- Born: 1810
- Marriage (1): Ellen Martha Spencer ASHLIN in 1843
- Marriage (2): Agnes HARVEY on 19 Jun 1949 in Parish Church, Battersea, London
- Died: 9 May 1862, Ballysodare, Eire aged 52
User ID: ID.35.
Robert Culbertson is believed to have lived in a house called Avena in Ballysodare, near Sligo, Eire. He was a mill owner (see below) and a J.P. He appears to have had one son from a first marriage and then 6 children by Agnes Harvey. There was also a strong link with the LYONS family.
In Ballysodare church there is a handsome stained glass memorial window in memory of Robert Culbertson Esq. JP as well as a memorial plaque.
From "History of Sligo" by Archdeacon O'Rorke:-
In 1833 Mr Robert Culbertson erected a great Oatmeal Mill. He later erected on the left bank a famous Flour Mill. A great explosion occurred here in 1856, which destroyed the mill and killed and
maimed many workers. The shock ruined Mr Culbertson's health, and it was due to the memory of this disaster that the large hearted and tender hearted man's health deteriorated, also the state of his mind. So much not for his own losses, but for the loss of life and limb that had befallen so many of his neighbours.
About 1840, Mr Culbertson's new mill was burned down with immense quantities of oats and meal that it contained; and in 1856 an explosion took place in his flour mill - the largest and best appointed in Ireland - which blew off the roof with a stunning sound, shot sheets of flame in an instant through all parts of the building, destroyed vast stores of breadstuffs, and caused the loss of nine lives. It is supposed that this calamity was occasioned, in some way not discovered, by chemicals, which, it seems, were freely used for colouring the flour, and were kept under lock and key in a room in the mill. The person who had care of this department was absent in England at the time of the explosion.
The names of those who lost their lives are, James Brennan, James Tighe, Mark Brown, John Connington, Edward Drummy, William Boyd, William Boyd, jun. (son of preceding), William
Taylor and William Smith. Those who suffered, but survived, were Edward Rochfort, Robert Mulvagh, John Brothers, Thomas Tiernan, James Carter, John Carroll and John Johnston.
22-Feb-1999 Letter from Tom Waugh with inscription on grave stone in St Johns Church of Ireland cemetery in John Street, Sligo as follows:-
Sacred to the memory of Ellen M Culbertson who departed this life on the 18th April 1845 aged 25 years. Also of her daughter Ellen who died January 2nd 1847 aged 4 years, also Robert Culbertson Ballisodare who departed this life 9th May 1862 aged 52 years. Universally beloved and respected. Also of Agnes Culbertson who departed this life 8th October 1868 aged 46 years."
Also pamphlet with:-
In the year 1833, Mr Robert Culbertson erected the great oatmeal mill on the right bank of the river. Later, he put up, on the left bank, the famous flour mill, which for several years after its erection, supplied all the shopkeepers and bakers of County Sligo as well as many in the counties of Roscommon and Leitrim. In 1840, Culbertson's new mills were burned down, and large quantities of oats and meal were destroyed. The cause of the fire is not known, but we do know that the mills were quickly rebuilt and Culbertson continued to work them successfully. In 1856, there was a fatal explosion in the mills which blew the entire roof off the structure, killed nine men, maimed several workmen, destroyed vast stores of wheat and flour and much of the machinery. It is reputed that the explosion was caused by chemicals which were used for colouring the flour, and which were kept locked in a room at the mill. The person in charge of this department was absent in England when the explosion occurred, and thus, it is not known how it
The 170 ton Tolagazone, carrying Indian corn for Robert Culbertson of Sligo and Ballisodare wrecked on the Bomore Rocks off Inishmurray. Captain and crew rescued by the Mullaghmore
Noted events in his life were:
• Occupation: Merchant & Mill Owner: Ballysodare, Eire.
Robert married Ellen Martha Spencer ASHLIN in 1843. (Ellen Martha Spencer ASHLIN was born about 1820 and died on 18 Apr 1845 in Ballysodare, Eire.)
Robert next married Agnes HARVEY, daughter of John HARVEY and Louisa Ann HALL, on 19 Jun 1949 in Parish Church, Battersea, London. (Agnes HARVEY was born in 1822, died on 8 Oct 1868 and was buried in St John's, Sligo.)
Marriage Certificate, PRO reference June 1849, Wandsworth 4, 537
Agnes: full age, spinster
residence Lavender Hill, Battersea
father John Harvey: father's rank or profession gentleman
Robert: full age, widower, merchant
residence Ballisodare, County of Sligo:
father David Culbertson: father's rank or profession merchant
in the presence of John Harvey, Helen Harvey, Adelaide Harvey