*i^- 'V 8x J^ibris WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON h rJ ••» ., s'^ fJ WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON ^ Wallace Fullam RoBiNsor WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON His Ancestry — Personal History Business Enterprises His Public Benefactions Jennie M. Robinson Maternity Hospital Robinson Hall, at Dartmouth College Hanover, N.H.; Town Hall, Reading, Vt. Union Church, South Reading Edited by HARRY E. ROBINSON CAMBRIDGE, MASS. THE UNIVERSITY PRESS ">i> ^■'^^^ '^^ ^OiiHm\^'^^ LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Portrait Wallace Fullam Robinson Frontispiece Opposite page " Ebenezer Robinson 2 " Marvin Robinson 20 " Harry Ezra Robinson 36 " Jennie M, Robinson 102 The Marvin Robinson Homestead, South Reading, Vt. . 22 Old Stone School House, South Reading, Vt 24 Reading Town Hall, Felchville, Vt 28 Old Union Church, South Reading, Vt 58 Town Clerk's Office, Reading Town Hall 90 Jennie M. Robinson Memorial Building, Maternity Hos- pital, Harrison Ave. and Stoughton St., Boston, Mass. 104 Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H. . . 108 Bronze Tablet, Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H 106 EBENEZER ROBINSON BY GEORGE O. ROBINSON Ebenezer Robinson EBENEZER ROBINSON BY GEORGE O. ROBINSON NE of the most remarkable of the early settlers of Reading was Ebenezer Robin- son, who was a soldier of the Revolu- tionary War. Ebenezer Robinson was born on the 14th day of February, 1765, in Lexington, Mass., near the place where afterwards occurred the battle of Lexington, and was the sixth son of James and Margaret Rob- inson, who lived at this time on the old homestead farm (recently owned and occupied by the late Jonas Gammell, Esq.), which Jonathan Robinson, the father of James, purchased of Isaac Powers in 1706, and on which James was born August 30, 1715. Jonathan Robinson, the grandfather of Ebenezer, the subject of this sketch, was the son of William Robinson, and was born in Cambridge, Mass., on the 20th day of April, 1682. This is as far back as the writer of this sketch has been able to trace defi- nitely the record of this family. He came and settled in this town in the spring of 1788, with his elder brother, James Robinson, who was then married. They located on the farm recently owned for a long time by Washington Keyes, Esq., near South Reading (now owned by Frank Gould), which was then a wilderness. They 3 ROBINSON MEMORIAL built here a log cabin near where stands a barn on this farm, and here, immediately after, was born a son of James Robinson, Ebenezer Robinson, 2d (named after the subject of this sketch), who for a long time was a resident of Felchville, and was familiarly known as Captain Kb. In this log house the two brothers lived for several years, Ebenezer clearing and settling the farm adjoining, afterwards so long owned and occupied by himself (now owned and occupied by Rev. Ira Carter), till the summer of 1792, when he built a frame house which is still standing as the wing or kitchen part of the present house, and in which in November, 1792, having married Miss Hannah Ackley, he took his bride and established his own happy home. The Ackley family had, previous to this, immigrated from near Haddam, Connecticut, and settled above South Reading. In this frame house this devoted couple reared a large, intelligent, prosperous family and spent a long, happy life of sixty-six years together. In 1824 he built on a large upright two-story frame mansion as an addition in front, which in those times was considered an unusually fine residence, and still stands as a respectable mansion. The hardships of clearing this hardwood wilder- ness farm were great, but he was always undaunted, and nothing baffled him. In the forenoon of his first day's work, he unfortunately cut his knee so bad that most persons would have given up in despair, but, nothing daunted, in a little over a week he went out to work again despite of his lame- ness. During this early period he successfully dealt 4 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON quite largely in the real estate of this vicinity and secured many permanent settlers on the same. At this time Aaron Goddard came into this town and purchased the farm south of him and boarded in his family while he made his first improvements thereon and till he married and established his own home. They were neighbors for more than half a century. Likewise, Trumbull Ackley bought of him and settled the present town-farm east, and William Goddard, the farm north of him. While there is much in his later history that is worthy of note, still his earlier life, previous to his settlement in this town, was full of remarkable vicissitudes and hard- ships. These were the frequent and favorite topics of his conversation, even to the last days of his long life. In his ninety-first year, while he was in the full vigor of intellect, he gave his grandson, Frank M. Robinson of Dubuque, Iowa, the following account of his early life, which was taken down in his own words: " I was born in Lexington, Mass., on the 14th day of February, 1765. I was therefore only a lad of about ten years when the great struggle which gave freedom to the American people began, when injured rights were to be vindicated, when I heard the report of musketry, in the opening scene in this conflict for freedom of conscience and freedom of country, in the streets and upon the Green of my own native town. " Well do I remember the roll of the musketry and the noise of this battle of Lexington and the 5 ROBINSON MEMORIAL excitement consequent upon the retreat of the British soldiers down the valley past my home to Boston and of the subsequent severer conflict at Bunker's Hill, but a few miles distant. " Thus early in life did I begin to cherish a warm love of country, amounting even to patriotism, and to be moved by a true sense of the dangers that seemed to threaten, not only the peace and quietude of the family and town, but the ruin of the whole colonial fabric. " The engagements at Lexington, at Concord and upon Bunker's height warmed my bosom with more than a childish ardor to join the contest against British insolence and what savored of perpetual thralldom. Early in the spring of 178 1 I entered the service, accompanied by my brothers Asa and James Robinson, on board the ship Bellasaurias, carrying twenty guns. The number on board, in- cluding officers, sailors and soldiers, was one hun- dred and twenty-five. We set sail from Boston under the command of Capt. James Munroe. ^' We cruised of¥ south, along the coast of Penn- sylvania, and about the mouth of the Susquehanna River, thence still southerly till we were in the region of the Equator, where one day we discovered at early dawn what appeared in the dim distance to be a ship. We gave chase and after the lapse of many hours so neared the ' stranger ' that we were within cannon range of her. " It was a much larger ship than our own and carried many more guns. We supposed her a heavy man-of-war of the British line, and began to pre- 6 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON pare our noble vessel for an engagement. As is the custom in such instances, or in naval contests, all the sails were furled, except the top-sails and some of the stay-sails, which were just sufficient to govern the ships and change her position when necessary. Our cannon were charged and our torches were burning, and we waited but a change of position before we should salute her with a broadside. " Meanwhile our enemy had ceased her flight, furled sail, cleared deck, prepared for fight, and was the first to discharge her cannon. This assault was unexpected by us, as it was not attended with the usual formalities of naval warfare on the part of the stranger. In view of this cowardly act our com- mander at once ordered us to draw alongside the unknown ship, to grapple and board her as quickly as possible, but no sooner was this movement com- menced than to our great surprise, not to say our chagrin, the vessel, which we had regarded all along as an English man-of-war, hoisted Spanish colors, and thereby took away all pretext of warfare, except the ill-treatment we had received. Captain Munroe was at first inclined to resent this indignity, this violation of the usages of allied nations in their in- tercourse on the high seas in time of war. He how- ever gave vent to his irritation and anger by address- ing the Spanish Commander in the most pre-emptory and decisive manner and terms, in relation to his cowardly, dastardly conduct. " The Spanish Captain very coolly submitted and offered to accompany us and to do us service when he could. The reply of Captain Munroe was in 7 ROBINSON MEMORIAL these laconic words: * Go your way. I prefer rather to be alone than attended by such a d d coward as you have shown yourself,' and so we separated. " From the equatorial regions, after capturing one or two smaller prizes, we cruised northward ofif the West India Islands. We shifted about here for several days, until early one morning we discovered a fleet composed of several ships, yet at the distance they were from us we could not discern their num- ber. They were steering directly toward us and bore every evidence, as they afterwards proved to be, of being a fleet of the British line. We endeav- ored to make our escape by flight. They gave us chase and followed in hot pursuit until past midday. During their pursuit, when they had gained upon us so much as to be within cannon range, they gave us occasional shots from the bow or gunwale of the ship, though without much injury to our ship or crew. One of these shots, however, took off both legs, close to the body, of a man who stood next to me, on my left hand, and at the same instant a splinter from the side of the vessel struck my foot and benumbed my whole leg, from which I suffered much. The fleet neared us, and it being satisfac- torily determined that it was a British fleet consist- ing of fourteen ships, five of which were larger than our own, and all hope of escape being abandoned, we concluded to surrender. We were divided among the ships of the enemy, being about twenty persons to each. We were well treated while in this situa- tion. The fleet directed its course to New York City, where we were all put on board the Old Jersey, the 8 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON notorious British prison ship, then lying up East River, above the city, and entirely without rigging. " We had been cruising about three months when we were captured. Our sufferings while confined in this old hull of a ship were unaccountably severe, and many of our number perished on account of the stench, the damp, deathly atmosphere in which we were confined, and the miserable food which was furnished us whereby to support life. " It may not be uninteresting to know of what our fare consisted and what humanity is capable of en- during, when controlled by the force of necessity. The account is brief, but heart-sickening. Bread was a constant part of our ration and the chief source of our nutriment. It came to our hands in any but a palatable condition. The loaves were badly eaten by insects and then abandoned by them, or well in- habited by vermin on their reception by us. Por- tions of it appeared very much like honey-comb, filled with the dry refuse matter of worms. What was not in this condition was very full, I had almost said literally alive, with insects, insomuch that it was impossible for us to get them all out, and we were obliged consequently to devour these animated com- munities, these bee-hives of activity, or be reduced to the utmost wretchedness and starvation, the worst of deaths, that of famine. Besides our bread we had pease twice a week. When the day came in which we were to have boiled pease, the steward would put about two bushels into a large kettle with a quantity of water and boil them. I have stood by the side of this kettle while its contents were be- 9 ROBINSON MEMORIAL coming heated, and have seen yellow worms rise to the surface in large quantities, and as the water be- came more and more heated, they would gather into large clusters, swim upon the surface during the entire process of boiling, affording the only season- ing or condiment to our repast. I have often found these bunches in my own mess. Many times it was with difficulty that I could prevent nausea. It was under these circumstances that I was induced, in- deed, almost compelled to use tobacco, and this is now my best apology for acquiring this habit, as it has followed me ever since. " During the latter part of the time of my im- prisonment I had the small pox, but began to recover before arrangements were made for our exchange. I was a prisoner aboard the Old Jersey about six months. We were exchanged, conveyed, and set ofif some time in December, on the coast of Rhode Island. I remember this fact in relation to time from this circumstance, that it was Thanksgiving time, and the first of sleighing. I was not well when I was set ofif, not having entirely recovered from the small pox. I could not walk more than five or six miles per diem. Occasionally I had an oppor- tunity to ride a few miles. " When coming through the streets of Providence on a cold, stormy day, with nothing to protect my feet from the snow, ice and water which then filled them but some old scufifs that were not worthy the name of shoes, a gentleman, observing my condition, hailed me and inquired the cause of my destitution, whence I came and whither I was going. lO WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON " I told him briefly what circumstances had brought me to this condition. He assured me that my shoes were good for nothing, were utterly unfit to wear, and directed me to go into a small grocery or huckster shop near by, and remain there until he should return with some shoes for me. I entered as he directed and there found six or eight young men lounging or apparently without any business. They gazed upon me somewhat intently, noticed my ragged and tattered garments, and soon began to manifest no little interest to know