Edward Warrington Robinson

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ChartsAncestors of Harriet Hanson Robinson
Seth Ingersoll Browne to Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Stede Bonnet to Harriet (Robinson) Pierce
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Edward Warrington Robinson
Catherine, Dutchess of Cambridge and Harriet (Robinson) Pierce
King Edward IV to Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
George Washington - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
John Adams & John Quncy Adams - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
James Madison - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Millard Fillmore - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
(John) Calvin Coolidge Jr. - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Richard Milhous Nixon - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Gerald R. Ford - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
George H. W. & George W. Bush - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Barack Obama - Harriet Hanson (Robinson) Pierce
Edward Warrington Robinson, son of William Stevens Robinson and Harriet Jane Hanson, was born at Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 4 May 1859.1,2,3,4,5 He died at Telluride, San Miguel Co., Colorado, 8 January 1904,6 and was buried at Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Arapahoe Co., Colorado.6,7

Edward married Mary Elizabeth Robinson, daughter of William Leonard Robinson and Matilda Caroline Higginson, at Denver, Arapahoe Co., Colorado, 11 November 1893.8,9,10,11

As a child, Warrington as he was known, suffered from asthma that required his mother’s constant attention. This apparently generated a prolonged close relationship between them and he was considered quite pampered. None-the-less, he broke his mother’s heart by dropping out of school at sixteen, during his father’s illness. “I am not going to have my mother support me,” he said. She wrote, “You are always my pride and joy my only son, and your progress in life is all in all to me.” She never gave up on him.

Warrington went to work as a clerk in a bookseller-stationer’s shop. His handwriting did not improve much, despite his mother’s constant admonitions to practice. Given the precarious financial situation of the 1870’s, the unskilled Warrington was frequently out of work.

When he was 27, he went off to Denver and began working in a stationer’s store. A month after his marriage to Mary, the employer sold the business and Warrington was out of a job. His mother sent him money, called on her friends, and wrote letters to influential acquaintances; it was six months before these efforts bore fruit. John Forbes’s letters to the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad resulted in a position as a part time express messenger. The next year Warrington and Mary moved to Pueblo and to a permanent job.

They moved to Telluride sometime in 1895 after Harriet’s birth. Warrington found steady work as deputy clerk of San Miguel County, in southwest Colorado, of which Telluride was the county seat and most important community. Warrington was thriving with his nice office and improved salary, his “very attentive and hospitable” wife, and their bright and good-natured baby, Harriet.

Soon after the second child, Lucy, was born, Warrington was appointed justice of the Peace for the county. He filled the unexpired term of a departed elected official. He took his job seriously and began to read the law, settling small cases as they came up. The Telluride paper reported, “Justice Robinson seems to have the correct idea about bailing out accused criminals.”

Telluride was a prosperous mining town settled in a narrow valley between the Uncompahgre and San Juan mountains. Several churches and large school buildings as well as a brick county courthouse had been built there in the 1880’s. In 1890 the Sheridan Hotel, a three-story brick structure of generous proportions and luxurious appointments, was erected. In addition, gambling halls and lace-curtained brothels supplied all comers. The steady refrain during working hours was the tinkle of the bells of the burrows as long strings of them negotiated the tortuous trails along the cliffs; all day the burrow trains ran, taking coal up the to mines, and ore down. The Smuggler-Union Mine dominated the business of the town. Absentee owners, whose primary interest, of course, was profit, largely furnished capitalization

In 1901 an angry strike occurred. The union, the Western Federation of Miners, demanded recognition and an end to the “fathom system,” which meant individual miners had access to the coal in the veins they were working, and so miners had to work harder than others for their wages. When scab miners were hired, the strikers beat them up and sent them on their way. Eventually, the owners gave up and the strike ended as a clear victory for the union, winning recognition, an eight-hour day at prevailing wages, and a three-year contract.

Warrington was not involved in this first strike, but late in 1903, continuing unrest eventually resulted in the imposition of martial law. Again the union had attempted to establish its dominance and to abolish nonunion labor. Local officials rounded up the strikers and they were tried in the magistrate’s court where sat Judge Warrington Robinson. The strikers were arrested for “vagrancy,” and Warrington gave them the choice of paying fines and going back to work, or else leaving town within two days. The judge dispensed swift justice, settling thirty-eight cases in one day, twelve of them in just two hours. Most strikers complied and relative peace was restored. “Police Magistrate Robinson has the courage to do his duty,” the papers wrote.

His mother was elated. She believed that he had been “led” West to perform this particular duty. “Blood will tell,” she declared, thinking of her crusading husband. Warrington, too was pretty proud of himself, having proved to one and all “that when I [am] tried I am not found wanting.” His mother later wrote, “Judge Robinson was the first to apply the ‘vagrant act’ of his city ‘to crowds who were collecting and were liable to provoke a breach of the peace,’ and by this action succeeded in clearing Telluride of ‘vagrant’ miners. He took a great responsibility, and his original manner of procedure received much commendation, not only in Colorado, but in other States.”

