Page 533-536, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


J. C. Robison, owner and proprietor of the "Whitewater Stock Farm," is a breeder of Percheron horses, and his reputation as such extends far beyond the borders of Butler county. In fact, Mr. Robison is a national figure in this important industry. He is a son of J. W. and Sarah (Woodrow) Robison. J. W. Robison, the father, who was the founder of this great Percheron horse business on the Whitewater, was a native of Scotland, and came to this country with his parents, James and Isabell (Leslie) Robertson. The original spelling of the name was Robertson, but through an error in the land office at Washington, it was recorded Robison, and rather than go into detailed cor-


respondence in correcting this spelling, James Robison accepted the change and other members of the family have followed that form of spelling the name.

The Robison family, upon coming to America, located in Tazewell county, Illinois, and since that time members of the family have been prominent as stockmen and breeders. Sarah Woodrow, mother of J. C. Robison, was a daughter of Hugh Woodrow, a pioneer of Tazewell county, Illinois, and one of the first settlers in that county. J. W. and Sarah (Woodrow) Robison were the parents of nine children, three of whom died in infancy, and those who lived to maturity are as follows: Elmer C., born February 12, 1864, married Ida Fulton, December 26, 1889, and died September 10, 1895, and his widow now resides in El Dorado, and has two children, Helen and Sarah; Leslie W., the largest cattle feeder and shipper in Butler county, married Ida Chain, and they are the parents of two children, Chain and Louise; Edgar, born August 29, 1867, married Dona Fertich, of Covington, Ind., and died December 14, 1903, leaving one son, James F., born August 9, 1897; Frank L., born December 4, 1869, unmarried and resides at Towanda, Kans; James C., the subject of this sketch, born July 24, 1872, and Fred G., born March 2, 1874, is unmarried, and resides at Towanda, Kans.

James C. Robison was united in marriage, February 2, 1897, to Miss Bertha Ellet, and they are the parents of the following children: William Ellet, born November 9, 1897; Amy, born March 19, 1900, and died August 3, 1900; Ruberta Ruth, born June 27, 1902; Alfred E., born May 13, 1906, and James C., Jr.

J. W. Robison, the father, bought 1,280 acres of land in Butler county, in 1879, and in 1884, brought his family here from Illinois. In 1884, the first investments in Percherons were made, and since that time, the business has been gradually and substantially extended, and the character of the stock improved until, at the present time, it is rated, by those who should know, as one of the leading Percheron breeding establishments in America, and during the lifetime of the father, the firm was known as J. W. & J. C. Robison. "Whitewater Falls Farm," proper, now comprises 1,920 acres, devoted chiefly to the Percherons, and more or less extensive cattle breeding operations. Eight hundred acres of the bottom lands produce alfalfa, and doubtless much of the success in the development of the Percherons is due to the limestone grasses and the alfalfa, natures great conditioner.

Five imported stallions have successfully headed the stud. The first, Norval, half brother to the famous Brilliant, was used for ten years. Social, a son of Sultan, was in service eight years in this stud. Laschine, a French gold medal winner, died after two years' service, and Fantome was used a similar period, followed by Casino, the greatest of them all, and the head of the stud for the past thirteen years. Since the foundation of this stud, 3,000 registered Percherons have been sold from the farm, and the present stock numbers approximately 200 head.


Prizes have been awarded the Robison Percherons at the World's Fair, International, American Royal, at the State fairs of Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, Indiana, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma and in far-away Canada. At the World's Fair at St. Louis, the Robison Percherons won more prizes than the exhibit of any other Percheron breeder, and their show entries were, all but two, foaled at "Whitewater Falls Farm." The experimental stations of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Washington, Missouri and Arkansas have all drawn upon the Whitewater Falls stock for mares, a recognition of the superiority of this stud.

As a suggestion of the confidence of the horse breeders of America, buyers of Robison Percherons represent Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia and old Mexico. The private demand has annually absorbed a large number, the majority, in fact, of the surplus stock, but it is in the records of the public sales that the most decisive evidence of public confidence appears. Twenty-one public sales have thus far been made from this farm.

The horses have sold on their merits to an intelligent class of buyers, representing a wide territory, and it is to the credit of the Robison methods that buyers have returned year after year and renewed their business relations. Mr. Robison also deals extensively in registered and high grade Holstein cattle. Usually a herd of two hundred head is kept on hand. A recent acquisition to the herd was the purchase of a carload of registered females and a new herd sire from New York, a son of the $50,000 King Segis Pontiac Alcartra, costing $1,000.

And to whom is this successful accomplishment due? To the intelligent and persevering effort of "Jim" Robison, who, for more than a decade, has been the active force, and is now the sole owner of the "Whitewater Falls Farm" and stud. He has builded on a broad basis, and his handiwork has won the favorable recognition of the best informed in his line wherever Percherons are grown in numbers in America. The business has grown to such proportions that the improvements of the farm have of necessity been enlarged from year to year, with the latest addition of a $9,000 horse barn, which is one of the best arranged and most complete barns in the country.

The Whitewater is a beautiful stream bordered by a generous growth of elm, walnut, hackberry and sycamore. Located conveniently near to the farm home, is a delightful waterfall that runs its course by day and by night as the years pass. It is from this beautiful fall that the farm takes its name. The environment is one of fascinating interest to the visitor. As the shadows forecast the closing day, the activities subside. The Percherons gather contentedly about the feed racks. The parting kiss of the sinking sun is printed in subdued colors on the tree tops. You enter the home, a home that is capacious, but not luxur-


ious, inviting but not superb, in which abides the spirit of comfort and cheerfulness. Unconsciously you draw your chair to the broad fireplace, and the dancing flames shed a welcome warmth. On the library wall hangs a wonderful study in oil of a group of Percherons with Casino in playful pose in the foreground. A generous collection of trophies tells the story of numerous show ring conquests. Without, the duties of the day are done and twilight gently draws its veil of mystery. The fire on the hearth burns low, and the ceaseless song of the waterfall lends enchantment to the hour.

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