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Title: Bolivar Robb
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Practically all of his life the subject of this sketch has been a resident of Warren county, Indiana, and that he is entitled to be numbered among its true pioneers is evident when we revert to the fact that he has now attained to the age of eighty-six years. His life has been one of signal usefulness and honor, and his memory links the early pioneer epoch, with its primitive surroundings and equipments, inseparably with this later era of prosperity and achievement and conditions which have marked the first decades of the glorious twentieth century. As a representative citizen of the county and one of its pioneers, it is incumbent that we enter this review of the life history of Mr. Robb.

Bolivar Robb was born near Ripley, Brown county, Ohio, on April 29, 1826, and is the oldest living member of his father's family, the other survivors being William W., who lives near Williamsport, and Howard, of near Sioux City, Iowa. There wree five boys and two girls in the family. The subject's father, William Robb, entered a tract of government land just north of Williamsport in 1832, and there the children were reared. He was a man of marked mental ability and had served as associate editor of newspapers in Nashville, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Ohio, and other places. After coming to Warren county he took a leading part in organizing the county and was its first treasurer and its second sheriff.

The subject distinctly remembers many of the incidents of that pioneer period when he, as a young man, witnessed the growth of a new commonwealth. It was in 1827, when he was but one year old, that the family came to Warren county, the Scotch-Irish hardihood and determination of his parentage being evident in their willingness to endure the hardships and privations of the frontier in order that they might secure a home. The subject remembers his parents' statement that at that time they came through what later became Indianapolis and that what is now Washington street in that city was then only a muddy ox path, full of fallen trees. His earliest playmates here were Indian boys of the Kickapoo tribe, of which Pesqua was then chief. Mr. Robb became acquainted with the first white man to live in Warren county, he having located in 1800 at Independence. At that time Indians and wild animals swarmed the woods and prairies. The building of the Covington bridge was a great event and Mr. Robb was the first person to ride a horse over the structure. Because of their early poverty, he was denied the protection of boots in winter and many times was compelled to walk through snow barefooted. There was but little money in circulation and practically all purchases were by exchange. Men often worked in summer and winter alike dressed in linen pants and shirts, cowhide boots and homemade straw or grass hats. His father imported the first sheep into this county. The early harness was made of a combination of leather and hickory bark. These and many other features of those pioneer days are indelibly impressed on Mr. Robb's mind and he is a very interesting conversationalist to one who is interested in the past history of the community.

Mr. Robb's early educational training was obtained in a little log school house, after which he took a special course in Wabash College (1843), but the failing financial affairs of his father compelled his return home and the relinquishment of further plans for education. He engaged in teaching school, which work he followed for six years. He received what was then considered high pay for a teacher, fifty dollars for a term of sixty-five days, and board himself, board costing one dollar per week. He was one of the very first college students from Warren county.

Mr. Robb during his active years always followed farming and was numbered among the hard-working and successful farmers of his section of the county. He has been retired from active labor for many years and is now enjoying that rest which he has so richly earned.

Politically, Mr. Robb has voted the Democratic ticket for sixty-five years, but has never held public office aside from that of justice of the peace and trustee of Washington township, which latter office he accepted at the organization of the township at the magnificent salary of three dollars per year, and at that time he superintended the building of a school house, the construction of roads, and much other work of a similar nature. Religiously, he has been a member of the Christian church for seventy years.

Mr. Robb was first married on July 28, 1850, to Sarah Acus, an orphan girl born in Ohio. Three years later Mrs. Robb died, her two children having preceded her in death. On December 7, 1856, Mr. Robb married Salinda Crawford, the daughter of William A. and Letitia Crawford, her birth having occurred on April 18, 1836. To them was born one child on January 10, 1863, Clara Jane, who was married in 1884 and died in 1887, leaving no living children.

Thus has been recited in brief the life story of one of our honored early settlers, whose individual career and the history of his locality are closely interwoven. He has come down to us from the days of the first settlers and has played well his part in the general work of transforming the country from a wild prairie to what it is today, one of the choice agricultural sections of the Union. Through all these years he has held the confidence and respect of the people with whom he has mingled and who have esteemed him because of his genuine worth.


[Page 788-790.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00001079
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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