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Miami owes much to the progressive spirit and business ability of Thomas Lincoln Robinson, who has been a most important factor in its up-building and development. He was formerly prominently identified with building operations in the city but is now at the head of the Independent Mining & Royalty Company and also has valuable real estate holdings here, being recognized as a very capable and enterprising business man whose efforts are resultant factors in whatever he undertakes. Mr. Robinson was born in Osage County, Missouri, August 3, 1860, his parents being John W. and Elizabeth (McLaughlin) Robinson, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia. Both are deceased. The father was a veteran of the Civil war and after the cessation of hostilities he went to Anderson County, Kansas, during the pioneer epoch in its settlement, remaining a resident of that locality until 1871. He then went overland to Arkansas, but lived in that state only a short time. Upon returning to the middle-west he purchased a farm near Lamar, in Barton County, Missouri, which he continued to cultivate until his demise in 1904. He also became well known as a stockman, engaging extensively in the buying and selling of horses, cattle and hogs.
Mr. Robinson spent the period of his boyhood on a farm and his education was acquired in the public schools. Upon starting out in life for himself he devoted his attention to farming pursuits in Missouri until 1889, when he went to Colorado, engaging in the building and contracting business at Aspen until 1900. He then went to Canon City, that state, where he was similarly occupied until 1907, when he came to Oklahoma and entered the building business at Tulsa. In 1908 he was induced by his brother, J. F. Robinson, one of the foremost business men of Miami to locate here and he has since been prominently identified with the business interests of this city. He was at first connected with the Edward M. Moore Lumber Company, which shortly afterward became known as the Robinson Lumber Company, and he also turned his attention to building and contracting, developing a large business along that line. He drew his own plans for the structures which he erected and many of the finest residences in the city stand as monuments to his ability along architectural lines. He was likewise the builder and owner of the Mining Exchange, which was used as a court house and office building until it was destroyed by fire, and he has made extensive investments in business property in Miami, numbering among his holdings the new Mining Exchange building, which is considered one of the best office buildings in the city. For several years Mr. Robinson has been actively engaged in the mining business, being one of the early pioneers in this field. He has many valuable leases and is an independent operator, while he also is associated with his sons in the conduct of the Independent Mining & Royalty Company. He is an astute, farsighted business man of marked executive ability, enterprise and determination and many lines of activity have been stimulated through his well directed efforts and carefully formulated plans.
In Barton County, Missouri, in October, 1883, Mr. Robinson was united in marriage to Miss Eliza E. Mann, a daughter of B. F. Mann, who was formerly engaged in the manufacture of brick, tile and pottery near Lamar, Missouri, but is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson have become the parents of four children : Jennie May is the wife of Dr. H. M. Yoost, and the eldest, is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, in which she also did postgraduate work. She is now an instructor in Wellesley College of Massachusetts, being widely and favorably known in educational circles of the country; Gale D., who served in the United States navy during the World war, is associated with his father in the mining and oil business.
He is a thirty-second degree Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine. He married Miss Gertrude Beck, whose father was one of the pioneer settlers of Ottawa County. They have one son whose name is Gale D. Robinson; Clyde F., who also enlisted in the United States navy during the World war, is engaged in the mining and oil business in connection with his father and brother. In Masonry he also has taken the thirty-second degree, being likewise identified with the Shrine. He married Miss Helen McCannon of Miami, and they have two sons, Clyde Thomas and Hugh Franklin; Glenn Ora, the youngest member of the family, is also a veteran of the World war, serving as a member of the United States army, and he, too, is a member of the Independent Mining & Royalty Company. He married Miss Ethelyn Carmichael and they have become the parents of a son, Glenn Robert.
In his political views Thomas Lincoln Robinson is independent and in religious faith he is a Baptist. Preeminently public-spirited, his deep interest in the welfare and prosperity of his city has been demonstrated by his active support of many projects for its improvement and up-building, including those for the establishment of a public library, hospitals and Churches, the Miami School of Mines, the building of steam and electric railroads and the maintenance of public highways. In every sphere of life in which he has acted he has left an indelible impress through his ability and tireless energy, which never falls short of the attainment of its purpose, and Miami numbers him among her foremost citizens.