Calvin Augustus Robey

Calvin A. and Isabelle (Dunn) Robey

Returning from service in the Civil war with a creditable military record, Calvin Augustus Robey purchased one hundred and three acres of land on section 32, Paint Creek township, and upon this property he has since carried on the work of improvement and development, making it today one of the model farms of the locality. In the course of years he has gained success, prominence and a substantial fortune and he is ranked today among the representative and able citizens of this part of Iowa. He was born in Monongalia county, West Virginia, September 27, 1843, and is a son of Hezekiah and Caroline (Porter) Robey, the former a native of Ohio, born in 1812, the latter a native of West Virginia. The grandfather of C. A. Robey was Loyd Robey, who emigrated direct from Scotland to Ohio, in an early day. The subject of this sketch came to Allamakee county with his parents in 1855, and the father farmed on rented land until his death, four years later. His wife survived him many years, dying in Jefferson township at the age of eighty. To them were born seven children: Calvin A., of this review; M. L., Sarah and J. C., all of whom have passed away; E. W., of Dickinson county, Iowa; James, deceased; and one who died in infancy.

Calvin A. Robey acquired a grammar-school education in his native state and in Allamakee county, and while still pursuing his studies enlisted at Rossville in Company K, First Iowa Cavalry, and went south with his regiment. He spent two and one-half years in the Western Army, engaging in scouting and in charging on towns, firing on the rebels and expelling them from their strongholds, and with a creditable military record returned to Allamakee county after peace was declared. He purchased one hundred and three acres of land in Paint Creek township containing a few log buildings but destitute of other improvements. With characteristic energy Mr. Robey set himself to develop this property and has carried forward the work throughout the intervening years, his farm being today one of the model properties of this vicinity. In addition to it he owns a controlling interest in three hundred acres of fine timber land in Linton township, probably the largest tract of the kind in Iowa. Mr. Robey has engaged in the lumber business for a number of years and has cut, sawed and piled about four hundred thousand feet of good hardwood lumber. At the age of seventy he is still active and hearty and accomplishes every day work which would be a credit to a man twenty years his junior.

In Allamakee county Mr. Robey was united in marriage, May 13, 1866, to Miss Isabelle Dunn, who was born in West Virginia, a daughter of William Dunn, an early settler in Allamakee county, where he located in 1852. Mrs. Robey passed away December 21, 1911. She was a devout member of the Baptist church, which she joined as a girl of fourteen, and was a lady of many exemplary qualities of character and highly respected and esteemed wherever she was known. She became the mother of eleven children: Angie, the wife of J. L. Kelly, of Paint Creek township; Edith, who married O. B. Kelly, of Jefferson township; B. L., a farmer of Jefferson township, who married Lois M. Lovelace, a Baptist minister's daughter; Bertha G., the wife of S. H. Reeve, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ray C., who married Hazel Henderson, a native of Jefferson township; Ella W., the deceased wife of A. L. McClintock; Harry, who was killed by a horse when he was twelve years of age; William Dudley, who died at about the same age; Edna, who passed away at thirteen; and two children who died in infancy. .
A progressive and public-spirited citizen, Mr. Robey has always taken an intelligent interest in community affairs and, representing the republican party, has held various positions of trust and responsibility. He twice took the census of Paint Creek township and indeed held all of the important township offices, his public career being varied in service and faultless in honor. Although he received only a common school education, he is today a well informed and cultured man, having throughout his entire life been a wide reader and a deep thinker. His home had always been supplied with numerous and well selected books and a spirit of refinement has pervaded it. Mr. Robey has been an extensive traveler and while his wife was living she accompanied him on various journeys through the eastern and western states. In 1913 he took a trip to Philadelphia in order to visit his daughter who resides there and also to attend the reunion of the Grand Army of the Republic held on the Gettysburg battlefield. Since 1868 he has kept a diary of all the important events in the township and county and is thoroughly familiar with this section of Iowa from pioneer times to the present. He has been closely identified with Allamakee county in its upbuilding and prosperity and is justly accounted a progressive and representative citizen. From time to time he has given hearty cooperation to many movements for the public good and has contributed in a substantial measure to the development and growth of one of the greatest counties in Iowa.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller

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