Robert Nicholl was born at Cullybackey in 1832 and was for a long time closely identified with the public life of the village. In his early years he was an oatmeal miller in the old mill which stood just opposite the Miller’s Row, on the site which was for many years occupied by Maine Limited or known locally as the Maine Works.
Later he carried on an extensive grocery business at Cullybackey, in a house at the bridge, and at Hillmount before moving to Belfast where he entered the service of the City Corporation, until failing health forced him to resign.
He was of an age that could look back to the 1859 Revival. A man of high character and a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church. Ordained to the eldership in Cuningham Memorial congregation on 11th May 1882, he took an active part in the work of the Session, and of the Sabbath School, where he taught a large class of boys and girls.
On moving to Belfast in 1889 he joined the Albert Street Presbyterian Church where he continued his beloved work in the Sabbath School and was again installed as an elder in this church on 4th May 1905.
Mr Nicholl passed away at his residence Brookmount Street, Belfast, on 24th December 1917 aged eighty-five, and is laid to rest in the family burying ground at the Old Churchyard, Ahoghill.