HENRY ELSWORTH ROBINSON
History of Idaho, Volume 2, by Hiram T. French, M.S.
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York 1914, Page 749
To have the healthful advantages of Idaho's climate was the controlling incentive that brought Henry Elsworth Robinson to this state with his family, but here he has found both health for his loved ones and splendid business opportunity for himself, being now well established in a thriving mercantile business at Fruitland, Canyon county. He has not been the only gainer in this arrangement, for Idaho has won in him a loyal and worthy citizen and a business man who makes business and is therefore an upbuilder of his community, likewise of the state.
Henry Elsworth Robinson was born in Delaware county, Iowa, March 26, 1871, a son of James Robinson and Mary Ann (Gregg) Robinson. The father was born in Ireland to parents that had become settlers of that country as early as 1844 and were pioneer farmers there. He also followed agriculture as his life's vocation and departed life at the old homestead in Delaware county in June, 1908. At one time during the Civil war when there were yet few settlers in Delaware county, he was the only man in that county that was not drafted for service, but he arranged to act as substitute for another party. When the Union officers learned of this condition upon the arrival of the men at Dubuque, they sent Mr. Robinson back to care for the settlers' families. He was successful as a farmer and was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church, the first religious services in that county having been held in his log cabin. Mary Ann Gregg, who became the wife of James Robinson, was a native of Ireland and passed to rest at the old Delaware county homestead in 1880, at the age of forty-six. Thirteen children were the issue of these parents and of these, Henry Elsworth was eleventh in birth.
He was educated at Upper Iowa University, the Methodist Episcopal school located at Fayette, Iowa, where he also completed a business course and was graduated at the age of twenty-one. Up to that time his life had been spent on the farm, but he then became bookkeeper and manager of the wholesale department of the Hollister Lumber Company at Manchester, Iowa, and continued in the service of this firm twelve years. From his savings he then purchased a farm in Delaware county and for five years he followed agriculture there very successfully. On account of his wife's ill health he removed with his family to Idaho shortly after that and first settled at Mountain Home, but in a short time he changed his location to Fruitland, Canyon county, his present home. He took up his residence in Fruitland on November 27, 1910, and at once rented a store and engaged in the general merchandise business. It proved a profitable venture from the start. The sales of 1911 were $12,000 and the business of 1912 thus far show an increase of seventy-five per cent, over the previous year. The political tenets of Mr. Robinson are those of the Republican party, of which he is and always has been a stalwart supporter, and both here and in Iowa he has been actively identified with party affairs, being at the present time precinct central committeeman of this district. He is affiliated with the blue lodge and chapter of the Masonic order at Manchester, Iowa, and has filled all the offices of those branches except that of worthy master. He is a member and secretary of the Fruitland Commercial Club and is active and consistent in church work, being a member of the Methodist Episcopal denomination and having been a teacher of a Sunday school class for the last seventeen years.
His wife, whom he wedded September 10, 1894, at Manchester, Iowa, was Miss Ursula A. Hills before her marriage, a native of New York state and a daughter of L. C. Hills. The three children of this union are named Marion Esther, Mabel and Sidney. Mr. Robinson began his independent career with no financial help, but his father's reputation for strict honor and integrity frequently stood him in good stead in securing him standing and credit while getting his start, and in his own conduct he has ever maintained the same probity of character. He is more than satisfied with his life and business prospects in Idaho.