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JAMES W. ROBINSON


Rev. James Wesley Robinson of Clarksburg, West Virginia, one of the leading educators and Baptist preachers of the State is a native of North Carolina. He was born in Montgomery County, N. C., on September 15, 1870. His father, Anthony Robinson was a farmer and was the son of Amanda Robinson. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Miss Sarah Woolley, daughter of Frank and Charity Woolley. Growing up on the Montgomery County farm, young Robinson attended the local public schools and later the Peabody Institute at Troy, N. C. Speaking of those early days, he says, "I was left an orphan at ten years of age and was left entirely to shift for myself when I was seventeen. The greatest factor in shaping my life was the repeated expressions of my father before his death, that he wanted to make a man of me." Mr. Robinson was converted when about fifteen years of age and joined the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. Soon after that he felt called to preach the Gospel, but was not licensed till 1900. In that year he was licensed by the Olive Branch Baptist Church of Elizabeth City, N. C., and was by the same church ordained to the full work of the ministry the following year. For his college course he attended Shaw University at Raleigh, where he won his A.B. degree in 1898. In 1907 the same institution conferred on him the A.B. degree. He also did special work at Marietta College in Ohio and at Columbia University, New York City. While at Shaw he began teaching, during his vacations, in the public schools of his home county and kept that up for several years, thus making his way in college. After his graduation from Shaw in 1898, he went to Elizabeth City as Principal of Roanoke Institute and remained with that institution for three years. In the meantime a former teacher, Prof. A. W. Pegues of Shaw had recommended him to the authorities at Clarksburg, W. Va., for the Principalship of the Colored High School and he remained there from 1901 to 1909. From 1909 to 1914 he was principal of the school at St. Albans and pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church of St. Albans, and the next two years he was principal of Kimball-Tidewater graded high school at Kimball. From 1915 to 1922 he was principal of the district high school of North Fork, W. Va. So it will be seen that altogether he has been teaching for more than twenty-five years. He was pastor of the Colored Baptist Church at Fairmont, W. Va., while teaching at Clarksburg he was pastor of the First Baptist church of Kimball from 1913 to 1922, when he accepted the call of the Baptist church at Clarksburg. Rev. Robinson is a writer of recognized ability and is the author of a book known as "Mile Stones in Negro History." He is Statistical Secretary of the West Virginia Baptist State Convention.

In politics he is a Republican and has served as member of the Advisory Council to the State Board of Education. He is prominent in the work of the secret and benevolent orders, being Past Grand Master of the Masons, Past Grand Chancellor and Supreme Representative of the K. P. and a member of the Endowment Board of the I. O. Red Men.

On June 27, 1900, Mr. Robinson married McClinnie Leigh, daughter of Isaac and Alice Leigh, of Elizabeth City, N. C. They have four children, Katherine, Isaac, James and Alice Robinson. Mr. Robinson's reading takes a rather wide range, including history, biography, theology, science, mathematics and language.

He has had opportunity to make a rather comprehensive study of conditions and believes that progress may be promoted through education, race pride and self consciousness and a better understanding between the races.


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