Robinson was founded around the turn of the previous century, named after the Robinson family of southwestern Delaware County. Alexander Robinson, one prominent Robinson, built a farm 1.5 miles north of the townsite. William B. Robinson operated the Farmers Savings Bank of Robinson and the Robinson Lumber and Grain Company, circa 1914. The Chicago, Anamosa and Northern Railroad (CAN) passed through Robinson, built in 1912 and proposed for electrification in 1916. The CAN Railway was sold for scrap during World War II.