Robbins, Silas W.

Born: 1785-08-24 Wethersfield, Connecticut

Died: 1871-06-19 Springfield, Illinois

Robbins graduated from Yale College in 1808, and entered Litchfield Law School. In 1811, Robbins migrated to Kentucky, where he established a law practice in Winchester. In 1812, he married Caroline Tracy in Litchfield, Connecticut, and she died in 1836. In 1820, Robbins lived in Clark County, Kentucky, and he owned seven enslaved people. Robbins served as a circuit court judge in Kentucky during the 1820s. In 1838, he left Kentucky for Springfield, Illinois, where he formed a law partnership with Charles R. Welles (1840-1842). He later had law partnerships with A. K. Smedes (1843-1845) and Thomas G. Taylor (1849-1851). Robbins was a Whig in politics and also an advocate of temperance and colonization. By 1850, he owned $3,500 in real property. In December 1853, he married Mary Watson, widow of John B. Watson, with whom he had two children who died in infancy. In the late 1850s, he retired from the law and moved to a farm outside of Springfield.

John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:180-81; U.S. Census Office, Fourth Census of the United States (1820), Clark County, KY, 101; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 107; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 6 December 1853, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 753; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 16 October 1840, 3:2, 4; 8 October 1841, 1:1; 20 May 1842, 3:3; 20 March 1845, 3:4; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 4 June 1849, 1:1; 30 September 1851, 3:4; Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale College, 1872, 44.