Robert Robinson, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .

Robert Robinson

The Only Convict on Record Who Refused Pardon.

Old Bob Robinson, the pioneer convict at the northern penitentiary, died at 9 o'clock Friday night in the full possession of all his faculties and at the advanced age of 70. Old age was the only cause, the old man having gradually gone into decline, fully conscious that his end was drawing nearer and nearer each succeeding day. For some days past he was confined to his bed, and all the attention possible had been shown him as the patriarch of the institution.

After his demise his remains were given into the charge of Undertaker Earl, who removed them to his rooms on Michigan street. The funeral took place Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock from Mr. Earl's room and the interment was in Greenwood cemetery. Rev. Sanders, the prison chaplain, officiating. No relatives or friends are expected, as the deceased outlived all he had in his early home.

Column after column might be written upon the eccentricities of Robert Robinson, for he was a character wholly unlike any other of the ten thousand convicts who have been incarcerated in the prison he aided in building. When a young man he was sent to Jeffersonville from Wayne county in 1857 for wife murder, and he served two years there, when he was transferred with others to this city to build the northern prison. After this labor was finished he worked on contracts until he grew quite old, and then during the wardenship of Charley Mayne he became a trusty and farm laborer. As he advanced in age his oddities grew upon him until in time he was not expected to do anything like any one else. He early in his prison career formed a strong attachment for dumb animals, and made pets of dogs, rabbits, squirrels and foxes. He also developed into a great hunter and trapper, and would frequently turn his skill to financial account. It is told upon him that once during the Mayne regime Bob got lost in Porter county while hunting, and actually hired a farmer to bring him back to the penitentiary. Another time when Mr. Murdock was warden Bob had been acting contrarily and the latter threatened to have him pardoned when the governor should visit the prison in a few days, and the old fellow was so indignant that he called his dog and went to the woods, where he remained until after the executive departed. Bob was one of the few convicts who never missed seeing a circus if it came to town. He would always be one of the first perons to get inside the tent and he seemed to extract as much satisfaction from the show as the proverbial small boy. The writer remembers seeing him at the last circus which was here. The old fellow sat upon a hard, narrow seat, enveloped in a big ulster overcoat, with collar turned up so that none of his stripes were visible, except one leg, which he thoughtlessly premitted to swing unprotected. Though the thermometer was in the nineties the old man gave the temperature no heed and extracted his full measure of enjoyment from the show. It was only when he was particularly pleased that he would speak in other than monosyllables, but when anyone talked circus or dog to him he would be affability itself. Taken all in all the like of the old fellow will never be seen again at the northern prison.

Newspaper: The Tribune
Date of Publication: May 12, 1893
Volume Number: 10
Issue Number: 5
Page: 1
Column(s): 6

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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