Helen Larrabee

Helen Larrabee was born in Clermont, Iowa on November 30, 1876.

Helen was educated in Clermont schools, boarding schools in the East, and several years at the University of Iowa.

Helen met Charles Robbins when she visited her sister Julia in Lincoln. One of Julia's closest friends and neighbors was a University of Nebraska student, Edith Robbins. Her younger brother, Charles Burton, orphaned at age 14, had stayed with Julia and her husband Don Love.
Helen with her firstborn Anna Marcella  

On September 9, 1903, she married Colonel Charles Burton Robbins and moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Charles Robbins joined a Nebraska infantry unit, saw action in Manila during the Phillipine Insurrection, helped General Pershing chase down Pancho Villa in Mexico, and served in WWI.

In 1909, Charles was appointed to the superior court bench in Iowa. The Robbins' household was a most hospitable one and not only did the Judge and his wife occupy a most enviable position in the social circles of Cedar Rapids but were also widely known throughout the state.

Helen and Charles had 3 children: Anna, Julia, and Lewis.

Helen passed away on August 9, 1919 at age 43. She died from complications of brain surgery at Peter Bent Brigham hospital in Boston. She had a lengthy disease that resulted in the loss of sight in one of her eyes.

This is an excerpt from the files of the Peter Bent Brigham hospital from 1919 (Helen is not specifically identified but all indications are that the patient is in fact her.) "An acromegalic of 42, who had been refused operation the month before but returned with increased loss of vision. At operation through the tranphenodial route a large amount a large amount of pituitary struma was removed from within the sella turcica. There were no special operative complications but next day the patient was mentally unbalanced, temperature rose to 103 degrees F and there was a cebrospinal fluid leak from the right nostril. Two days after operation she died with symptoms of meningitis. (no autopsy)." Research and information on this hospital document provided by Hannah Frederick, Montauk Historic Site Coordinator

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