Birthdate: December 2, 1833
Death Date: April 19, 1887
Plot Location: Section 42, Lot 61
Robert was born in County Tyrone, Ireland and immigrated to America with his parents when he was 3 years old. His family first settled in Washington D.C. where one of Roberts’s teachers was Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth, the famous novelist. A few years later his family moved to Philadelphia.
He began his apprenticeship in the printing trade with T. K. & P. G. Collins. He eventually left for New York where he became a journeyman in his trade. Between 1854 and 1858 he worked in many different cities including Cincinnati, where he worked on the Cincinnati Enquirer. Robert returned to New York where he met and married Eustacia Valentine in 1859 and had several children before she died of tuberculosis in 1877.
Moving back to Philadelphia, he established a printer’s warehouse and founded the Printers Circular in 1866, a journal that provided Philadelphia lithographers with articles about the state of the printing trade. In the same year he was also elected a delegate from Providence (R. I.) Typographical Union, No. 33, to the 14th session of the National Union.
Robert was a champion of working men’s rights, and one of the most popular and prominent members of his profession. For 15 years he was the secretary of the Pennsylvania Editorial Association, eventually becoming its president in 1884. His death in i1887 was the result of “hemorrhage of the bowels.”
He was a member of various societies including: The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Knights of Birmingham, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Northwestern Masonic Aid Association, Order of Sparta, Typographical Society, Hibernian Society, Editorial Association, Franklin Institute, Book Trade Association of Philadelphia, Journalists’ Club and the Stylus Club.
At the bottom of this obelisk is inscribed, “Write me as one who loves his fellow men.” On one side is the name Eleanor Menamin, his second wife, with the inscription “She hath done what she could.” Another side remembers his son Charles, who died six years after Robert.
Support the Friends of Mount Moriah
Help us in our mission to restore and maintain the beautiful Mount Moriah Cemetery by donating to our cause or volunteering at one of our clean-up events.