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Robinson, Solon (21 October 1803–03 November 1880), author, agricultural journalist, and Indiana pioneer, was born in Tolland, Connecticut, the son of Jacob Robinson, a farmer and cooper, and Salinda Ladd. His father died when Solon Robinson was about six, and then his mother married James Robinson, one of her deceased husband’s cousins. After his mother died and her second husband refused further responsibility for his stepchildren, Solon Robinson was in the care of William Bottom. He worked on his guardian’s farm, got a little education in a country school near Lisbon, Connecticut, and briefly worked as a carpenter’s apprentice, which was harder labor than his health could stand. In 1818, for unknown reasons, Solon successfully petitioned that Vine Robinson, an uncle in Brooklyn, Connecticut, be his guardian. Solon’s later devotion to temperance may have been learned from his uncle, but little more is known about the next few years of his life....

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Wilbarger, John Wesley (12 March 1812–? Feb. 1892), farmer, minister, and author, was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, the son of John Wilbarger and Anne Pugh, farmers. In 1823 the family moved to Pike County, Missouri, where he continued his schooling, fulfilling the desire of his frontier parents that he master the English language. There, he and Lucy Anderson were married on 26 May 1836, less than a month before the Battle of San Jacinto assured the independence of Texas....