Peter Robison (1817-1902)

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Peter Robison
Robison, Peter.jpg
Peter Robison
Born: 27 Apr 1817 Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Died: 20 Oct 1903 Garrison, 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: (1) Celina Hayward Chaffee
Married: 6 Oct 1839 Gilbert Mills, New York
Children: Maryette Robison
Elsie Ann Akerley
David Peter Robison
Celina Cornelia Robison
Charles Robison
Joseph Millard Robison
Lucy Matilda Robison
Sarah Joanna Robison
James Henry Robison
George Samuel Robison
Spouse: (2) Sarah Kirby
Spouse: (3) Mary Ann Ashley
Married: 21 Feb 1850
Children: Mary Elizabeth Robison
John Leroy Robison
Hyrum Peter Robison
William Henry Robison
Elsie Rosetta Robison
Jacob Thomas Robison
Margaret Emma Retta Robison
Lura Delila Robison
Edmund Brand Robison
Almon Dewitt Robison
Lester Jerome Robison


I was born in 1817 in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania (about 50 miles from Harmony, Pa.) At age 22 I married Celina Haywood Chaffee, a school teacher of Gilbert Mills, New York.

In that area rumors about Joseph Smith and the Mormons were abundant. Many of my brothers and sisters including myself became impressed with their teachings (often in spite of a desire not to be.) Celina and I were baptized and went west to be with the saints. We settled in Montrose, Iowa, across the river from Nauvoo. We had two daughters born to us in Montrose. Celina and I, several of my siblings and their spouses were all endowed in the Nauvoo Temple on its completion.

In 1846 tensions grew in Nauvoo until we were forced to leave. Celina and I with three of my siblings and their spouses gathered with the saints to Winter Quarters. Celina delivered a son who died the following year. In 1848 Our eldest daughter Mayette died at Winter Quarters and Celina delivered another daughter named Cornelia Celina. In 1847, there were 22 wards organized in Winter quarters, a Stake High Council, a Post office and a council house and a store. By the end of 1848 it was nearly abandoned as the saints moved west or scattered to nearby communities.

Celina and I and our two daughters emigrated to Utah in the Summer of 1849 with the Silas Richards 3rd Company. Mary Ashley, a convert from Wales, traveled with our company. She had emigrated with her family to the United States on the ship Hope in 1842. In 1850 I married Mary Ashley in the Endowment House in Salt lake City.

In 1851, we were called to settle in Fillmore, Utah with Anson Call and 30 other families including several of my siblings and their families. We immediately commenced building a corral for our cattle. We built a school house and established a school within 15 days of our arrival, made a road into the canyon where we could obtain logs for our dwellings and built a fort in the shape of a triangle. In October of that year Brigham Young selected a site for the State House in Fillmore to be located in the center of the public square. I was made a counselor to Anson Call, the presiding Elder of our branch. Celina delivered a son, the first male born in Fillmore - Joseph Millard Robison. Celina taught school again - tuition was 3 dollars per child for 12 weeks.

On the morning of July 4th 1852 they raised the U.S. Flag on the new pole outside the State House and offered up a gun salute in celebration of Independence Day. Indians camped near by were alarmed and ran the twelve miles to Corn Creek to tell Chief Kanosh. He immediately gathered sixty warriors armed with guns, bows and arrows and rode to the bowery in Fillmore. Anson Call gathered his military together instructing them to stay in the fort with the gates closed unless they heard gunfire. He took me and Thomas King with an interpreter outside the fort. We carried no weapons, but armloads of provisions to put on the tables for the Day's celebration. We paid no attention to Kanosh or his men until all the provisions were laid out. We then greeted Chief Kanosh and said we were glad he had come to celebrate with us. Kanosh said he had come to fight, not to celebrate. When the interpreter explained the nature of the day and the celebration, Kanosh laughed and said, "I thought it was funny that four men would come out to fight with loaves of bread instead of guns." President Call told them to wipe off the war paint and join the celebration which they did.

My sister Matilda became a friend and benefactor to the Indians and many times they would come to her house to sit around the fire and dry their clothes. On one occasion, however, an Indian came at her with a knife. I jumped between them and sustained a wound to my side, but in doing so, saved her life.

