Family Stories

John Rice Robinson and Lydia Ann Barbee – Taylor County

John Rice Robinson, February 23, 1823 – March 11, 1899. Lydia Ann Robinson, July 24, 1834 – January 2, 1914. Brookside Cemetery, Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky.

An Old Pioneer Gone – Captain John R. Robinson Passes Away at an Advanced Age
John Rice Robinson, second child of Robert Robinson and Nancy Rice, his wife, was born in Taylor County, Ky., February 23, 1823. The Robinson is of Irish extraction, the progenitors having emigrated to this country before the Revolutionary War. The sturdy qualities of this stock early showed themselves in the subject of this sketch. He labored on a farm until he attained his majority, enjoying very few educational advantages. After this he returned to Campbellsville and was employed by his uncle, Pleasant Sanders, to work in the tobacco business at $8 per month. Out of these scanty wages he soon saved enough to enable him to attend school until he acquired a fair education. He also began to read law with Judge E. L. Barbee, of Campbellsville; and was admitted to the bar at this place, August 24, 1852. He was soon afterwards elected County Attorney. He was the first Magistrate in his district. In the days of his early practice there were many important land cases. He was employed in nearly all of them and soon became widely known over the State as one of her ablest lawyers, not only in that particular line, but also as a general practitioner of the highest ability. In his young manhood he came under serious religious convictions, and united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in whose fellowship he continued to the end. On May 24, 1860, he was united in marriage to Miss Malvina Scott of Greensburg, Ky. Two children were born to this union, Henry Scott Robinson, our well-known attorney, and Malvina, who died August 23, 1864. Mrs. Robinson died June 30, 1864. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Mr. Robinson recruited a company, of which he was made Captain. This company was mustered into service at Rochester, Ky., on March 21, 1861, as Company E, Twenty-Seventh Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. Owing to the ill health of his wife, he resigned from the service on March 6, 1864, and returned home. On October 1, 1867, Mr. Robinson was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Ann Barbee, daughter of John and Mary Ray Barbee, and sister of Judge E. L. Barbee. In this union were born four children, Nannie C., wife of attorney W. L. Young, Bettie M., the first lady to take the degree of A. B. at Georgetown College, Ky., Pleasant Sanders and Joseph Elias Robinson. The two latter are well-known young men of our town. Joseph is now a law student of Centre College. A worthy enterprise with which the name of Captain Robinson is inseparably connected was the Taylor County Academy. Upon this he expended some $5,000. The building was in the summer of 1884, and the school opened the first Monday in October following with Prof. T. M. Mourning and two assistants, Rev. William Crenshaw, Presbyterian pastor in town, also assisted in teaching. In March 1896, Rev. E. W. Coakley and W. T. Overstreet took charge. They were succeeded September 1, 1887, by Prof. Isaac McAfee. In September 1888, Professors S. A. Chambers and J. D. Underwood took charge. In September 1890, Professors O. Z. Long and J. R. Sanders assumed control, and in the fall of 1891, Professors J. R. Sanders, W. I. Williams and J. H. McMurty opened school. In November of 1891 the house was burned and was not rebuilt. Captain Robinson had been for some years one of the Directors of the Bank of Campbellsville and also attorney for the bank. While for some years his health had not been uniformly vigorous, yet he was able to get about and attend to considerable business most of the time. On Thursday, March 2 he drove out some distance and expressed satisfaction at feeling so well. On Friday, March 3, he was taken with a severe chill. He continued to grow worse, and was in an unconscious condition part of the time until the end came at 12:30 a.m., Saturday, March 11, 1899. Simple and informal funeral services were held at the late residence on Sunday afternoon, March 12, conducted by Rev. J. W. Loving, pastor of the Baptist church, assisted by Rev. G. S. King, Methodist pastor and Rev. B. M. Shive, Presbyterian pastor. The burial was in the Campbellsville Cemetery. To the widow, children, relatives and friends we extend our tenderest sympathy. Captain Robinson was a man of marked individuality, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of a long circle of acquaintance. A large crowd gathered at the funeral and burial. Ex-Governor Knott telegraphed his condolence, and Hon. J. W. Lewis sent tender letter of sympathy and regretful absence. It is interesting to note that John Scott, father of Mrs. Robinson, came from Culpeper County, Virginia, to Louisville, Ky., while the present metropolis had only a few shingle-roof houses, and subsequently removed to Greensburg, Ky., because the latter was the larger city. At a meeting of the bar of Taylor County, and the officers of the Courts of Taylor County, held at the Courthouse, in Campbellsville, on Saturday, March 11, 1899, to take suitable action on the death of Captain J. R. Robinson, a member of this bar. The object of this meeting was stated by R. E. Puryear, and upon his motion Judge J. W. Cloyd was called to the Chair, Tho. E. Green was elected Secretary.

Taylor County, Kentucky Cemeteries, p. 64
John R. Robinson
23 Feb 1823 – 11 Mar 1899
Brookside Cemetery, Section A

Mrs. Lydia A. Robinson, widow of the late Capt. John R. Robinson, gently breathed her last at the home of her daughter, Mrs. W. L. Young, in this city, yesterday morning at 8 o’clock. She had been confined to her bed for the past two years from a complication of troubles and her death was not unexpected though the news of her passing away was received with much sorrow by a large circle of friends. Mrs. Robinson was 75 years of age last July and was born and reared in this county where she resided throughout her long and useful life. She was the daughter of John Barbee, one of the pioneer citizens of the Beech Woods vicinity of Taylor County. She joined the Friendship Baptist Church at an early age and after her marriage to Capt. Robinson on October 1, 1867, she became a member of the Baptist church at this place, of which she was a staunch advocate. Mrs. Robinson was one of the best known women in Taylor County. A lady of a fine christian character, possessing a lovable and charitable disposition, she will long be remembered as one of our noblest women. She was always agreeable and kind and numbered her friends by the scores. She loved her family and her children idolized her. ~The News-Journal, Thursday, January 22, 1914

Taylor County, Kentucky Cemeteries, p. 64
Lydia A. Robinson
24 Jul 1834 – 21 Jan 1914
Brookside Cemetery, Section A

October 1, 1867, John R. Robinson and Lydia A. Barbee were married by Henry McDonald, at Captain Barbee’s, Taylor County, witnesses T. A. Netherland, Ben Durrett.

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