still, the Echo Man was forced to withdraw from journalism. No doubt his health, including an alcohol problem, was a major factor, and he was a Yankee. Edgar Rye, of Kentucky origin and Confederate persuasion, gave him too much competition with his rival paper, the Albany Star. The Echo merged with the Star in 1884. After a stint at storekeeping in Graham, Robson returned to Caldwell, where he was hailed as "first citizen." Hardly an issue of the Caldwell paper was printed without some mention of the "little captain" (Robson was 5'3" tall). He made the Cherokee Strip run for land on September 16, 1893, and moved to Medford, Oklahoma, where for a time he sold real estate. From then on, he divided his time between Medford and Caldwell until age diminished him mentally. Friends took him to the soldiers' home at Leavenworth, Kansas, where he died on December 13, 1918.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Ernestine P. Sewell, "Robson, George W.," accessed May 24, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/froag.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles