by D. D. Tidwell
William Robinson was born in North Carolina January 11, 1809, the son of Wallace Robinson and his wife, Rebecca Bishop. Prior to his fifteenth birthday the family moved to Alabama. On April 16, 1828 he married Julia Lucinda Fulford in Marengo County, Alabama, and they had eight children, all born in Alabama except the last two. After the death of his first wife he married Irena Isabel Brent in Hinds County, Mississippi, on November 15, 1846. They had six children, one of whom (Rev. O.B. Robinson) was a Baptist minister.
About 1842 William Robinson moved to Louisiana and a son states that he owned 100 slaves about this time. In 1848 he moved to Rusk County, Texas, and by 1854 he was a resident of Johnson County. Soon after moving to Texas, William Robinson became a Baptist minister. Information as to his licensing and ordination is lacking although it may have been by the original Henderson Baptist Church. In 1851 he and Rev. Obadiah Dodson held a revival at Mount Enterprise and formed the Holly Springs Baptist Church. In Johnson County he was apparently instrumental in forming the first Baptist churches and assisted in organizing the West Fork Baptist Association at Birdville in Tarrant County on October 12, 1855, as a representative of the Noland’s River Baptist Church of Johnson County. He was also pastor of the Cross Timbers Church (now Bethesda and the oldest Baptist church in Johnson County). He was evidently the organizer of Harmony Baptist Church at Acton (then called Comanche Peak) on August 25, 1855, although the credit has been given in recent times to Rev. Joseph Robinson (who was not ordained until January 1, 1860, at Weatherford). The similarity of names has evidently led to this error.
In the spring of 1856 he became one of the first settlers in the Paluxy valley and organized the Paluxy Baptist Church on May 2, 1857. After the constitution of the Stephenville Baptist Church on September 19, 1857, by Rev. Richard Howard, Rev. William Robinson became the first pastor at Stephenville. He aided in forming the Brazos River Baptist Association on October 2, 1858. By this time he had organized the Leon Church near Dublin (this church became the Dublin Church) and Antioch, also in Erath County, and was pastor of these four churches in that county. (Paluxy was in an area that became a part of Hood County in 1866.) In 1859 he was employed as a missionary of the Baptist State Convention.
Early in the Civil War, William Robinson moved to Fort Belknap and supplied the frontier soldiers with beef. His youngest child was born there on January 17, 1862. Near the close of the war he moved to Coleman County and established a ranch. In the mid-1870’s he spent some time in the Indian Territory and then retired in Comanche County. His retirement consisted of erecting and operating a saw mill at Hazle Dell, one of the toughest little towns in Texas. Of the first seven or eight residents, all died with their boots on except Rev. William Robinson. He died February 22, 1898, and is buried in the Baggett Creek Cemetery in Comanche County.
Paluxy Baptist Association Centennial Story
1880 – 1980