John K. Robison was born in Milford Township, Juniata Co., July 17, 1829, the son of John and Jane (Kincaid) Robison; attended local schools, pursued farming, and served the militia as Captain of Juniata Troop, Co. A., First Cavalry. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Senator Robison mustered into federal service, October 10, 1862, Captain, 161st Regt., PVI, 16th Cavalry. Robison’s 16th was engaged in a staggering 90 major battles and skirmishes from the defense of Washington to the surrender at Appomattox, including: Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, the Bristoe campaign (wounded), the Mine Run Campaign, the 1863 Shenandoah Valley campaign, assault on Richmond, Yellow Tavern, Haw’s Shop (wounded), the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond, Malvern Hill, Charles City Crossroads, Reams Station, Boydton Plank Road and Hatcher’s Run, Dabney’s Mills and Hatcher’s Run, Farmville (wounded, leading a saber charge), Appomattox Court House, and Lee’s surrender. He was awarded a brevet promotion to Brig. General, March 16, 1865.
After the war, he represented Juniata County in the state Senate, 1867-1870, served as State Factory Inspector under Governor Hastings, and Lt. Col. – aide de camp to Governor Beaver’s staff. He married twice: Isabella McKennan, who died in 1888; and second, Rebecca Crawford, daughter of state Senator, Dr. David Crawford. Col. Robison died in Mifflintown, June 20, 1917.