September 19, 1890 - September 29, 1918
Earle Sheridan Robbins was the son of Ira and Mary Robbins, and he grew up in Columbia County, graduating from Millville High School. He entered the Bloomsburg State Normal School in the fall of 1913, graduating in the College Preparatory program in the Latin Scientific Course on June 23, 1915. While in school he was a member of the Y.M.C.A. and the Calliepian Literary Society, and played basketball on his class team his final year.
After graduation Robbins became a teacher in the Centre Township High School, and then principal of Millville High School. He continued work during the summers by teaching history and geography in the Benton Summer School, and showed exceptional promise for a long career in education. But it was not to be, as he was drafted at the end of 1917. By a coincidence the new acting principal of Millville High School was Maizie Phillips, sister of Meryl Phillips, who is also memorialized in the Pinery.
Robbins was originally scheduled to leave before Christmas, but shipped out from Berwick for Camp Meade, Maryland on January 10, 1918. Ten men left that morning on the train, and a parade honoring them marched through town to the station, accompanied by veterans of the Civil and Spanish American Wars. While at Camp Meade Robbins was assigned the position of book-keeper at the base hospital, and was soon promoted to sergeant. During the summer he was captain of one of the camp baseball teams, continued to do well, and by September had won a second lieutenancy. But he never got a chance to enjoy his new rank.
On Thursday, September 26, Robbins' parents received word that he was critically ill with Spanish influenza. They went immediately to Camp Meade with their son Wade and Maizie Phillips, and were with Robbins when he died. His body was taken to Bloomsburg under military escort, and then to his parents' home. The funeral was held on October 2, 1918 at the Methodist Church in Eyer's Grove, and he was buried in Kitchen's Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant Township, Columbia County. Earle Robbins was survived by his parents, two brothers, and two sisters. They had suffered a great loss, as did all the current and future students at Millville High School that no longer had their principal and educational mentor. This loss was expressed by Earle's mother Mary, who had the following words carved on his tombstone, "If we live a pure life like him, we shall all be reunited."
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