LAWRENCE L. LOOBY, whose farming interests are valuable and have been developed through his energy and perseverance, was born in county Tipperary, Ireland, on the 29th of May, 1846, his birthplace being in the parish of Kilfeode. His parents were John and Winifred (Hanley) Looby, and the former died in 1855, while the latter died in 1860, so that Lawrence L. Looby was left an orphan at the age of sixteen years. Two years later he became a resident of America, landing in Boston, Massachusetts, where he resided for about five years, working at the currier's trade. He then sought a home in the west, coming to Menard county, where he worked by the month as a farm hand for about two years. He was then employed by the Union Pacific Railroad Company from 1868 until the road was completed in 1869. He worked along the line from Omaha to Greenview and Point Rocks and also from Menard county to California. He was afterward employed in the line of his trade in San Francisco, spending about eleven months in California, after which he returned to Menard county. Later he went to Chicago and served on the police force of that city under Captain Michael Hickey, Superintendent Kennedy being in charge at that time, while Mayor Odell was mayor of the city. He served on the force for two years and two months. He afterward worked in the stockyards for a year in the employ of John Brennock, after which he returned to Menard county and secured employment as a farm hand.
On the 1st of January, 1880, Mr. Looby was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Boyer, a daughter of Charles and Mary (Humphrey) Boyer. Her father was born in England and was the son of John Boyer, the owner of a large estate in that country. Mr. Looby now has in his possession the probate of the will of Robert Boyer, deceased, father of Charles Boyer, dated November 23, 1803, and executed by John Wills. Mr. Looby also has parchment deeds showing the transfer of land in England to his wife's father and his brother John, the deed bearing date of August 1, 1765. Charles Boyer came to America prior to November 1, 1839, and settled in Sangamon county, for at that date he received from the United States a patent for three hundred and twenty acres of land in that county. He afterward added to his property and at his death he left three hundred and fifty-nine acres of highly improved land, which is now in possession of Mr. Looby and constitutes the home farm of the family. His wife was a native of New York. Both were members of the Presbyterian church and in his political views he was a Republican. Mrs. Boyer died at the age of sixty-three years, Rev. R.D. Miller conducting the funeral services, while Mr. Boyer died October 11, 1878, and thus passed away two of the honored pioneer citizens of central Illinois.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Boyer were born three children: Frank, Lizzie and John. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Looby has been blessed with six children: John E., who was born December 19, 1880, and died in infancy; Mamie, who was born December 19, 1881, and is now acting as her father's housekeeper; Kittie, who was born in 1882 and died in infancy; Winnie, who was born in 1884 and died in childhood; Charles, who was born January 27, 1886, and is living at home with his father; and William H., whose birth occurred August 7, 1891, and who is also upon the home farm. The wife and mother died December 17, 1900, at the age of forty-seven years, and her death was deeply regretted by many friends. She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church and was ever devoted to the welfare and happiness of her husband and children.
Since his marriage Mr. Looby has been engaged in general farming and stock-raising and has worked earnestly and persistently to accumulate a comfortable competence. He is now the owner of a valuable property and his land is well improved, having been placed by him under a high state of cultivation. He is a member of the Catholic church and in his political views is a Democrat, but has had neither time nor inclination to seek public office, preferring to give his attention to his business affairs, in which he has met with creditable success. He is the owner of many valuable and interesting old heirlooms. In addition to the papers mentioned above, he has in his possession a diamond setting for twenty-four diamonds surrounding a case containing a lock of hair cut from his father-in-law's head. This setting was made one hundred and twenty years ago. He also has a solid gold bracelet set with diamonds that was worn by his wife's grandmother and likewise a pair of her slippers. Another of his possessions is a solid gold snuff box that was used by his wife's father and grandfather, and also his parents, and is now one hundred and fifty years old. A solid silver bowl, which has been handed down as an heirloom, bears the date of December 6, 1703. He likewise has parchments which are deeds and land grants dating back as far as 1500 and which transfer the title of lands in England to the Boyer family.