Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 46] who resides in Mahoningtown, is a long-time and trusted employee of the Pennsylvania R. R., having been connected with the train service of that road for almost thirty years. He was born in West New Castle, Jan. 1, 1854, and is a son of Andrew G. and Frances (Edwards) Robinson. Andrew G. Robinson, whose father fought in the War of 1812, was born, in the region of Hollidaysburg, Pa., about 1812, one of a family of sixteen boys and one girl born to his parents. He grew to manhood in that city, and married there. He was a charcoal burner by trade, the charcoal going to supply the large, iron furnaces; after coming to New Castle in 1842 or 1843, he still followed that business until bituminous coal took the place of the charcoal, and then his occupation giving out he learned the trade of an iron-worker, and was employed in the iron-mills the remaining active years of his life. He died in New Castle at the age of seventy-three years. His wife was born in Wales in 1813, and was left an orphan at an early age; she came to the United States with her two brothers, John and Joseph, when she was seventeen years old in 1830, and settled in Hollidaysburg. Her first three children were born there. Of the family of eleven children, they reared, seven boys and four girls, seven survive. The record reads as follows: Sarah Jane, who married David Huttenbaugh, an operative in the rolling-mills at New Castle; David, who was killed in the service of his country in the late war; Thomas, deceased; Zechariah, a mill operative of New Castle; Joseph, the chief of police of New Castle; Andrew, a puddler in the iron works at New Castle; Edward, deceased; Lizzie, deceased; Margaret, the wife of Charles Owery, a mill operative of New Castle; James, the tenth in order of birth, and subject of this sketch; and Fannie, the wife of Edward J. Murphy, an engineer living in Mahoningtown.

Our subject was reared in New Castle, and attended the public schools there until his fourteenth year during the winter seasons; being at that age a large and strong youth, he secured a place as fireman on the Pennsylvania R. R., performing his first work for the company Dec. 18, 1868. He was thus employed until Oct. 14, 1872, when he was promoted to the position of engineer, in which position he has been continued as a valued employee, and has held it with credit to himself and eminent satisfaction to his employers since. Probably the worst wreck that it has been the lot of Mr. Robinson to be mixed up in occurred at Clinton, Pa., on Dec. 18, 1878, just ten years to a day from his initiation in railroading. On this occasion Mr. Robinson suffered a severe injury in a fractured left leg, which necessitated his being "sent to the shop for repairs," and his not being able to resume his run until the first of April following. During his railroad life of nearly thirty years, he has missed but one pay, and that was when he was in Chicago for treatmen—a record for steady employment few can equal.

Mr. Robinson was married in New Castle, June 25, 1876, to Anna G. Sankey, daughter of T. F. and Caroline (Somers) Sankey, the latter a daughter of Samuel, Jr., and Eliza C. (Rankin) Somers. Samuel Somers was born in 1794, married his wife in 1822, and died in 1829, at the early age of thirty-five years. Two children have been born to Mr. Robinson and his wife: Walter Scott, a young man of twenty years, who is just entering upon a busines career, and obtaining the training necessary to become a successful business man; and James Garfield, a bright boy, who died Feb. 11, 1889, aged eight years, when an inmate of the School for the Blind, where he was being educated. The loss of his eyesight was through the effects of meningitis, the malady being further aggravated by a subsequent fall. The sudden summons that came to him, when he was far from home, has made his memory doubly dear to the bereaved parents. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are members in good standing of the M. E. Church of Mahoningtown. He is a Republican in politics, and was formerly a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He is a member of the Lodge of the Craft, No. 433, F. & A. M. of New Castle.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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