what had subjected me to so forlorn and destitute a condition. *' To them also I narrated some of the leading incidents of my life. Excited by pity at seeing me ragged, shoeless and shivering with cold, they gave me a ' bitter,' a little luncheon, and contributed about a dollar in money to procure me food when I could not beg, or might be turned away without alms. At this point of my interview with the young men the gentleman before mentioned returned with a pair of shoes, a pair of socks, and some bread and cheese, all which he presented to me, accompanied with the most cheering language, and expressing a strong hope that I might be sustained and prospered in the remainder of my journey and in a few more days reach my home and friends, we parted. I felt encouraged and renewed my journey with a more elastic step and a lighter heart. " I commonly stopped at houses such as gave evi- dence of thrift and wealth, being less likely to be turned away from such places than from the beg- garly, poor-appearing homes. I was obliged to beg II _ ' ROBINSON MEMORIAL my food and shelter nearly the whole of the way. I recollect calling at one house, a kind of tavern or * way-house,' at night for the purpose of getting shel- ter for the night. I went into the kitchen and made known my poverty to the landlady, and asked that she would permit me to lodge upon the floor by the fire. She told me she thought I could be thus ac- commodated, though her husband was then absent and might on his return be unwilling I should re- main. He came late in the evening, had apparently been drinking and was very cross. He asked me what I was there for and told me he would not have me in his house. Said he, ' You have the small pox, you must leave, you cannot remain here.' I entreated him not to drive me from his house, leav- ing me at that hour of the night to the mercy of the cold, bleak winds of December. But my appeal was in vain. Finally, however, at my earnest solici- tation, he gave me a permit to lie in his horsebarn, and thus I passed the night. His allusion to my having the small pox was because that it was plain to be perceived, on account of want and much ex- posure to cold, that I had recently had that disease, though at that time there was no danger to be ap- prehended from it. However, it served as a pre- text for driving me from his house. In the morn- ing, after sleeping in his barn, he gave me some ' bitters.' One man carried me several miles on my journey, and generally I was treated very well. " I remained at home, being in poor health, through the three winter months, and then entered the military service in the Revolution early in the 12 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON spring of 1782. I enlisted for the town of Maiden for three years, under Captain Wait. Before enter- ing the ranks in the field, I went to Boston and served as waiter to Lieut. Thomas Robinson, who was clerk to the muster-master. I remained here three or four weeks, when I went with twenty-five or thirty others to near West Point, on the Hudson River, and joined the loth Massachusetts Regiment. The loth wore British coats and was commanded by Colonel Tupper. I was in Captain Dix's com- pany. We went to Verplank's Point, lay there some time, then went to Morrison, or a place of some such name, and remained about a month. Soon after the 9th and loth regiments ranged out or broke up, and I entered the 5th regiment, commanded by Col. Michael Jackson, under Captain Cogswell. A Grenadier company was formed of the tallest and stoutest men. I had the offer to join, but did not, and was obliged to join another company. The Grenadier company was formed at Newburgh Huts and remained there till after the news of peace. " When the news of peace came, our huts or camp was knee deep in snow, but we celebrated the event with raising of flags and with guns and music. Then all regiments broke up, and one was formed called the American Regiment of young men, consisting of six or seven hundred, under Col. Henry Jackson. I was assigned to Captain Williams' company, my term of enlistment not having expired, and we re- mained at Newburgh Huts till winter, and was then ordered to old Springfield, Mass. Captain Wil- liams' company then numbered about sixty. I re- 13 ROBINSON MEMORIAL mained at Springfield till I got my discharge, which was the last of June or first of July. The whole company were discharged at the same time. My discharge was made out in New York, and was signed by Col. Henry Jackson." After thus serving the greater part of two years in the Revolutionary army, young Robinson re- turned, with his brothers, to his native Lexington. Here he remained in honest toil till the spring of 1788, when he removed and settled at South Read- ing, as above stated. The hardships of his service during the Revolu- tionary War, and the fact that he was early in life left an orphan and had to labor hard for his own livelihood, schooled him well for the hardships of his early settlement in this town. What to most men would seem insurmountable obstacles were often easily encountered by him and regarded as trivial. It was a favorite remark of his that, if you wished to accomplish anything difficult or laborious, you should always say, " Come, boys," and not " Go, boys." He believed that success in any calling of life consisted mainly in a good, vigorous, personal leadership of the person to be benefited. Here, on his productive, well-tilled farm, he spent a long life of usefulness and activity and reared a large family of children, and like many of those old revolutionary pensioners, he was always in his old age healthy and hearty, remarkably vigorous both in mind and body, even to his last brief sick- ness. Long will his grandchildren remember those grand old Thanksgiving days, and the good cheer 14 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON and the jolly times enjoyed around his festive table and cheerful fireside. A few years before his death, after a residence in this town of nearly seventy years, he again re-visited the scenes of his childhood in Lexington. It was a visit of sad and lonely interest to him. Of all his former large circle of early relatives, friends and acquaintances, he found only two survivors, and they were much broken down with age. Yet his visit to those places of historical and local interest he seemed to enjoy with peculiar zest. His death occurred on the 31st day of October, 1857, at the age of nearly ninety-three years. Less than two weeks before his death, he related in detail the above history to the writer of this sketch and recounted, with wonderful memory and great ani- mation and zeal, the various vicissitudes and hard- ships of his long life. His veneration for Washington, the Father of our country, was very great, and it was ever his pride that he was once a member of a company that tem- porarily acted as a body-guard to their noble commander. It was one of his latest remarks, that during the sixty-six years he had lived with the wife of his choice, in that house and upon that farm, he had lived in contentment and happiness, and had never in his life wished to change his lot for that of any other, nor his home for that which any other country or clime could afford. He seemed happy in the society of his numerous posterity and had the satis- faction of seeing them generally prosperous. He 15 ROBIXSON MEMORIAL had little or no education in early life except that acquired in the army and by his later experience, yet he could, in his old age, cast up the amount due on promissory notes given at annual interest, with difficult partial payments indorsed thereon, and make a written statement of the same, with an ac- curacy and dispatch that might well put to shame many of the liberally educated young men of the present day. He learned to write while in the Con- tinental army by copying the ballads and camp- songs of the soldiers, one of which is now in the possession of and highly prized by the writer of this sketch. As a citizen, he was always upright and exact in all his dealings, and dignified, though generous and cordial in his intercourse. He was never an office- seeking politician, but held many positions of honor and trust, both civil and militar}% and alwaj^s proved himself worthy of the confidence reposed in him. He was one of the earliest representatives of his town in the State Legislature. He was public- spirited and a patron of noble enterprise. The bell in the steeple of the church at South Reading was his gift to the people of that village. He was ever a stern lover of justice. He remarked to the writer of this, at his last interv^iew with him, that he had made it a principle during his life, " ever to do right " and to cause right to be done. He was a devoted patriot and had personally attended the polls of every Presidential election up to the time of his death, casting his last ballot for Fremont in 1856. 16 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON Thus have passed away all of these Revolutionary patriots. None remain to testify of their early hard- ships and struggles for Freedom. Through their labors and sufferings we inherit this our fair land and these our free institutions. Truly do their memory and their courage deserve our highest veneration and respect, and if thus their memories are revered by their posterity, they will not, of necessity, need any lofty monuments or deeply wrought inscription to tell us of their noble deeds, their devoted patriotism and true greatness. However lowly may be their resting-place, let these tributes ever be ascribed to their memories with grateful hearts. May it truly be said of them that — The joy With which their children tread the hallowed ground That holds their venerated bones, the peace That smiles on all they fought for, and the wealth That clothes the land they received, — these, though mute As feeling ever is when deepest — these Are monuments more lasting than the tombs Reared to the kings and demi-gods of old. MARVIN ROBINSON FOURTH SON OF EBENEZER ROBINSON Marvin Robinson MARVIN ROBINSON FOURTH SON OF EBENEZER ROBINSON Compiled from a Sketch Written by his Son, Frank M. Robinson, Esq., of Dubuque, Iowa, for the History of Reading. ARVIN ROBINSON, the fourth son and fifth child of Ebenezer Robinson, was born March 24, 1800, on what is known as the "Old Esquire Robinson Farm" at South Reading. Until he was twenty-one years of age he assisted his father in clearing away the forests and carrying on the farm. Soon after reaching his ma- jority he commenced the business of tanning in South Reading, and continued it with such success as to acquire not only what was considered a com- petence, but an amount sufficient to number him among the wealthier men of Reading. Later he abandoned the tanner and currier's trade altogether and farming was his principal occupation up to the time of his death. He filled several offices of trust in his native town, having been seven times elected one of the select- men, which position he was filling at the time of his death. He was chosen lister one or more years and served his townsmen in other positions of trust and responsibility. In politics he was a Whig, but when the issues upon which that party was founded no longer existed, he gave his vote and his support to the newly formed Republican party. He was not 21 ROBINSON MEMORIAL a politician or partisan farther than the principles of his party, in his judgment, conduced to the gen- eral public welfare. He was a man of great physical strength and en- durance. Whatever he aimed to accomplish he labored for with a perseverance and energy that distanced many a man of weaker will and less phys- ical power. A man of good judgment and sound practical sense himself in regard to all the business and duties that came within the range of his observa- tion, and measuring everything by a matter of fact test, he entertained but poor opinion of all theories and schemes in which he could see no tangible value or practical utility. His early education was limited to that afforded by the common schools, and a wider range of scholastic training he deemed quite unnecessary for the successful business man. His sons he taught the hard lessons of self-reliance and economy by mak- ing them, from early boyhood, dependent upon their own resources for all beyond necessary food and clothing, and when they reached manhood, the same austere discipline compelled them, unaided, to make their own place in the world and be the founders as well as architects of their own fortunes. His opinions he held firmly and the fear or favor of no man ever checked their free expression, while his unswerving integrity of purpose and character were never called in question by friend, neighbor or townsman. By nature stern and strong himself, his discipline and judgment of others may have sometimes seemed to be severe, but severity was 22 > a < X H d < Z z > < WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON never allowed to overbalance what he believed to be the even scale of justice. New England, almost from the rocks, has been made the Eden she is through the energy, economy, perseverance and practical intelligence of men of his type. Marvin Robinson (b. March 24, 1800; d. Decem- ber 22, 1866) was twice married, ist. On October II, 1826, to Lucinda Fullam (b. September 13, 1797; d. November 25, 1839). They had seven children. 