Friday, June 21, 2013

Those Robinson Girls: Mary Alice Robinson Bebee

Preston M Robinson married Sarah N Edmonston,  1847 in Washington county Missouri.  To them were born five daughters – Elizabeth Jane Robinson, Mary Alice Robinson, Martha Thomas Robinson, Julia Parkhurst Robinson, and Joeannah Robinson.  This Blog Series on “Those Robinson Girls” gives a brief account of each daughter. 

Mary Alice Robinson was born on the 11th of December 1850.  She was the second of five daughters of Preston McGready Robinson and Sarah Nugent Edmonston, and is my gg-grandaunt.  In 1874, at the age of twenty-three, Mary Alice Robinson was married to Robert Bebee at Irondale in Washington county Missouri. 

In the 1880 census of Washington county Missouri, Robert Bebee was noted as a Forman at the Pilot Knob furnace.   He and his wife, Mary Alice Robinson, were the parents of six children, three of whom died in childhood. 

Sometime in the 1890’s, the Bebee family removed to St Louis where Robert Bebee took employment with the St Louis Fire Department.  He was a ladderman at Engine House #32, Hook and Ladder Company 8.  A Fire Department record indicates that he died in service 13 May 1902, but his tombstone gives his death date as 13 March 1903. 

Gould’s Blue Book of St Louis, 1903 and 1907, gives the Bebee home address as 6718 Virginia Avenue.  By 1910 Mary A Bebee, widow, is living with two of her grown children in St Louis.  A cousin, Mamie Edmonston in her 1948 letter describes Mary Alice as "one of the most ladylike and gracious women I have ever known."

Mary Alice Robinson Bebee died in 1923.  She is buried with her husband in Saint Matthew Cemetery of Saint Louis, Missouri. 

Children of Robert Bebee and Mary Alice Robinson, who survived to adulthood:
Maude Etta Bebee; married Thomas Mellow of England; resided in St Louis.
Robert Irl Bebee; married Alice Marion Dates; resided in St Louis and Charleston, Mississippi county Missouri.
Joseph Allen Bebee; married Martha Enid Ponder; resided St Louis and San Jose, California.

For more details on Mary Alice Robinson, visit his page at Family Stories,

Photo:  Advertising poster; Fire Extinguisher Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of "Babcock" and "Champion", chemical engines . . ; US Library of Congress.

Further Reading:
History of the St. Louis Fire Department, with a review of great fires and sidelights upon the methods of fire-fighting from ancient to modern times, from which the lesson of the vast importance of having efficient firemen may be drawn. St. Louis Firemen's Fund.(St. Louis: Central Publishing Company, 1914).
A copy of this item is located at the Central Library, St Louis Public Library (ST 352.3).

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