However proud she was of his actions, they seem to be in stark contrast to her and William’s ideals. William had always championed the worker and had campaigned hard for a reduction in the 14-hour day. He would have sympathized with the miners who worked under dangerous conditions for bosses who considered human beings cheaper than safety precautions. The father had been fearless in espousing unpopular causes; his son whose identity and livelihood where with the leaders of the town was more cautious. There was a similar shift from his mother’s beliefs: mining involved many of the evils of the textile factories in which his mother had grown up. Warrington was not one of the struggling workers, as his mother had been, playing instead a small part in the establishment.

Finally, in early January 1904, the town newspaper reported serious civil unrest, declaration of Martial Law by the army, and very cold and snowy weather. After fighting asthma for more than 40 years, probably worn down by the events and weather, on January 8th, Warrington died of pneumonia.

The Telluride Daily reported his death in several articles:

9 Jan 1904 p1: Warrington Robinson whose serious illness has been mentioned in the Journal a few days past, died at 7:40 pm last night. The remains will be taken to Denver on Monday’s train for burial. Mr. Robinson was a native of Great Britain and was 44 years of age. Mr. Robinson was one of Telluride’s’ most highly respected citizens and held various positions of trust. He was deputy county clerk and was a candidate for county judge at the last election and was last spring elected police magistrate and justice of the peace, administering the office with fidelity and ability, and to the satisfaction of the community. He had clearly defined ideas of justice and right and never lacked the courage to apply them. His untimely death is a distinct loss to the community. Universal and sincere sympathy is extended to the stricken and devoted widow in her grievous affliction.

p. 3. Mrs. Warrington Robinson has a few articles of furniture she wishes to dispose of before she leaves on Tuesday morning. Enquire at the residence; corner [of] Pine Street and Galena Avenue.

12 Jan 1904, p. 3. The funeral services of the late Warrington Robinson where held at the Congregational Church Monday at 2 pm, conducted by the pastor. The attendance was good and the services very impressive.

The pastor spoke of the value of such a life to the community. Mr. Robinson had the reputation of being an honest and honorable man, sincere in all his dealings, eschewing everything of guile and deceit and fraud. The pastor said that to all of us there come times in our lives when questions of duty press hard upon us, when the perplexities of the present and darkness of the future cause us to feel that being and doing are momentous in their issues.

At such times Mr. Robinson had the reputation of honestly doing his duty. All such men actuated by devotion to principle and duty are the salt of the earth, the pillars of society and state and the hope of the future.

The music under the direction of Mrs. Mott was especially appropriate and consoling. The choir first rendered “Nearer My God to Thee.”

The solo by James Sunderson “Some Sweet Day” touched all hearts and the closing quartette “I’m a Pilgrim, I’m a Stranger” was most beautifully rendered and brought tears to many eyes.

Mrs. Robinson with her mother and her two small daughters accompanied the body to Denver for interment. She will make her future home with her mother in Denver. She leaves a host of friends in Telluride who follow her with sympathy and good wishes for her and her children.

Apparently, not quite everyone shared those sentiments:

14 Jan 1904, p. 3. A former resident of Telluride now living at Montrose, writing a member of the Journal staff under the date January 12 says, “When news of Judge Robinsons’ death reached here, the union delegation from Telluride celebrated by getting drunk and saying he ought to have died years ago. I suppose this relieved their minds on account of the sentences he had imposed in the vag. cases up there.”.12

A year after he died, a mug book included a short, unattributed, memorial to him:
While it may be a source of regret to right-thinking and well-behaved people that the necessity still exists in all civil society for officers of the law and conservators of the peace in great numbers, it is also a fact worthy of high commendation that such officials are in most cases men of character and capability, who have the interests of the community they serve zealously at heart and are worth of the public confidence they usually enjoy. This is particularly the case with the officials of Telluride, and of the number none stands higher or is more justly esteemed than was Edward Warrington Robinson, the late police judge of that town. He was born May 4, 1859, at Malden, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, where his father, William S. Robinson, a native of Concord, that state, lived and had a long and bright career as a newspaper man and writer of note, under the pen-name of "Warrington." He was also prominent in helping to organize the Republican party and in conducting its affairs in Massachusetts. The mother, whose maiden name was Harriet J. Henson [sic], was born and reared in Boston, and she is also well-known as an author of several valuable books. Mr. Robinson grew to manhood in his native city and received his educaton in its public schools. After leaving school he was employed for nine years in the Old Corner Bookstore in Boston, then was with Dodd, Mead & Company two years in New York. At the end of that time he came to Colorado, and during the next seven years was with Lawrence in the book and statonary business in Denver. His next berth was with the Rio Grande Express Company, in whose employ he came to Telluride in 1896. He remained with this company some time, then was appointed deputy county clerk and at the end of his employer's term he succeeded to the office of clerk. He was next elected a justice of the peace, and served in that office until 1903, when he was made police magistrate of San Miguel county, and this position he held until his death, in Telluride, on January 8, 1904. In each of the offices he held he made an excellent record for close attention to duty and wisdom and breadth of view in its administration. He was married at Denver in 1893, to Miss Mary E. Robinson, a native of Yorkshire, England. They have two children, their daughters Harriet H. and Lucy W.