2d. On September 22, 1840, to Charlotte Wood (b. May 2, 1816, in Hartland, Vermont; d. April 14, 1899, in Felchville). They had three children. Children of Marvin and Lucinda I. Franklin Marvin (b. August 2, 1828; d. March 25, 1885), who married February 3, 1857, Laura Goddard Spaulding (b. May 6, 1832; d. June 21, 1889). Mr. Robinson graduated at Dart- mouth College, class of 1855. In 1856 he removed to Dubuque, Iowa, and practiced law. In 1862 he formed a partnership with Austin Adams, another Dartmouth man, the firm becoming later " Adams, Robinson & Lacey." Mr. Robinson was a sound lawyer, an excellent business man, and actively in- terested in the city, where he lived for over thirty years. I. May Goddard, b. April 21, i860; m. Oct. 6, 1879, to Judge Benjamin W. Lacey; b. March 12, 1849, in Cayuga County, New York ; son of Dr. Samuel Lacey and Mary Wood- bury Lacey. He graduated from the law department of Colum- 23 ROBINSON MEMORIAL bian College in 1871; began the practice of the law in 1872 in Dubuque; was made a judge of the District Court in 1878 and held this position for five years. At present is a member of the law firm of Lacey & Brown, President of the Iowa Trust and Sav- ings Bank, and a Director of the Gas Company, Street Railway and other companies. He has been interested in public institutions, having been President of the Hospital and Library Boards. Of six children born to them, four are living, as follows: Frank Robinson, b. February 22, 1881, graduate of Har- vard, class of 1902, Harvard Law School. BuRRiTT Samuel, b. March 4, 1882, graduate of Har- vard, class of 1903. Clive Woodbury, b. February 4, 1893. Margaret, b. April 16, 1899. 2. Belle Fullam^ b. August 11, 1862; d. April 5, 1887. 3. Grace, b. March 14, 1871; m. June 27, 1893, to Westel Woodbury Willoughby, Ph.D., b. July 20, 1 867; Professor at Johns Hopkins University. Children : Westel Robinson, b. November i, 1895. Laura Robinson, b. March i, 1897. II. Edwin Auretus, second son of Marvin Robinson, was born October 18, 1829, was educated in the public schools, and after arriving of age he settled in Boston and became a partner in the whole- sale provision house of W. F. Robinson & Co., with his two brothers, and died unmarried November 8, 1892. III. Charles Henry, the third son, was born July 18, 1831, was educated in Reading, settled in Boston and entered the firm of W. F. Robinson & Co. with his brothers. He was successful in busi- ness, married in Boston, and died April 8, 1902, leaving no children. IV. Wallace Fullam, the fourth son of Mar- vin, was born December 22, 1832, and educated in 24 > g < W Pi I H O CO w D ■y: Z ■y: O WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON Reading, and when a young man he entered busi- ness in the provision market in Boston. His business grew rapidly when he added to it the wholesale and packing business and soon took in partnership his two older brothers under the firm name of W. F. Robinson & Co. They were all good business men and were very successful. Wallace F. Robinson has accumulated a handsome fortune; has been Presi- dent of the Boston Chamber of Commerce and of the Board of Trade, and has been honored in many ways. He has now retired from business with the respect and esteem of his large circle of acquaint- ances. He married August 19, 1858, Mary Jane Robinson (born August 20, 1838), who was a daugh- ter of Ezra Robinson, son of James Robinson, men- tioned as brother of Ebenezer in this sketch. Their children are as follows: Fred Wallace, b. September 10, 1859; d. June 7, 1893. Harry Ezra, b. October 17, 1872. V. Forrest Alonzo, b. May 29, 1835; d. March 19, 1836. VI. Maria Frances, b. January 2, 1837; m, March 27, 1857, James Orville Whitten. VII. Elmer Duane, b. July 15, 1838; d. De- cember 4, 1893; m. September 14, 1862, Lorette C. Hawkins (b. March 11, 1838). Children: Erwin Elmer, b. August 6, 1865; m. April 30, 1900, to Serena Sheldon, b. October 24, 1868. Arthur Hawkins, b. May i, 1874. Elmer Duane, when about two years of age, his mother having died, was adopted by his aunt, Eliza 25 ROBINSON MEMORIAL Robinson Keyes, wife of Washington Keyes, whose surname, " Keyes," was henceforth his name. He entered the Civil War as lieutenant, was pro- moted to the rank of captain, and his company, with its regiment, took a prominent part in the battle of Gettysburg. Mr. Keyes went to Rutland, Vermont, in 1870, and entered in the retail grocery business, which gradually assumed large proportions, a whole- sale branch being also established. He became the head of the largest firm in the wholesale grocery business in the state of Vermont. In June, 1865, Mr. Erwin E. Keyes was taken into partnership. Mr. Keyes was a man of the most thorough and pains- taking instincts; was prominent in business affairs, was a director in banks and other financial institu- tions, and commanded to an unusual extent the re- spect and confidence of all who were in any way associated with him. Children of Marvin and Charlotte VIII. Elroy Clement, b. January 30, 1844; d. October 28, 1885. He was a merchant of Weathers- field, Vermont, and a member of the Vermont Legislature. IX. Delia Ada, b. January 24, 1847; d. Octo- ber 29, 1851. X. Addie Lestina, b. November 7, 1852; d. August 9, 1873. PROCEEDINGS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE READING, VERMONT, TOWN HALL > w I-) .J > a: u I-) w < S < PROCEEDINGS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE READING, VERMONT, TOWN HALL FEBRUARY i, 1912 HE hall was well filled and the exercises commenced at 1 1 A.M. Mr. Burnham. Owing to the absence and the late arrival of some of the speak- ers, we have been obliged to make a change in the program, which will necessitate a little delay. Selection by the Windsor Orchestra. Prayer by J. B. Reardon. Song by Ray L. Blanchard. Mr. Burnham. Ladies and gentlemen, we are exceedingly sorry that the donor of this building is not with us to-day, but owing to such fact the presentation of and the reading of the deed will be made by one who has been deeply interested in this place and has done considerable for the town, that is, Hon. Gilbert A. Davis of Windsor, Vermont. Mr. Davis. This is indeed a red letter day in the history of Reading, a day never to be forgotten, a day that means a great deal to this town; but I am sure we all regret one thing, that is, the absence of Mr. Wallace F. Robinson, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing for a great many years. I have been requested by him to read this deed. I will now read the deed. 29 ROBINSON MEMORIAL Know all men by these presents: That I, Wallace F. Robinson, of Boston, in the County of Suffolk, and State of Massachusetts, for the consideration of One Dollar and other valuable considerations paid to my full satisfaction by Harry Ezra Robinson, of said Bos- ton (my son) by these presents, do freely give, grant, sell, convey and confirm unto the said Harry Ezra Robinson and his successors forever, in the trust hereinafter created, a certain piece of land in Reading, in the County of Wind- sor, and State of Vermont, described as follows, namely : — In the Village of Felchville, bounded on the North by the highway leading to South Reading, East by the main street, being the highway leading to Woodstock, South by land of Caroline M. Hook, and on the West by an estab- lished boundary line 2,$ ^^^^ East of the hotel barns, and sheds connected therewith as now standing; said boundary line shall begin 35 feet East of the South-east corner of the barn on the line between the described land and land of said Caroline M. Hook; thence running northerly keeping 35 feet East of said barn and sheds to the first mentioned highway, and I also hereby convey the right to maintain the aqueduct as now and heretofore laid to said premises and thereby take one-half of the water from the two springs or wells of water to said granted prem- ises, as the said aqueduct, wells and springs now exist; the said trustee shall maintain the branch pipe to said granted premises and shall be to one-half the expense of maintaining the main pipe and the said two wells or springs; but not imposing upon the said trustee any duty to maintain the branch pipe to the hotel barns and sheds; meaning hereby to convey all and the same premises, privileges and appurtenances as were conveyed to me by the Town of Reading by Its deed bearing date the seventh day of November, A.D. 191 1, and recorded in the Real Estate Records of said Town of Reading; and having situated thereon a two-story building erected by me In the year A.D. 191 1, and to be designated as " Robinson Hall " 30 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON on the Interior of the main room on the second floor, and on the outside of the East front as " Reading Town Hall." I also convey and deliver to said Harry Ezra Robinson and his successors all the personal property which I have purchased and put Into said building for use therein, con- sisting of chairs, stage furnishings, heating and cooking apparatus, curtains, tables, crockery, cutlery, glassware, &c., &c. To have and to hold the above described premises and personal property to said Harry Ezra Robinson and his successors In this trust for the following purposes and uses and for none other, namely: — 1. To permit the Town of Reading, under the direc- tions of the Selectmen, to use the said building, land and privileges and appurtenances connected therewith and per- sonal property for town meetings, public political meet- ings, public social gatherings, social dances, dramatic entertainments. Masonic and Odd Fellows meetings, and public dinners, and three certain rooms on the first floor for a town clerk's ofiice, post-ofiice and for a business ofiice, but not for mercantile or mechanical purposes. 2. The Selectmen in their discretion shall charge and collect a reasonable rental for the use of said building or parts thereof, and personal property (except for meet- ings of the voters of said town and public meetings of a political character) and all such rentals shall be kept as a separate fund under this trust, and the same shall be expended by the said Selectmen for the expenses of in- surance, taxes, heating, lighting, replacing or repairing personal property accidentally destroyed or injured and the reasonable expenses of this trust, including the ex- pense, if any, of maintenance of the water pipes and wells imposed upon the trustee as aforesaid. The Selectmen shall not move the partitions or make any changes in the interior of said building from the location at the date of this deed, or sell any of said personal property, nor allow said personal property to be used elsewhere than in said building, except with the written consent of the trustee. 31 ROBINSON MEMORIAL 3. The Selectmen shall make report to the Annual March Meeting of the Voters of the Town of Reading of all such income and expenditures, and a list of all the personal property on hand, and send a duplicate thereof annually in March to the trustee under this deed, 4. The Selectmen shall keep said building and per- sonal property in good and tenantable repair at all times and keep the same insured for three-fourths of its value against loss or damage by fire or lightning. 5. Should said building or personal property be de- stroyed or damaged by fire or lightning, the insurance money shall be used to repair or rebuild another building substantially the same as the building erected by me, and to supply the same with personal property, similar to that as is furnished by me. 6. Should the Town of Reading ever cease to use said building for its public meetings for the space of five years, or allow the building to be used for purposes not auth- orized by this deed, or intentionally violate the conditions of this trust, then said real estate shall revert to my legal heirs. 7. All personal property held under this trust shall be plainly marked " The Property of the Robinson Trust." 8. The said trustee is authorized to appoint by an in- strument under his hand his successor under this trust, but should said trustee die or become mentally incapable with- out having made such appointment, the Court of Chancery for the County of Windsor is authorized to appoint such successor on proper application and notice to all interested parties. In Witness Whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-seventh day of January, A.D. 191 2. In the presence of Wallace F. Robinson Edward P, Hurd ( & t I Richard N. Morton I ' j 32 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON State of Massachusetts, "I Suffolk County r^' At Boston this twenty-seventh day of January, A.D. 19 1 2, Wallace F. Robinson personally appeared and acknowledged this instrument, by him sealed and sub- scribed, to be his free act and deed. Before me Meylert Bruner Notary Public Mr. Burnham. Inasmuch as it is impossible for the donor of this building to be here to-day, it is very gratifying to have one who is very near and dear to him, one who has a great deal of interest in the erecting and completion of this building, one who for the last few years has had a great interest in the town of Reading, the native town of Wallace F. Robinson, the donor of this building and of this hall. I now have the pleasure to introduce to you Mr. Harry E. Robinson. MESSAGE FROM MR. ROBINSON Harry Ezra Robinson MESSAGE FROM MR. ROBINSON ilR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES, AND GENTLEMEN: In the absence of my father, Wallace F. Robinson, who is unable to be here to-day, I have the great pleasure of bringing to you the following message, which he has commis- sioned me, his only son, to convey. I accept this task with some diffidence, knowing as I do how much more welcome his presence would naturally be here, and also understanding how much better fitted he would be to express personally his views on an oc- casion of this kind. Mr. Chairman and Citizens of the Town of Reading: This is to me a day of thanksgiving and perhaps, in some measure, a day of atonement, for no man can ever adequately repay the place of his birth for all that it has done for him, no matter how meager at first blush the endowment may be. And first let me recite the history of this recognition which I am making to my native town to-day. Several years ago when I was staying at the hotel, then standing on the site of this same plot of land on which we gather in such large numbers to-day, I was taking a look backward and again forward, and in this forward glance suggested to one of your citizens that I might some time like to do something for the place of my birth, as a token that I had not lost all of my affection for the town of my boyhood 37 ROBINSON MEMORIAL days, but, on the contrary, that it still held a warm place in my heart of hearts. And why not? Here my family, that had done no mean service in the War of the Revolution, migrated at the close of