Charles Burtis Robbins

From Andrew Jenson, comp., Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 2 (1914), pp. 74–75

Robbins, Charles Burtis, a High Councilor in Cache Stake since its organization, is the son of John R. Robbins and Mary Burtis, and was born Sept. 21, 1834, at Reckles, Burlington county, New Jersey. He was converted to the truth of the gospel at an early day by Apostle Orson Hyde, but was not baptised into the Church till he came to Utah, where Orson Hyde baptised him. His ordinations to the Priesthood took place as follows: Elder in 1855, Seventy in Salt Lake City, and a High Priest in Logan. Young Robbins moved with his parents to Nauvoo, Ill., where he lived till 1846, when he went to California via Cape Horn on board the sailing vessel “Brooklyn.” He remained in San Francisco, and worked as a printer’s apprentice, and assisted in getting out the first number of the “California Star,” which was the first paper ever published in San Francisco. While in San Francisco he drove the first horse that ever worked in a harness there. He also worked in the gold fields on Mormon Island “cradeling” gold. In 1850 he returned to New Jersey via the Isthmus of Panama, and came to Utah in 1853, crossing the plains with a mule team. On arriving in Utah he settled in Salt Lake City, where he lived during the trying times of those early days; passing through “grasshopper wars” and famines. During the Echo canyon campaign in 1857 he served as a cavalryman in the Utah militia, in which organization he later achieved the rank of major. At an early date he came to Logan, Cache Valley, with a lead of merchandise, and opened a store there for W. S. Godbe, which he conducted for many years, till he went into merchandising for himself. In 1855 he married Jane Adeline Young, who bore him nine children; later he took to wife Martha Allen, who bore him three children, and on Jan. 24, 1878, he was united in marriage with Harriet Vilate Pitkin (Robinson), the issue of which union is three children. He has twenty-five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Bro. Robbins has served Logan as a city councilman, postmaster, special police, jailer, school trustee, and since 1896 has acted as chief of the fire department. Elder Robbins is a typical type of the western pioneer, and has done his share toward making Utah a prosperous commonwealth.