History

Charles Robinson Middle School

Charles Robinson

1980-81 was Robinson Middle School's first year in USD 501 as a middle school facility. Formerly, approximately half of the building served students in Topeka as an elementary school known as Central Park Elementary. The building has been remodeled and practically doubled in size and is located just blocks away from Washburn University in the College Hill area.

Robinson Middle School is named after Charles Robinson, the first governor of Kansas. On February 9, 1861, Charles Robinson took the oath of office and assumed his official robes as the first governor of Kansas. Born in 1818 in Massachusetts; Robinson came to Kansas in 1854 as an agent of the New England Emigrant Aide Company and conducted the initial settlement of Lawrence. He assumed an active role in free-state politics during the "Kansas conflict" of the 1850s, and helped organize the "Topeka Movement" to make Kansas a free state.

He was elected free-state governor under the Topeka Constitution in 1855 and directed the strategy of the Kansas antislavery forces during the dramatic days of civil turmoil in 1856. Robinson was the natural choice as the state's first governor after the formation of the Wyandotte constitution in 1859.

After his term as Governor expired in 1863, Robinson was elected to the Kansas House of representative in 1872 and to the State Senate in 1874 and 1876.

Robinson was one of the most liberal friends of education in early Kansas history. He organized the first free school in Kansas and paid its teacher in 1855. He also located the site for Kansas State University.

During his tenure as Governor, the Kansas Legislature established the school and the court systems and located the state capital in Topeka.

Robinson has been described as a "persistent foe of error, a strong advocate of truth, a fearless fighter in every cause which he espoused, and a tireless worker for humanity."

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