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View of Thomas Colby Residense - Gilboa
Residence of Thomas Colby, Gilboa, New York


In the early part of this century, there came from the State of New Hampshire, Nicholas Colby, who settled in the then town of Blenheim, [now Gilboa] Schoharie County, with his wife Sally or Sarah . Here he reared a family of twelve children. The eldest, Eli H. Colby, married Elizabeth Mackey, and settled in the town of Roxbury, Delaware county. Eli's family consisted of eight children, the oldest of whom is Thomas Colby the subject of our present sketch. Thomas Colby was born in the town of Roxbury, Delaware county, on the 23rd of March, 1833, and although he attended none but a common school, yet by perseverance he obtained a good education.

At twenty-one he was without worldly means, save the energy and push which he so assiduously cultivated, fired with the zeal, enterprise and thrift so prominently developed later in life, and together with the working capital of a strong arm and determined heart, he decided as he expressed it, to strike out for himself. He bought the farm of 150 acres where he now lives, and soon after added another 100 acres, all of which was in a very low state of cultivation, at the time of his purchase, and would not keep over ten head of cattle. Mr. Colby has so improved it that it now keeps over sixty head, and is one of the best farms in the town of Gilboa. It is situated on the line of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, which runs in the valley below, but a few hundred yards off. His residence is located in plain view of the Catskill mountains which give it a pleasant and picturesque appearance. He also owns another farm of about 100 acres situated one mile north of his residence, which he works in connection with the home farm. His farms are devoted strictly to dairying, sending milk to the New York market in the winter season and the making of butter and raising of stock during the summer. Mr. Colby's stock is the Jersey, which he thinks is superior to any other for dairy purposes. He is pre-eminently a working man himself, and is always with his hired help, some of whom have been with him for years.

In politics he is a Republican, and has been honored with several town offices. He meets his obligations promptly, is a man of few words, considers it beneath his dignity to hold argument with any one, and belongs to no church. Mr. Colby has been twice married, his first wife was Julia S. Decker, by whom he was blessed with three children, all of whom died in infancy. By his second wife he has had two children, Thomas, Jr., and Emma.

Mr. Colby is a very conscientious man; his opinions are always fearless and honest, never hesitating to denounce what he believes to be wrong, because others favor it, and never courting popularity at the expense of his honor.

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