WILLIAM ROBISON AND MARGARET SMITH ROBISONBy Rachel Sabina (Ada) Robison RogersWILLIAM ROBISON was born in Quincy, Franklin County, Pennsylvania on April 18, 1829.He was the son of Alexander Robison and Mary Ellen (Wagaman) Robison.MARGARET (SMITH) ROBISON was born on December 23, 1834, also in Quincy, FranklinCounty, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Daniel Smith and Catherine (Geeseman)Smith.My parents were married on January 12, 1851. They tried to live their religion in as littleplace called Thomastown, later called Fairview. It was very hard, as so many people wereopposed to their new religion. They had four sons born to them and buried one of thembefore leaving Pennsylvania.The gospel of Jesus Christ was brought to them by Elder Angus M. Cannon, a missionaryfrom Utah representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or more commonlycalled the Mormons. Elder Cannon baptized my father and also confirmed him in the year 1854.
My mother was baptized and confirmed by Elder William Tarmen on the 15
day of 1854. Her conversion was due to the fact that on one occasion when my brother Alex wasill, she having heard of the healing power of the Mormon Elders, called them in toadminister to him. He was healed after their administration leaving her with a testimony thatthis was the True Church.My mother·s father and mother (Daniel and Catherine Smith) both died very suddenly,(within two weeks of each other) leaving two small girls, Sabina and Charlotte.
My mother and her sister Rachel had the two little girls to raise, but their brother upon hearing that theyhad joined the Mormon Church took the children away from them and gave them to an aunt.They were not even allowed to see their little sisters, so they used to go to the playgroundat school and wait until they came out for recess, in order to spend a few precious minuteswith them.
On June 7, 1860, they left all their earthly possessions, and started over the lonely prairiefor the land of Zion. They traveled by rail
and water for 2000 miles. They then camped atFlorence, Nebraska for two weeks while arrangements were being made for the handcartcompany.Aunt Eliza Smith, my father·s sister, told in her diary of the terrible storm they encounteredwhile at Florence (now Council Bluffs). The company was ordered to move on; they obeyedorders and when about a half-mile from Florence, they noticed a very black cloud arising. Afierce windstorm arose and blew down every tent with the exception of two, which wereheld in place by a number of men.Aunt Eliza·s husband (Conrad Smith) took his two children and put them in a handcart andcovered it up, fastening it to the ground so that the wind could not upset it. Aunt Eliza,getting uneasy over her children, left her tent, got the children out of the cart and started