|Birth: ||Oct. 16, 1807|
|Death: ||Apr. 18, 1896|
Edward son of Margaret Davies 1775-1859 and Joseph Robinson 1770-1853 of England.
Edward was a early pioneer that settled in the fall of 1850 in American Fork. Living where Robinson Park is currently located in the center of American Fork. Edward was the first conductor on the first railroad in the world. The train was known as the Rocket.
1st Marriage 1828 to Mary Smith in Manchester, England.
Richard Smith Robinson
Edward Robinson Jr.
William Smith Robinson
Mary Jane Robinson
2nd Marriage 1845 to Ann Turner Wootton in Nauvoo, Illinois.
George Heber Robinson
Alfred Andrew Robinson
3rd Marriage Margaret Grosvenor
Myrtle Robinson Seastrand
Edward Robinson's life on earth covered a period of nearly ninety years. Most of this sketch was given direct to me, Myrtle Robinson Seastrand, by his son, William Smith Robinson, seventh child of Edward.
Edward Robinson was the son of Joseph Robinson of Little, Sutton, England and was born in Cheshire, England 16 OCT 1807...
While very young, Edward chose to train a footman to the gentry of one of the Royal families. He took great delight in driving and caring for the stately pedigreed horses of the Lords and Ladies and in taking charge of the blood hounds and race horses for the hunts. He had to dress exceedingly trim to be in the presence of these distinguished people as he rode about with them as a footman, in their fine carriages behind two span of immaculate white horses. He kept his fine English boots shined to perfection. He developed a fine appreciation of nature, as he spent much time among the rustic flower gardens on the different manors. He later became a fine landscape gardener himself, having a great appreciation of art...
His eyes were deep blue and he had a mop of brown, curly hair and a fine set of teeth.
At the age of 21, in 1828, Edward married a lively, spiritually-minded English girl named Mary Smith, who was, born 2 DEC 1810, in Manchester, England. Their courtship began while they were working on the same manor...Her picture reveals a rather delicate little face surrounded by a mop of thick curls. During the 16 years of their short life together, nine children were born to them.
Richard, 1831; John, 1832; Mary and Martha (died in infancy in England), Elizabeth, 1837; Edward Jr.,1839; William S. 1840; Mary Jane, 1842; Joseph, 1844 (buried in Nauvoo).
Edward Robinson, came into manhood at the beginning of the most inventive and important century of the world's history. In 1828, the English Parliament offered a prize for the best model steam engine to run on rails from Manchester to Liverpool. Several men in different parts of the world were experimenting with steam power, but the prize was awarded to George and Robert Stevenson of England, for their prize steam engine the "Rocket." A charter was granted and this engine made its initial run from Manchester to Liverpool in 15 SEP 1830, the same year as the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This date marked the beginning of great things. A new Era of science and religion.
Edward Robinson had the distinction of being the first conductor, or guard, on this train. The English nobleman for whom Edward acted as footman owned a big block of stock in this new enterprise and he gave Edward this position because of the deep trust he had in him.
Edward used to like to tell of that first run and how they sprinkled sand on the rails to keep the cars from slipping when they got going so fast as 26 miles per hour. In the American Fork Cemetery on Edward Robinson's tombstone is carved a picture of the engine "The Rocket", under which is engraved "Edward Robinson, First railroad conductor on the World."
With a good salary and a thrifty wife, Edward and his little family were very happy, welcoming each child as it came into their lives to bless their home and name, but the grim reaper came and robbed them of two of the children Mary and Martha.
In 1840, the same year that Mormonism was first preached in England, Little William, who was one year old, became seriously ill, and Mary, a very religious woman with a great interest in this new religion, sent for the Mormon Missionaries. Brigham Young was then in Manchester and came to their home, anointed and laid his hands upon the sick child's head, and promised the parents that he should be made well and live to a ripe old age. William has been a living testimony of this healing, and always spoke of it with appreciative reverence. Soon after this, Edward also joined the church and he often let the missionaries ride free on the cars. He would say, "Sit still and say nothing." More than once he took them to his tailor and ordered a suit of clothes for them. It took a year or so for Mary Smith to persuade her husband to quit his fine position and leave their native land to join the Mormon Saints, who were then in Illinois, but the prayers of this little woman prevailed and in 1842, Edward and Mary with six children, left their native land for America. Upon leaving, the railroad company presented Edward with a silver watch in which was engraved, "To Edward Robinson in token of regard from the Directors of the Manchester-Liverpool Railroad, 1842." This watch is now in the keeping of the Daughters of the Pioneers of American Fork.
They crossed the ocean in an old sailing vessel, the "Henry" in October 1842. It took nine weeks to cross the water. They were delayed by storms and Mary and two of the children lay at death's door during most of the voyage.
