Biography of Richard Francis Robinson

Dr. Richard Francis Robinson, born January 2, 1868, in Boston, Massachusetts, pursued a medical career after relocating to South Dakota in 1879. His father, Richard Tremaine Robinson, was a Civil War veteran and businessman, while his grandfather, William Day Robinson, emigrated from Nova Scotia in 1852. Dr. Robinson attended medical school in Boston, graduating in 1893, and later practiced in South Dakota. In 1897, he married Jennie Brennan in Egan, where he was active in community and professional organizations, including the South Dakota National Guard and local education and health boards. They had three children: Richard Tracy, Ada Frances, and Roger Chesley.

Richard Francis Robinson, M.D., has the distinction of being a native of the city of Boston, Massachusetts, where he was born on the 2nd of January, 1868. His father, Richard Tremaine Robinson, was one of the pioneers of what is now the state of South Dakota, having come here in June, 1879, and taken up his residence in Firesteel, Davison County. He is engaged in the general merchandise business at Egan, South Dakota, at the present time. He served with distinction in the Civil War, as a member of Company C, Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic, while his wife, whose maiden name was Emma Frances Fisher, is past department president of the Woman’s Relief Corps of the state. William Day Robinson, the paternal grandfather of the Doctor, came to the United States from Nova Scotia, about 1852. His father, Dr. Henry Robinson, was a surgeon in the English army. He was assistant surgeon in the Sixty-fourth Foot, from May 8, 1801, to June 15, 1804, and from that time was incumbent of a similar position in the Seventh Foot until December 15, 1804, when he was made surgeon of the regiment, in which capacity he served until August 29, 1811, when he resigned and thereafter lived retired in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this record being given in the war office in the city of London. Amos Sargent, great-grandfather of the mother of the subject, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution and also a seaman on the privateer brigantine, “Hazard.”

Dr. Robinson was about twelve years of age at the time of his parents’ removal to what is now South Dakota, and here he attended the country schools of Davison County until he had attained the age of twenty years, when he returned to his native state of Massachusetts, locating in the city of Cambridge for the purpose of learning a trade. The outlook in this line, however, did not satisfy his ambition, and he determined to prepare himself for the medical profession. He rounded out his preliminary education by attending night schools in Cambridge, and in 1890 was matriculated in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the city of Boston, where he was graduated on the 4th of May, 1893, receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine. Later he took a post-graduate course in Tufts Medical College, in the same city. He began the practice of his profession in Cambridge, where he remained until 1894, when he returned to South Dakota and established himself in practice in Ethan, Davison County, whence he later removed to the city of Mitchell, where he was in practice until June 20, 1895, when he came to Egan, which has ever since been his home. Here he has built up an excellent professional business, his ability gaining to him distinctive recognition and a representative supporting patronage. The Doctor is a progressive and public-spirited citizen and enjoys marked popularity in the community. He was appointed captain and assistant surgeon in the Third Regiment of the South Dakota National Guard, on the 23rd of April, 1903. In April, 1902, he was elected a member of the board of education of Egan, serving one year. He is treasurer of the board of pension examining surgeons for Moody County, having been a member of the board since 1897, and from July, 1895, to the present time he has served as vice-president of the board of health of the county. He served as county physician from June, 1895, to January, 1902, and in 1899 and 1900 he was county coroner, having been elected on the Republican ticket. The Doctor has been a staunch supporter of the Republican Party from the time of attaining his majority, and has taken an active interest in its cause. He has been a member of the Modern Woodmen of America since 1896, and has held the office of clerk of the local camp since January, 1898, while he has been clerk of the state camp since February, 1901, and in 1899 was a delegate to the head camp of the order. He is a charter member of the local lodge of the Modern Brotherhood of America, organized in 1899, and is secretary of the lodge at the present time, having previously served two years in this office, while he was a delegate to its first supreme convention, in October, 1900. In November, 1903, the Doctor was raised to the degree of Master Mason in Tyrian Lodge, No. 100, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. While a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Doctor became a member of the Wood Memorial Congregational Church, and in the same he served as president of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, while at the present time he is superintendent of the Sunday school of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Egan, of which he has been a member since taking up his residence here.

On the 18th of August, 1897, in Egan, Dr. Robinson was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Brennan, who has been a resident of Moody County since her childhood, her parents having here taken up their residence in March, 1878. Her father, Roger Brennan, has been the leading lawyer of the county for a quarter of a century and also one of the most influential men in the local ranks of the Republican Party. Of the three children of Dr. and Mrs. Robinson we enter the names with respective dates of birth: Richard Tracy, May 15, 1898; Ada Frances, June 15, 1901; and Roger Chesley, December 21, 1902.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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