the eighteenth century; here my father, Marvin Robin- son, whose portrait shall hang upon the walls of this town hall for many generations, I hope, to be an inspiration to patriotism in the public service and strict integrity in business life, was born; here are the graves of my father and my mother; and here, if I may be permitted, was born the partner of my joys and my sorrows, whose sainted presence, I verily believe, is here to bless the proceedings of this day. At first it occurred to me that perhaps a public library might be suited to the wants of the town. Your fellow citizen informed me, however, that an- other, harking back to his boyhood days, Hon. Gil- bert A. Davis, had the matter under consideration, and I am glad to know that he has since built you a library building which is a matter of great pride to the town and which does credit to his generous heart. A short time later my opportunity seemed to arrive. Your hotel was destroyed by fire and it was suggested to me that I might assist in rebuild- ing it. I made my subscription accordingly, but for some reason the hotel never came into being. What seemed to be needed more than anything else was a building which might be the common property of all the citizens, a place for the New England town meeting, which, let me say, has never been superseded as an organ for the untrammeled exercise of free speech, giving expression to free 38 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON thought, and a place where the records of the past one hundred years or more, as well as those of the generations unborn, might be better protected. Just here, however, a very serious thought occurred to me : Did the town need such a building badly enough to tax itself to furnish it and maintain it in good condition? Naturally I did not think it wise to make a gift to the town involving a burden which the citizens might find it hard to carry, and at the same time try to convey an impression that I was doing them a kindness, when, in reality, I might be doing them an injustice. Having finally made up my mind that I should do something, that it was my duty to take note of the wants of the town, and scanning closely and curiously its history, I found that my roots ran back far enough to give it a claim upon my affection. I recalled that my grandfather came here from Lexington, Massachusetts, settled in this town in 1788, built his log house, and cleared the land now comprising the Ebenezer Robinson farm; he married and reared a large family, all of whom settled near him in South Reading. So far as the memory of man runneth, it is not any- where discoverable that my kinsmen were not all good citizens and in love with the town either of their adoption or of their birth. To my father, Marvin Robinson, the son of Ebenezer Robinson, and to my mother I owe not only my existence, but a strong body and whatever mental and moral qualities have contributed to my success in life, and it seemed to me that I should do something in memory of them, as well as the 39 ROBINSON MEMORIAL other Robinson families that lived in this town, al- most all of whom are now resting in the South Reading Cemetery. My mind was finally made up. I determined to erect this town hall and furnish it entirely, with the exception of three offices, which are rented. I be- lieve that not one dollar of anybody else's money but my own is in this building and its furnishings, and therefore, if it is accepted by the town under the terms of the deed, the gift will be without en- cumbrance or cost. At first I did not expect to do what I have done, but as I progressed, and as affec- tion clutched more tightly my heart strings, I made up my mind that, as I did not want to involve the town in a dollar of expense, I would deliver over this property completely furnished. What is more, the property will produce an income which will, I hope, for all time continue to keep it in repair without becoming a charge to the town. What is this building to me and mine? It is a memorial of the affection which I bear the town of my birth; and it is more: it is a memorial to my father, Marvin Robinson, than whom, as the poet says, " I could hope to have chosen no other man for father if the lots had been shaken in the urn and I was allowed to draw." I here and now dis- claim any desire to obtain glory for myself. Whether the town is at all indebted to the Robin- son family, it itself knows and it is not for me to say. Of Reading, however, I can say, " mother of towns to me, for I was born in her gate." In conclusion, I have not only the honor but the 40 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON privilege of presenting this building to my native town, to be used, I hope, for many generations as a town hall. May it stand as an evidence of grate- ful recognition; may it stand as a testimony that a man's native town is not a mere plot of ground, but something more exquisite still — an idea and an ideal that do not die; and may those who come after us, as they look upon this building, ever cherish and hold it as the gift of a " native son " to his town and as a memorial of that son to his ancestors. ACCEPTANCE BY MR. NEWTON ACCEPTANCE BY MR. NEWTON R. BURNHAM. The acceptance of this hall in behalf of the town is for one who is known to everyone in the county. While you may not know him personally, you have all read of his actions. I now introduce Mr. B. M. Newton of Felchville. Mr. Newton. Ladies and gentlemen, friends, neighbors, fellow townsmen. As a lifelong citizen of Reading and as chairman of this committee I extend to you at this time a most cordial welcome here at this dedication. I think it will go without saying that there has gathered here to-day a large number of people. We did not expect as many as on that day, forty years ago in August next, when we celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the settlement of the town of Reading. There are very few here to-day who were with us on that day. One who took part in the exercises of that day, Hon. Gilbert A. Davis, is with us to-day. During these forty years one generation has gone out and a new one has come in. Since that time we have had many gatherings. Fourth of July celebrations, and Old Home Days. In the past few years you have been called together to dedicate two buildings — the Gilbert A. Davis Free Public Library and the Universalist Hall — both buildings standing on this street. Last year we were called to Hammondsville 45 ROBINSON MEMORIAL to observe the forming of the Reading Talk & As- bestos Co., but to-day you have come together to dedicate the Reading New Town Hall. This elec- tion, which comes next month, will be the first time that you have entered to cast your votes in a build- ing that you can call your own. During all the years of the past Reading has had to go down to the vestry of the Baptist Church. Since the old hall was taken down we have been dependent on the hospitality of someone else, and now for the first time in the history of Reading we have a place that we can call our own. The giver, Mr. Wallace F. Robinson, was born here; he first saw the light of day in South Reading. There he spent his child- hood, his boyhood, there he grew up, and, not find- ing the opportunities he desired in Reading, he went to Boston. That was nearly sixty years ago. Boston then was not the Boston of to-day and for sixty years he has been connected with the business of that city. He has grown up and seen many changes in that city. It may seem strange, while this man has been away from his native town for sixty years, that he should feel such interest in the old town and the people of Reading. Now Mr. Robinson first saw the light of day in South Reading; that is why he still has a claim on the town and a place in his heart for its people. When he comes back here, as he has occasionally — he came last summer — almost the first place he goes is up to South Read- ing. His former associates are not there to welcome him; some have gone away to other towns, some to the cities, and a great many have gone to their 46 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON reward. What is there that so attracts Mr. Robin- son? His old home, the place where he was born. I have lived long enough to know that, when a per- son was born in a place and there spent the first twenty years of his life, though he may go to Bos- ton, to the Pacific coast, north, south, across the Atlantic to other countries, he will never have an- other place that is so dear to him as his old home. We care not whether that new place be a palace or a hovel, it will never be like the old home. Mr. Robinson, as he was not here, chose a com- mittee consisting of Mr. Burnham, Mr. Watkins, Mr. Amsden, and myself to see that this building was properly constructed and that he got what he paid for, and last summer we worked here — not all the time, but incidentally we were here, as each had other business to attend to, but whenever we could we came here. We have had many sugges- tions from different people, we have had many ideas expressed, how this should be built, how that should be built. If we had followed all these suggestions we would have had indeed a strange-looking build- ing. Interested in the town of Reading, Mr. Rob- inson furnishing all the models, we followed his direction as best we could. I have been asked by the Selectmen, since I came here, to accept this building in their behalf, and I do so at this time. I accept this deed as read to you by Mr. Davis. We have had given to us by Mr. Robinson a building that the present genera- tion will enjoy, your children will enjoy, and your children's children will enjoy, and it will stand 47 ROBINSON MEMORIAL as a monument to Mr. Robinson now and for all time. Mr. Burnham. This closes the exercises for this morning. Exercises will commence this after- noon at two o'clock sharp. SPEECH BY ATTORNEY-GENERAL SARGENT r i^ 1 K§^5\J tr^e^ »T "e2^ fy" ^ SPEECH BY ATTORNEY-GENERAL SARGENT HE afternoon exercises began with a selec- tion by the Windsor Orchestra. Mr. Burnham. It gives me great pleasure to have with us to-day a man who probably knows more about the records and the nature of this town than anyone else, one who, when he may have a few days to spare, enjoys com- ing to this town with his camping outfit and spend- ing the time in camping in different places in this town of Reading. I introduce to you Attorney- General John G. Sargent of Ludlow. Mr. Sargent. Mr. President, fellow citizens. So far as making a speech this afternoon is con- cerned, I am somewhat in the situation of a man I heard of some time ago. He was invited by a friend to take something with him, something out of a bottle. His friend said, " When I have poured out enough, say * Whoa.' " He had just started when the man said " Whoa." Then looking at his glass he said, " Would you mind giving me a little more? I thought I was going to stutter." Up to the moment when it was almost time to start to come here I supposed that I should not be able to be here, so for that reason I had not prepared any address to make to the people here to-day. As your President has said, there is no way in which I take 51 ROBINSON MEMORIAL so much pleasure as spending my time in Reading. In the western part of the town, it seems to me, there is no place on earth that I have seen as beau- tiful as that country between the Bell schoolhouse and the Chase place. I am invited to talk of the records of this town, but in such a talk, as I am aware, facts must be mixed with fiction in order to make the same interesting, and it takes time as well as information to make an address of that kind. I have not come here to make a speech, but expect to meet people and renew old acquaintances that I made here in my early days, when I was teaching here and later as a laborer in Reading. I have still another interest in the town which I have not men- tioned, that is, I belong to the town of Reading by marriage. For that reason of course I am very much interested in everything pertaining to the town and its people. I am interested and pleased with this beautiful gift, on account of my being a son of Reading by marriage. I asked my wife what I should say here to-day, and she said, " I will write your speech for you." I will now read the manu- script she prepared for me. The Attorney-General proceeded to read it as follows, explaining at the start that by " political activity " was meant not " practical politics " in the modern sense of the term, but rather the politics of government, a study of the problems involved: This is the season in which in Vermont, in the old days, political activity ran highest. In January, 1777, Vermont was declared by the 52 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON representatives of her inhabitants in convention at Westminster assembled to be a free and independent nation; and that condition, so declared, was main- tained with determination and spirit for fourteen years. January i8, 1791, Hon. Nathaniel Chipman and Hon. Lewis R. Morris were chosen commissioners to negotiate the admission of the state into the Union. They at once repaired to Philadelphia, and one hundred and twenty-one years ago, at almost this hour, they arrived there and set about the business of their mission, which was accomplished within a few days. During those fourteen years of hardships, so severe as to be almost inconceivable to the present genera- tion, the territory of this little nation, hanging like a blanket on the two sides of the Green Mountains, was an object of envy to the governments surround- ing it on three sides: New York on the west. New Hampshire on the east, and Great Britain on the north; and the people inhabiting it, sometimes by threats, sometimes by force, sometimes by diplomacy, sometimes by flattery and cajolery, though few in numbers, poor and weak in everything but physical endurance and wits, succeeded in keeping at arms' length all three of the parties who would despoil them of their lands. To do this a strong government of their own was necessary, and they early found that out. They also saw that the only basis on which such a government could be maintained among such people as they were was the consent of the governed. 