Asa P. Robinson

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Colonel Asa P. Robinson was the founder of Conway, Arkansas.

Robinson was born to Ludyah and Sophia Eliza (Hosmer) Robinson in Hartford County, Connecticut, in 1822. He was the eldest of seven children. His father became a prominent businessman in Newburg, New York, before his death in 1861.

Asa Robinson attended the local schools of Newburg and studied civil engineering in college. He became a "rodman" in surveying the route of the Erie Railroad. He married Lucy Blodgett in New York City in 1845. Lucy died in 1859. Following the Civil War, Robinson accompanied a cavalry expedition from the banks of the Missouri River to the city of Denver, Colorado. He then journeyed to Kansas where he worked for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad.

In 1869 Robinson came to Arkansas to construct the first twenty miles of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway. He then became the chief railroad engineer for the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad. In connection with his work on the Little Rock & Fort Smith Robinson received one square mile of land south of the Cadron Ridge in Faulkner County, extending south roughly from what is today Prince Street to Dave Ward Drive. Robinson reserved the northeast corner of his property for the establishment of a town site, and the southern half as private hunting lands and as a plantation for raising shorthorn cattle, hogs, and sheep. He drove a stake in the ground at the place where Conway Station was to be constructed. A post office was built at Cadron Gap, but later transferred to Conway Station in 1872.

Conway was named and became the county seat of Faulkner County in 1873. One year later Robinson married his second wife, Mary Louise De St. Louis of Montreal, Canada. Conway was incorporated in 1875, and Robinson was elected the town's first mayor. He also became president of the local school board. Robinson personally pledged land for the courthouse square, and several local churches. Robinson Avenue in Conway is named in his honor.

Robinson was actively engaged in Republican politics.

In 1884 he laid out the federal Hot Springs Reservation.


  • History of Central Arkansas (Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889), 735-736.

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