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Biography of Frank Kern Robeson

Frank Kern Robeson. Of the many business establishments in Champaign County perhaps none has a wider connection with the families of this section of Illinois and a better reputation due to many years of successful business relations than the Robeson Department Store, founded and built up by the veteran merchant Frank Kern Robeson, who has the distinction of having developed the first real department store in the city of Champaign. While his success and position in the community are now so well established, it is noteworthy that Mr. Robeson did not always have an easy course and one free from obstacles. He was born in the state of Pennsylvania. His parents, Alexander M. and Jane (Kern) Robeson, were natives of the same state. Their ancestors had come to America prior to the Revolutionary War. Both the Robesons and the Kerns were engaged in the great iron industry of Pennsylvania until a short time before the Civil War. In 1863 Alexander M. Robeson and his family moved to the pineries of Northern Michigan. During the next winter they and four other families endured the hardships of frontier life. When navigation closed in the fall there was no communication with the outside world except mail every two weeks brought in on sledges drawn by dogs. When navigation opened in the spring the Robesons took the first boat, a sailing vessel that left for Bay City, and thence proceeded by rail and by stage over corduroy roads to Rensselaer, Indiana. Rensselaer, now the county seat of Jasper County, was then a sparsely settled section in swamps and with no railroad communications. The...

Biography of Ernest F. Day, M. D.

Ernest F. Day, M. D. The work of Doctor Day as a physician and surgeon had met with cordial appreciation and patronage since he came to Arkansas City over fifteen years ago. He is in every way a most competent and thorough professional man, and in recent years had extended his opportunities for service by his management, in association with Doctor McKay, of the Mercy Hospital there. Doctor Day is a native of Indiana but had spent practically all his life in Kansas. He was born at Rensselaer in Jasper County, Indiana, October 20, 1876. He is of very old American stock. It is said that the first of the family to come to America was a silk merchant from England, who located at Jamestown, Virginia, when that was a struggling colony early in the seventeenth century. Doctor Day’s grandfather, Wilber Day, was born in North Carolina in 1819, grew up and married in his native state, and in the early days came to the Northwest and was associated with the great frontiersman, Simon Kenton, in fighting with the Indians. He became a pioneer settler in Jasper County, Indiana, and was a farmer there until his death in 1895. One of his sons, Louis, was a soldier in an Indiana regiment during the Civil war and was killed at Lookout Mountain. Wilber Day married Margaret Sands, who was born in North Carolina and died at Rensselaer, Indiana. Five of their children are still living: William, a retired resident of Rensselaer, Indiana; Amanda, who lives at Kingman, Kansas, widow of Edom Antrim, who was a ranchman; John Day, father of...

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