Search billions of records on

COLBY, Theodore I.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 993-994

Theodore I. COLBY hsa for many years been engaged in blacksmithing in Rockford [Winnebago County, IL], and is now doing business at No. 128 North Madison Street.  In the pursuit of that trade he has acquired quite a little fortune and is now well-to-do.   His shop is 33x60 feet, and he employs two men to help him.  On coming to Rockford, he did journeyman work for three years for Sam CHURCH, and then embarked in business for himself.  He came to the city from Detroit [Wayne County], MI, where he completed his trade, having begun it in Canada.

Mr. COLBY was born in the township of Richford, Tioga County, NY, and when a lad of ten years removed to the Province of Ontario, Canada, with his parents, Charles and Mary A. (SHAFFER) COLBY.  The paternal grandfather of our subject, David COLBY, was a native of ME and of English descent.  He married Miss FARRINGTON, of the Pine Tree State [ME], and a part of their family was reared in ME, but in an early day they removed to Tioga County, NY, where they resided upon a farm throughout the remainder of their lives.   They were among the pioneer settlers of that county and were highly respected people.  In religious belief, it is thought they were Universalists, [p 994] as was their son, Charles, the father of our subject.  On removing to Canada, the latter located on a farm at Chatham, where he is still living at the very advanced age of 91 years.  He is still hale and hearty, the infirmities of age resting lightly upon him.   His wife died at their home in Chatham [Province of Ontario, Canada] at the age of 65.  She was bon in the Mohawk Valley in NY, and was a daughter of Jacob SHAFFER, a native of Schoharie County, NY, of German lineage.  Jacob SHAFFER was twice married, his first union being with Miss HOUSE, who became the mother of Mrs. COLBY.  She died in the Empire State [NY], and he married Miss CYPHER, of the same state, who died in Canada when well advanced in years.  Mr. SHAFFER was called to his final rest at the age of 75.

Our subject is the eldest of five sons and three daughters:  the latter are all now deceased, but the sons are yet living and are all married.  It was in Chatham that T. I. COLBY led to the marriage altar Miss Barbara McKAY, who was born on Prince Edward Island in 1834, and came of an old Scotch family.  Her parents were Donald and Huena (McKAY) McKAY, both natives of Scotland.  They were married on Prince Edward Island, and afterwards removed to the Province of Ontario, where as farming people they resided for some time.  Later they removed to Ridgeway [Lenawee County], MI, where they spent their last days, both having reached the age of 80 years when called to their final home.

For many years Mr. and Mrs. COLBY have lived and labored together, and their efforts have been blessed with prosperity.  They now have a pleasant home at No. 403 North Third Street, which is the abode of hospitality and a favorite resort with their many friends.   They attend the Centennial Methodist Church, of which Mrs. COLBY is a member.   Their union has been blessed by one son, Charles E., who possesses a great natural artistic talent and is a successful artist.  He married Lillian BALDWIN, and they have a little daughter, Bessie, who is the joy of their home and the pet of her grandparents.

Mr. COLBY exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, but has never sought political preferment for himself.  He is a member of Ellis Lodge No. 104, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.  His residence in Rockford covers a period of 36 years, during which time he has won a handsome competence, and also by his upright life has gained the respect and good will of those with whom he has been brought in contact.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.