|ROMANZO H. COLBY is another of the substantial citizens of the town of Oregon, who, by his industry and honorable methods has won for himself a reasonable competence and the respect and esteem of all who know him.
He was born in Erie County, N.Y., on February 18, 1839, and his parents-Giles and Julia (Childs) Colby-were also natives of the Empire state. Our subject attended the district schools in the place of his birth until nine years of age, when, in 1848, the family removed to Wisconsin and settled near Mt. Zion, in Rock County, and he finished his education there. The father rented a farm on Rock Prairie, where he remained two or three years, and then moved his family to Monticello, where for two years he worked a farm on shares, and then moved to a farm in Rutland township, Dane county. He remained at the latter place about two years, and then moved to Exeter, in Green County, where the father, mother and oldest son died of typhoid fever, in 1854, the father being fifty-five years old at the time of his death.
After the sad breaking of the home circle the remaining members of the family became scattered, and the surviving sons came to the town of Oregon, where the subject of the review commenced working by the month as a farm hand and continued so engaged for several years, after which he began farming independently.
But the tocsin of war soon called him from his peaceful pursuits, and on February 22, 1864, he enlisted as a private in Company I of the Thirty-sixth Regiment Wisconsin Infantry. This regiment was organized at Camp Randall, Madison, under the supervision of Col. Frank A. Haskell, and it left the state on May 10, 1864. With the regiment Mr. Colby participated in the fighting about Spotsylvania Courthouse, the second battle of Cold Harbor, and on the Jerusalem plank road. In the latter engagement, on June 22, 1864, he was severely wounded, receiving a bullet though his left arm, which made it necessary to have part of the bone removed, and he was sent back to the Harwood hospital at Washington. He was transferred to the veteran reserve corps on January 18, 1865, and was mustered out on February 9, following, on account of the disability caused by the wound. Mr. Colby has a picture, which he received in July 1864, representing a view of the hospital where he was confined.
After his discharge from the army he purchased ninety acres of land, lying east of his present residence, and built a dwelling house thereon in 1866. He then sold that property and purchased the place where he now resides. He has always followed the occupation of a farmer, and in that exclusive line of work has achieved flattering success, wholly unaided, excepting by the wise counsels and encouragement of a faithful wife. Mr. Colby now possesses tow-hundred and sixty acres of land.
There were five children born to the parents of the subject of this review and of these four are still living: Henry M. resides at Scranton, Ia.; Lorenzo, who is the twin brother of our subject, resides in Tuscola county, Mich., and G. S. Colby resides at Willamette, Ore. Mr. Colby was married in the month of June 1863, to Miss Louise Faulkes, daughter of John and Nancy (Ford) Faulkes, of the city of New York. She is one of a family of seven children, six of whom are living: Charles resides in Leroy, Ia.; Anna is now Mrs. Smith and resides at North Chicago; George resides on a farm near the subject of this review; and Emma resides in North Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Colby are the parents of eight children the names and other information concerning whom follow: John L. married Elona Bird (Burd?) and resides in Wingra Park; Nona E. married Charles Baldwin, of Madison, and is now deceased. Ralph F. married Emma Balfour and resides in the village of Oregon; Gertude married Ira Dalrymple and resides in Belleville; Charles Edward is deceased; Charles C. resides with this father; Arthur A. married Jane Leslie and resides on a farm near his father; Grace E. died in infancy.
R. Colby is a Republican in his political affiliations and has served one term on the Oregon town board. In religious faith he is a Spiritualist.
1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 184-186.