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Hon. John B. Robinson, attorney at law of Smithville, is a native of Dekalb County; was born in 1835. His parents were Alexander and Rachel (Barnes) Robinson. The father was of English descent, born in Cumberland County, Va., about 1804. He came to Tennessee in 1824, locating in Smith (now Dekalb) County. Two years later he settled in the Fourth District. He taught school several sessions and then married. He was surveyor of the county a number of years. He owned 150 acres of fine land at the time of his death in 1867. His wife was born in Dekalb County, in 1804. Her parents, George and Bridget Barnes, were among the pioneers, settling in the county before 1800. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson had nine children, six of whom are living, our subject being the fourth.
He was educated in the common schools. There were no public schools and his parents were unable to send him to college. After he attained his majority he began teaching, which he followed for several years. The last sessions he was in Illinois. In 1855 he commenced the study of law on his own responsibility, but advising with Judge Robert Cantrell, now of Lebanon. In 1858 he was admitted to the bar. When the war broke out he became one of the boys in blue. In June 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Sixty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for ninety days. After serving his time he returned home. He went to Jefferson County, Ill., at Mt. Vernon, and returned to Smithville in 1864. After the restoration of peace he resumed his practice and in 1867 was elected attorney general of the circuit of Tennessee, and served two and a half years. At two different periods T. W. Wade was his partner; for twelve months he was with Nesmith. For twenty years our subject has been one of the leading and most prominent lawyers in the county. His honor has never once been questioned. His forte is in chancery practice. He is a Republican; previous to the war he was a Whig, casting his first presidential vote for Millard Fillmore, in 1856. He belongs to the I. O. O. F. Lodge, No. 217, Pure Fountain, of Smithville.
In February 1869, he married Miss Julia, daughter of H. B. and Julia G. McDonald, of Smith County, where Mrs. Robinson was born in 1849. Their union was blessed with six children: Mary, Alice, Harry, John, David, and William Loyd Garrett. Mrs. Robinson is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.