My guess is this was written by his mother, as it certainly seems in her style.13


Mary Elizabeth Robinson b. 11 Mar 1869, d. 8 Jul 1955
This person was last edited on19 Sep 2020


  1. [S76] Harriet H. Robinson, "John Robinson of Exeter, and Some of His Descendants," The Robinsons and Their Kin Folk Third Series (July 1906): 99-123, at 120, further cited as Robinson, "John Robinson of Exeter."
  2. [S461] Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Census [on-line database and images] (http://www.ancestry.com), Telluride, 8th precinct, San Miguel Co., Colorado, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 120, sheet #198/6B, dwelling #133, family #135, Warrington Robinson household, age 41, born May 1859 in Massachusetts. He was the deputy county clerk and rented his home; original data: NARA micropublication T623, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1854 rolls, roll #116.
  3. [S460] Ancestry.com, 1880 United States Census [on-line database and images] (http://www.ancestry.com), Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, population schedule, sheet #344/23, dwelling #198, family #257, Harriet H. Robinson household, age 21, born in Massachusetts and a bookstore salesman; original data: NARA micropublication T9, Tenth Census of the United States, 1454 rolls, roll #540.
  4. [S459] Ancestry.com, 1870 United States Census [on-line database and images] (http://www.ancestry.com), Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, population schedule, sheet #393/66, dwelling #387, family #540, W. S. Robinson household, age 11, born in Massachusetts.; original data: NARA micropublication M593, Ninth Census of the United States, 1748 rolls, roll #629.
  5. [S458] Ancestry.com, 1860 United States Census [on-line database and images] (http://www.ancestry.com), Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, population schedule, sheet #154/30, dwelling #200, family #234, William S. Robinson household, age 1, born in Massachusetts; original data: NARA micropublication M653, Eighth Census of the United States, 1438 rolls, roll #506.
  6. [S1018] Warrington Robinson, Death Certificates, File No. 93 (1904), Colorado Department of Health, Denver, Colorado.
  7. [S2323] Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed Aug 2020), memorial page for Edward Warrington “Warrie” Robinson, Find a Grave memorial #13470581, maintained by Cookie, further cited as Find A Grave.
  8. [S1292] Warrington Robinson & Mary E. Robinson, Marriage Certificate, 8 Nov1893, Colorado State Archives, Colorado, Arapahoe County Marriages, 15979.
  9. [S1962] William Leonard Robinson Family Bible RecordsCassell's Illustrated Family Bible (London and New York: Cassell, Petter and Galpin, unknown publish date); held by Gregory Cooke, 2023.
  10. [S275] Arapahoe County Marriage Committee, compiler, Marriages of Arapahoe County, Colorado, 1859-1901: including territory that became Adams, Denver, and other counties (Denver, Colorado: Colorado Genealogical Society, Computer Interest Group, 1986), 261, citing Vol 900:554 in the original record books, further cited as Arapahoe Marriages.
  11. [S1673] Gregory Don Cooke, "Historic Ancestors: Major Stede Bonnet, Pirate of the Caribbean," The Genealogist 25 (Spring 2011): 31-33, at 33, further cited as Cooke, "Major Stede Bonnet."
  12. [S78] Claudia L. Bushman, "A Good Poor Man's Wife": Being a Chronicle of Harriet Hanson Robinson and Her Family in Nineteenth Century New England (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1981), further cited as Bushman, A Good Poor Man's Wife.
  13. [S1154] , Progressive Men of Western Colorado: Illustrated (Chicago, Illinois: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1905), 850-851, further cited as Progressive Men of Western Colorado.
  14. [S187] Harriet Hanson Robinson, Birth Certificate, File No. 44048 (1896), Pueblo Vital Statistics Office, Pueblo, Colorado.
  15. [S276] Lucy Wynard Robinson, Birth Certificates, File No. 63:214:118 (1899), San Miguel County Registrar of Vital Statistics, Telluride, Colorado.
  16. [S1028] Lucy Wynard Kirwin, Death Certificates (1987), Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California.