In 1854, I PETER Robison along with PETER Boyes settled on Corn Creek, adjacent to Indian lands. We aptly named our settlement PETERsburg. We were located on the stage line from Salt Lake to Pioche and the Old immigrant road to Southern California. We had a stage station and general store. Celina taught school in our home. In 1856 I was called on a mission to England, I served in Sheffield and was appointed president of the Sheffield Conference. I was honorably released in 1858.

On returning from England, I found that my brother-in-law, Richard Hatton had moved to Petersburg and served as postmaster. The town was then called Hatton Rather than Petersburg. Alas, such is vanity.

Celina died in 1861. And I served as Branch President of the Corn Creek branch until 1867, then as counselor to Bishop Culbert King.


  • Name variant: Robinson [1860 census]
  • 2nd Quorum of Seventies Biographical Record, p. 101.
  • Record of Doctor J. C. Robison
  • Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, p. 328.
  • Black, Susan W. E. Early LDS Membership Data (Infobases, 1995):
In 1850 Peter had a household of 5, and real wealth of $500. In 1860 he had a household of 14, real wealth of $850, and personal wealth of $1,800. In 1870 he had a household of 14, real wealth of $500, and personal wealth of $950. Peter came to Utah in 1850. He served as a presiding elder of the Petersburg branch of Millard stake, 1859-1862. He served a mission to England 1857-1859.
Places of Residence:
Salt Lake County, UT; 1850
Fillmore, Millard, UT; 1860
Petersburg, Millard, UT; 1870
Vocation: Farmer; 1850, 1860, 1870
  • Day, Stella H., ed. Builders of Early Millard, pp. 504, 597, 600-601.
  • Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah, p. 38.
  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
Submitted by: Mrs. Iola R. O'Donnell
Family of: Peter Robison & Celina Hayward Chaffee
  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
Submitted by: William A. Gregory
Family of: Peter Robison & Mary Ann Ashley
  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
Submitted by: Mrs. Iola R. O'Donnell
Family of: James Henry Robison & Emma Jean Gandy
  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
Submitted by: Melvin A. Robison
Family of: George Samuel Robison & Emma Jane Mecham
  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
Submitted by: Leslie DeVere George
Family of: Joseph Milliard Robison & Sarah Louisa Staples
  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
Submitted by: Pauline S. Robison
Family of: William Henry Robison & Rosetta Pack
  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
Submitted by: Ethelyn Robison Waite
Family of: Hyrum Peter Robison & Candace Ann Pack
  • Nicolo, Margaret LaDean Sutton Sweeting. Sweeting Family Records Binder
  • 1850 Federal Census, Deseret, Great Salt Lake County, Page #29, Dwelling #200, Family # 200:
Robinson, Peter, 34, m, Farmer, 500, Penn
Selina, 30, f, Penn
Elva Ann, 8, f, Iowa
Selina, 2, f, Mo
Charles, 8/12, m, Des
  • Civic Office: FHL film 482920, Court Minutes, Utah, Volume B, 1854-1856:
$2000 Bond and oath of office of clerk of the second Judicial District Court, US for Territory of Utah.
Know all men by these present that Peter Robison of Fillmore City in the County of Millard in the Territory of Utah, as principal, and that Thos R King and Noah W Bartholomew, of Fillmore City in the County and Territory aforesaid as sureties, are held and firmly bound unto the United States of America in the full and just sum of two thousand dollars, lawful money of the said United States of America, to be paid to the said United States of America, for which payment well and truly to be made we do bind ourselves and each of us, our ? and each of our heirs, Executors, and Administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals, and dated this tenth day of July, in the year of our Lord, One thousand eight hundred and fifty five. The Conditions of the above obligation are such whereas, The Honorable William W. Drummond, Judge of the second