Biographical Sketch of James Robinson

James Robinson was born on the 13th of February, 1834; is a native of this town, and one of the leading manufacturers and business men of Markham. His father, John Robinson, a native of Toronto, and a tanner by trade, is still living in Markham. His great-grandfather was from the county of Tyrone, Ireland, settling in Pennsylvania, and his grand-father, William Robinson, a United Empire Loyalist, settled at Queenston, Ontario, a short time after the American Revolution, and was at Toronto during part of the war of 1812-14, dying in Markham in 1824. The wife of William Robinson was a Wilson, from New Jersey, dying at Markham about 1810. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Hannah Armstrong, from the county of Cumberland, England, she died in 1844.

Mr. Robinson received an ordinary English education in the local schools; learned his father’s trade, and has been a leather manufacturer since 1855, doing, on an average, a business of about $20,000 a year. He has also a well improved farm adjoining the village, some of it in the corporation. He grows different kinds of small grain, usually of a very fine quality. His wheat crop in 1875 averaged forty-seven bushels to the acre.

Mr. Robinson was deputy reeve in 1866; reeve from 1868 to 1879, except one year; was warden of the county of York in 1877, and a school trustee one term. He has been secretary-treasurer of the east riding of York and Markham Agricultural Society, for the last twenty years, in many ways making himself useful as a citizen.
In June, 1879, Mr. Robinson was a candidate for the Local Legislature, for East York, and was defeated by the Reform contestant, Mr. George W. Badgerow Mr. Robinson is a Liberal Conservative. He is a strong advocate of the so called “National Policy,” believing it to be for the best interests of the Province; as well as Dominion.

On the 13th of April 1863, Miss Louisa Hackridge, a native of Toronto, became the wife of Mr. Robinson, and is the mother of six children, only four of them now living.

It may be well to here add that the Robinsons settled at Markham about 1806, and are one of the oldest families in this township. Other members of this branch of the Robinson family may be found at Lewiston, New York. The Wilsons, elsewhere referred to, settled at Queenston, Ontario.



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