Sunday, April 16, 2017
Civil War Era and Where Was Abiathar Smith Robinson? Found in Wenona, Marshall, Illinois
|GGrandfather Abiathar Smith Robinson with son Frank Hugh Robinson.|
Frank is sitting on a haystack.
To be a man of 23 in 1852 was to be an American under our 13th president, Millard Fillmore of New York, a Whig.
We know that Abiathar lived in Tunbridge, Orange, Vermont in 1852 when he married Julia Ann Tuller February 29th there. She was from Royalton Windsor, Vermont next door about 5 miles away. She was on the 1850 census at age 15 in Royalton living with her Tuller family. Not Abiathar. I couldn't find him listed.
|A grand home in little Wenona, Marshall, Illinois.|
In 1853, after the railroad was completed to LaSalle, the passenger station and freight house were built on the site. The home of G.W. Goodell, the station agent and first postmaster was also built in 1853. The post office was also established the same year. In June of 1854, the first church in the future Wenona, the Presbyterian church was organized. The winter of 1854, William Brown opend the first store.
Wenona was laid off on the 15th of May 1855, by the Illinois Central Railroad company, on one of the altenate sections granted by congress for the construction of the road. The site was on low, wet ground. When the town was laid out in May 1855 it had nine houses and a population of 50. The land was drained and trees were planted and the town began to grow.
By 1856, there were twelve hundred people, three hundred homes, two churches, three schools, a hotel and a sawmill.
The town was incorporated in 1859 by a vote of 28 to 3. The first trustees were Solomon Wise, George Brockway, John B. Newburn, F.H. Bond and Emanuel Weltz.
Coal was discovered in 1865 and for many years a valuable community product. The mine employed an average of 200 men and a nearby zinc smelter employed 50 more.
In 1870, the Chicago and Alton Railroad was completed from Wenona to Lacon. Wenona now had four grain elevators, a stockyard, a brickyard, flour mill, wagon manufacturing store, drygoods store, drug store, grocery store, hardware store, furniture store and implement store. One of Wenona’s early showpieces was the Union Township Fair, organized in 1871, which for a decade rivaled the State Fair.
In Vermont, Westward migration continued in the 1850s. The economy soared during the Civil War with people working in factories and farm girls working in the mills. Women's suffrage grew during the Civil War. Dairies were replacing sheep farming. The first butter creamery was established in 1871. The railroad had been expanding Vermont. Woolens, munitions, machine tools and mining industry expanded with growing knowledge in the industrial revolution.
When my brother and I met our 2nd cousin in Wenona about 8 years ago in 2009, we found one restaurant open on a Sunday and it had the best food I had had, more like home-made. We had hamburgers and soup.
|Abiathar's great grandsons, one from son Frank Hugh on the left, and one|
from Arthur Roy on the right. Tom showed us around as we drove from Wisconsin.
had a lovely view up there.
|Frank Hugh Robinson, our grandfather, born in Wenona|
on June 21, 1870 as the 8th child with unknown, possibly his younger brother, Arthur Roy,
number 10 and the last. they were 9 years apart. With that mustache, he looks like he's in his 20s at least.