53 ROBINSON MEMORIAL Therefore those early pioneers had to deal with not only the problem of warding off their enemies from the outside, but also of creating, literally creating anew, a form and frame of government which should be strong, self-supporting, and self- maintaining. " There were giants in those days," but that was not the real secret of their wonderful success. Every man was a student of political science, of principles of government. Life was one continuous agitation, in the home, in the neighborhood gather- ing, in the committee of safety, in the legislature, of how and why this measure and that measure should be adopted and carried out. The result was the working out and adoption of a constitution, a plan of government in all essential details the same as that under which we are living to-day. Once that plan of government was adopted and laws enacted under it, the most rigid obedience to the constitution and laws was demanded. From being the most radical of radicals, the people of whom Ethan Allen on March 9, 178 1, in a letter to the Congress wrote: "I am as resolutely deter- mined to defend the independence of Vermont as Congress are that of the United States, and rather than fail, will retire with the Green Mountain Boys into the desolate Caverns of the mountains and wage war with human nature at large," the Vermonters became and ever have been the conservatives of the nation. The very men who for the sake of creating the new state were ready to "wage war with human 54 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON nature at large " became so insistent on obedience within its own borders to its own laws that they followed and with their arms supported that same intrepid leader when two years later he proclaimed, " I, Ethan Allen, declare that unless the people of Guilford peaceably submit to the authority of the state of Vermont the town shall be made as desolate as were the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah." In these days of self-seeking agitators and popu- lar unrest fomented by them, these days when polit- ical quacks are prescribing the initiative, the referen- dum, the recall of judges, who dare to declare the law instead of the popular craze of the day, and other political nostrums for the social stomach, I recommend to the careful consideration, the thought- ful study of every citizen, and every alien too, the constitution of the state of Vermont I ask that " frequent recurrence to fundamental principles " therein enjoined, and which I believe will, if honestly pursued, convince all that the same right is right, the same truth is truth, the same jus- tice is justice, the same equity is equity, now as in the beginning of our state. Let us cease a little from the ever increasing strife to enlarge our own personal fortunes, our own per- sonal power and prestige to secure the satisfaction of our own tastes and desires, and in these times of ease and comfort " recur to fundamental principles," study to strengthen the foundations of the state by originating and promoting measures looking to the good of all rather than of any one or any few. For I tell you that just as surely as the machinery 55 ROBINSON MEMORIAL of government is allowed to be used to take some- thing from one man and give to another, whether the man from whom it is taken and the man to whom it is given be rich or poor, be ignorant or learned, just so surely are sown seeds of trouble, of social and political disease. The little nation of Vermont was strong because its people were compelled by force of circumstances each to work, and more than that to think, for others as well as himself. The great nation can be kept sound and enduring only by the same work and the same thought, the cultivation and enforcement of the same obedience to law that Ethan Allen insisted on at Guilford. " It is the law of heaven that the world is given to the hardy and the self-denying, whilst he who would escape the duties of manhood will soon be stripped of the pride, the want, and the power which are the prizes which manhood brings." HISTORICAL ADDRESS BY MR. DAVIS Old Union Church, South Reading, V't. HISTORICAL ADDRESS BY MR. DAVIS UET by Alice L. Burnham and Ella H. Lawrence. Mr. Burnham. I have the pleasure of introducing to you one who to many of us needs no introduction, one who has done a great deal for the town and who feels a great in- terest in its welfare, Hon. Gilbert A. Davis of Windsor, who proposes to give us an historical sketch of the Robinson family. Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentle- men. An historical sketch must necessarily deal with facts and figures. At this time, the dedication of this hall, you will be interested to know some- thing about the Robinson family. THE HISTORICAL ADDRESS The historical address by Hon. Gilbert A. Davis of Windsor was, in part, as follows : The dedication of this town hall is an event, in the history of Reading, that should enlist the interest of all. This building, so long as it stands, will be a memento to the generosity of a distinguished son of the town. Generations yet unborn will admire its ample proportions, the perfection of its design and erection, its furnishings, its heating and lighting arrangements. This hall will be appreciated be- cause needed for public purposes. The people will 59 ROBINSON MEMORIAL not forget the public spirit shown by Merritt G. Amsden, at the time of the destruction of this hotel, in putting up the money to purchase the site of the hotel for some public building, nor the exertions of B. M. Newton, George D. Burnham, or E. B. Wat- kins in connection with M. G. Amsden and others in connection with Mr. Robinson's gift. The town meeting represents the New England spirit of in- dependence and self-government. Therein the serv- ants of the people report to the masters — the com- mon people. Therein every citizen is a sovereign; the people rule. In the spring of 1788 Vermont was an independ- ent nation, denying the jurisdictional claim of New Hampshire and New York and not recognized as an integral part of the Confederate States of Amer- ica, yet loyal to it, not hostile. That the settlers upon the New Hampshire Grants were true to the principles of the Revolution, not- withstanding that the Continental Congress had taken the side of New York as against the claim of Vermont to independence as a separate state, we are assured by the testimony of Lieutenant-General Bur- goyne himself. In his private letter to Lord Ger- main, dated Saratoga, August 20, 1777, he wrote: " The New Hampshire Grants in particular, a coun- try unpeopled and almost unknown in the last war, now abounds in the most active and most rebellious race on the continent, and hangs like a gathering storm on my left." The British Government sought to win its people back to an allegiance to the crown. The General 60 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON Haldemand correspondence with the leading men of Vermont and the craftily worded replies show diplomacy of the highest order. If you have never read this correspondence, do not fail to do so. The Vermonters were coy as maidens and kept King George and his ministers on the ragged edge of expectancy; yet the Vermonters were always loyal to the Revolution, furnished many troops for the Continental Army, but on condition that Ver- mont should appoint and commission the officers and that Vermont companies and regiments should be kept distinct from other organizations. When General Burgoyne with his exultant army and In- dian allies came up Lake Champlain and sought to effect a junction with the force of General Clinton, who came up the Hudson and thus separated New England from the remainder of the colonies, Ver- mont acted an important part in the battles of Bennington and Stillwater and the capture of Bur- goyne's army. Andrew Spear, as the representative of Reading, was a member of the Convention at Windsor in 1777 that adopted the first constitution of Vermont. The Revolutionary War ended with the independence of the colonies and a large number of soldiers returned to civil life, among others Ebenezer and James Robinson of Lexington, Mass. In looking about for homes they were attracted to this independent nation called Vermont, and in the spring of 1788 we find these two brothers located on lands near South Reading, then an unbroken forest. Reading at that time was quite well settled. In 1791 it had 741 inhabitants, in 1910 it had 530. 61 ROBINSON MEMORIAL Reading, though an inland town, a hill town, has a history worthy of the consideration of all. The Psalmist sang many thousand years ago, in the voice of the Great Jehovah, " I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." How often that has been realized in the world's history. From the hills and mountains have come the great men who have ruled the world's people and shaped the destinies of the nations. The boys, poor boys from the hillside farms, who have struggled for education and baffled the storms of adversity, have been the men who have led the conquering armies, swayed the Senate with their eloquence, convinced the courts and juries by their enthusiastic reasoning and logic, controlled the markets of the world, piled up colossal fortunes, proclaimed the truth of the Christian religion with convincing fervor, made the great discoveries in medicine, mechanics, and the arts, brought out the hidden mysteries of electricity, built the railroads, and commanded the navies in such emergencies as to bring the Oregon from the Pacific to the Atlantic and capture the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. The song of the Psalmist has been fulfilled in the history of Reading. It is a town renowned for the raising of men and women who have influenced the world's history in no slight degree. Men who their duties know, But know their rights, and knowing dare maintain. It is a subject rich in its facts, more fascinating than idle fiction, crowded with examples for the young 62 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON men and maidens to emulate, for the middle-aged to gather up and recite to the children, for the aged to cherish as a part of life's history. The roll of the honored sons and daughters of Reading is a long one. The battle-rolls upon the walls of the library are glorious. The roll of college graduates is espe- cially interesting. The portraits of respected citi- zens are too few — more should be there. It is an honor to have been born in Reading. Your daugh- ters and sons are proud of it, as well as mine. It has been a pleasure to me to gather up this history. Let the record be preserved. Do not forget Clar- ence W. Marks, a native of Reading, a successful business man who endowed the Reading library with $5000. Records of the Robinson Family To-day our minds naturally turn to the records of the Robinson family, one of the many notable families of the town. The Robinsons have always been modest and unassuming people. If the third volume of the " History of Reading " should ever be published, there will be a mass of facts about that family to be put into it, and also about other honored families of this town. The Robinsons have been men and women of large physique, brainy, industrious, frugal, thrifty, hard workers, honest, scholarly and patriotic. There has not been among them any of the vicious, wicked, lazy class. As I go along with my address I shall endeavor to verify these general statements by the recital of results reached. 63 ' .; : ROBINSON MEMORIAL The family came from the north of England. William Robinson, who married Elizabeth Cutler, is the first of this family in America. He resided on a farm in Cambridge, Massachusetts (now a part of Auburndale), and had nine children. From their sixth son, Samuel (born April 20, 1680), de- scended a line of eminent men, worthy of brief men- tion here. Moses Robinson, born March 15, 1741, settled in Bennington, Vermont, and was the first Colonel of Militia in Vermont, first Chief Justice of the Su- preme Court of Vermont, Senator in Congress, and second Governor of the state. He received the hon- orary degree of A.M. at Yale College in 1789 and at Dartmouth in 1790 and died May 19, 1813. A brother of Moses, Jonathan Robinson, born August 24, 1756, was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Vermont from 1801 to 1807 and United States Senator. He received the honorary degree of A.M. at Dartmouth College and died November 3, 1819. Moses Robinson, second Governor of Vermont, left six sons, the fourth of whom was Nathan, a law- yer who died at the age of forty. His son, John S. Robinson, the only Democratic Governor of Ver- mont for more than half a century, was born in Bennington, Vermont, November 10, 1804. He graduated at Williams College, became a lawyer, and identified himself with the Democratic Party. So much for that branch. From another branch descended George Dexter Robinson. He graduated at Harvard College in 64 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON 1856, studied law with his brother, Hon. Charles Robinson, Jr., in Charlestown, Massachusetts, located at Chicopee, Massachusetts, and served in the 45th, 46th, and 47th Congresses of the United States. He was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1883, de- feating General Benjamin F. Butler, and was re- elected in 1884 and 1885. These people have been mentioned as illustrating the " Robinson blood." Ebenezer, when only sixteen years of age, in 1781, entered the service, served first on a man-of-war, was captured by a British man-of-war, was a prisoner of war on the Old Jersey, and was finally exchanged and returned home. In the year 1782 he enlisted into the military service in the Tenth Massachusetts Regiment and remained until the close of the war, enduring many hardships and obtaining an honor- able discharge. All the Robinsons of Reading have had notable and honorable records. Ebenezer Robinson was one of the most remarkable of the early settlers of this town. He was born on the fourteenth day of Feb- ruary, 1765, in Lexington, Massachusetts. Ebenezer Robinson settled in South Reading, Ver- mont, in the spring of 1788, with his elder brother, James Robinson, who was then married. They located on the farm near South Reading recently owned and for a long time held by Washington Keyes, now by R. O. Wells, which was then a wil- derness. They built here a log cabin and immedi- ately after was born a son of James Robinson, Ebenezer Robinson, 2d (named after the subject of this sketch), who subsequently was a resident of 65 ROBINSON MEMORIAL Felchville, in the Coburn house. He was familiarly known as " Captain Eb." In this log house the brothers lived for several years, Ebenezer clearing and settling his farm ad- joining, now owned by Herbert Green, afterwards so long owned and occupied by himself, till the summer of 1792, when he built a frame house, which is still standing as the wing or kitchen part of the present house, and to which in November, 1792, having married Miss Hannah Ackley, he took his bride and established his own happy home. Pre- vious to this the Ackley family had migrated from the vicinity of Haddam, Connecticut, and settled above South Reading. In this house this devoted couple reared a large, intelligent, prosperous family and spent a happy life of sixty-six years together. In 1824 he built a large two-story frame mansion as an addition in front, which in those times was considered an unusually fine residence, and still stands as a respectable edifice. The hardships of clearing this hardwood wilder- ness farm were great, but he was always undaunted, and nothing baffled him. During this early period he successfully dealt in the real estate of this vicinity and secured many permanent settlers for the town. Here on his productive, well-tilled farm he spent a long life of usefulness and activity and reared a large family of children; and like many of those old Revolutionary pensioners, he was in his old age healthy and hearty, remarkably vigorous both in mind and body, even to his last brief sickness. He died at the age of ninety-three years. 