|JOHN LEWIS COLBY is as yet a comparatively young man, but he has achieved a degree of success in his undertakings that is usually only attained by men after years of strenuous endeavor.Mr. Colby was born in the town of Oregon, Dane county, on August 27, 1862, and he is the eldest son of Romanzo H. Colby, who is give a more extended mention on another page of this volume, which is devoted to biographical and genealogical review. Our subject received his education in the district schools of Oregon and at Evansville, and remained with his father upon the farm until he had attained to his legal majority. He then worked one of his father’s farms during the summer and officiated as a schoolteacher in the winter.
At the age of twenty-two he purchased eighty acres of land where the Story post office now stands, and he owned and managed this farm until 1904, teaching school also twelve winters in succession, at Mr. Horeb two years and in the town of Verona one term, the remainder of his pedagogic work being in his native town of Oregon. On March 1, 1896, he purchased the general store business of N.E. Lamb, with post office in connection, at Story, and continued that business for nine years, when he sold out and removed his family to Wingra Park in order that his children might have the superior educational advantages there afforded.
In 1903 he purchased on hundred and twenty-seven and one-half acres of land, in Oregon, lying just across the road from the home of his father, and he still owns the place, although not personally engaged in its cultivation. He purchased the general mercantile establishment at Wingra Park in April 1906, and is catering to the trade of that vicinity in a way this is satisfactory to his many patrons and remunerative to himself.
Mr. Colby was married, November 12, 1891, and the maiden name of his wife was Elona Burd, who was born n the town of Verona, March 11, 1864. She is one of nine children born to William R. and Eliza A. (Mutchler) Burd, highly esteemed residents of Verona. The names of the children in the Burd family, with other facts concerning them, are thus given: Maggie, married W.W. Morse and resides in Baraboo, Wis.; Gertrude is deceased; Lucella married Willis Morse and resides in Madison; Emma is Deceased; Elona is the wife of the subject of this review; Hattie married Robert J. Harvey and resides in Chicago; Sarah married O.W. Donkle and resides in Black Earth, Wis.; Leslie O. resides in Belleville, a biographical sketch of whom appears in this volume; and Clinton B. married Frankie Case and resides in Brooklyn. To Mr. and Mrs. Colby thee have been born three children: Grace, Helen Maud, and Harold Leslie.
In political affairs Mr. Colby maintains an independent attitude, giving his support to men and measures as they meet the approval of his enlightened judgment, regardless of the party emblem they may bear. The confidence of the public in his integrity and ability has been attested on several occasions. He had charge of the Story post office in the town of Oregon eight years, until it was abolished by the location of the rural route, and he filled the responsible position of justice of the peace for the same length of time. He was also secretary and treasurer of the Story Creamery Company for several years.
His religious faith is that which is taught by the Methodist church, and in this as in other matters he give a hearty and unselfish support.
1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 183-184.