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ROBINSON, Thomas J. B. (ca. 1916)


Posted By: Jennifer Gunderson (email)
Date: 3/22/2021 at 22:52:50


Hon. Thomas J. B. Robinson, a senator from the forty-third senatorial district. is a resident of Hampton, Franklin county, where he has large financial interests and where he is regarded as one of the most prominent and influential citizens. He was born in New Diggings, Wisconsin, August 12, 1868, a son of Isaac Robinson, who was born in England and was quite small when his parents came to this country. In 1840 they settled in Wisconsin, becoming pioneers of that state. In 1869 Isaac Robinson arrived in Iowa, locating at Hampton, where he was successfully engaged in mercantile pursuits until his death. A devout member of the Methodist church, he held many offices in the church and took most active and helpful part in its work. He married Eliza Graham, who was also born in England and who came to this country with her parents when quite young, the family home being established in Wisconsin. Mrs. Robinson survives her husband and now resides in Los Angeles, California.

Thomas J. B. Robinson was about two years of age when his parents removed to Hampton, Iowa, where in the public schools he pursued his education until graduated from the high school. He then entered his father's store and when later the business was sold turned his attention to banking, in which field he has won notable success. He first conducted a private banking business, dealing in farm mortgages, and that undertaking proved the foundation of the present banking house of Robinson Brothers at Hampton. Senator Robinson withdrew from that bank when he accepted the cashiership of the Citizens State Bank, and when the charter of that institution expired the Citizens National Bank was formed and he became its president, in which capacity he has since continued. He was also one of the organizers and directors of the Coulter Savings Bank, also the Alexander Savings Bank and is the president of the Hansell Savings Bank, which he aided in founding. His sound judgment has been a strong directing force in these institutions leading to continued success and he is today one of the best known financiers in his part of the state.

In 1888 Senator Robinson was married to Miss Belle Clinton, of Hampton, her father being the Rev. John W. Clinton, who was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Robinson possesses rare social and mental qualities in addition to the supreme gift of being a home maker and is known to a host of friends throughout the state. To Mr. and Mrs. Robinson have been born five children, as follows: Jessie R., who gave her hand in marriage to Frank C. Thornton, of Benson, Minnesota; Walter T., assistant cashier of the Citizens National Bank; Marguerite R.; Dorothy B.; and Lee C.

In politics Mr. Robinson has ever been a staunch republican and for several years served as a member of the city council of Hampton. In 1912 he was chosen senator from the forty-third senatorial district, comprising the counties of Cerro Gordo, Franklin and Hancock.

During the session of the thirty-fifth general assembly he served as chairman of the committee on congressional and judicial districts and during the session of the thirty-sixth assembly he was chairman of the committee on board of control. During both sessions he served on many of the most important committees of the assembly and his career as a legislator is a highly creditable one. The causes of temperance and equal suffrage found in him one of their strongest champions and he labored unceasingly for the passage of the measure that meant prohibition for Iowa. It was largely through his efforts that the women's reformatory bill was passed. Senator Robinson has also served as a member of the Hampton board of education, the Hampton library board and as a trustee of Cornell College, retiring from the latter in 1914 after several years' service.

He is one of the leading members of the Methodist church at Hampton, in which he has held many offices, and he is also a prominent figure in both state and national bodies of that church, having served for three terms as a delegate to the general conference, which meets every four years, and as a delegate to the ecumenical conference, which meets every ten years. Fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. In all of his business and public life he has followed constructive methods, realizing the fact that opposition brings us nowhere, and has builded upon a safe foundation both for individual success and for public welfare.

Source: Brigham, Johnson. Iowa : its history and its foremost citizens. Chicago : S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1916. Transcribed by Jennifer Gunderson (Mar 2021).

Index of bios from Iowa : Its history and Its Foremost Citizens

Cerro Gordo Biographies maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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