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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
William Robison, who is now living a retired life in Fayette, is a native of Scotland. He was born in Roxburyshire, October 26, 1838, and his parents, William and Margaret (Babtie) Robison, were also natives of the same county. Strict members of the Presbyterian Church, they ever lived consistent with their professions and were respected by all. The father followed fruit-growing and gardening for a livelihood and lived to be about fifty-eight years old, having survived his wife some time. In their family were seven children, of whom William is the youngest.
The scholastic training which our subject received was above the average. At the High School of Jedburgh he prepared himself for life's duties. At home he had learned much of gardening and fruit culture and on the completion of his education served two and a half years at that trade as an apprentice at Sunlass Castle. He then went to Edinburg where for a short time he was employed in the nursery of Losson & Co. when when he was given a position in the Botanic Gardens of Glasgow. This was a high testimonial of his skill and knowledge, for to secure a situation like that one must be highly recommended as a botanist. After remaining in that position for a year Mr. Robison was induced by a friend to come to the United States and forthwith crossed the water in 1856, landing at New York. He at once went to Otsego, N. Y., but could find there no opportunity to engage at work at his trade so he returned to New York City. The season, however, was so far spent that he could get no position in that line of business, and returning to Otsego he offered his services to a farmer to mow grass but the farmer was not willing to pay him a man's wages as he did not think he could perform the work of an average employee. Mr. Robison proposed to make a hand or else work for nothing, and the farmer soon became convinced that he could accomplish as much as any one. Subsequently he ran a dairy in Herkimer County and was very successful in that business but at length determined to try his fortune in the West.
The year 1869 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Robison in Iowa. He came to this county, purchased land and for sixteen years engaged in farming, adding to his capital as the months rolled by until he is now able to live a retired life. He still owns an interest in a farm three miles west of town but since 1884 has made his home in Fayette, where is a respected citizen. In politics he was a Democrat from the time he became an American citizen until 1887, since which time he has been a Union Labor advocate. For three years he has served as an efficient member of the Town Council, still holding that position. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian. By industry and economy he has laid by a sufficient competence to enable him to spend the remainder of his life in ease, though he still performs some work out of choice, as a life of utter idleness is distasteful to one of his energetic nature.
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