Chancey G. Robinson Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Robinson, Chancey G., 1863-1897
Chancey G. Robinson papers
Date [inclusive]
1.0 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Chancey G. Robinson (1863-1897) was the manager of William H. Rayner's farm in Mason, Michigan. He and his wife, Ida Bateman Robinson, were married on September 26, 1883. They lived in the Rayner residence from the beginning of Robinson's employment there in early 1884 until they moved into their own home in 1895. Robinson remained in Rayner's employment until his death in 1897. He and his wife had two sons, Homer and Eber J., who is the father of the donor.

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Scope and Contents note

The bulk of the C. G. Robinson papers consists of the originals plus photocopies of Robinson's diaries, 1884-1890 and 1892-1895. Robinson recorded the weather daily, and he described his daily chores and seasonal activities, such as cider pressing in autumn and "sugaring off" in spring. William Rayner apparently raised prize-winning swine, which Robinson took to state fairs throughout the Midwest. Robinson's papers include letters from other area swine-farmers and a copy of the constitution of the Michigan Victoria Swine Breeder's Association.

Robinson's diaries contain many interesting facts relating to the Mason area. For example, he talks about the first Mason Fair in September of 1884 and the purchase of a new fire engine in July of 1885. He gives reference to Mason landmarks, such as the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches, the Rayner Opera House and Mead's flour mill. He mentions public social functions like church socials, free lectures and concerts and the Fourth of July Parade. The commercially printed calendar books which Robinson used for his diaries also contain printed calendars, postal and exchange rates, and U.S. voting records for these years. Robinson used the backs of these volumes to record his personal financial records, important dates and addresses.

The papers also include a letter written by Chan H. and Jean V. Robinson in which information is provided about the Robinson and Rayner families.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections November 1986

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  September 2002

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Chan H. Robinson, 1986-07-31.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan Victoria Swine Breeders Association.

Family Name(s)

  • Rayner family , (William H. Rayner, 1836 - 1905)
  • Robinson family, (Chancey G. Robinson, 1863-1897)


  • Diaries
  • Letters (correspondence)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Ingham County (Mich.)
  • Mason (Ingham County, Mich.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Rayner, William H., 1836-1905
  • Robinson, Chan H.


  • Legal documents -- Michigan
  • Swine -- Breeding

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Chancey G. Robinson Diaries (Originals plus photocopies) 

Box Folder

 1884 (April 29 - December 31) 

1 1


1 2


1 3


1 4


1 5


1 6


1 7


1 8


1 9


1 10


1 11

Business Papers July 2, 1893 - November 2, 1896 

1 12

Letter. Chan. H. and Jean V. Robinson to Judge and Mrs. Donald Owens March 7, 1979 

1 13