C. A. Robins

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C. A. Robins
C. A. Robins (Idaho Governor).jpg
From 1950's The Gem, the yearbook of the University of Idaho
22nd Governor of Idaho
In office
January 6, 1947 – January 1, 1951
LieutenantDonald S. Whitehead
Preceded byArnold Williams
Succeeded byLen Jordan
Idaho Senate President pro tempore
In office
January 1943 – January 1945
Preceded byPerry Mitchell
Succeeded byJ.E. Williams
Member of the Idaho Senate
from the Benewah County district
In office
January 1939 – January 1947
Personal details
Charles Armington Robins

(1884-12-08)December 8, 1884
Defiance, Iowa
DiedSeptember 20, 1970(1970-09-20) (aged 85)
Lewiston, Idaho
Resting placeLewis Clark Memorial Gardens, Lewiston
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Marguerite S. Granberry (m.1919–1938, her death)
Olive Patricia Simpson (m. 1939–1970, his death)
Children3 daughters (w/ Simpson)
Alma mater
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUS Department of the Army Seal.png U.S. Army
Years of service1918
RankUS-O2 insignia.svg  First lieutenant
UnitUS Army Medical Corps Branch Plaque.gif Medical Corps
Battles/warsWorld War I

Charles Armington Robins (December 8, 1884 – September 20, 1970) was an American physician and the 22nd Governor of Idaho.

Early years[edit]

Born in Iowa at Defiance in Shelby County, at age four Robins moved west with his family to Colorado, settling at La Junta in Otero County. He graduated in 1907 from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and taught high school in Missouri, Colorado, Montana, and Mississippi. He entered medical school in 1913 at Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago, working various night jobs to put himself through, and earned his M.D. in 1917.[1]


During World War I, Robins entered the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army in August 1918 as a first lieutenant. He ended his military service on December 16, 1918.[1] Given free transportation by the Great Northern Railway to look at two towns that needed physicians, he left Chicago the following week. He arrived in St. Maries, Idaho on Christmas Eve and chose it over Three Forks, Montana, and stayed for 28 years, until elected governor.[2][3] For a generation, Robins delivered nearly every baby in Benewah County.[4]

Robins was a member of the state senate for four terms, from 1939 to 1947. He ran for governor in 1946,[5] and was the first in Idaho to be elected to a four-year term; all previous governors had been elected to two-year terms.[6] He handily defeated the incumbent, Arnold Williams,[7][8] who had gained the office when his predecessor, Charles Gossett, resigned so as to be appointed by Williams to a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate.[9][10]

Idaho Gubernatorial Elections: Results 1946
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1946 Arnold Williams (inc.) 79,131 43.6% C. A. Robins 102,233 56.4%
  • Williams was elected as lieutenant governor in 1944, and became governor in late 1945.

The new four-year term disallowed self-succession (re-election) until 1958,[11] so Robins and his Republican successor in 1950, Len Jordan, served single four-year terms and retired from office. The state constitution was later amended, after receiving voter approval in the 1956 general election.[12]

Robins was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1948 while in office as governor. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1950, but was defeated in the primary by Herman Welker. After he left the governor's office in 1951, Robins moved his residence from St. Maries to Lewiston and became the medical director of the north Idaho district of the Medical Service Bureau, known today as Regence Blue Shield.[2]


He married Marguerite Sherman Granberry (1892–1938) on July 8, 1919, in Hazlehurst, Mississippi; she died at age 46 in May 1938 and they had no children. He married Patricia Simpson (1914–1993) of St. Maries, one of his nurses, in November 1939 and they had three daughters: Patricia, Paula, and Rebecca.[13] He was a member of the American Legion, the American Medical Association, Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, Nu Sigma Nu professional fraternity, and Freemasons.


Robins died at age 85 in Lewiston on September 20, 1970,[14] and is interred at Lewis Clark Memorial Gardens in Lewiston.


  1. ^ a b "C. A. Robins". Ancestry.Com. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Alford, A.L., Jr. (September 23, 1998). "Former governor made his mark on Idaho education". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. p. 1A.
  3. ^ "C.A. Robins dies in Idaho". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. September 21, 1970. p. 4B.
  4. ^ Carlson, Chris (October 16, 2011). "Idaho's post-war pilot". Lewiston Tribune. Idaho. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "C.A. Robins for Governor". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. advertisement. October 24, 1946. p. 10.
  6. ^ "C. A. Robins". Idaho Genealogy Trails. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  7. ^ "GOP nears House control in landslide". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. November 6, 1946. p. 1.
  8. ^ "Idaho GOP landslide like Democrat in '32". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. November 7, 1946. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Winners in primary election". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. (photos). June 12, 1946.
  10. ^ "Unofficial results on primary election". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. June 13, 1946.
  11. ^ Corlett, John (March 31, 1963). "It's mystery why law barring self-succession not repealed". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. p. 5.
  12. ^ "Idaho voters adopt three amendments". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. November 7, 1956. p. 1.
  13. ^ "Ex-Idaho governor dead". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. September 21, 1970. p. 6.
  14. ^ "Former Gov. C.A. Robins dies of infirmities at age 85". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. September 21, 1970. p. 14.

External links[edit]