Charlotte Eva Robbins was born 18 July 1898 in her parents' home in Otego, New York.   Her middle name, Eva, was given to her in honor of her Aunt Eva who died 18 August 1884.  Charlotte was the first of two children born to Henry Ephram Robbins and Ella Mae Sweet (Dodge) Robbins.  Henry, a lifelong farmer, was born, lived, and died in the Otego home.  He began farming by growing hops, as did his father, but as a result of declining hop prices he later turned to dairy farming.  Ella's parents, whose surname was Sweet, both died about 1860 from a fever illness.   She was later adopted by Lauren and Adelia (Broad) Dodge, a close neighbor of the Robbins.  Ella became a nurse after receiving training at Brooklyn School of Nursing, in Brooklyn, NY.  She cared for women with difficult pregnancies in the New York City area prior to her marriage to Henry in 1896.  

 

Charlotte attended high school in Unadilla, NY, and played on the school's basketball team, which was a surprise to her grandchildren as Charlotte stood little more than five feet tall. 

CHARLOTTE EVA (ROBBINS) FLEMING

Teacher

The

Nicholas Robbins Family

Unadilla High School Girls' Basketball Team
About 1915
Charlotte Robbins at left in back row

After high school she attended the Oneonta Normal School to become a teacher.  The school was later incorporated into the State University of New York system as a founding member. 

 

On 30 April 1919, Charlotte married Clarence Raymond Fleming in Otego.  Clarence served as a corporal in the 493rd Aero Squadron near Pruniers, France during WWI.  

After the war, he worked as a telegraph operator for the Delaware & Hudson Railroad.  Later, he worked as a fireman at the Scintilla Molding Division in Sidney, NY. Clarence was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a Mason for 65 years.

Charlotte Eva (Robbins) Fleming

The children of Charlotte and Clarence were:

 

1.  Bernard Fleming, born 12 March 1920, died 28 April 1922.

 

2.  Carl Raymond Fleming, born 11 December 1921, died 18 April 1922.

 

3.  Everett Henry Fleming, born 6 April 1923, died 26 August 1995.  Everett served as an army surgical assistant during WWII in Belgium, France, and Germany. He and his wife Marion (Wilcox) Fleming owned and operated Fleming's Greenhouses for 40 years. 

 

Charlotte taught elementary school in Otego and Unadilla for more than 40 years.  The majority of her teaching years were devoted to 6th grade students.  She was very proud of being a teacher as her father and grandfather had been, and she was a consummate grammarian.  She became very disappointed with the school system when she learned in the early 1970s that students were no longer being taught how to diagram sentences.

 

For many years, Charlotte was a member of the Wells Bridge Methodist Church, where, following a Robbins family tradition, she served as church organist. 

 

Upon retirement, Charlotte engaged in playing the piano, sewing, knitting, and crocheting. She also enjoyed helping the Flemings with their genealogy research as she had a keen memory for members of the extended family.  One of her greatest genealogical accomplishments was realizing the value of the documents, photographs, and musical instruments that accumulated in the Robbins farmhouse from 1850 until her death in 1995.  

 

Charlotte often told stories about her parents, Ella and Henry, and always displayed the utmost of admiration for them.  She recounted how Ella's nursing skills enabled her to perform minor surgery on Charlotte's brother's nose after he tore it while sledding through a barbed wire fence.  Her father's musical ability as leader of the Otego and Wells Bridge Bands, and as the leader of the Wells Bridge Methodist church choir was also well known to us grandchildren.  We are grateful to her for these gifts.

 

Submitted September, 2014, by Julie Callahan, granddaughter of Charlotte Fleming. Julie may be contacted by email at jucallahan@yahoo.com