66 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON As a citizen he was always upright and exact in all his dealings and dignified, though generous and cordial, in his intercourse. He was never an office- seeking politician, but held many positions of honor and trust, both civil and military, and always proved himself worthy of the confidence reposed in him and was honored by his townsmen in positions of trust in many ways. He was public-spirited and a patron of noble enterprise. The bell in the steeple of the church at South Reading was his gift to the people of that village. May it truly be said of them, that The joy With which their children tread the hallowed ground That holds their venerated bones, the peace That smiles on all they fought for, and the wealth That clothes the land they received, — these, though mute As feeling ever is, when deepest — these Are monuments more lasting than the tombs Reared to the kings and demi-gods of old. Ebenezer Robinson had nine children: Lewis, Calvin, Jonas, Marvin, Ebenezer, Rhoda, Sally Towin, Hannah, and Eliza. He was a religious man. On December 12, 1796, when the Reformed Catholic Society was formed, he was a member with thirty-five others, all men; and when the Congre- gational and Moral Society was formed on October 22, 1798, he, with twenty-three other men, united with it. The Marvin Robinson Branch Lewis, eldest son of Ebenezer (born August 19, 1793), settled at South Reading, built the two-story frame house, and there made his home. He also 67 ROBINSON MEMORIAL built the two-story stone building on the opposite side of the street, which was used for a retail store and for the manufacture of maps and Masonic charts and the printing of legal blanks. He also erected the red building east of the stone building and used it for his map business. He had seven children. Calvin Lewis and George O. received college edu- cations and became lawyers. Calvin Lewis settled in Florida and died there. George O. settled in Detroit, Michigan, became prominent and wealthy, and now presides as the Nestor of the Detroit bar. There were five daughters. One of the sons of Ebenezer was Ebenezer, Jr., who resided on the farm of his father, next south of the Washington Keyes place. He had a remarkable family of three sons and one daughter, all born in South Reading, (i) Stillman W. became a civil engineer, was professor of mechanical engineering and physics in the University of Illinois and profes- sor of mechanical engineering in the University of Ohio, secured some forty patents, and has published several scientific and technical works, which may be found in the library at Felchville. (2) Elna Al- phonse, a graduate of the University of Illinois in 1874, is a mechanical engineer. (3) Albert Alonzo, born in 1844, worked his way from expressman in the Engineer Corps to the presidency of the Mexi- can Central Railway Company, and now resides in Topeka, Kansas. He has had the direct charge of the construction of over forty-five hundred miles of railroads. (4) Mary Ella resides in Springfield, Wisconsin. 68 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON Marvin Robinson, fourth son of Ebenezer Rob- inson, was born March 24, 1800, on what is known as the " Old Esquire Robinson Farm " at South Reading. Until he was twenty-one years of age he assisted his father in clearing away the forest and carrying on the farm. Soon after reaching his ma- jority he built the large brick house now occupied by Abel Ray, Esq., commenced the business of tan- ning in South Reading, and continued it with such success as to acquire not only what is considered a competence, but an amount sufficient to number him among the wealthiest men of Reading. Later he abandoned the tanner and currier's trade altogether and farming was his principal occupation up to the time of his death. He filled several offices of trust in his native town, having been seven times elected one of the selectmen, which position he was filling at the time of his death. He was chosen lister one or more years and served his townsmen in other positions of trust and respon- sibility. In politics he was a Whig, but when the issues upon which that party was founded no longer existed, he gave his vote and support to the newly formed Republican Party. He was not a politician or partisan farther than the principles of his party, in his judgment, conduced to the general public welfare. He was a man of great physical strength and en- durance. Whatever he aimed to accomplish he labored with a perseverance and energy that dis- tanced many a man of weaker will and less physical power. A man of good judgment and sound prac- 69 ROBINSON MEMORIAL tical sense himself in regard to all the business and duties that came within the range of his observation, and measuring everything by a matter of fact test, he entertained but poor opinion of all theories and schemes in which he could see no tangible value or practical utility. He despised " the frivolities of polished idleness." His early education was limited to that afforded by the common schools, and a wider range of scholastic training he deemed quite unnec- essary for the successful business man. To his sons he taught the hard lessons of self-reliance and econ- omy by making them, from early boyhood, dependent upon their own resources for all beyond necessary food and clothing, and when they reached manhood the same austere discipline compelled them, unaided, to make their own place in the world and be the founders as well as architects of their own fortunes. " Let the boys cut their own fodder " was his favorite expression. New England, almost from the rocks, has been made the Eden she is through the energy, economy, perseverance, and practical intelligence of men of his type. His ten children were all born in Reading. In passing permit me to mention Captain Elmer D. Keyes, one of his sons. He took the name of Keyes by reason of his mother having died in his infancy and his having been reared in the home of his uncle, Washington Keyes. He was a valiant soldier, a successful teacher and business man, both in Felch- ville, in the firm of Chamberlain & Keyes, where he carried on a wholesale and retail business, and at 70 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON Rutland, where he founded the house of E. D. Keyes & Co. and became very wealthy. Charles Henry and Edwin A. Robinson were partners in business in Boston with Wallace F. and had honorable careers. Elroy, a son, was a successful merchant at Perkins- ville and represented Weathersfield in the Legisla- ture. One of these ten children, Frank M., became a lawyer and resided in Dubuque, Iowa. Wallace Fullam Robinson This occasion demands a special reference to him whom you will delight to honor, Wallace Fullam Robinson, to whose generosity the South Reading Cemetery is indebted for a part of its permanent funds, the Reading Library for the donation of valu- able books, all the inhabitants of the town for the splendid example he has set for the young men to imitate in his remarkable, successful business career in Boston, Massachusetts, and finally for the gift, in a trust deed, to his only son, Harry Ezra Robinson, of this town hall and all its furnishings for the use of the inhabitants of Reading forever. His early train- ing under the stern discipline of his father made him independent in thought and act. His mother was a Fullam, of a distinguished family and of great energy. The blood of the Robinsons and Fullams, combined, made Wallace Fullam Robinson the suc- cessful business man and the firm friend, and W. F. Robinson & Co. became known throughout New England at least for the purity of its goods put upon the market and the square deal for all. He 71 ROBINSON MEMORIAL was a member of the Boston Common Council in the years 1871 and 1872, the time of the great Boston fire, was elected for two terms as a Representative to the State Legislature in 1875 and 1876, was one of the first Presidents of the Boston Produce Ex- change ( 1 885-1 886), and was President of the Con- solidated Hand Method Lasting Machine Company until the formation of the United Shoe Machinery Company in 1899. He acquired wealth and in- fluence. His sturdy intellect and keen business per- ceptions made him many friends in business and social circles. He was President of the Boston Chamber of Commerce for five consecutive terms from 1895 to 1900 and Vice-President of the United Shoe Machinery Corporation since its formation in 1899, as well as Director. Under his management that company acquired control largely of the manu- facture and leasing of improved shoe machinery in Massachusetts and thereby the cost of the manu- facture of shoes has been reduced. He will not be forgotten so long as this town hall stands. And I voice the sentiments of all assembled here when I express the hope that this building may ever remain and perpetuate the memory of this noble act of Wallace Fullam Robinson. SPEECH BY MR. FLETCHER SONG BY MR. F. C. MORGAN SONG BY MRS. MORGAN POEM BY MR. CHAMBERLAIN SPEECH BY MR. FLETCHER |R. BURNHAM. We have with us to-day one who is widely known in the business world and who at the same time has his best interests here in Reading. I am happy to introduce to you Hon. Allen M. Fletcher of Cavendish. Mr. Fletcher. Ladies and gentlemen, this is an ideal idealistic meeting in my mind and I am sure everyone present will agree with me. I have been deeply interested in the doings of Reading. Only a short time ago, while acting as a pilot to the State Forester in Hammondsville, I spoke of getting the town clerk to go out and meet this gentleman. I came in here to get him to go, as a chap in the hand is worth two in the bush, but he refused to go out, and then it came to me that he wanted him to come in here and see the hall. Whenever anyone met Brother Newton he immediately waxed elo- quent over the hall they were building here in Felch- ville. It is certainly a great and notable thing for our friend Mr. Robinson to give us this hall, to make it possible for the people of Reading to have a hall that they can feel free to use. I am going to quote to you, read to you, as there are a great many educated and learned men here on this forum and I do not want to make any mistake, what one of the most celebrated men that ever lived once said, which 75 ROBINSON MEMORIAL I think applies to this occasion and gift: " How far the little candle throws its gleam, Thus shines a good deed in a naughty world." Here we have an ex- ample. The world cannot be made by legislation alone. It helps, but example is stronger. The Legislature can help it, but by example you can do much. I was passing along the street a short time ago and heard two little lads under ten years of age swearing in a way that would have made Captain Kid's men green with envy. Where did they get it? Heard someone say it. That was the effect of example. Mr. Burnham. Ladies and gentlemen, we have with us to-day a man who spent much of his early life in Reading. It is with pleasure that I intro- duce to you Mr. Wallace Batchelder of Bethel. Mr. Batchelder. Another gentleman has spoken in his speech about the early history of Vermont and said that there were giants in those days. Here to-day I overheard one person say to another as they looked upon a group of five men standing talking — one was our Attorney-General, another a townsman, and another a civil engineer whom we know: "I did not know there were so many tall men." I did not wonder at the remark. I said: "That is the kind of men Vermont breeds." We have heard to-day about the lives of men who first made it pos- sible for Vermont to be what it is to-day. Of about thirty years I have spent about fifteen in Reading. I remember, when I heard people talk of what hap- pened twenty years ago, that I thought they must be very old, but when I talk of twenty and twenty- 76 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON five years ago, I think I am beginning to reminisce a little. I hope you will pardon me if I do reminisce. Several years of my boyhood I spent in the Reading