Virginia “Virgie” All
en (Hite) Robbins was born on December 6, 1887, in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas, the daughter of Fannie Fern Fitzsimmons and Marion Francis Hite. Her mother, Fannie, passed away in 1897.
Virgie and her sister, Catherine, lived with their grandparents and uncles in Butler County, Nebraska, while attending school in 1900. Virgie also graduated from Tecumseh High School in Nebraska. In 1901, when she was about fourteen, she came to the Arizona Territory and stayed for two and one-half years with her uncle, Dr. Samuel V. Fitzsimmons, and his family.
After a brief trip home to Nebraska, she entered Tempe Normal School, where she participated in many sports and qualified for a teaching position in the public schools. In 1906, she found her first teaching position at Crown King where she earned $75 a month for a nine-month term. Virgie paid $40 a month for room and board, which was common at that time. She rode horseback sixty-five miles to get to her job, alone and unafraid. Her experiences are described in Echoes of the Past, Vol. I in an article entitled “A Teacher in 1906.” Virgie taught in Groom Creek in 1910, Granite Mountain and Williamson Valley, too, all settlements within the Prescott area of Yavapai County.
Romance and marriage claimed Virgie on October 12, 1910. She became the wife of Robert "Bob" Monroe Robbins, whom she met in Crown King. The Robbins clan was a pioneer family with a rich history. Bob had been engaged as a cowboy, butcher (skills learned from the local OK Slaughter House), miner, freight hauler and finally a policeman. By 1915 he was chief of police in Prescott. Virgie and Bob later lived in Clarkdale, Arizona, where Bob worked as special security officer for United Verde Copper Company and as deputy sheriff. Bob also ran markets. He was appointed sheriff in Prescott after Sheriff Ruffner died, then elected to three additional terms. Virgie’s sons, Robert “Bob,” Richard “Dick” and Thomas, also became qualified teachers. One son, Theodore, sadly, died at age three.
During World War II, Virgie taught at Red Rock near Sedona and also at a school near Cottonwood. After the war, the Robbins bought property on Willis Street in Prescott. Virgie was a member of the Congregational Church and the Yavapai Cowbelles, an organization of Arizona women that played a vital role in the cattle industry. Virgie also belonged to the Elks Ladies and to the Mothers’ Club, as well as to the Auxiliary of United Spanish War Veterans. In addition, she was known as a fine horsewoman who broke several horses of her own. She rode racehorses at the county fair and during Frontier Days in the World's Oldest Rodeo in Prescott.
Her chief virtues were kindness and love, and her children always wanted to be home and have their friends with them. She was remembered as a kind and generous wife, mother and friend.
Her sister, Catherine "Cappy" Bozarth, is also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.
Bob died on May 15, 1957, and Virgie died on April 5, 1959. Both are interred in the family plot in Mountain View Cemetery, Prescott, Arizona.
Donors: Mr. and Mrs O. Bozarth, Yavapai Cowbelles and Bobbie, Dick and Thomas Robbins
Photo Located: Yavapai County People & Family Collection – F-Robbins, Dick and Tom
Updated: 06/29/2015, N. Freer