Jenny Smith (1863-1940)
"The Mother of Robbins"
Entrepreneur and Community Organizer
A matriarch of one of the first families that settled on farmland, Jennie Smith, played a central role is growing the village came to be known as Robbins. She was instrumental in building the first 2 churches (Union Missionary Baptist and Bethel AME). She owned and operated a hotel in "The Bottoms" on Troy whited housed black men who dug out the Cal-Sag river. And built several homes in the village, some of which still stands today.
James Harvey (1845-1945)
The last black Civil War soldier in America moved to Robbins,IL in 1892. He was born 1845 died in Robbins in 1945 at the age of 100. His son Wm Harvey was one of founding fathers of Robbins in 1917. A historic headstone now rest on the grave site of James Harvey at the historic Lincoln Cemetery near Robbins, IL.
Janet Harmon Bragg (1907-1993)
Janet was one of the 4 founders and builders of the Historic 1931 Robbins All-Black Airport. The First Black Airport in America w/Ground, Air and Mechanical Aviation training classes taught by John C. Robinson (1903-1954) and Cornelius R. Coffey (1903-1992)
John C. Robinson (1903-1954)
Pioneer Blk Aviator, seen here went to teach and command the Ethiopians in Aviation in 1934. War broke out there in 1935. Robinson return to Chicago to a heros welcome by thousands of New Yorkers and Chicagoans. He was known as the Brown Condor.
Cornelius R. Coffey (1903-1994)
Along with Robinson, opened the first black owned and operated airport in Robbins, IL.
Thyrl Latting (1932-2013)
A black cowboy with national and international, horses and cow Rodeos shows for many years. All started from Robbins, IL., his birth home and site of his first Ranch Estate.
Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)
This pan africanist leader spent a significant amount of time in Robbins, IL in the early 1920's, setting up a chapter of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and engaging with the all-black led town. His administrative office was located on the second floor of a building located on Claire Blvd. He worked closely with community organizers and staunch supporters such as Elinor White (speech writer) and Edward Brown (who was the president of the Robbins Chapter).