Lillie Lang Robison– A Lacemaker’s Life History

Lillie and Alma Robison

Lillie and Alma Robison

Lillie Lang was born on a farm three miles north of Beaver Utah, known as North Creek, to John Mickelson Lang and Annie Maria Ipson Lang, 1 October, 1888.  She was the fourth child in a family of eleven.

Lillie could half-sole and re-heel shoes; she could build and repair buildings; she could cook and sew, and she painted beautifully.  She crocheted and designed fine lace, tatted, embroidered, quilted, wove rag rugs and recited literature.  She even took piano lessons. Her favorite hymn to play was “Nearer My God to Thee”. She was a patient mother, sister, wife and gardener.

When she was 16 she and her family moved to Buckhorn Springs, halfway between Beaver and Paragonah, in Iron County.  She first saw her future husband, Alma Pratt Robison, in Buckhorn.  She was hanging out clothes when he called on her sister, Ina.  He greeted her but because she was bashful and went into the house, she never saw him for two years.  She knew from first sight that he was the one for her.  After a final courtship, they traveled with her sister, Ina Limb, as their chaperone in a white top buggy to St. George where, with the roses blooming, on 23 April 1912, they were married.

Grandma Lillie's Bonnet, roll stitch lace edge

Grandma Lillie’s Lace Bonnet, with the distinctive roll stitch lace edge

Their oldest child, Birdie Isabella Robison, was born two years later, 12 January, 1914.

Alma and Lillie lived in a one-roomed log cabin in Buckhorn Springs while Alma worked on building up a homestead there. Birdie later wrote that the homestead “had artisian flowing wells and a root cellar.  Heat mirages, lizards and badgers were about, and there was un-tilled ground on many sides.  In the spring floods separated us from our cousins.”

Lillie went on to have another child, a son, Willis Alma Robison 28 January, 1918, but after his birth, due to complications, Lillie was able to bear no more children.

They struggled through difficult times– the flu epidemics, and then the depression, moving here and there.  Alma started a cherry orchard in Kaysville, but they lost that in the bad times.  Through all the moving and striving to make a living, the one constant was the spirit of the home Lillie made.  She kept a clean, neat, well-ordered home; always serving meals regularly and clothing and feeding her family and making all who came welcome and comfortable too.

“If there is room in the heart, there is room in the home.” –Lillie Lang Robison

After Birdie and Willis were married, Alma suffered from heart trouble and died 22 December 1941.  Lillie was heartbroken.  She lived with her daughter Birdie for a time, but when Lillie’s sister Martha died unexpectedly, Birdie writes,

“she felt strongly that she was called to help raise Martha’s family, so she married Uncle Carlos, and cooked, washed, ironed, doctored, trained, guided and disciplined the family of ten of the twelve unmarried children.  When Donal, the oldest son was serving in the Navy got word of his Aunt Lillie’s coming to mother the children, he said, “Of all the women father could have picked, he couldn’t have picked a better one.” She lived, loved, mothered, and served in this family more than 22 years.”

After Carlos had a stroke and his children put him in a nursing home in Brigham City, Lillie came home and again lived with Birdie.

Mary Rockwood remembers her grandma Robison “climbing the garage with hammer and nails to repair the roof, and shimmying down again when dad came home so he wouldn’t know.”  She did a good job too.

Lillie Lang Robison died 29 September, 1965, three days before her 77th birthday.

“…My dear Aunt Lillie will always live in my memory as one of the kindest persons I’ve ever known, not only kind words, but kind, kind deeds.  And you know she must have been tired, but she never thought of herself.  We all have to stand before the judgment seat of God, and I doubt if there ever was a person with more genuine compassion for her fellowmen wherever they were.  God knows, and will reward her.”  –Birdie Despain McMillian (1965)

AlmaAndLillie1929Related Posts:

Grandma Lillie’s Star Lace Edging

Grandma Lillie’s Heirloom Roll Stitch Bonnet

Lillie and Lily: Another Generation