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Nicholas Robbins Family


EUGENE H. ROBBINS (A biographical summary of data in Robbins family records, Massachusetts State vital records and from related obituaries and census abstracts) Re: The Nicholas Robbins Family, No. 7.144.3


Eugene H. Robbins, son of Loring G. Robbins and Zady Tobey, was born in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts on January 9, 1840. Eugene's formative years were spent in southern Berkshire County, where his father operated a quarry and a marble dealership. Eugene's aptitude for mechanics combined with his business acumen, led him into the machinist's trade and eventually into the manufacture of boiler equipment. 


Great Barrington, Massachusetts records note the marriage of Eugene H. Robbins of that place to Rhoda J. Hare of West Stockbridge on June 1, 1864. Rhoda was the daughter of Joseph C. Hare and Mary E. Kellogg, born in December, 1838 in Egremont, Massachusetts. The couple made their home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where Eugene had established himself as a steam and gas fitter. Their only child, son Henry E. Robbins, was born on October 14, 1865. Less than a year later, Rhoda took ill with bowel problems, and passed away on August 16, 1866 at the young age of twenty-seven years, nine months.


On June 22, 1870, Eugene married (2) Mary S. Deland of Great Barrington. Mary was the daughter of William and Roxanne Deland, born March 22, 1842 at Sheffield, Massachusetts. Following their marriage, the couple made their home in Pittsfield, where all of their children were born. Those children were:


1. Emma R. Robbins, born August 18, 1875; unmarried and residing with parents at the time of the 1900, 1910 and 1920 Censuses;


2. Frances D. ("Fannie") Robbins, born July 22, 1877; unmarried and residing with parents at the time of the 1900, 1910 and 1920 Censuses; and

3. Loring G. Robbins, born October 4, 1878; graduated from Cornell University, 1900; later a partner with his father in the boiler business; married Josephine Coldwell and had three children, Mary D. Robbins, b. c. 1914, Cornelia D. Robbins, b. c. 1916, and Joseph C. Robbins, b. c. 1921. Loring died at Pittsfield on September 13, 1933; Josephine died there on June 23, 1968. Her obituary notes the three surviving children as Joseph C. Robbins, Mrs. Pierre S. de Beaumont and Mrs. Russ Van Vleck Bradley.


Commencing in the 1870s, various commercial directories for Pittsfield advertise Robbins, Gamwell & Company as a supplier of steam and gas fitting services and as a dealer in boilers, steam engines, wrought and cast pipe and other assorted hardware. Eugene H. Robbins and William W. Gamwell are noted as the original partners in the firm along with Eugene's cousin, Edward N. Robbins. It would appear that Eugene remained active in the business into his seventies as both the 1910 and 1920 Censuses indicate his occupations as "steam engineering" and "merchant of machinery". A search of patent records note Eugene H. Robbins as an inventor and patent holder for a double loop chain-type pipe wrench, granted July 31, 1883.


Mary S. (Deland) Robbins died at Pittsfield on December 4, 1920, at age 78 years, 8 months, 12 days. Eugene H. Robbins died there on December 10, 1932, at age 92 years, 11 months, 1 day.


This biographical sketch would not be complete without noting two lasting contributions made by Eugene H. Robbins toward the preservation of our family history and traditions. First, both Eugene and his older brother, Henry T. Robbins, kept detailed records of their families as well as other descendants of Nicholas Robbins, via their great-grandfather, Lemuel Robbins (Sr). Around 1875, their findings were organized into a genealogical format with the assistance of Rev. F. W. Chapman and published under the title, Robbins Family. Secondly, in 1911 after having found the original gravestone of Jeduthan Robbins badly weathered and in precarious condition, Eugene commissioned the construction and engraving of a larger granite stone within which he had the original gravestone embedded, thus insuring its preservation for future generations.

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