Dr. James Allen Robinson was born in Greenville, Tennessee on December 11, 1867, son of Allen G. and Laura Leming Robinson. He attended Tusculum Presbyterian College and later the Knoxville Medical School of Tennessee College of Medicine from which he graduated in 1893. Throughout his education he worked as a telegrapher in Greenville and Knoxville. In 1895, he moved to Arkansas and established a medical practice that spanned 51 years.
Dr. Robinson married Ida M. Davis soon after arriving in Arkansas. They had three children, two girls, Leona H and Cholera M and a boy, Otis Allen. In 1901, the family lived in the Indian Territory and later moved to Ingram and Del Rio, Texas apparently for Ida’s health. Dr. Robinson returned to Arkansas in 1903 where Ida died on March 12th at the age of twenty-six. Six years later he married Susan Kimbrough from Dutch Mills, a marriage that lasted 37 years. They had one daughter, Virginia.
Except for the short time in Texas, his homes and medical practice were in the northwestern Arkansas communities of Cane Hill, Wedington, Dutch Mills and Cincinnati. A document verifies that he was “Admitted to Practice in the Northern District of the Indian Territory” in October 1917, and for about 3 years he practiced in the Indian Territories near the Arkansas border in Centralia and Westville. In 1920, he made his final move to Cincinnati, Arkansas, built a house an took over the practice of the recently deceased Doctor Pittman. He remained there for 26 years until his death.
Dr. Robinson had a business interest in Dutch Mills Percheron Horse Company and served on its Board of Directors. He was active in the community as a member of the Cincinnati Masonic Lodge N. 102 and served as master in 1938. It is said that he and six held the lodge together during the great depression. In the early years, he rode horseback or used a buggy to make home calls. Later he got an early model car (once broke and arm cranking it). In the last years when he couldn’t see well to drive at night, his daughter drove when he was called at night to deliver babies.
Reports of Dr. Robinson indicate that he was a dedicated physician and was particularly remembered for his kindness. Stories include: a forded creek during a flood to deliver a baby; payment for treatment that were often in garden produce, wood, or a pig to fatten for winter; a hard surface croquet court which he built and maintained and gladly allowed children to use; a trip to the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904.
Dr. Robinson is remembered as a respected physician who contributed to the health care of citizens in small town and rural communities of northwest Arkansas for more than half a century. He died June 16, 1946.