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First Buttermaker


Hailed as "North Dakota's First Buttermaker," John Robins passed away in early January of 1911. His funeral was held at his home in Watertown, South Dakota, on this date. Robins came to the state in 1897 from Wisconsin. With a background in dairy farming, he settled in Havana, North Dakota, and took charge of the newly-built Powers Creamery. A member of the Havana Maccabee lodge and the city band, Robins became a popular resident of the city. When the gold rush to the Klondike began, Robins left his post in Havana and traveled north to the gold fields. Although he failed to strike it rich, Robins spent ten months in the frigid arctic before returning. He relocated to Lidgerwood, where he began managing a line of creameries. His death was considered a loss among North Dakota dairymen.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job


Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. January 9, 1911: p.2.