William E. Robinson Biography
Born: October 28, 1872
Died: December 12, 1918
(Died in Office)

Mayoral Dates:
1914-1918

 

 

William E. Robinson

Mayoral Quip
William E. Robinson was a graduate of the Louisville Medical College and received a medical degree in 1894.  After practicing medicine in Milbank and Spearfish for a time, he located to Rapid City in August 1907.  His offices were located in the Farlow Building at 612 St. Joseph Street.  He was the founder of the hospital and had planned to add on to it.  By 1912, he sold the hospital to the Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Robinson was elected to a five-year term as mayor in 1914.   In 1918, an influenza epidemic hit the city and Dr. Robinson worked extremely long hours attending to many patients.  He was in a state of exhaustion when he died December 2, while still serving as mayor.  He was prominent in political affairs in Pennington County and was one of the leading spirits of the city. 

Biography
William E. Robinson was born in South Bend, Indiana, on October 28, 1872, to John and Mary (Shipley) Robinson.  William attended Indiana schools and spent one year at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago.  He was a graduate of the Louisville Medical College, Louisville, Kentucky, with a medical degree in 1894.  He interned there and was in active practice for three years. 

In 1897, he came to Big Stone, SD, and returned to Louisville in 1900.  In 1901, he moved to Milbank, practicing medicine there, and later, Spearfish.  He married Creta G. Daggett on September 14, 1905, in Spearfish.  They had one son, True.  He was associated with CMStP Railroad, Warren-Lamb Lumber Company and had a ranch at Farmingdale. 

He located to Rapid City in August 1907.  His offices were in the Farlow building at 612 St. Joseph Street.  He and Dr. Rose of Milbank shared the offices.  Dr. Robinson bought a new automobile, a Rambler with 35 hp, in April 1909, which he was very proud to own. 

Since coming to Rapid City in 1907, he had been one of the most interested workers and had striven always to help make Rapid City the town that it is.  He was the founder of the hospital, and in November 1910, he planned to add on to the hospital.  By May 1912, he sold the hospital to the Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Church.  The hospital was under the management of the Black Hills Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the doctor moved to 911 - 13th Street. 

He was elected to a five-year term as mayor of Rapid City in 1914.  In 1918, an influenza epidemic hit the city.  Many doctors were absent from the city, so Dr. Robinson had attended to a number of patients and put in much longer hours than he had been accustomed to doing.  He was in a state of exhaustion when he died December 2, 1918, while still serving as mayor.  His term would have expired the following April.  He had been suffering for a number of years from tuberculosis. 

Dr. Robinson had been prominent in political affairs in Pennington County during his residence.  He was one of the leading spirits in the city and his administration as mayor had been a careful and judicious one.