schools. Sixteen years ago I had a place to teach in South Reading, in the schoolhouse in which Wal- lace F. Robinson received his early education. Mr. Davis tells me that Mount Moses was named for my great-grandfather. Wherever you may go and hear Vermont spoken of, or yourself speak of Vermont, someone will im- mediately wax eloquent about the state and proudly say that he is a Vermonter. When you find a Ver- monter, I assure you you have found someone whom you can tie to. When I was in the Philippines, the natives could come under American protection for about ten cents of our money, and so many took advantage of this that I needed clerical work done to aid me, and in order to be of assistance this man must be able to speak Spanish, which requires fifteen or sixteen months. Captain Harden said to me one day: " I have got a man in my company whom I can recom- mend. He learned Spanish with great rapidity, is a good penman, and I think he could help you." I said : " I can offer some inducement — a home at the capitol and a bed — but it is hard work." This man came, and who do you suppose it was? C. Wilkie Louie of South Reading, Vermont. A few more reminiscences. One day last summer while at Woodstock I met Bert Cole, and he spoke of one time, about twenty-three years ago, that we put on the stage here a play, " Rock Allen," and 77 ROBINSON MEMORIAL Bert reminded me that I played the part of Rock Allen. We decided that the world lost the second Henry Booth when I decided to become a country lawyer. Another one I am going to tell you is what "Fixed Bayonets" (Captain O'Connor) said about a Vermont boy. He said he was looking up and down the line during a battle and he noticed a man lying on the ground — the coolest man he ever saw under fire. I got interested in that young man and went along up there to where he was and stood near him, where I immediately became the target for the enemy. Captain O'Connor said: "Gentlemen, I have served under many officers, fought in South Africa, in Sudan, and in India, I have seen many volunteers and veterans, but never a man like that man. I was interested and afterwards learned that that man is Arthur French of Cavendish, Vermont.'* I am glad to have been here to-day, and if you have enjoyed the occasion as much as I have, Mr. Robinson can be well repaid for what he has done. Mr. F. C. Morgan of Claremont, New Hamp- shire, then sang: THE KISS Composed by L. Arditi. Fondly, oh, how fondly, wert thou near me, wert thou near me, One sweet kiss, love, one sweet kiss, love, on thy lips I fain would press ! Fain would tell thee, fain would tell thee. Could 'st thou hear me, ah, fain would tell thee all the sweets of love divine. Ever, ever seated, ever seated close beside thee, I would murmur, I would murmur, Countless words of tenderness, 78 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON While I 'd hearken to the beating of the heart that throbs for mine, While I 'd hearken to the beating of the heart that ever throbs for mine. Pearls and jewels I desire not, Crave no bliss more pure or high. Thy dear kiss is e'er my treasure, thy fond glance, love, e'er my joy, thy fond glance is e'er my joy, love, e'er my joy. Come, ah come, no longer tarry, come, ah come, love, come to me, ah draw nigh, ah draw nigh to me. Ah ! Ah ! come, in thy strong embrace, love, enfold me that I live alone, alone in thee! Fondly, oh how fondly, wert thou near me, wert thou near me, one sweet kiss, love, one sweet kiss, love, on thy lips I fain would press. Ah ! come. Ah ! come. Ah ! love, come, ah ! come to me. Ah! come, oh love, draw to me, ah! come, ah! come, draw nigh to me. Ah ! yes ! ah ! come ! ah ! come, ah ! come, draw nigh, draw nigh to me, ah! come! love, come, ah! come, ah! come! Mrs. Morgan then sang: GOOD NIGHT, DEAR The moonbeams around us are creeping. While we stand alone in the light. The flowers are all fast a-sleeping; 'T is time, dear, to bid you good night. I know by the light of its gleaming That the love in your eyes is for me, So meet me to-night in your dreaming, And let me in paradise be. Refrain Good night, dear, good night, dear, Just wander over in dreamland fair, Sweetheart, and I '11 come and meet you there. Good night, dear, sleep tight, dear, Some day our yearning to joy will be turning, So good night, dear. 79 ROBINSON MEMORIAL II The song-birds have all hushed their lay, dear, The lights in the windows are low. Each hour will be long till the day, dear, But kiss me good night and I '11 go. I sigh for the time when to kiss you In the gloaming will no longer mean, That all through the night I must miss you, And be with you only in dreams. Declamation by Harry Wilcox of Reading. Mr. Burnham. If Brother Newton will allow me to correct him, I will state that we have with us another who took part in the exercises forty years ago, Mr. O. S. Holden of Reading. Song by O. S. Holden and A. T. Billings. HURRAH FOR OLD NEW ENGLAND By W. P. Chamberlain, A former resident of Reading. I This is our own, our native home. Though poor and rough she be, The home of many a noble soul, The birthplace of the free. We '11 love her rocks and rivers. Till death our quick blood stills, Hurrah for old New England, And her cloud-capped granite hills. Chorus Hurrah for old New England And her cloud-capped granite hills. (Repeat.) 80 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON II Shall not the land, though poor she be, That gave a Webster birth, With pride step forth to take her place With the mightiest of the earth? Then for his sake whose lofty fame Our farthest bound'ries fill; We '11 shout for old New England And her cloud-capped granite hills. — Chorus. Ill They tell us of our freezing clime, Our hard and rugged soil, Which hardly half repays us for Our springtime care and toil : Yet gayly sings the merry boy, As the homestead farm he tills, Hurrah for old New England And her cloud-capped granite hills. — Chorus. IV Others may seek the Western clime, They say 't is passing fair. That sunny are its laughing skies And soft its balmy air; We '11 linger round our childhood's home, Till age our warm blood chills, Till we die in old New England And sleep beneath her hills. — Chorus. For an encore they sang: Give me the friends who ever have been tried, And always my wants they have supplied, And should you need and kindly on them call, on them call, Your old friends will be truest after all, after all. In time of health, should fortune on you smile, You '11 find your friends will be many for a while. But should you need and kindly on them call, on them call. Your old friends will be truest after all, after all. 8i ROBINSON MEMORIAL Give me the friends who ever have been tried, And always my wants they have supplied, And you did need and kindly on him called, on him called. Your old friend responded by giving this Town Hall. SPEECH BY MR. REARDON SPEECH BY MR. REARDON R. BURNHAM. We have one with us this afternoon who is certainly very near and dear to many of us, Rev. J. B. Reardon of Springfield. Mr. Reardon. Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentle- men. I sincerely hope no serious result will be caused by mixing the law and the gospel, and I doubt if such will be the case, as the gospel follows the law, which certainly seems to me to be the proper order. My acquaintance with Reading and its people, which now extends over nearly a quarter of a cen- tury, would in itself justify my great pleasure in being with you to-day. The occasion of our coming together is one of much interest to all citizens of Reading. Many years ago there lived a minister with a small salary in a little town near London. One day he was very ill and, thinking he was going to die, made a will in which he bequeathed large sums to many needy charitable institutions and poor families. His lawyer expressed surprise at his great wealth. The minister replied: "I have no wealth, I am poor; but I have donated what I would have given if I had been rich." Mr. Robinson has both a large heart and the money to carry out his will. It was said long ago by One who knew what was 85 ROBINSON MEMORIAL in man that " It is more blessed to give than to re- ceive." There is, perhaps, no greater happiness in life than that which accompanies the bestowal of some unselfish gift or benefaction, designed to min- ister to the comfort and welfare of one's fellowmen; a happiness which is enhanced when the giver is allowed to witness the realization of the benefits which he hoped would flow from his gift. But, for- tunately for the large majority of mankind, to whom it is not given to confer great benefits upon their fellowmen, there is no less a certain blessedness in receiving. It is good to have one's heart stirred with a feeling of gratitude, and it is good to express one's gratitude in words, sincere and earnest, how- ever inadequate to convey the feelings of the heart. The blessedness of receiving is increased many fold when the gift consists of a great public benefaction, to be held and used for the good of the whole com- munity and of future generations. In such a case the gratitude is unselfish, and the receiver enjoys something of the blessedness of the giver in feeling that, if he uses the gift aright, he will become an instrument of good to others. Such we feel to be the case in regard to the gift of this magnificent building by Mr. Robinson, which he has so wisely and generously bestowed upon the town. There is no one here to-day whose heart is not filled with gratitude; but the feeling is an un- selfish one, because we realize that the advantages, which we may personally derive from the gift, are of little account compared with the benefits it will confer upon those who are to come after us. 86 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON And now, citizens of Reading, I have this to say- as my closing word: Institutions, like men, must be tested to determine their worth. Whatever the origin of this building, it must prove its right to present and future being and honor by its power to help men. Its large dimensions and beautiful and bountiful equipments — all elements of strength and utility — can meet and merit approval only when shown to be helpful to the citizens of this commun- ity in actual everyday living. It is up to the citizens of this town to see that this institution maintains high ideals and renders true service along the lines of patriotic citizenship, social order, and ethical re- forms. If this is done, future generations in Read- ing will have occasion to rise up and bless the name of Robinson. As I said before, my acquaintance with Reading and its people extends over a long period of years. For several years I was a resident here, but for the past few years I have been able to come here only occasionally, about once a month. As I look around this hall to-day I am glad to see so many people. I see those who come to hear me on Sunday, but as for many of you, I wonder where you are when I come here to preach on Sunday. Clarinet solo by Herbert A. Williams of Windsor. Mr. Burnham then read the following letters. LETTERS < z > c < z > LETTERS January 27, 1912. Mr. George D. Burnham, Felchville, Vermont. Y dear MR. burnham, — The unexpected has happened and it will not be possible for me to get to Felchville Thursday. I have two hearings before a committee of the State Leg- islature marked for that date, against my hopes and plans. I would like to have you feel I am not dodging, hence 1 inclose a copy of the bills, which I trust you will not read before the audience up there, and also pages from the bulletin showing that they have been marked by the Committee for February first. I had gotten one of the bills. No. 493, so that I could possibly leave it and be heard later, as the clerk of the Committee is an old class- mate of mine and there are not many to speak on it. In Bill 449 a great many people are interested and will be present, and I have to take charge of it and have to be here, much to my regret. I have to be here and am a good deal like the boy whom I met up there in Reading one summer while I was taking a long walk. He was hoeing potatoes. I tried to talk with him a bit, but was not very successful, and, hoping to interest him, asked him how much he got for hoeing potatoes. " Well," he said, " I get hell if I don't and nothing if I do." However, I would like to be among those to express my gratitude to the donor of your beautiful town hall. Still believing, however, that Christ was quite right when he said that it was more blessed to give than to receive, which, interpreted in everyday language, means that the fellow who gives gets more out of it than the fellow who receives. Hence the donor might, in the light of Christ's 91 ROBINSON MEMORIAL experience and wisdom, have all the joy that the hun- dreds of people are getting out of the possession of such a building. I don't suppose that he gave it because of the joy that he would get out of it, but he gave it because he wanted to do something for the old town where he got, and where many another man has gotten, his early education and training, simple as they were, which made them successful men out in life. I really suppose that Mr. Robinson gave that building through a deep sense of gratitude for what those old hills and that old envi- ronment of his youth has done for him. Bless him for his wisdom and for his sense of gratitude. Again expressing my regrets for being unavoidably absent, I am, Yours very truly, Thomas Curley. Boston, January 31, 1912. Burton M. Newton, Esq. Dear Sir, — Let me express through you to the com- mittee in charge of the dedication of the Reading Town Hall my regret at being unable to join with you to-mor- row in voicing appropriate thanksgiving to Mr. Robin- son and those good townspeople who have made It pos- sible now and I trust forever for the goodly citizens of Reading to meet together in their own meeting house without the leave or license of any man. For forty years they have been without a roof of their own, and now that they again have one I am sure they will not repeat the folly of tearing it down because the roof needs shingling. I hope it will be used often and used well for the benefit of all the people by all the people of the dear old town. Sincerely, Wade Keyes. 