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John Robbins turns 100

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LHelton View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Mar 2017 at 6:07pm
Middletown Signal/Journal - January 6, 1920


Is Rugged and Hearty as a Man Forty Years Younger.


John Robbins - The man in the above picture is probably the oldest man in Butler County. He was born in Lincolnshire, Fenn., England, January 6, 1820, and lives today in West Middletown in perfect health.

     John Robbins turned the century mark today.
     He is probably Butler County's oldest citizen and has lived in West Middletown for the last 50 years.
     At 100 years of age Robbins is hale and hearty, vigorous in mind and body with more vitality per lineal inch of his six feet stature than many men fort years hi junior.
     There is nothing decrepit about West Middletown's centenarian. He is up around every day of the year, was in Middletown yesterday calling upon his friends and will be in town again several times this week.
     Mr. Robbins, who makes his home with William H. Wood, the well-known West Middletown bus line operator, was born January 6, 1820, in Lincolnshire, Fenn., England, and came to America wh3n he was a boy of scant fourteen years, in the days when steamships first began to make their appearance on the Atlantic.
     Robbins ran away from home because his father, a stern Puritan forbade him attending a traveling circus.
     It is said a small fortune awaits him in England should he return to claim it. This he never will do.
     Mr. Robbins has been a farmer most of his life, the outdoor life probably being the secret of his longevity.
     He is of the tall fair-haired type of Britisher, his tawny hair being merely sprinkled with gray. Hi full beard is white, but many men of 60 are grayer than is Mr. Robbins as the good old age of a century.
     Mr. Robbins' wife died seven years ago, since when he has made his home with Mr. Wood. Robbins has no relatives in America, and he does not know whether there are any relatives in England or not, he having lost touch with the English branch of the family several years ago.
     He was the youngest of a large English family and believe that all his brothers must be dead.
     Robbins is fairly well off and will never have to worry about money matters for the rest of his life. Years ago in Washington County, Pa., the centenarian of today was the champion sheep shearer of the county, and when he was 90 years he assisted at the shearings of Madison township stockmen.
     Ten years ago when they were rebuilding West Middletown after the fire Robbins worked on a concrete mixer all day and at his age of 90 did more work than any of the other men on his crew.
     Robbins is an omniverous reader. He reads the daily newspapers rapidly and his eyesight is remarkably good for a man of his years. He is able to read the headlines without spectacles.
    Until a few years ago Robbins had a library of choice books at his home. By mistake a hired man on his farm bundled them all up and sold his treasures to a second-hand dealer along with many other relics dear to the old man's heart.
     So far as is known John Robbins is Middletown's only centenarian. He has lived a long and useful life, and is still in his prime, having arrived at the age where he may comfortably reflect upon things that are gone and vision developments of the future.
     The lifetime of Mr. Robbins has seen America develop from a wilderness into a complex of industrialism such as the world never has seen. It has seen the railway supplant the stage coach, the automobile supplant the horse-drawn vehicles. It has seen the development of the electric light, the electric telegraph, the telephone, electric cars, steam heat, modern plumbing and the thousand and one modern conveniences that even citizens of West Middleton know today.
     All Middletown today joins in congratulating Mr. Robbins on reaching his hundredth milestone. They thank him for his example in clean, sensible living and wish him continued life and health.

(Note: John Robbins died Tuesday, January 20, 1920, 14 days after his 100th birthday.)
Larry Helton - Historical Society of Madison Twp.
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