Biography of William Robison

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Born, Feb. 8, 1833, near Muskogee, Creek Nation, the eldest son of Dr. Alexander Robison and Elizabeth Reed. Dr. Reed was a white man from Columbus, Ga., and government physician by appointment for the Creeks during their emigration West. He married in 1832, the daughter of a United States citizen known by the name of Long Reed, who married a full-blood Creek of the Thlopthlocco or Deer clan. The subject of our sketch went to a neighborhood school near the mouth of Little River at the age of nine or ten years, and at about fifteen went to Shawnee Mission, two and a half miles from Westport, Mo., where he remained one year, moving to Asberry Mission, when, after one session he left for Alabama, sojourning two years at the Warrior Stand Academy. William’s father, being a practical man, induced his son to learn the blacksmith’s trade, which he did, devoting more than two years to its accomplishment. But on returning home, young Robison found that he could make a living much easier than with an anvil and so became a clerk for G. F. McClish, a Chickasaw, who had a store at the mouth of Little River. About this time, 1856, he married Miss Adeline McClish, oldest daughter of Judge Jas. McClish, of Tishomingo, and first judge of that nation after the completion of the Chickasaw constitution. By this marriage they had six children, five of whom are still living, viz.: Josephine, born December, 1856; Alina R., born 1857; George F., born 1861; William R., born 1864; and Amos R., born 1870. When the war broke out Mr. Robison joined the Confederate service under Col. John Jumper, Seminole battalion. In this service he was elected first lieutenant. At the first re-organization he was elected captain, and when they re-organized into a regiment, Mr. Robison was made lieutenant colonel, which post he maintained with honor until the surrender. After the war he opened a mercantile business at the mouth of Caddo Creek, after which he moved his business to the Creek Nation, and was elected district judge of Deep Fork, serving a term of two years, when he was elected member of the House of Warriors, and afterward school superintendent. After serving one year in this capacity, he became interpreter to the House of Kings for four years, and afterwards member of that body, which office he held for twelve years. In 1891, he was appointed superintendent of Wetumka National Labor School, which institute he is now in charge of. Nov. 1, 1872, he married Mrs. Cherokee Barnett, widow of Washington Barnett, brother to Timothy Barnett, national treasurer. By this marriage he had two boys, Ellis Edwin, born July 1873, and Robert Clem, born October 1874. During the Esparhecher rebellion, Colonel Robison was appointed by Samuel Checotah as commander of the national forces, with headquarters at Okmulgee. The first fight took place at Rock Fork Creek, near Springfield, Col. Robison having seven of his men killed, they being taken by surprise when in camp. The Colonel, with one thousand men followed Esparhecher for forty miles, until overtaken by Agent Tuft, who requested Col. Robison to return to Okmulgee, that he would endeavor to make peace with the disaffected parties, which was afterward accomplished. Col. Robison, however, had to move from his home place, as it was in the enemy’s settlement; so he opened a livery stable in Muskogee and continued the same for four years, when he sold out and moved to his present home on Van’s Lake, between the Arkansas and Verdigris. The subject of our sketch has 150 head of cattle, 25 horses, and 200 acres under fence, 150 of which is in cultivation, with a good house, garden and orchard. He has also a fine residence and other property in Muskogee. Col. Robison is 6 feet 2 inches high, and weighs 150 pounds. He is of good appearance and good address, a man of wide knowledge and sound judgment. No man in the nation is more widely and favorably known, and he has a host of friends among all races and color. Col. Robison has nine children living.

MLA Source Citation:

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898. Web. 21 December 2014. - Last updated on Jul 28th, 2012


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