Not Mr. Robbins' Idea
I am responding to John Chappell's Aug. 18 article entitled "Robbins OK's Change to Town Charter."
In reference to the name change from Hemp to Robbins, he wrote: "Karl Robbins, owner and employer of nearly everybody in Hemp, later proposed they change the town (name) to honor his family -- after all, he'd built the park, and paid off the town debt."
The town had been known as Sheffield, Mechanics Hill, Hazel Neck, Elise, and Hemp prior to being renamed Robbins.
Hemp was a small town with no modern conveniences. Karl Robbins bought the mill. It was during his ownership of the mill that the town became incorporated. He paid for the water and sewer system which replaced a common well, half of the cost of the community building, the first fire truck, $2,000 yearly to start and maintain the Hemp Library, and an impressive ball park.
He voluntarily contributed money to the town to keep the taxes low for his workers. The streets were paved, and the quality of life improved greatly. People having well-paying jobs during the depression and the war years made the town grow.
The name change occurred due to the people's gratitude for the better working and living conditions, the prosperity of the town, and all the things Mr. Robbins had freely given to his workers.
I can assure you the suggestion of the name change did not come from Mr. Robbins as he and his family were and are humble people.
The generosity of this family is still felt by the Town of Robbins due to the support they have given to help build and fund the current public library.
Robbins is a wonderful town. We should be proud of its past and especially the name it bears.
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