The

Nicholas Robbins Family

GILBERT F. ROBBINS

GILBERT F. ROBBINS (A biographical sketch from "History of Providence County, Rhode Island, Vol. I", compiled by Richard M. Bayles and published by W. W. Preston & Co., New York, 1891, with editorial additions as noted) Re: The Nicholas Robbins Family, No. 7.133.1

 

"Gilbert Francis Robbins was the son of Abel and Julia A. Robbins, and was born in the town of Burrillville, Rhode Island on August 26, 1838. His early life was passed in his native town, attending school there until the age of 17 years, when he entered the East Greenwich Academy, where he obtained a practical business education. He afterward returned to Burrillville and engaged in business for a few years, leaving there in 1860 and removing to Providence to engage in the clothing business with his brother-in-law, Serrill Mowry, at No. 4 Washington Row, which they carried on with success in the same location for 23 years. In 1884 they admitted Marcus M. Inman, another brother-in-law, to the firm, changing the firm name to Mowry, Robbins & Co., and then removed to a more commodious store on the corner of Westminster and Dorrance Streets. Mr. Robbins became the mayor of Providence while carrying on business at that location, and brought his connection with the firm to a close practically, when his last mayoralty term ended."

 

"The most interesting part of the life of Mr. Robbins, by far, was political.  He was a strong Republican, much interested in public matters, especially in improvements 

for the benefit of the public good in the city during his term of office. In 1879 he was elected a member of the Common Council from the Seventh Ward and in 1883 was reelected and received the honor of president of the board, serving in that position until the death of Mayor Doyle in June, 1886, when he became acting Mayor of Providence. He served as such until the close of the year, when he was elected Mayor with all power. He was reelected in 1888. The year 1889 drew his public life to a close, for he retired from the office of Mayor."

 

"He was a member of several societies and has risen to the honor of Knight Templar in St. John's Lodge of Freemasons. He was most prominently connected with the Order of Odd Fellows and was honored with the highest offices in its power to bestow, in all of which he served with marked ability and fidelity, which won for him the same esteem and respect which he received in his political life. In religious preferences he was a Universalist."

 

"Mr. Robbins married Mrs. Susan Olive Whipple, daughter of Manning Arnold of Burrillville, who survives him. They had no children. He was a self-made man and his private life was above reproach. He died September 27, 1889, and his removal was lamented by the city he had so faithfully and loyally served as well as by a host of friends all over the State, who respected him for his honorable career and manly character. His mortal remains rest in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence." 

 

(Editor's Note: Family records indicate that Susan was the daughter of Manning Arnold and Lauriann Richardson, as noted in the Will of Lauriann's father, Dexter Richardson. Prior to her marriage to Gilbert, she was married to George B. Whipple, who died in 1864. Susan and Gilbert were married on July 11, 1867 in Burrillville.)