The SB Fuller home in Robbins, IL was graciously donated to the Robbins History Museum which offers much needed space to exhibit the rich history of Robbins and it's people. This mid-century modern structure is the perfect space to display artifacts, Photo displays and records of our history. This new location will bridge us to the past and help to tell our story in a better environment for the public. This large home is currently in need of major renovations. We are in great need of funds to help with this rehab project from viewers like you. Donate today.
To view the ABC news story which aired on 2/21/21 please click here.
Mr. SB Fuller of Robbins, IL
One of America's first self-made black multi-millionaire who started out with only
a 6th grade education and
$25 in his pocket.
Robbins History Museum
"Robbins, IL, The most historic black town in America"
What do Dwyane Wade, Lt. Uhura, Mr. T and actress Keke Palmer have in common?
They are all from Robbins, IL and all are featured in the Robbins, IL History Museum.
The 40 by 40 square foot facility opened in August 2010 by Co-Founder and
Director/Curator/Historian, Tyrone Haymore. Some of the museum’s unsung heroes
include pioneer aviators Cornelius R.Coffey and John C. Robinson who in 1931 in Robbins,IL built the first black owned/Operated airport in the U.S. The pair trained
pilots who later became Tuskegee Airmen, African-American aviators who fought in
World War II. Ten of the original Tuskegee Airmen are all from Robbins, IL. according to Haymore who also said “I was inspired by the Robbins airport, this is what motivated me to create the Robbins History Museum to tell the history of the true beginnings of the now world famous "Tuskegee Airmen.”
Robbins, IL is the sixth oldest African-American Incorporated community in the United States was first settled by It was incorporated on December 14,1017
in 1892 by former slaves and descendants of slaves when a group of black-mulatto families arrived and 25 years later with a population that exceeded 300 inhabitants saw the need to incorporate in order to be able provide the necessary public services for
Police, Fire, Water and Sewer services for a fast growing population that grew to more than 10,000 in 1970. Robbins in the 1890's was most attractive to blacks from the southern half of United States because it offered greater freedom, affordable and spacious farmland, half a mile southwest Chicago's boarder line.
Actress Nichelle Nichols’ grandfather, Samuel G. Nichols (a white man), was one of the village’s original settlers who married a black woman. Nichelle Nichols who portrayed Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek television show also was hired by the NASA to begin finding and recruiting qualified blacks for todays NASA Space program. .
Nichelle was born in Robbins in a two-story frame house built by her grandfathers. Her
father, Samuel E. Nichols, became the mayor of Robbins, IL in 1929. In a phone inter-
view from her home in Los Angelos, Ms. Nichols shared the following:
“I remember the stories my father told me of Al Capone’s brothers and henchmen
who came to kill him because one of his police officers without him knowing it
raided one of Al Capone’s secretly hidden gin mills in Robbins, IL at the corner of
"137th & Lawndale Av."
Nichols said she was honored to be included in the Robbins museum, which displays her original Lt. Uhura uniform and boots obtained from Paramount Pictures, CA. Nichols said ironically she met some of theTuskegee Airmen in 1979 while serving as a special recruiter for NASA, helping the space agency to attract its first women and minority astronauts including Mae Jemison and Sally Ride. Other notable Robbins residents included in the museum: SB Fuller (the late multimillionaire businessman), Chris Hinton, Joe Montgomery, and Darrell Robinson (NFL football players). Delores Washington, who with Albertina Walker was a members of the famed Gospel Caravans singing group.. Robbins can also lay claim to two Olympic medal winners Dwyane Wade Gold medal winner in 2008 in China in basketball and Willie May, in the 1960 Olympic in Italy took very controversial silver medal instead of the Gold becasue the Gold medal winner Mr. Calhoun broke the ribbon with his "Head" not his torso . Three Original Harlem Globetrotters of Robbins are Lee Collins, DeAndre Taylor and and Fred Marberry who retired and live out the balance of 20 years in the Village of Robbins,IL.
Black nationalist Marcus Garvey visited Robbins in the 1920's, to set up a chapter of his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). According to Haymore “He was so impressed that blacks were governing their own town. He’d never heard of a town with all black elected officials.” One of his trusted organization leaders was a long time resident and Robbins Mrs. Elinor White who was one of two women to ever hold the office of UNIA president. Some residents may remember her assistant, Mrs. Griffin, affectionately known in the community as "the shoe lady."