They were indeed happy to set foot on ground, but as soon as they landed, they changed ships for the steam-propelled flat river boat which sailed up the enchanting Mississippi for Nauvoo. The Saints had built this beautiful city in Illinois on the banks of the Mississippi on swamp lands, thought worthless by others. Edward, believing this to be their permanent home, took their savings and immediately built them a lovely, little red brick two-story home. This was the happiest year of their lives. They were living and learning the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith and others...
Life was discouraging for Edward (after Mary's death). He employed Ann Wootton, a widow with four children, two of her own, Attie and John and two adopted one's, Lizzie and Nammie, to care for his household. Ann Wootton was born in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, 7 NOV 1810, She made such a good housekeeper that Edward proposed marriage to her and these two plucky parents decided to rear their families together...
They traveled in the Ezra T. Benson Company, leaving in the spring of 1849. By that time over 5000 Saint's had gone ahead of them, so by then the paths first made by the light tread of the moccasined Indian were trampled into a dust road, by the clumsy hoofs of the oxen and rawhide boots of the men. At one time, Edward, still retaining his jolly humor, said, as he held up his coarse boot, "This old clod cruncher doesn't look much like the fine-polished English boots I wore in the Gentry, but such is the price of pioneering."...
The first thing Edward did when he arrived in the valley of Salt Lake in October 1849, was to secure land. He rented the John Taylor farm and immediately commenced fall plowing, using the faithful oxen that had brought them across the plains...
Let us vision Edward Robinson's pioneer home that first winter. A family of eleven children, three sets of half-brothers and sisters, ranging in ages from one to nineteen years, living in one big room with it's quaint fireplace, and black smoky kettles and primitive oven, which must have been kept full to supply food for so many growing, hungry youngsters; a spinning wheel, straw ticks made from the canvasses from the covered wagons, and a crude box or chest made of native lumber, which contained their Sunday clothes, two or three homemade chairs with buckskin bottoms.
This was a home quite different to what might have been theirs had they remained in old England. Almost as humble as that of the Christ Child. A home that called for all the perseverance, thrift and patience that individuals could cultivate, where every member of the family, of an evening, bowed his head in reverence and knelt upon his knees in thankfulness, for the preservation of his life, for the daily sunshine and the soil and strength to bring about the things they visioned ahead; where there were scanty meals shared willingly; kind services rendered unbegrudgingly; where a high standard of English culture was maintained in spite of the rough western setting; where they were happy because each day meant improvement and progression....
Ann Wooton Robinson was taken from this existence at the age of only 54, in 1864, and was buried in the American Fork Cemetery. Edward found much solace cultivating his lovely flower beds and mowing his lawns, trying to keep house himself, until two or three years later when another lovely little English woman came to bless his old age. He married Margaret Grosvener, an old maid, who had accepted the gospel in England and had come to American Fork with the Kelley family. She was born 11 OCT 1811 in Hertfordshire, England...
Thus what might have been a very drab life was make bright for each other, until 1889 when his third mate was taken in death. She was buried by the side of Ann Wootton Robinson in the American Fork Cemetery. Life for Edward now seemed so lonesome and difficult and his house of six rooms so large that he decided to sell the old homestead to his grandson, William Edward. He said, "This will be a nice home for you and your new bride and I'd like the old homestead to stay in the family name."
To please the old gentleman, my father bought the old adobe house and brought his wife, Jane Chipman Robinson, there to live. Edward maintained one room as a bedroom and ate most of his meals with his son, William S., who had built the red brick home on the other side of the lot. He dressed himself when he pleased and spent much of his time caring for his flowers. He enjoyed taking bouquets to his friends and neighbors...
He loved to let them listen to the tick of his English watch. He took great pride in wearing it because it meant so much to him and brought back fond memories of his life in Old England, his first wife, and young children. Oft times he would come up with the children and spend the afternoon sitting among his flowers beneath the lovely shade trees which he had planted, now the City Park. He would walk about supported by a cane yet not too feeble to bend down and stir up the soil around the roots here and there. He enjoyed good health until the last few weeks of his life, when Sarah and the girls cared for him in her home.
He died at the age of 89 in the year 1896 and was buried in the American Fork Cemetery, by the side of his two wives, Ann Wootton and Margaret Grosvenor, beneath the tombstone which bears the picture of the first steam engine in the world "The Rocket" and engraved, "Edward Robinson, the First Railroad Conductor in the World."
(NOTE was added to better understand the content)
Ann Turner Wooton Robinson (1810 - 1864)
Margaret Grosvenor Robinson (1811 - 1899)
Mary Smith Robinson (1810 - 1845)*
Richard Smith Robinson (1830 - 1902)*
John Robinson (1832 - 1884)*
Elizabeth M. Robinson Cox (1834 - 1903)*
Edward Robinson (1839 - 1901)*
William Smith Robinson (1840 - 1936)*
George Heber Robinson (1847 - 1923)*
American Fork Cemetery
Maintained by: Utahgirl
Originally Created by: Ray Memmott (inactive)
Record added: Aug 12, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11521131