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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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ROBINSON, Wilbur Emary

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ROBINSON, Wilbur Emary. (Hampden, Maine, July 11, 1836--Dubuque, IA, July 24, 1918). Robinson, the son of Reverend Ezekiel Robinson one of the charter members of the Maine conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, taught school briefly and worked in the commission business in Chicago. He moved to Dubuque in 1857. From 1870 to 1881 he was in the hat and cap business under the firm name of Robinson & Harriman. In 1882 he entered the railway mail service.

Robinson was a leader in Masonic circles. At the time of his death, he was the oldest officer of the order in Dubuque. He served as grand master for the Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1864, grand junior warden in 1866, and grand pursuivant in 1863.

He was also a devoted member of St. Luke's Methodist Church (now ST. LUKE'S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH) and was the oldest member of the official board in point of continuous service having been elected a steward in 1858 and a class leader the following year. For many years, he had been secretary of the board of trustees and was also an emeritus superintendent of the Sunday School. Robinson was a licensed local preacher and was ordained a local deacon by Bishop Andrews in 1880. For many years, Robinson was the custodian of the archives and records of St. Luke's Church. As a token of their respect for his life of service to the church, his friends placed the famous Good Samaritan window designed by Louis Tiffany in the church on the occasion of his eightieth birthday.