Biography of Henry P. Robbins
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Henry P. Robbins, editor in charge of the editorial page of the St. Louis Times, all round farm hand, court deputy clerk in a court of universal jurisdiction, secretary of a chamber of commerce, member of the bar, assistant to the president of companies which required a study of coal mines and markets, transportation, insurance and corporation law, a volunteer soldier, a printer and an all round newspaper man on weeklies and small city dailies, reporter for Chautauqua, stump speaker in every presidential campaign since his fifteenth year, student librarian in two colleges, school teacher and college tutor in Greek, secretary of two statehood delegations from Indian territory and Oklahoma territory to Washington, participant in or student of all sorts of conventions and conferences, correspondent for the old New York Sun, a student of men and measures with an acquaintance, through accident of residence, vocation or special duties, with prominent men of a score of states and with men of all sorts and conditions, came to St. Louis in September, 1913, as an editorial writer on the GlobeDemocrat under the late Captain Henry King. He remained with that paper for six years, resigning to accept his present position on The Times in September, 1919, because he opposed the policy of the Globe-Democrat on the League of Nations and wished to be in a position to express his views.
Mr. Robbins is a native Missourian, born in Dallas County, September 13, 1873, but was taken by his parents, Rev. and Mrs. Martin V. Robbins, to Kansas in his infancy. His father was a pioneer Methodist preacher throughout southwestern Missouri and southern Kansas, dying in 1890, while the subject of this sketch was in his seventeenth year. “My three brothers, Bascom, of Kansas City, Kansas, Grant A., of Kansas City, Missouri, and Kirk W., of Chicago, were called to the ministry,” said Mr. Robbins to the biographer, “but although I attended two Methodist colleges and was graduated from one and have preacher schoolmates all over the United States, I felt just as clear a call to the newspaper business. I learned to stick type at thirteen and although I have had a great variety of experiences in other lines I always felt they would only make me a better newspaper man. I have worked on or run papers in many towns, with occasional breathing spells at something else, to give me a chance to read books, a luxury denied a daily newspaper man, who conscientiously tries to keep abreast of all subjects he believes to be of popular interest. That is why there are no such things as ‘hours’ In newspaper work. All the time a newspaper man is awake he is learning something or unlearning something for immediate or future use. Missing the papers for a single day would be dangerous. One might write a joke about a man whose death was reported in the missed paper. Twice this has occurred to me.”
Mr. Robbins married Miss Ids Child, former teacher of piano and voice in Hardin College at Mexico, Missouri, the wedding being’ celebrated at South McAlester, Indian territory, December 22, 1902. They have two sons: Bruce Freeman and Victor. Mr. Robbins is a member of the Methodist church, belongs to the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of the Maccabees and the United Spanish War Veterans, and is a member of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed delegate to the World Press Congress by Governor Hyde in 1921.