Judicial District Court of the United States in and for the said Territory, did on the tenth day of July A.D. 1855 appoint the said Peter Robison, Clerk of the said second Judicial District Court of the United States for the Territory of Utah to which said District his Honor has been assigned. Now if the said Peter Robison shall faithfully discharge the duties of his office to the best of his abilities and reasonably record the Decrees, Judgements and determinations of the said second Judicial District Court of which he is clerk then the above obligation to be void, and none effect. Otherwise to be and remain in full force and virtue.
Sealed and signed in the presence of William W. Drummond.
Peter Robison (seal)
Thos R King (seal)
N. W. Bartholomew (seal)
Territory of Utah, Millard County
Personally appeared before me William W. Drummond Associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States within and for the Territory of Utah, the within named Peter Robison, who being duly sworn, according to law doth say that he will support the Constitution of the United States and faithfully enter and record, all the orders, decrees, judgements and proceedings of the second Judicial District Court of the United States in the Territory of Utah, as clerk of the same to which he has been appointed, and that faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties of said office to the best of his abilities and understanding.
Sworn to and subscribed before me on this 10th day of July AD 1855
William W Drummond Justice Supreme Court of Utah Territory
Peter Robison (seal)
  • Note: Peter served a mission to Nottingham, England, 1857-1859; see the Journal of Reuben McBride, 1857, pp. 18, 20.
  • 1860 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Fillmore City, Page #114, Dwelling #982, Family #889, enumerated 16 Jul 1860:
ROBINSON, Peter, 43, m, Far[mer], 850/1800, PENN
Celina H., 39, f, PENN Mary A., 26, f, ENG
Celina C., 11, f, MO, att school
Cha's., 10, m, U. T., att school
Joseph M., 8, m, U. T., att school
Lucy M., 6, f, U. T., att school
Sarah J., 4, f, U. T., att school
Ja's. H., 1, m, U. T., att school
Mary E., 9, f, U. T., att school
Hyrum P., 5, m, U. T. Wm. H., 3, m, U. T.
Els. R., 1, f, U. T.
COPLEY, Wm., 22, m, F Labor, Germany
  • 1870 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Town: Petersburgh, Post Office: Petersburgh, Enumerated 1 Jul 1870, page 2, Dwelling 16, Family 12:
ROBISON, Peter, 53, m, w, Farmer, 500/950, Penn., vote
Mary, 34, f, w, Keeping House, Eng
Cornelia, 21, f, w, School Teacher, Iowa
page 3:
ROBISON, Chas., 19, m, w, F. Lab'r, Utah
Joseph, 18, m, w, F. Lab'r, Utah
Hyrum, 15, m, w, F. Lab'r, Utah
Sarah, 13, f, w, At School, Utah
William, 13, m, w, At School, Utah
Elsey, 11, f, w, At School, Utah
James, 11, m, w, At School, Utah
George, 9, m, w, At School, Utah
Jacob, 8, m, w, At School, Utah
Emeretta, 6, f, w, At School, Utah
Lura, 4, f, w, At Home, Utah
  • 1880 Federal Census, Petersburg, Millard, Utah, Page 497C:
ROBISON, Peter, Head, Male, White, Md, 63, Farmer PA, NY, NY
, Mary, Wife F M W 44, Keeping House ENG, ENG, ENG
, William, Son, Male, White, Single, 22, Assisting On Farm, UT, PA, ENG
, Jacob, Son, Male, White, Single, 19, Assisting On Farm, UT, PA, ENG
, Sara D., Daughter, Female, White, Single, 14, At School, UT, PA, ENG
, Edmond B., Son, Male, White, Single, 10, At School, UT, PA, ENG
, Almon D., Son, Male, White, Single, 7, At School, UT, PA, ENG
, Lester J., Son, Male, White, Single, 5, At School, UT, PA, ENG
  • Note: Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, p. 1138:
"Family resided in Fillmore and Petersburg, Utah. [He was] presiding elder Petersburg branch of Millard Stake 1859-1862; missionary to England 1857-59."
  • Query: Frank Esshom makes no mention of Peter's second wife in Pioneers and Prominent Men. The family group sheets I have compiled are from his information. Could some of the children be of different mothers?
  • Death variant: 19 Oct 1902 [William A. Gregory FGR]
  • Burial variant: 21 Oct 1902 [William A. Gregory FGR]