Matilda Robison (1811-1894)

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Matilda Robison King
King, Matilda Robison.jpg
Aunt Matilda
Born: 11 Mar 1811 Charleston, New York
Died: 19 Feb 1894 Kingston, Utah
Father: Joseph Robison
Mother: Cornelia Guinal
Siblings: John Robison
Jane Robison
James Miller Robison
William Henry Robison
Joseph Robison
Lovina Robison
Mary Robison
Matilda Robison
Susan Robison
Delilah Robison
Peter Robison
Margaret Robison
Spouse: Thomas Rice King
Married: 25 Dec 1831 Cicero, New York
Children: William Rice King
Culbert King
John Robison King
Thomas Edwin King
Delilah Cornelia King
Matilda Emily King
Volney King
Leroy King

Hartshorn, Leon R., compiler. Remarkable Stories from the Lives of Latter-day Saint Women, Volume II, pp. 146, 147:

Matilda Robison King
"You Sing Now"


Born in New York in 1811, Matilda Robison, with her husband, Thomas Rice King, joined the Church in 1840. They crossed the plains with their seven children, settling in Fillmore, Utah, where they helped construct first a fort, then the statehouse. In 1876 the King families founded Kingston; then Thomas and Matilda were called to establish the United Order in Piute County. Sister Robison died in 1894.

My grandfather, Thomas Rice King, lived for a time at Cove Fort, Utah. It was during a period of much trouble with the Indians. In 1867 the fort had been built to accommodate ten or twelve families. It was built of stone, with big, thick walls and heavy gates. My grandparents, with other families, lived in this fort for some time while the Indians were on the warpath.

One day the men left the women and children to go into the canyon for a load of wood. As the men didn't expect to be gone for very long, and the Indians had not been bothering the families for some time, the gate was left unbolted. Soon after the men left, several war-painted and vicious-looking Indians stalked through the gate and into the fort. The poor, frightened women caught up their children and hurried to my grandmother's room. The Indians followed them to the door, banged loudly on it, and demanded food. The terror-stricken women did not dare refuse, and so allowed them to enter while they quickly set food on the table. Grandmother was able to conceal her fright more than the other women.

As the warriors started gulping down their food, one of them, who appeared to be their leader or chief, motioned to her and grunted, "You sing now." Grandmother hesitated, not knowing what to do. She felt she could never control her voice for the fright she felt, hidden though it was. But at the second, more gruff, command, the sisters fearing for their own and their children's lives, pleaded with her, "oh, please, Sister King, sing for them." As the Indians began again to grunt, "Hurry up, sing!" she started to sing the first song that came to her mind, hardly realizing that it was a Latter-day Saint hymn, "O Stop and Tell Me, Red Man." After the first verse she paused, but the Indians, who had stopped eating to listen, demanded more. The women were looking at her in astonishment. When she had sung the entire four verses of the hymn, the Indians, to the amazement and relief of the little group, got up from the table and filed silently our of the door and out of the fort.

The women flew to my grandmother. "Why Sister King, we didn't know you knew the Indian language." Grandmother stared at them. "Know the Indian language? I don't!" "But you sang that entire song in their language," they said excitedly. "That's why they got up and left. They understood every word you sang to them!"

And so she had God's spirit directing her. The message of that hymn went straight to the Indians' hearts, and they left the frightened white people, went back to their camps, and pondered the words of the song:

And all your captive brothers
from every clime shall come
And quit their savage customs,
to live with God at home.

Then joy will fill your bosoms
and blessings crown your days,
To live in pure religion
and sing our Maker's praise


Unnamed newspaper, clipping:


Kingston, Utah, Feb. 18, 1894.--At the residence of her son, Thomas E. King, Matilda Robison King, the wife of the late Thomas R. King, died at 15 minutes past 8 a.m., of heart failure, at the age of 82 years, 11 months and 7 days, leaving a numerous posterity to mourn her loss. She was the mother of eight children, seventy-two grandchildren and seventy great-grandchildren. Her husband's remains were taken from their place of burial in Circle Valley, Utah, with hers and interred in one grave in the cemtery of Coyote, Utah. She was a member of the first Relief Society organized at Nauvoo, Ill. On the first of the month she spoke one-half hour to the Relief Society, giving many interesting incidents of the Prophet Joseph Smith. She had entertained him at her table in Montrose, Iowa, when he was hiding from the mob. Her home was always a resting place for the authorities on their trips through the settlements. She died as she had lived, a faithful Latter-day Saint.

Thomas E. King


  • Birth variations:
1 Mar 1811 [History, p. 116]
11 Mar 1812
  • Birth place variant: Chestertown, Montgomery, NY
  • Marriage place variant: Marcellus
  • Endowment: Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, p. 146.
  • 1860 Federal Census, Fillmore City, Millard, Utah, Page # 108, Dwelling #944, Family #856, enumerated 14 Jul 1860:
King, Tho's. B.
, Matilda, 48, female, 100/600, NY
  • 1870 Federal Census, Fillmore, Millard, Utah, Enumerated 24 Jun 1870, page 4, Dwelling 33, Family 32:
King, Thomas R.
, Matilda, 59, f, w, Keeping House, York
  • Death variant: 17 Feb 1894 [Infobases; Sweeting binder]
  • Death place variant: Coyote, Garfield, Utah
  • Black, Susan W. E. Early LDS Membership Data (Infobases, 1995).
  • Despain, Carrie Robison and Garner, Melba Despain. History & Genealogy of the Franklin Alonzo Robison Family, p. 116.
  • Day, Stella H., ed. Builders of Early Millard, pp. 419, 423.
  • Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah, p. 37.
  • Reeve, Jondrae. PAF Data File: Ancestors of Peter Robison, RIN: 527
  • Nicolo, Margaret LaDean Sutton Sweeting. Sweeting Family Records Binder.
  • King, Larry R. The Kings of the Kingdom, Appendix i, pp. 152-166.
  • King, Volney. , p. 18