Born near Maysville, Kentucky, Robinson attended the public schools. He moved to Rush County, Indiana. He engaged in the mercantile business in Milroy, Indiana. County clerk of Rush County, Indiana from 1841 to 1845.
Robinson was elected as a Democrat to the Thirtieth, Thirty-first, and Thirty-second Congresses (March 4, 1847-March 3, 1853). He served as chairman of the Committee on Roads and Canals (Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses). He was appointed by President Pierce as United States marshal for the southern district of Indiana in 1853. Reappointed by President Buchanan in 1858 and served until his death. He was appointed brigade inspector of the fourth military district of Indiana in 1854. Trustee of Indiana University at Bloomington 1856-1859. He died at Rushville, Indiana, March 21, 1860. He was interred in East Hill Cemetery.
John L. Robinson, 90, dies; promoted many food ventures; His State Fair concessions were used as food test labs.(NEWS)(Obituary)
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