The

Nicholas Robbins Family

BENJAMIN T. ROBBINS

BENJAMIN T. ROBBINS (A biographical sketch abstracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, compiled and published by Chapman Publishing Company, New York, 1896) Re: The Nicholas Robbins Family, No. 7.47.5

 

Benjamin T. Robbins has made his home in the village of Northport since 1865 and for the past twenty-five years he has occupied the house where he now resides. His business is that of an architect, contractor and builder, in which for years he has been extensively engaged in this locality. Thoroughly familiar with every detail connected with his chosen occupation, he has gained a reputation as a reliable workman and has been given the contracts for many of the best buildings erected in the village. At the present time he is building four handsome residences of his own on Washington Place, better known as Northport Heights, which commands a fine view of the bay.

 

The father of our subject, James Robbins, was born in Nova Scotia, where his father, a native of Maine, was temporarily sojourning. Much of his life was passed in Maine, where he followed the occupation of a farmer. From there he came to Northport, where he continued to reside until he was eighty-two years old. His last years were spent in Maine, where he died at the advanced age of ninety-two years, four months and four days. He was hale and hearty almost to the close of his long life. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Treadwell, was born in Lewiston Falls, Maine, and died at Northport, age seventy-five. Eleven children comprised the family of James and Mary Robbins. They were as follows: Joseph, a farmer in Maine; Mary, who died at the age of seventeen; James, a carpenter and painter living in Los Angeles, California; John, who died at age sixty-two; Benjamin T., our subject; Sarah, deceased; Simeon, who is engaged in the milk business at Northport; Thomas, a builder living in Brooklyn; Edward, also a builder by occupation; Henry, who is employed by our subject; and Luther, a carpenter in Los Angeles.

 

Benjamin T. Robbins was born in Exeter, Maine on December 28, 1828. He lived in his native place until nineteen years of age, remaining on the farm until seventeen, after which he began to learn the trade of carpentry with his uncle. One summer was spent in Boston, where he perfected himself in the trade. Being a natural mechanic, he learned easily and soon

acquired a thorough knowledge of the occupation. On completing his apprenticeship, he was a foremen for eight months, then went to Brooklyn, remaining in that city until the gold fever of 1849 seized him. With a view to working at his trade rather than making any great discoveries of gold, he sailed for the Pacific Coast, going by way of Cape Horn, and consuming one hundred forty-five days on the trip. It was in August, 1849, that he left Brooklyn and in February, 1850, he reached his destination, where he at once commenced work as a carpenter. He also learned the trade of architecture from an Englishman, who was an expert in the business. In the Fall of 1853 he returned to New York via the Nicaraguan route and resumed work in Brooklyn, where in the ensuing years he erected about six hundred houses. 

 

Mr. Robbins moved to Northport largely on account of his parents, who resided there, and has never had reason to regret the change. Politically his first Presidential ballot was cast for Franklin Pierce, after which he supported Republican candidates until the nomination of Samuel J. Tilden for the Presidency, since which time he has been a Democrat. He has been active in political matters, has served as a delegate to conventions and as a member of the county committee, and has done all in his power to promote the welfare of the community. For twenty-seven years he has been a Mason and is now Past Master of Alcyone Lodge No. 695. For the past sixteen years he has been a member of Ada Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, being Past Patron of the chapter and Past Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of the State of New York. Mrs. Helen Robbins has also been a member of Ada Chapter for the last sixteen years and has been Past Matron of the chapter and Past Grand Matron of the State of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Robbins are the only two on Long Island, outside of Brooklyn, who have passed the Grand Chapter. Always interested in educational matters, Mr. Robbins has been School Trustee for nine years and during most of that time has served as President of the Board. He is also one of the Fire Commissioners.

 

The first marriage of Mr. Robbins united him with Miss Abbie Smith of Brooklyn, who died four years after their union, leaving two children. Joseph, the son, is publisher of a paper at Moriches. He is married and his children are named Abigail A., Carrie Elizabeth, Sarah, Alwena and Theresa Josephine. Lizzie, the daughter, was married to J. Lewis, a sea captain residing at Northport. She is now deceased. The present wife of Mr. Robbins, Helen, is the daughter of S. S. Brown. They have three children: Ulysses N., a plumber at Northport; Archie B., who died at the age of six years and two months; and Helen E., a bright and attractive child of eleven years.

 

Submitted by Nancy Pisco, a great-great granddaughter of Benjamin T. Robbins. Ms. Pisco may be contacted by email at jonanp@verizon.net.