Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


CHARLES L. ROBERTSON. Year has been added to year and decade to decade until seventy-seven years have been numbered with the past since Charles L. Robertson, a venerable and highly honored farmer of Murray township, came to Greene county, this long span of years embracing nearly the whole of his life, which has been spent in this locality. Upon the arrival of the Robertson family this section of the state was largely an undeveloped region awaiting the awakening touch of the sturdy pioneers to transform its wild lands into rich farms and beautiful and comfortable homes, to establish churches and schools, and in many other ways, reclaim the country for the use of man. Our subject has played well his part as a citizen of enterprise and public spirit, has lived to see and take part in the transformation of the county, whose interests he has ever had at heart, and, having been a close observer all the while, he is an interesting talker on what the vicissitudes of time has wrought here.

Mr. Robertson was born in Hamilton county, eastern Tennessee, April 5, 1837. He is a son of Jefferson and Mary Ann (Lodspeach) Robertson, representatives of very old Southern families. Jefferson Robertson was born in Roane county, Tennessee, in 1806, and there he grew up and married and made his home until 1837 when he came to Greene county Missouri, with his family, Springfield then being known to many of the settlers as "Stump Town." In 1839 he purchased two hundred acres of land where our subject now lives, the latter owning forty acres off this tract. The father devoted his life to general farming, and here he resided until his death in 1877, was known to his neighbors as an honest, hospitable and hard working man. He was a Democrat, and belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, South, first, when the services of this denomination were held in Murray school house; later, when a church house had been built at Willard, he attended there. His wife was born in Greene county, Tennessee, and when nine years old she left there with her parents and the family located at Sweetwater, Tennessee, where she grew to womanhood and married. She was born in 1817 and died May 9, 1908, at the unusual age of ninety-one years, having outlived her husband thirty-one years, he having died in the prime of life. She was a grand old lady, beloved by all who knew her.

To Jefferson Robertson and wife eleven children were born, namely: Charles L, of this review; Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Young of Willard, Greene county; Mrs. Nancy Caroline Grant of Polk county, Missouri; Mrs. Armeldia Potter of Oklahoma; John Lindsay of Oklahoma; Mrs. Josephine Gilmore, of Cave Spring, Cass township, Greene county; Mrs. Eliza Jane Snider, who lives on the old homestead in Murray township; Mrs. Sally Murray, of Murray township; Mrs. Martha Frances Philips, of Panhandle, Texas; the two youngest children died in infancy unnamed.

Charles L. Robertson was about two years old when his parents brought him from the mountains of Eastern Tennessee to the vicinity where he now resides and here he grew to manhood on his father's farm and there worked hard when a boy in assisting to clear and develop the place, and during the winter he attended the brief sessions of the old time subscription schools in his locality. He remained on the homestead until he was twenty-one years of age then began farming for himself, settling on a part of what he now owns and has lived here continuously to the present time, successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising. He owns one hundred and twenty-acres, one hundred acres of which is under cultivation. He has been a hard working man all his life and has a well improved and well kept place and a good group of outbuildings. He always keeps an excellent grade of various kinds of live stock and is one of the best known men in the township, respected by all his acquaintances.

Mr. Robertson was married May 10, 1857, to Eliza Ann Wittenburg, a native of Greene county, Missouri, and a daughter of Phelix and Nancy (Robberson) Wittenburg, both natives of Eastern Tennessee, the father born August 17, 1810, and the mother August 15, 1820. The latter was eleven years old when her parents brought her to Missouri and she died here October 5, 1844.

Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, all dying in early childhood but two, who are still living. Mrs. Mary Caroline Olinger, of Murray township, this county; and William J., who lives in Walnut Grove, Missouri.

Politically Mr. Robertson is a Democrat, but has never aspired to office, preferring a quiet home life. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church South, at Pearl, Cass township, where his wife and daughter also hold membership. During the Civil war he served three months in the Confederate army in a very creditable manner.

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