I can never take a vacation where I don’t visit at least one family cemetery going or coming to my destination. This year was no different. During a trip to California I stopped by the Galt Cemetery in the town of Galt.
Last June I wrote a blog post titled “Serious Trouble at Millhousen” about the death of Fount Robbins, shot in bar in Decatur County, Indiana. For the longest time I had been unable to find much information about Fount and his wife Lovisa’s children, Daniel and Emma. Family historian Mary Kate Horner had some information and Decatur County historian and cousin Dale Myers added more. Emma, I learned, remained in Decatur County and was married to Everett Logan; they had two children and it is not known if there are descendants today. There was also a family story that Dan Robbins only had one arm, but where did he end up? Well, he was far away from Indiana.
I finally discovered him living in Galt, California, just south of Sacramento. In fact, Daniel had been living there with his wife and children by the 1880s, long before his father’s death in 1893. I now have an outline of the Robbins family of Galt, still not a lot of details, but more than I had before.
Daniel Henry Robbins was married to Louisa Armstrong in May of 1880 in Gaynorsville, Indiana – a small community in Decatur County – by Justice of the Peace Enoch Proctor. The following month they were enumerated in the federal census living in the household of his parents, Fount and Lovisa Robbins. Daniel was not listed as having an occupation, but there was a notation that he had “left hand off,” thereby collaborating the family story about a physical impairment.
According to Daniel’s obituary the couple moved to California the fall of 1880, while Louisa’s indicates it was in 1889, when the family first lived in Elk Grove before moving to Galt. In fact, at least two of their children were born in Indiana. What brought them west at that time and to that community? They had four children: Charles Augustus (born in Indiana), Jessie H. (born in Indiana), Gracie (birth date and place unknown – she died in infancy), and Ella May (born in California).
In 1890, 1892, 1894, 1896 and 1898 Daniel Robbins is found in the voter registration rolls of Sacramento County. In the 1900 census the Robbins family is found in Dry Creek Township of Sacramento County, which includes the town of Galt and surrounding area, and Daniel is listed as a farm laborer. The family seems to have attended the local Methodist church.
Of the children, Charles Augustus Robbins was married to Lura Oldham about 1902, possibly in San Francisco. Daughter Jessie was married to James Humphrey and Ella was married to Lloyd Dooling. Only Charles had children, one daughter Dorothy Robbins (1919-1998).
Daniel Robbins died in 1909. His obituary reported: The sudden and unexpected death of Daniel Henry Robbins occurred here last Sunday morning, January 24th. Death resulted from tumor on the brain. The deceased had been ill for only about one month.” He was fifty-four years old.
All of the children of Daniel and Louisa, strangely enough, died before the death of their mother. Charles died in 1938, Jessie in 1919, and Ella in 1927. Louisa Robbins, however, lived until 1942. All of the family are buried in the Galt Cemetery, and I found their graves this past week. Each member of the family has a similar type of gravestone and they are enclosed in a low concrete outline with lawn inside. The family plot was clearly marked but it took a couple of searches through the cemetery to locate it.
It’s not often that you find the following included in an obituary, as this was in Louisa’s: “Although her husband and all four children preceded her in death, she maintained a cheerful attitude and devoted her life to helping others. She was one of the best friends this writer ever had, and will be sorely missed, not only by me, but scores of others.”
(Jacob Robbins-William Robbins-Marmaduke Robbins-Fountain Robbins-Daniel Henry Robbins)