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ROSE LOUISA ROBBINS (An obituary of Miss Robbins, which originally appeared in the January 31, 1908 edition of The Unadilla Times, with an introduction by her great grand niece, Julie Callahan) Re: The Nicholas Robbins Family No. 7.135.2


Rose Louisa Robbins grew up in a very musical family. Her father, Ebenezer H. Robbins, an eighth generation descendant of Nicholas Robbins, established and taught in singing schools in Otsego County, New York over the course of more than thirty years. Her older sister and brothers played several instruments, among them the melodeon, piano, violin, coronet and tuba. Her eldest sister, Mary, regularly played the organ at the Methodist and Baptist Sunday church services. Both her brothers were musicians in the Wells Bridge, New York band, which was highly regarded by locals in the late 1800s when Wells Bridge was a thriving community. It's not surprising therefore, that Rose should become an accomplished musician herself. Rose attended the Utica Conservatory of Music, a school for music teachers, in the mid-1890s. Her musical love was the piano, of which she had her very own.


Sadly, Rose contracted tuberculosis in her early thirties. As her obituary states, she appeared to be recovering from the illness shortly before her death, but in the winter of 1908 she caught the flu and passed away on January 23, 1908. I believe her sister Mary wrote her obituary, a kind and thoughtful tribute to the life of a talented, quiet, giving soul. A soul which sacrificed to help others even after her untimely death, for as my grandmother recounted, when the family subsequently fell on hard financial times, the regrettable sale of Rose's piano helped the family through.


"Rose Louisa Robbins, formerly of Wells Bridge, but for the past few years of Bainbridge, died suddenly at her home in that place on Thursday night, January 23rd. Though she had been in poor health for a long time, her death was unexpected. She had seemed to be growing stronger, until a few days before, when she was attacked with grip. In her enfeebled condition she was unable to withstand this new trouble.


"Miss Robbins leaves besides many friends, her mother, Mrs. Louisa Robbins, a brother and sister, Eugene A. and Mary E. Robbins, all of Bainbridge, and a brother, Henry E. Robbins of Wells Bridge. She was born in Wells Bridge 35 years ago and had lived there nearly all of her life until last Fall, when with her sister and mother she moved to Bainbridge. She was a member of the Wells Bridge Methodist Episcopal Church and, until her health failed, was a devoted attendant and worker.



Nicholas Robbins Family

"Her innate reserve and quiet ways concealed from those who knew her, only slightly the rich depths of her mind and soul. But those who sought her as a friend can well testify as to the beauty and worth of her character. She was a musician of more than usual ability and an artistic worker in whatever she undertook. When the insidious and lingering disease, which finally carried her off, prevented her from using her talents, her stout soul did not tamely surrender to it, but bravely took up the battle for life. Like Robert Louis Stevenson, she was brave and helpful even when she knew that she was slowly dying of the dread scourge, consumption. To the very last she assisted in the care of her invalid mother with a skill and tenderness that could hardly be surpassed. To the very last she was noncomplaining, unselfish and kind.


"While it seems sad that so precious a jewel should have been entrusted to so fragile a casket, yet who shall say that a life so well and bravely lived does not afford us a greater source of help and inspiration than many a one more robust and active."


Submitted by Julie Callahan, September, 2009. (Editor's Note: Ms. Callahan has very generously supplied the editor with draft copies of transcriptions of her great great-grandfather's diaries, which she has been working on over the past eight months. They are gems. We look forward to publishing excerpts on this website at a future date. LGR) Ms. Callahan may be contacted by email at:

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