JAMES TOBIN. - The business career of James Tobin has been a successful one, for though he started out in life without capital he is today one of the substantial citizens of Springfield, owning good town and county realty and also conducting a profitable business as a dealer in live stock. Mr. Tobin is a native of Guernsey county, Ohio, born May 23, 1833, a son of Isaac and Matilda (Benton) Tobin, both of whom were natives of Virginia. The father accompanied his parents on their removal from the Old Dominion to Ohio at an early day and assisted in clearing away the timber from the tract of land on which they located and making the place tillable. Throughout his life he carried on agricultural pursuits. In Ohio he was married and unto him and his wife were born seven sons and a daughter, all of whom reached years of maturity, were married and reared families. the eldest son was killed in the mines of California and the parents have also passed away.
James Tobin, the fourth in order of birth of the children, was educated in the district schools of Ohio and through self-instruction. he engaged in teaching school for a time and at night he devoted his attention to study in order to further advance along intellectual lines. He remained with his parents until twenty-one years of age and taught school for one year in Ohio and for three years in Sangamon county, Illinois, where he arrived in 1856. He settled on a farm in Cotton Hill township and in addition to teaching he engaged in speculating in cattle and hogs, buying and shipping stock. He has since followed that pursuit, finding it a profitable business because of his capability in judging stock and so managing his affairs that his sales return to him a good income. In 1866 he purchased a farm in Rochester township and for some time devoted his energies to general farming. At the present time his son, John F., is living on that place. On the 1st of September, 1879, Mr. Tobin took up his abode in Springfield, occupying his present home since that time.
It was on the 8th of August, 1854, in Guernsey county, Ohio, that Mr. Tobin was united in marriage to Miss Ellen J. Marlow, a native of that county, born April 18, 1833, a daughter of Peter and Annie (Moreland) Marlow, of Virginia. Of this marriage eight children were born, of whom five are living: John F., who married Miss Ella Hillman and has six children; Annie, the wife of Charles Varndevener, of Springfield, by whom she has one child; Laura Ollie, the wife of Charles Leverton, who lives near Pleasant Plains, Sangamon county; Flora Etta, the wife of Chester Bowles and the mother of one living child; Mary Frances, who is a twin sister of Flora and is at home. She possesses much artistic talent and several beautiful pictures in the home are evidences of her handiwork, including an excellent crayon portrait of her mother. The daughters Annie and Laura were teachers in the schools of Springfield prior to their marriage.
In addition to his home in Springfield, Mr. Tobin owns two hundred acres of valuable farm land in this county, all well tilled, and he likewise has city property of worth. His political support is given the Democracy, but political honors have had no attraction for him, as he has always preferred to devote his energies to his business affairs, and in his trade relations he has found opportunity to gain a comfortable competence without taking advantage of the necessities of his fellow men. He has a clear record and thus is entitled to the regard in which he is uniformly held.