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A Scholar and a Mechanic

Charles Robinson of Normal was the master mechanic with the Bloomington & Normal Railway, but his other interest was Native American archeology. In August of 1915 he travelled to Wyoming with his wife and two children, so that he and his son might explore the territory with guides to find Native American artifacts (spelled "artifax" in the Pantagraph). Robinson spent an entire month in the West and with guides knowledgable of the area and was able to find many artifacts that he gave to the Illinois State Historical Museum and the McLean County Historical Society.

Mr. Robinson and his son applied for government licenses for gathering the materials over a 3000 square mile area in the south east corner of Wyoming. They travelled by foot, automobile and horse and wagon. Robinson found many tools made by the Native Americans as well as samples of jasper, agate and quartz. Robinson reported that the tools made by this group were not as sophisticated as those made by Native Americans of the Illinois area. He was known in Illinois as being quite knowledgable about these artifacts, but whether his knowledge came from formal education or self study is not mentioned.

Earlier in 1915 Mr. Robinson appeared before the state legislature in reference to the preservation of the Cahokia Mounds as part of Illinois State history. Another story in 1920 featured Mr. Robinson's wide collection of arrowheads and relics from the Kickapoo found at Camp Johnson in Illinois.

In 1926 Mr. Robinson retired from the railroad and moved with his wife and daughter to outside Tacoma, Washington where they had purchased a fruit and chicken ranch. Mr. Robinson had been experimenting with chicken raising using a large plant furnished with electricity and was an experienced beekeeper. He would be raising bees in Washington as well.

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