David W. Robb, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia genweb
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David W. Robb

David W. Robb, a well-known and highly esteemed citizen of Amherst, president and general manager of the Robb Engineering Company, Limited, was born in that place, May 9, 1856, son of Alexander and Emeline (Logan) Robb. His paternal grandfather, also named Alexander, was born at Bangor, near Belfast, Ireland.

About 1825 Alexander Robb, Sr., emigrated to Nova Scotia, and settled at Leicester, Cumberland County, where he engaged in farming until his death, at the age of about eighty years. His wife, in maidenhood Ann Brown, was, like himself, a native of Ireland, in which country they were married. They were Presbyterians in religion.

Alexander Robb, the second of that name, was born in Leicester, N.S., in 1827. When a young man he learned the trade of tin an silver smith under Amos Page, of Amherst. In 1848 he established the business now carried on by the Robb Engineering Company, which was begun on a limited scale.

In 1865 a foundry and machine shop was built by him, and the business continued during the active period of his life. His death occurred in 1891, when in his sixty-fourth year. He was an excellent type of the successful, self-made man. Winning his own way in the world, he rose from comparative obscurity to the position of head of one of the most important industries in Amherst. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and in politics a Conservative. His wife, Emeline, who is still living, was a daughter of David Dickey and Margaret (Cummings) Logan, of Amherst Point. Her children now living are : David W., Walter R., Margaret A., and Aubrey G. Frederick B., late secretary and treasurer of the Robb Engineering Company, born in October 1857, was drowned while attending the Young Men's Christian Association boys' camp at Fox Harbor, July 20, 1897. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian church, and took great interest in the Young Men's Christian Association. He married Jesse McFarlane, a niece of the late Senator McFarlane, of Wallace, Cumberland County. Walter R. resides in California, and is engaged in fruit ranching. Margaret A. is the wife of the Rev. D. McGregor, a Presbyterian minister of Amherst. Aubrey G. is superintendent of the Robb Engineering Company, Limited.

David W. Robb was educated in the schools of Amherst. After acquiring a sound general education, he applied himself to the study of mechanical engineering, and in 1888 he was elected a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1878 he, in company with his brother Frederick, was admitted a partner in his father's business, being intrusted with its entire management. The carried it on under the firm name of A. Robb & Sons up to 1890, in which year it was incorporated as the Robb Engineering Company, Limited, with David W. Robb as president and chief engineer. The company manufactures steam engines and boilers for electric tramways and other purposes ; and it has filled important contracts in England, Australia, and other foreign countries. Mr. Robb is also a director of the Amherst Boot and Show Company and of the Canadian Electric Light Company of Amherst. He is a Free Mason, belonging to Amherst Lodge, of which he is a Past Master.

Mr. Robb was married in 1882 to Ida S. Tupper, daughter of the late Dr. Nathan Tupper, of Amherst, a brother of Sir Charles Tupper, Bart. They have three children - Roland W., Vera E., and D. Wendell. Mr. Robb is a Conservative in politics, and he and his family are members of the Presbyterian church. He is recognized by his fellow-townsmen as an enterprising and public-spirited citizen, and is at present serving as a member of the Town Council, having been elected in 1899.