As I do periodically, I recently returned to a family group that I had not looked at in some time to see if I could find any new information. In this case I looked at Richard N. Robbins, a son of Stephen Robbins (c1831-1874), in turn a son of Micajah Robbins, all of Decatur County, Indiana.
According to loose family history notes, coming down from W. F. Robbins, Marvin Robbins Davis, and others, Stephen Robbins and wife Mary Jane Scripture lived in the community known as Scripture Bridge along Sand Creek. From those notes and from census records I knew that Stephen and Mary Jane Robbins had three children: sons Richard and Francis and daughter Gloria (Lora) Ann (Robbins) Monroe. Of these three families, other than one marriage record for Richard, it was only Gloria for whom I had any kind of information and had identified descendants.
The above history notes provided only this when it came to eldest son Richard N. Robbins:
I did have the marriage record for Richard and Melissa E. Luckey from 1877:
After that, other than the 1880 census, I had been unable to find them in any other records. And then, when I took a fresh look at some of Ancestry’s leaf hints for Richard last month these were the two that made me sit up and take notice:
Wow. Those opened up a whole new avenue (and geographic area) of research. Other than Melissa E. Luckey being called Emmaline E. Luckey, I knew I had two children of Richard and Melissa (aka Malissa, Emmaline, Elizabeth, etc.). Building on those hints about two children of the couple I was able to answer some questions, though others remained.
The most amazing discovery was that Melissa and her two children ended up in a wide-spot in the road known as Eddyville, about an hour north of me, just inland from the Oregon coast. The biggest question, still unresolved, is why did this family move from Decatur County, Indiana, to Eddyville, Oregon, of all places?
This is what I now know: Richard and Melissa had two children: Estella A. and LeRoy (“Roy”) Finley Robbins, both born in Decatur County, Indiana. Estella Robbins was married to Harvey Bowler Huntington in 1898 in Lincoln County, Oregon (the county in which Eddyville is located). Also, about 1898, Melissa (Luckey) Robbins married Moran Weltin. Finally, in 1909, LeRoy Finley Robbins was married to Mamie Wakefield.
I was able to find occasional mentions of the Robbins, Weltins, and Wakefields, in the local newspaper, of which these articles are an example.
Identifying Estella and LeRoy allowed me to follow their lives and work their family lines down to the present day. Estella (Robbins) Huntington died in 1960 in Tacoma, Washington, her husband Harvey having died in 1947. Their oldest child, Agnes Melissa, was born in Eddyville while the rest of their children (Lola Myrtle, Herbert Harvey, and Clyde Samuel) were born in Portland. There are quite a few descendants of this family.
LeRoy Finley Robbins died in Lincoln County (probably Eddyville) in 1949, his wife Mamie having predeceased him in 1938. The couple had a daughter Myrtle Ruth who married and had one child. LeRoy and Mamie also appear to have had an unnamed baby for whom there is a gravestone in the cemetery. There are only a couple of descendants of LeRoy.
Melissa (Luckey) (Robbins) Weltin, Richard N. Robbins’ wife, died in 1946, while her second husband Moran Weltin died in 1926.
The Weltins, along with LeRoy Finley Robbins and his wife, are buried in the Eddyville Cemetery. Being only about 90-minutes away, it was time for a road trip! The small cemetery is up a steep drive, beginning right next to a house, barely off Highway 20. Through the gate and up the hill I found Melissa and her Oregon family.
The question is: what happened to Richard N. Robbins? We have no records between the birth of LeRoy in Decatur County, Indiana, 1883, and the marriages of Melissa and Estella in Eddyville, Oregon in 1898. Or do we? There is a record of a Richard N. Robbins marrying in Kentucky in 1893 (that would jibe with the history of W. F. Robbins, et al, mentioned above), but I don’t know if it is the same man. Is it possible that Richard and Melissa were divorced? Does that explain why Melissa and her two children went from Indiana to Oregon? and why there is no mention of their father in the records of Estella and LeRoy? But why Eddyville? I have found no connection in either family with that small settlement.
Perhaps one day these questions will be answered.
[Jacob Robbins-Absalom Robbins-Micajah Robbins-Stephen Robbins-Richard N. Robbins]