On September 14th of this year, the Tualatin Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) dedicated a marker in the historic Robert Bird Cemetery outside Wilsonville, Oregon.
The marker notes it is placed “in memory of the early Oregon pioneers buried here” and specifically calls out pioneers Robert Bird, for whom the cemetery is named (he provided the land for the cemetery), and Nathaniel Robbins, “signatory of the Oregon State Constitution ratified in 1857.” It might also be noted that several Robbins married Birds!
Barbara Stinger, great-great-great-granddaughter of Nathaniel Robbins, spoke at the dedication and read portions of a letter that Nathaniel Robbins’ son, William Franklin Robbins, wrote to and was published in The Decatur Press (Greensburg, Indiana) on the 2nd and 9th of September 1853. One of the excerpts from William’s letter included this statement: “I have only one thing to regret in coming to this country, that is the loss of my poor children, and relations; I will say to you as William Herren [first cousin, son of Dosha (Robbins) Herren] said to me, the country is good enough, the great trouble is in getting to it.”
While the Oregon Trail proved deadly for some of the family, most of the Robbins and Herren pioneers (seven related Robbins families emigrated to Oregon between 1845 and 1865) went on to lead productive lives in their new home, over 2,300 miles from Indiana.
It was an honor to attend this marker dedication, the first formal recognition, I believe, for Nathaniel Robbins, pioneer of 1852 and delegate to Oregon’s Constitutional Convention of 1857.
[Jacob Robbins-William Robbins-Nathaniel Robbins]