Corilla (Tolman) Robbins

Corilla Robbins newspaper photo
Photo courtesy of The Idaho Statesman 08/24/1919 Page 3

Born November 26, 1846, Border Plains, Iowa
Died January 11, 1927, Boise, Idaho
(Unmarked, N of Orlando)

Corilla Robbins is an outstanding example of the thousands of pioneer women who helped forge civilization in the western territories. Corilla, her husband Walter Brassfield and four children crossed the plains by oxcart in 1876 with a train bound for Idaho. After Brassfield's death, she married Orlando "Rube" Robbins in 1881.

Corilla pioneered the women's suffrage movement in Idaho. A forceful speaker, she presented suffrage planks to both the Republican and Democratic conventions in the early 1870s.

The first traveling instructor in the state for the Rebekah Lodge division of the I.O.O.F, Corilla went about the state often at her own expense to organize new lodges. Local newspapers of the time carried stories of her travels, while in other sections of the same newspaper would be accounts of her husband, a deputy U.S. marshal capturing stagecoach robbers.

Corilla was president of the Boise branch of Florence Crittenden Home and often cared for orphaned children in her own home on Warm Springs Avenue.

Her interest in new inventions and a love of adventure prompted her to request, and be granted, rides in the first automobile and airplane to arrive in Boise, and hers was the first residential telephone in the city.

Corilla is buried next to her husband, Orlando, whose grave is marked by one of the most imposing headstones in the Pioneer Cemetery. Her own grave is unmarked.

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