92 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON Bellows Falls, Vermont, January 20, 1912. To THE Committee of Arrangements for the Dedication of the New Town Hall of Reading, — It is with special joy and gladness that I join with the people of my good old native town in expression of ap- preciation to a son of Reading for his most generous gift, and gladly, very gladly, do I join them on this happy occasion, — and who, if not to-day equal in numbers of a former period, nevertheless make it up in public spirit. Most sincerely yours, A. N. Swain. Bellows Falls, Vermont, January 6, 191 1. Dear Mrs. White, — Your very kind favor at hand, and if it only could be, how glad I would be to attend the dedication of your new Town Hall, but the various infirmities of age prevent. Of late many thoughts have come to me of my early boyhood days in old Reading, of things which happened about seventy-five years ago, or near 1835, at " Reading Center " as it was called at that time. It was a Fourth of July celebration and the " crisis " of the day was when Henry Conant volunteered his toast, which was re- ceived with unbounded shouts by the hundreds of people present. I will write it out on another piece of paper. This Conant, I think, finally lived and died on the poor farm south of South Reading. Do you suppose there is anyone living now who heard it besides myself? This is not important of course, any of it, but possibly it may be new to you and others. Most sincerely yours, A. N. Swain. The following toast was volunteered at a Fourth of July celebration held at " Reading Center " about 1835, or near that time, by Henry Conant: 93 ROBINSON MEMORIAL The enemies of our country: — may they be mounted on a pale horse, headed towards Canada, — and may all hell follow after!! Boston, January 29, 1912. Mr. B. M. Newton, Felchville, Vermont. My dear Mr. Newton, — I have your valued favor of the 26th instant, and thank you most sincerely for your kind invitation to attend the ceremonies connected with the dedication of the new Robinson Town Building. I heartily regret that, being obliged to leave on a Western trip to attend the annual meeting of one of our large corporations, it will be impossible for me to avail myself of your kindness in this direction. If there were any way in which this trip could be postponed I can as- sure you it would be done, as nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be with the good people of Read- ing on that occasion. Trusting that everything will pass off in first-class shape, and that you will all have a glorious time, and again re- gretting my inability to be present with you, I remain. Sincerely yours, Lewis Robinson Speare. Other letters were read as follows: 54 Devonshire Street, Boston, January 25, 1912. Hon. George D. Burnham, Felchville, Vermont. Dear Sir, — I thank you for your cordial invitation of the 1 8th instant to be present at the dedicatory exer- cises of the Town Building which Mr. Robinson has so generously presented to the town. I regret that it will not be possible for me to attend 94 WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON because of the serious illness of a member of my family, rendering it impossible for me to be absent for so long a time. Yours very truly, L B. Clark. Barre, Vermont, January 30, 1912. Mr. B. M. Newton, Chairman of Committee, Felchville, Vermont. Dear Burt, — The invitation to be present and the program for the grand dedication of the new Town Building at Felchville on February i is received, and I thank you. I would like very much to attend, but I can- not get away at that time. I have just about so much to do and just about so much time to do it in, and it keeps me busy guessing where I can sometimes wiggle in an extra day off. The dedication, coming as it does the first of the month, finds me tied to work I can't put away to be done later. I will be with you in thought if not in per- son, but, say, you boys have made up a wonderful program for the event, and even if I could go, I would want to take a week off beforehand and go into training. It looks good and I know it will be good, but with a chicken pie supper at noon, and oyster supper at five o'clock and a hot turkey supper at 11.30 P.M., one would need to re- duce weight and get up extra muscle to stand it. I '11 bet that Dr. Buchanan will have a busy day February 2, and I don't believe that even Burt's or George's " bread bas- kets " can stand the strain. I strongly suspect it is an idea of Merrltt's to boom his business, and backed by Ellie to help him out by the sale of extra groceries. While I would n't be obliged, per- haps, to take in the whole " menu " for the three ban- quets, I don't find anything in the intellectual feast pre- sented that I would care to " nig." 95 ROBINSON MEMORIAL I have had the pleasure of listening to each one who is expected to make an address except you yourself, Burt,, and they are all good, interesting speakers. Now you are all going to have a good time and I won't be with you, and I am sorry. I wish for you all the hap- piness and success possible, and say, Burt, I really hope there will be one or two there that will be sorry that I am not, for I like you all so very well that I hope a few may have at least a kindly remembrance of Sincerely yours, Dan Davis. I can't get over thinking about those three feeds in one short day. It reminds me of Mrs. McCarthy, whose husband enjoyed a good dinner exceptionally well, but generally had to pay the usual penalty, . John had been to a banquet the night before and in the morning was looking a bit white around the gills. " John," she said, "how many helpings did you have last night?" " Three," answered John. " Two at the supper and one to get me home." 2 Westland Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, January 30, 1912. Geo. D. Burnham, Felchville, Vermont. Dear Friend, — This morning's mail I received the invitation to the " Grand Dedication " of your beautiful new Town Building. It would give me great pleasure to be present, as you well know how much I enjoy meeting all the old friends of my native town. Trusting the new building will stand for many years to be an ornament as well as what the town most needed, Yours most sincerely. Belle Fletcher Pitkin. 96 SONG BY MR. BLANCHARD \ SONG BY MR. BLANCHARD Mr. Ray Blanchard of West Windsor then sang: THREE CHEERS FOR OLD VERMONT I Oh how dear to each Vermonter is the name of his loved state. How his heart is filled with mingled love and pride, As her mountains green and bright, And her fields so broad and fair, Meet his long and lingering gaze on every side. And wherever he may roam he will ne'er forget his home, Resting here among Vermont's green hills so fair. And his heart will ever yearn for the kind and loving friends That he knows are always waiting for him there. Chorus Three cheers for old Vermont, we will shout it loud and clear, For no other spot to us is half so dear. Where the sweet arbutus blooms, 'Neath the stately evergreens, While the robin and the bluebird carol near. II Is there anything so tempting to a wanderer's lonely heart As a picture of his home in old Vermont? And he feels a homesick longing For the cheery woods and fields, And that peaceful charm with which the air was fraught. He can hear the lovely music of the babbling little brook, Where his boyhood happy hours oft were spent. And the squirrels' lively chatter as he wandered through the woods, That so much of joy to childhood days had lent. — Chorus. 99 ROBINSON MEMORIAL III Every season brings its pleasures to Vermont's fair girls and boys. Even winter, when the ground is white with snow. You will hear their happy shouts, Ringing gayly through the air As down the hills their sleds do swiftly go. Then the bright, bright days of spring, when the birds so sweetly sing. Next the summer air perfumed with new-mown hay, Autumn days so fair and sweet then their happy hearts to greet, Makes them shout In old Vermont we 11 always stay. — Chorus. BACK AT DEAR OLD HOME, SWEET HOME I Years ago I left my old home and I Ve roamed this wide world o'er, But to-night my heart is longing for those happy days of yore. Oft in dreams I have a vision of those boyhood scenes again, When I roamed the fields of clover and through fields of golden grain. I can see the new-mown hay and the brook across the way, While the birds are singing in the old oak tree. There the vacant chair is waiting for the boy who went to roam, And the old folks watching for me, back at dear old home, sweet home. Chorus Back at dear old home, sweet home, I am going there no more to roam. It will fill their hearts with joy, When the old folk see their boy Back again at dear old home, sweet home. II As I think about the old folks and the old home far away. Of the fields and hills and valleys, of the hearts I broke that day, I grow lonely, sad, and weary, tired of wand'ring all alone. So I '11 go back to the old folks, back to dear old home, sweet home. lOO WALLACE FULLAM ROBINSON I can almost hear them say, as they said goodbye that day, " We will pray that God will keep you from all harm." When you 're weary of the journey, when you 're homesick, sad, and lone. You just come back to the old folks, back to dear old home, sweet home." — Chorus. The exercises of the afternoon closed with a selec- tion by the Windsor Orchestra. In the evening a grand ball was given, with 175 couples in attendance, and a grand banquet at 1 1.30 P.M. Jennie M. Robinson JENNIE M. ROBINSON MEMORIAL BUILDING !.y Jennie M.Robinson Memorial Building, Maternity Hospital, Harrison Ave. and Stoughton St., Boston, Mass. JENNIE M. ROBINSON MEMORIAL BUILDING HIS building, a part of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital of Boston, while referred to as the Maternity Building, really houses two divisions of this large institution, the Obstetrical and the Out-Patient De- partments. Separate entrances on two different streets are provided for the two departments, and the Out-Patient Department occupies exclusively the ground floor and the two lower floors. The other three floors belong to the Maternity Department, the fifth floor, the private patient floor, having twelve rooms, eight of them arranged en suite with baths. The exterior of the building is of waterstruck brick, with limestone trimmings, while the interior finish, generally a soft gray-green, is plain and simple. In presenting his gift to the Trustees, Mr. Wallace F. Robinson said : " I most ungrudgingly make this contribution to your hospital work, in the hope and confidence that it will serve humanity for many years to come, and that the patients who are treated here will ever be grateful and pronounce blessings upon her, after whom It Is named. It has been said that In a true woman sympathy directs all else, and truly Jennie M. Robinson was In her lifetime a woman who sympathized not only with her fellow-women, but with all mankind; and now I ask you, Mr. President, ladles and gentlemen, to accept this gift from me as a memorial of one who well served her generation." 105 ROBINSON MEMORIAL Several months after the dedication of this Hospi- tal Mr. Robinson endowed it liberally, so that it would be possible for it always to be a self-support- ing institution, knowing full well that many of its patients would not have the means to pay the nec- essary fees for services that might be rendered them, and at the same time wanting every one to enjoy the privileges of this Maternity Hospital. By so doing he relieved the Massachusetts Homeopathic Hos- pital of any burden and rendered a kindness to thousands of deserving women. ROBINSON HALL. DEDICATED JUNE MCMXIVV"' i ■yDJED TO THE USES 0. .. lENT ORGANIZATIONS ""' . mEANS OF INCULGATINC PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE IDEALISM IN BUSINESS AND SOUND RATIONALITY IN CULTURE. THIS BUILDING STANDS AS A MONUMENT ' TO THE INSIGHT AND GENEROSITY OF WALLACE F: ROBINSON BY WHOM IT WAS ERECTED, EQUIPPED. AND PRESENTED TO . DARTMOUTH COLLEGE. IN PERMANENT TESTIMONY . OF THEIR GRATITUDE TO THE f DONOR, THE TRUSTEES HAVE CAUSED THIS T4BLET TO BE ¥ PLACED. Bronze Tablet, Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H. '% ROBINSON HALL / mil If ^' > o z < (iT o w hJ hj o U K H D O H < < z (X ROBINSON HALL OBINSON HALL was given to Dartmouth College by Mr. Wallace F. Robinson in order to ofifset the overshadowing power of athletics in undergraduate life by providing an outlet for college activities in other directions. The building, three stories in height, is of Harvard brick with limestone and granite trim, is modern in every respect, and is absolutely fireproof. Here the undergraduate non-athletic organizations have their rooms and offices; provision is made for the student publications, and a little theatre is even provided for the Dramatic Association. This Hall fills a long-felt need of the College, and because of its endowment it is independent of the Col- lege income and finances. It was dedicated during the Commencement exercises of 19 14, and was ac- cepted by the Trustees of Dartmouth College at their meeting of June 19-20 of that year by the following vote: " That the Trustees gratefully accept this gift from Mr. Wallace F. Robinson and agree to administer the fund in accordance with the conditions laid down by the donor's letter; and that the Trustees express to Mr. Robinson their deep gratitude for and appreciation of his most generous gift for the endowment of Robinson Hall, in the building and endowment of which he has made possible the culti- vation and training of the literary and aesthetic tastes and appreciation of the undergraduates of the College through the stimulation of their own efforts." 109 ROBINSON MEMORIAL In June, 1916, Mr. Robinson made an endowment to the Trustees of Dartmouth College of a sum suf- ficient to maintain Robinson Hall, not only for the upkeep of the building — in the way of necessary repairs — but that the College should not be bur- dened with any expense for the donation which he had given them.