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June 5, 1895 - North Vernon Plain Dealer

     The Robertson family, with its branches, has been one of some distinction, and has been an important factor in moulding the principles and conditions of society in both church and State, dating back to 1799. Nathan Robertson, grandfather of Aquilla, was born near Annapolis, Md. in 1744. His His ancestors were from Scotland. He married Elizabeth Speaks, who was of English deescent. They with his family and his brother, Robert, moved to Bourbon county Kentucky and settled near Paris in 1787. At that time there was not even a wagon road for them to travel, and they, with their household goods, were transported across the Allegheny mountains on packhorses. William, a brother of theirs, left Maryland for Georgia and was never heard from by his brothers after they separated. Nathan and his brother Robert moved from Kentucky to the, then, Indiana Territory. Nathan and his sons took a leading part in the erection of the first Methodist church. It was built of logs taken from Nathan's farm, hewn by himself. This church was built in 1807, and was named Bethel but was known as the Robertson meeting house. Before the erection of this church Peter Cartwright, Asa Skinner, Joseph Oglesby, and others, preached in Nathan's cabin. It was in this cabin the first class was orgainzed, and Zephaniah his fourth son, was made class leader. Nathan manifested his hostility to British misrule and oppression, and his love of American freedom, by his voluntary service in the Revolutionary War. He died in 1825 at the age of 81 years. His wife Elizabeth died in 1821. Middleton Robertson, father of Aquilla, was the second son of Nathan. He was born in Maryland June 17, 1774. He was married to Cassandra Tucker in Bourbon county, Kentucky, Dec. 10, 1801. His wife was born in Maryland July 5, 1783, in the same house in which he was born nine years before. During the War of 1812, with his family, he left the Robertson settlement, which was about three miles from where Charlestown now stands to find a new home. After a fatiguing journey through the wilderness he settled here. A part of this town was built on his old farm. He died Feb. 16, 1848. Cassandra, his wife, died Oct. 10, 1855. Leaving out much that would be of interest to the public, but would make this article too extended we move to the subject of this memoir.
    Aquilla Robertson was born in "Clarks Grant," Indiana Territory, June 19, 1804. He was the oldest of nine children born to Middleton and Cassandra Robertson, and was baptized in infancy by Peter Cartwright. He had the distinction of being among the first white children born in the Territory, Thomas Bland, who died about four years ago in Bigger township, Jennings county, being a little older. The homes where these two were born were in the same neighborhood and almost in sight of each other. The year before Mr. Bland died he and "Uncle Quilla," as he was familiarly known, met on the platform at the Old Settlers' Meeting at Paris Crossing, Indiana. This was the first and only meeting of the two since they were young men. When the family came to this locality Aquilla was about seven years old. With this and one other little exception his life was spent on the same farm. The old brick house in which all of his children were born and raised, and in which he died, was built in 1832. At that time there were few brick houses in Indiana. When he came here wild animals and Indiana were numberous. The Delawares had their wigwams near the spring that has for twenty years supplied the Deputy Camp Grounds with water. He knew White Eyes, the chief, and Killbuck, who was next in authority, was often at his father's house, and for hours would smoke his pipe in the shadow of the cabin. At the breaking out of the Indian War the family returned to "Clarks Grant," and lived in a fort. When peace was restored they returned here and were never after molested by Indians. At that time there were no facilities for acquiring an education, and no time to spend from manual labor if there had been. Mr. Robertson was seventeen years old before he had the privilege of a school. Even then he could only obtain but slight rudimentary knowledge, as the Testament or a biography of some noted man were all the books then available. Nowwithstanding all this he gained sufficency by dint of application for the transaction of all ordinary business and also to make him an interesting fireside companion. He was married ot Esther Deputy in 1828. To them were born ten children, sixo of whom are still living. Although living in homes scattered widely over the State they were all present, more or less, during his last illness, which was protracted, to aid in administering to his wants, and on May 24, 1895, at 1:45 o'clock, p.m., when the quiet peaceful end came, all but one were present to witness the spirit's happy release. His wife Esther, died in 1853. In 1858 he was married to Rachel Deputy, who is left to mourn his departure. Nearly four years ago she was disabled by a fall and is still confined to her couch, with no hope of relief. She is in many respects a model woman. Although as helpless as an infant, she is not only resigned but cheerful and happy-happy in the prospect of soon being released from her sufferings and meeting friends on the other side of the river. Mr. Robertson joined the M.E. Church when twenty years of age, and through his long and eventful life was an honored member of the same. He was quiet and unassuming in his manner but when it came to questions of right and wrong was inflexible as a rock, showing to the world that he had the courage of his convictions. By his industry and economy he succeeded in acquiring considerable property, but about eighteen years ago he divided the farm among his children, reserving twelve acres for himself and wife. He possessed a sweet, contented, peaceful disposition; was by nature and practice an optimist. If there was a bright side to a picture he was sure to find it; he was, as nearly as a human may be, the embodiment of innocence, and was as trustful and confiding as a child; was unusually successful in the administration of his family government, as the lives and characters of his children fully attest. Perhaps not once in his life did he speak to his wife of children in an angry manner. No wonder his children loved him as obedient and confiding children only can love such an honored and worthy father. And, now that he has been taken from them, the memory of him will ever be a benediction of blessing. In his dealings with men he was the soul of honor; his word was as good as his bond; no one ever thought of questioning any promise or statement of his; to take advavtage of a fellow man, legally or otherwise, he looked upon as a crime. He loved the young, and they in return loved him. Many who were younger than he have been inspired to a higher and purer life by his noble example. Indeed, his life was one of example rather than precept. It appeared so free from guile that it may almost be said: "His heart was an open book to be read by the whole world." He was not as some men of his time, who could not see that any good had grown out of the improvements of the age; on the other hand he would speak exultingly of the developements in art and science. He was one of the few who, if his vitality could have been retained, could have lived on and on and kept his place in the procession of enterprise and progress. He had witnessed the transformation of the country of the country from a wilderness to its present condition, and was happy in depicting the various stages of progression. He was intensely patriotic and loyal, true to his State, his church, his family, his friends, and to society universally. His sympathy for suffering humanity wherever and whenever found was without ostentation, and if the needed relief was within his power it was not witheld. Since by age and infirmity he was compelled to retire from the more active duties of life the writer has spent many hours with him around his own fireside. We have not visited him for years without the lesson of peace and contentment in extreme old age, being reimpressed upon us. And after having enjoyed a visit with "Uncle Quill" we never left him without feeling we had been made better. Undisturbed may his remains rest, and long may his memory live to bless mankind.
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