JOSEPH TAYLOR ROBINSON, Arkansas’s 23rd governor, was born near Lonoke, Arkansas, on August 26, 1872. He attended the University of Arkansas, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1895. Robinson entered politics in 1894, when he was elected to Arkansas Legislature. Following one term in the legislature, he returned to Lonoke to practice law. In 1902 Robinson won election to the U.S. Congress, representing Arkansas’s Sixth Congressional District, and serving until 1913. Nominated and winning election for governor in 1912, Robinson resigned his seat in Congress on January 14, 1913. He was inaugurated governor on January 16, 1913. On January 28, 1913, Robinson was elected to the U.S. Senate, and continued to hold the governor’s office until March 8, 1913, when he officially resigned. During his short term as governor, appropriations were granted to complete the state capitol, a state-banking department was created, and a bureau of labor statistics was established. Also, the state flag was adopted, and a highway commission was created within the state land department. Robinson had a lengthy and distinguished career in the U.S. Senate. He was reelected in 1918, 1924, 1930, and 1936, and was chosen the Democratic leader in 1922. In 1932 he became the majority leader, a position he held until his death. Senator Joseph Taylor Robinson died in Washington, D.C., on July 14, 1937, and is buried at the Roselawn Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981
Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock; The S.J. Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols.
Old State House Museum