Bio of Frederick Robie
As found in REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF MAINE
A Collection of Biographical Sketches.
Prepaired under the direction of Henry Chase
Portland, ME.
The Lakeside Press, Publisher
1893

MR. ROBIE comes of the best English stock, both his paternal and maternal ancestors having emigrated from England, the former in 1660 and the latter, the Lincolns, in 1637. On the paternal side the first settlement was made in what is now Atkinson, N. H., while the maternal ancestors settled in Hingham, Mass. Emigrant Robie was killed by the Indians, and his twelve-year-old son, Ichabod, was taken captive and carried to Canada, where he was kept one year. Returning, he settled in Hampton, N. H., where he raised a family. Samuel, the youngest of three sons, was born in 1717. He also had three sons, of whom Edward, the eldest, married, October, 10, 1771, Sarah, daughter of John and Sarah Toppan Smith

Edward and Sarah Smith Robie were the parents of six children, of whom one was named Toppan who was born in Candia, N. H., January 27, 1782. At the age of seventeen, Toppan removed to Gorham, Me., and became clerk in a store, remaining until of age. Strict economy had enabled him to save sufficient to start business on his own account, which he did, and succeeded admirably. Joined afterwards by his brother, Thomas S., the firm of T. & T. S. Robie became familiar and very popular through New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. It continued for sixty years, until the death of Thomas S., and became widely known for its enterprise, integrity, and upright conduct in all transactions.

Toppan Robie was for half a century, perhaps the leading citizen of his town and the surrounding country. He held every office in the town; was six times a Representative to the Massachusetts Legislature before Maine became a State; was in the first two Legislatures of Maine and member of Governor Kent's Council in 1837. Mr. Robie was formerly a Whig, but being strongly opposed to slavery, be heartily joined in the organization of the Republican party. He was the highest type of the refined gentleman of the old school, being always dignified, courteous, and honorable in all his dealings. Having accumulated a competency, he was a liberal giver to every good cause. The beautiful soldiers' monument, the first erected in Maine, which adorns the town of Gorham, was his generous tribute to the fallen heroes in the cause he did so much to aid. The ministerial fund of Gorham was often the subject of his munificent benefactions, his donations aggregating $9,000, while the Congregational Church, Chester. N. H., received from the same generous source not less than $5,000. After leaving business he retired to his fine estate in Gorharn, where he passed his declining years in the full enjoyment of that peace and tranquility which is the halo of a brilliant, honorable, and well-spent life. He died January 14, 1871, mourned by the entire community in which he had lived for seventy years.

Toppan Robie, in 1804, married Lydia, daughter of Benjamin Brown, of Candia, N. H., and sister of Francis Brown, D.D., President of Dartmouth College. She died in 1811. His second wife was Sarah Thaxter, daughter of Captain John and Bethiah Thaxter Lincoln, whose ancestors came from England, as noted above. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln of Revolutionary fame, Gov. Levi Lincoln of Massachusetts, and Gov. Enoch Lincoln of Maine were among their descendants. Abraham Lincoln was of the same blood, if not of the same family. Toppan and his wife, Sarah Robie, were the parents of three sons, of whom Frederick was the youngest.

Fredenck Robie was born in Gorham, Me., August 12, 1822; received his preparatory education at Gorham Academy and by private tutorship, and entered Bowdoin College in 1837, graduating in 1841; taught academies for a time in the South, but deciding upon medicine as a profession, took a medical course at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, receiving his diploma in 1844. Doctor Robie began practice at Biddeford, where he remained eleven years, after which, in 1855, he removed to Waldoboro, where he enjoyed a very lucrative practice for three years. Returning to his native town, he remained until the breaking out of the war, when, on June 1, 1861, he accepted an appointment from President Lincoln as Paymaster of United States Volunteers. He served in the Potomac army until 1863, when he was transferred to Boston as Chief Paymaster of the Department of New England. In 1864 he was sent to the Gulf, in which department he paid the troops for a year, until when he was ordered to Maine to pay the soldiers at their muster-out of service. His valuable services were recognized by a brevet commission, dated November 24, 1865, of Lieutenant-Colonel. He retired from the service July 20, 1866, receiving the commendation of the government and the applause of the people and the press of the State. which justly said "he was a courteous and gentlemanly officer," whose "services had been honorable and eminently satisfactory," and that the Lieutenant-Colonel's commission "could not have been bestowed on a more modest, faithful, and unassuming officer." He is now a prominent member of the G. A. R.

After the war political honors began to fall in the Colonel's pathway. In 1866-7 he was in the State Senate, and has been in the Legislature ten times. In 1872 and 1876 he was Speaker of the House; was member of the Executive Council in 1861, 1880, and 1881-2; was delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1872, and from 1868 to 1873, member of the Republican State Committee. In 1878 he was appointed Commissioner to the Paris Exposition, remaining in Europe a year. In 1882 he was nominated for Governor and elected after a severe contest by 9,ooo plurality; was re-elected the next year by nearly 20,000 majority. Governor Robie was a popular chief magistrate and discharged his official duties firmly, intelligently, and acceptably to the people.

In business Governor Robie has been equally successful. He has been interested in agricultural pursuits, and was Worthy Master of the Maine State Grange, from 1881, for eight years. He is a Director in the Portland & Rochester Railroad Company, the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company, the First National Bank, Portland, of which large institution he is now President, and to which he devotes a considerable part of his time. He resides in the old homestead at Gorham, so long occupied by his worthy father, enjoying in quiet luxury the pleasures of a refined and elegant home. In manners Governor Robie is always genial and companionable, which qualities have given him as large a circle of personal friends as any man in the State enjoys. While an ardent Republican, he is broad enough and liberal enough to respect the opinions of other honest and sincere men, though differing from his own. He has never allowed politics to embitter personal friendships, and we doubt if in all the hot political contests in which he has been engaged he has ever made a single personal enemy. No one ever accused him of taking a mean or unfair advantage of his opponents or of doing a low or dishonorable act. His integrity, honesty of purpose, and irreproachable character have never been questioned in any quarter.

November 27, 1847, Mr. Robie married Olivia M. Priest, of Biddeford, by whom he has had four children: Harriet, wife of Clark H. Barker; Mary Frederica, wife of George F. McQuillan; Eliza, who died in 1863, and William Pitt Fessenden Robie.


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