Our History

/ About / Our History

Our story begins in 1861 when a young man named Henson Robinson founded a business he dedicated the rest of his life to build. Henson Robinson Company has had a front row seat to many historical moments such as the presidency of Abraham Lincoln and the invention of air conditioning and first condensed gas furnace by Carrier. In fact, Henson Robinson even supplied Union Soldiers with tin ware during the Civil War which led to the company quickly becoming an industry leader.

This success carried many decades later to March 1997 when Henson Robinson Company became an employee-owned business. One location change to Great Northern Avenue and many awards later, Henson Robinson Company acquired Petersburg Plumbing and Excavating LLC in 2011 to keep up with demands of today’s marketplace.

In the 160+ years of Henson Robinson Company, there has been one thing that has remained the same: the importance of customer service.

From the beginning, Henson Robinson Company had the goal of making customers top priority, no matter how big or small their purchase. Charles Robinson often could be heard telling employees:

“Our customer’s problems are our problems, so try to solve them as best you can.”

This dedication has built an excellent reputation for quality service in the Central Illinois area. We are proud be leaders in the industry and look forward to growing for many years to come.

Our Brands

Providing high quality products backed with superior customer service and support.

Henson Robinson Henson Robinson Company

Henson Robinson Company is an employee-owned contractor in Central Illinois specializing in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, roofing, plumbing and other systems.

Learn More
Petersburg Plumbing & Excavating LLC

A subsidiary of Henson Robinson Company providing commercial, institutional, and industrial clients with qualified union labor for underground utility services.

Learn More

History

160 years ago a young man named Henson Robinson founded a business which he gave his name, and then labored the rest of his life to build. That time and energy were well spent; the company he founded during Abraham Lincoln's term as president is still prospering today. From the beginning, the Henson Robinson company held the idea that all customers should be treated with respect, no matter how small or how large their purchase. Charles Robinson often told his employees, "Our customer’s problems are our problems, so try to solve them as best you can."

1861

Henson Robinson Company is Founded

The same year the Civil War began, at 22 years of age, a young man named Henson Robinson founded the company to provide Springfield residents with tin roofs, kettles, and cooking and heating stoves. Robinson also spent a lot of his time with Federal Contract to provide tin ware to Union Soldiers.

Civil War Began

1861
1873

Great Chicago Fire

Springfield Paves Streets

1884
1895

State Fair Permanently Moved to Springfield

Charles and Margaret Robinson Take Over the Family Business

After their father passed away in April of 1900, Margaret and Charles H. Robinson became president of Henson Robinson Company. Like his father, Charles believed that all customers should be treated with respect, no matter how small or large their purchase. During this time, the company discontinued its hardware and kitchenware lines to focus on cooking appliances, gas and coal stoves and sheet metal.

1900
1901

Henson Robinson Company Displays Wares at the Illinois State Fair

Willis Carrier Invents Air Conditioning

1902
1908

Cubs Win the World Series

World War I Begins

1915
1921

Cardinals Win the World Series

Carrier Invents First Residential Air Conditioning

1929
1933

Carrier Invents First Condensing Gas Furnace

World War II Begins

1938
1946

Henson C. Robinson Becomes Company President

Charles died in 1946 with the care of Henson Robinson Company being assumed by his three sons and a daughter, in partnership with his sister Margaret. Henson C. Robinson became president and managed the company.

Henson Robinson Company Moved from Downtown Springfield

Henson Robinson Company, which had operated the business from its 112-114 North Fifth Street location since its founding, moved to 2015 Clearlake Avenue shortly before the company's 100th anniversary, consolidating the many departments under one roof.

1960
1963

Henson Robinson Company Refurbishes Capitol Dome

Henson C. Robinson Died

Henson C. Robinson's brother, Stuart, became president and remained active in the company even after he sold the company to two longtime employees that same year.

1964
1970

Springfield Zoo Dedicated in Name of Henson Robinson

As a civic leader, Henson C. Robinson had sought to have a children's zoo brought to Springfield. The Henson Robinson Zoo was named for him and dedicated in 1970.

Henson Robinson Company Receives Thomas H. Madigan Award

Henson Robinson Company was honored for work done at the Dana Thomas House.

1989
1990

Henson Robinson Company Receives First of Many Firestone Master Contractor Awards

Henson Robinson Company Becomes Employee Owned

In March 1997, the owners of Henson Robinson Company each sold their stock to its employees, making it an employee-owned company.

1997
1997

Henson Robinson Company Expands Services to Include Plumbing

Henson Robinson Company Receives First of Many Carrier Distinguished Dealer Awards

1998
2004

Henson Robinson Company Moves to Current Location

In April of 2004, he company relocated from its Clearlake location to the current location at 3550 Great Northern Avenue.

Henson Robinson Company Becomes Founding Member of the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois

2008
2011

Petersburg Plumbing & Excavating Established

Cubs Win Second World Series

2016
2021

Henson Robinson Company Celebrates 160 Years

The company celebrated 160 years as a leading mechanical and roofing contractor in Central Illinois.

Depend on Us

Call us today at (217) 544-8451 to schedule an estimate or service.

Contact Us