R. TOBEY, a worthy representative of the enterprise and intelligence of the little city of Mattoon, during his younger years served first as a soldier in the Union army, and then coming to the West, engaged in the furniture business at Mattoon, where he has since remained and been closely identified with its mercantile and industrial interests. He is a native of West Alexandria, Preble Co., Ohio, where his birth took place in 1839, and is the son of Rev. Michael I. and Catherine (Rouher) Tobey, natives of Maryland. |
The father of our subject commenced his ministry in connection with the United Brethren Church at Sharpsburg, Md., about 1836, and continued preaching thereafter for a period of fifteen years. In the meantime he had removed to Ohio, of which he was a resident until 1854, when he came to this county and settled at Mattoon in 1855. He finally became associated with his son, our subject, in the furniture business, and remained thus connected until his death, which took place in 1869. The mother is still living, making her home with our subject. The parental family included five children, of whom only two are now living, our subject and his sister, Mrs. W. F. Miller, of Mattoon. Michael Tobey was the first Mayor of Mattoon, which was incorporated as a city about 1856. He served as Township Collector two terms and was otherwise identified with city and township affairs. Politically he was in earlier years an old-line Whig, and later identified himself with the Republicans.
Our subject received a good education, completing his studies in the college at Westerville, Ohio. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in Co. B, 7th Ill. Vol. Inf., serving two and one-half years, and participating in many important battles and skirmishes. He fortunately escaped serious injury in his conflicts with the enemy, and his acquaintance with the hardships of a soldier’s life, and after receiving his honorable discharge, located at Mattoon and engaged in the furniture business, in which he has continued now for a period of twenty-three years. He has been a member of the Board of Education eleven years and is Treasurer of the Masonic Lodge.
Mr. Tobey was married in 1869, to Miss Cynthia A. Woods, a native of this State, and the daughter of Rev. J. W. Woods, of tho Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Their two children are Florence and Raymond P. They occupy a neat and comfortable home, and Mr. Tobey, true to his early principles, is a decided Republican, politically, and socially a member in good standing of the G. A. R.