Honorable ORRIN W. ROBINSON, whose portrait is shown on the opposite page, is prominently known throughout the state of Michigan, of which he has served two terms as Lieutenant Governor. He resides at Chassell, Houghton County, where lie has large and varied interests. He was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, August 14, 1834, and is a son of Dean Williams and Zillpah (Clement) Robinson, both natives of New Hampshire. The Robinsons come of an old New England family. David Robinson, great-grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolution and was a captain when lie retired from service. His wife was a daughter of Lieutenant Williams, who was in the marine service during the Revolutionary War. Everett Robinson, grandfather of our subject, served with credit throughout the War of 1812.

The parents of Orrin W. Robinson are now deceased, the father dying at Lowell, Massachusetts, at the age of 48 years, and his mother at Jamaica Plain, aged 92 years. They raised a large family of children, six of whom are now living. Orrin W. Robinson received his early education in the public schools of New Hampshire and Vermont, his parents living near the line which divided the two States. At the age of 10 years he left home and went to work on a farm and never lived at home thereafter. He followed farming in the summer and attended school during the winter months until he was 17 years old, when he went to work in a gun factory at Windsor, Vermont. He continued at this work for one year, then followed farming again for two years, in the meantime attending school during the winter seasons. In 1854, when 19 years old, he borrowed $50 of an uncle who lived in Michigan, and came to the Northern Peninsula of Michigan, locating at Ontonagon, Ontonagon County, a year before the Sault Ste. Marie Canal was completed. He was employed at the mines on outside work, at which he continued for two years. When he first came, the country was very wild, and there were many Indians who at times were unfriendly to the white man. In February, 1856, when mining became dull, he started out with a partner and walked to Green Bay, Wisconsin, the trip consuming two weeks' time; thence he proceeded to Chicago and Galena, Illinois, and Dubuque, 10wa, looking for work. They then walked to Kossuth County. 10wa, where Mr. Robinson worked as engineer in a saw-mill. After the financial crash and hard times of 1857, he followed various occupations and taught school in Kossuth County, 10wa, for six months. He remained in 10wa until 1862, then returned to Portage Lake, Michigan, and served as shipping clerk at the Quincy mine until 1872.

In the meantime having acquired about 2,000 acres of pine timber land, in 1873 he organized the Sturgeon River Lumber Company, which built mills at Hancock. In 1887 they moved the mills to Chassell and greatly enlarged the plant. There was no town there when the mills were built, and it was named by Mr. Robinson in honor of Mr. Chassell, of New York City, who was connected with one of the Houghton banks for many years and maintained a summer residence at that point. The company continued for 30 years and then its business was sold to the C. H. Wooster Lumber Company, our subject serving as general manager throughout that period and after 1885 as a director of the company. For some years he was also interested in orange groves in Florida, which proved a very successful venture. Mr. Robinson cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont, and has been a Republican ever since, often being called upon by his party to serve in an official capacity. He was deputy collector of customs from 1865 to 1873, and superintendent of the poor for many years. In 1894, he was elected to the State Legislature, of which he was a member two years, and in 1896 was elected to the State Senate, where he also served two years. In the fall of 1898, he was nominated and elected Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, to which office he was re-elected in 1900, receiving the nomination by acclamation. He was one of the five delegates from Michigan that stood for Benjamin Harrison when he received his second nomination for president in the Republican National Convention.

In 1865, Orrin W. Robinson was joined in marriage with Cornelia L. Lombard, who was born in Vermont and comes of good old New England stock, the family originally coming from England. They have two children: MI. Ethel, a graduate of Mary's Institute at St. Louis, Missouri, and the Boston Conservatory of Music, who is an accomplished musician and is living at home with her parents; and Dean L., a lawyer of New York City, who is a graduate of Harvard University and the Cambridge Law School. Mr. Robinson is not a member of any church, but has always been a liberal contributor to the support of church organizations and charitable institutions.

Source: Biographical Record, Houghton, Baraga and Marquette Counties.  Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1903.