Benjamin Robbins

Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of Centerville, along with his brothers-in-law, Benjamin Archer, and Aaron Nutt, Sr..

Robbins was born in New Jersey in 1760 and was a surveyor and farmer. He married Bathsheba Nutt (Aaron’s sister) in 1782. Throughout their marriage, they had a total of 12 children:

  • Nancy (1783-1858)
  • Richard (1784-1837)
  • Abigail (1787-1854)
  • Elizabeth (1790-1879)
  • Benjamin (1791-1792)
  • Rebecca (1793-????)
  • Samuel (1795-1862)
  • Aaron (1797-1825)
  • Levi (1800-1866)
  • twins Mary (1803-1833) and John (1803-1805)
  • Bathsheba (1806-1845)


In 1786, The Robbins family moved to Pennsylvania, then in 1789 to Dry Ridge, Kentucky, then finally settled in Ohio on April 6, 1797. Robbins reportedly named the new settlement Centreville, after his hometown in New Jersey, and also because it was similarly located between two rivers and two larger communities (Dayton and Lebanon). The spelling was changed to Centerville by the US Post Office by 1900.

Shortly after arriving in 1797, Robbins built a small log cabin on his 160 acres in the northwest area of town (north of Franklin, west of Main Street). He chose that particular section of land because it had many natural springs. The log cabin was later heavily damaged in storms. The log cabin was replaced in 1803 by a stone house at 81 North Main Street, and it still stands as the one-story portion of the Routsong Funeral Home in downtown Centerville.

In 1807, the trustees of the First Baptist Church of Sugar Creek appointed Robbins and others to section off some of its land to form a proper cemetery, which is now Sugar Creek Baptist Cemetery.

Benjamin Robbins died June 3rd, 1837, and is buried in Sugar Creek Baptist Cemetery along with Bathsheba, who passed in 1848.

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