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ROBINSON FAMILY

Archibald Robinson (abt.1804 - 1884) and Martha Brooks Robinson (1811-1894) lived near Larimer's Station in North Huntingdon township, Westmoreland Co. PA. They had 5 children, James N., Harvey, Mary E., Anna M., and Martha. After Archibald died, his wife Martha moved to Beaver Falls with her daughter Mary, who had married John Mason Brooks (1836-1904). John and his brother James W. Brooks (1837-1918) were butchers in McKeesport. It is not known whether or how Martha Brooks Robinson was related to John Mason Brooks other than as his mother-in-law, but it seems possible that he might have been her naphew, since John's father James Moore Brooks (1797-1866) had two sisters, whose names are unknown.

Archibald's son James Robinson and wife Sarah Knowles Robinson, both born in Pennsylvania, moved to Irondale in Jefferson County, Ohio around 1871 with their daughter Margaret. They lived there for about 10 years, during which time they had 5 additional children: Luella, Harry, Emma, Elizabeth, and Oron Newton. From the following account from History of Steubenville and Jefferson County by Doyle (1910), it appears that the Robinsons were attracted by the booming coal mining business. They left and moved back to Beaver County, Pennsylvania around 1880. Two more sons were born there, Robert in July 1881 and Charles in August 1884.

Beaver Co.tax records list James Robinson in Big Beaver township as follows:

1883 - Laborer
1885 - Laborer
1886 - Stone cutter
1887 - stone cutter, 20 A. Land,val 240 / 1 cattle val. 15
1894 - contractor, 20 A Land val. 701/1 horse val 50 / 2 cattle val. 30
We have been unable to find the marriage record for James and Sarah. However from census records and marriage licenses we know the ages and birthplaces of their children.
Descendants of James and Sarah Robinson

Irondale and Hamlets.

Joshua Downer's discovery of salt-water on Yellow Creek in 1806 was on the present site of Irondale, and a well was put down by Samuel Potts. It furnished sufficient brine to make six barrels of salt per day, and soon after James Rodgers sunk two more wells, each yielding five barrels per day. This infant industry naturally built up a hamlet around it, and soon there was in existence a village, to which was given the name Pottsdale. A bank was opened by the Potts brothers, and as salt was in good demand at $16 a barrel the little community assumed quite a business-like aspect. The salt was hauled to the mouth of the creek by carts or wagons and then shipped by boat. In a few years the competition from larger wells in other parts of the county compelled a discontinuance of the salt industry here, and Pottsdale reverted to a rural community. Thus it remained until 1861 when coal mining was begun here. With John Hunter as manager, the railroad now furnishing transportation. A new village was laid out, taking the name of Huntersville. The advent of the Pioneer Coal Company in 1869, with its rolling mill employing 150 hands, gave a boom to every class of business. The town was enlarged and renamed Irondale. It first appears in the census of 1870 with 751 inhabitants. The same year a store was started in the village by Morgan and Hunter, r. G. Richards as manager, who was also the first postmaster. Mr. Richards served about two years, and was succeeded by C. P. Evans, Geo. Burnside, James Dennis, Burnside second time, John F. Gilson and T. A. Hoyt. The erection of the large blast furnace by the Morgan Coal and Iron Company in 1870, a large hotel built by Mrs. Mary Crans, and other improvements, made Irondale the most flourishing community in the county, and when the panic of 1873 came it had an estimated population of 1,500. When that panic came, however, the mills shut down and the declension was nearly as rapid as its rise. The census of 1880 showed a population of only 399, but with the inauguration of new enterprises noted in our chapter on manufacturing, the village began to pick up, and in 1890 there were 694 inhabitants, who had increased to 1,136 in 1900. Its permanent prosperity is now assured.