Viewing John E. C. Robinson (1865-1912).
John E. C. Robinson, an Irish immigrant, was twenty-five years old when he was admitted to the bar in St. Cloud in 1890. He thrived on public service. He was city assessor, a library board member and mayor four terms, each a year. When he campaigned for mayor in 1906 he vowed not to enforce a 1905 state law, popularly known as the "lid law," that prohibited saloons from operating on Sundays and after 11 P.M. other days of the week. He was re-elected in April 1906, and was true to his campaign promise, which infuriated local temperance forces led by Rev. C. W. Stark. They filed a complaint in District Court to impeach Mayor Robinson for malfeasance in office. This enabled (or forced) Attorney General Edward T. Young to bring a quo warranto proceeding seeking the ouster of the mayor. Judge Luther Baxter denied Robinson's argument that the court lacked jurisdiction, and an appeal was taken to the state supreme court, which ruled on June 7, 1907, that the attorney general had authority to bring the impeachment suit. Robinson, however, was not impeached because he had resigned his office after being elected to the state senate in in November 1906. He died on February 13, 1912, at age forty-six.