Bessie Robinson was Canowindra’s first woman activist who with her family and descendants contributed greatly to the development of Canowindra. Her father, William Robinson, was an early innkeeper in South Canowindra and the town’s first developer. Bessie married firstly John Flanagan. She inherited 160 acres in 1861 in North Canowindra from her father on which the town of Canowindra developed between present Gaskill Street and Tilga Street. Bessie and John Flanagan came to run the old Victoria Hotel from 1868, built on her land. Bessie had four children. Widowed in 1872 she agitated for a school. Her second husband, Thomas Clyburn, worked with her to gain this and the school opened in 1875. In 1878 they developed the Clyburn subdivision on their land and built several shops in the main street, later Gaskill Street. Six children were born to Bessie and Tom. He died in 1891 and Bessie remarried James Marshall. Together they developed the 1904 Marshall subdivision to Ferguson Street. A further Marshall estate subdivision in 1922 , the year of her death, developed the town to its present northern boundary of Clyburn Street. This included a Flanagan Street honouring her two husbands. Her descendants have continued to be prominent in public life in Canowindra. Her grand daughter, Amelia Rygate, was the first Canowindra woman to be a member of State (NSW) Upper House.