Alexander Robinson (Che-che-pin-qua) was born to an Ottawa mother and Scottish trader father in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He was instrumental in negotiating the Treaty of St. Louis and the Treaty of Prairie du Chien. For his services, he was given a two square mile tract of land along the Des Plaines River from roughly Cumberland Avenue to Ruby Street and from roughly Addison Street to Higgins Road. His last days were spent on his reserve east of River Road and north of Lawrence Avenue He died there and is buried in a family plot north of Lawrence Avenue along East River Road.
Che-Che-Pin-Qua lived in the area that is now Harwood Heights at the time of the War of 1812. He was best remembered for shepherding the remains of a group of settlers who were slaughtered by the Potawatomi to safety at Fort Mackinac.
Robinson is said to have had a colorful life, published accounts show he knew Abraham Lincoln and was one of the five richest men in the area. He died at an advanced age on Monday, April 22, 1872. Robinson and one of his wives, Catherine Chevalier (daughter of a Potawatomi Chief) as well as other members of his family are buried near East River Road and Montrose Avenue in what today is part of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
His descendents, including a granddaughter, lived on the property till a fire burned the house down in the spring of 1955. They did not rebuild. On Tuesday, February 9, 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Macky Pamonicutt, Robinson’s great-, great-, great-, great- grandson and other heirs are claiming that the land was stolen by Cook County government leaders and condemned. In 1973, Herbert Boettcher, a family member died and unnamed sanitation officials worked to prevent his burial at the Robinson family gravesite for “sanitation reasons”.