Randolph  County,  Indiana

William  H. Roby

            In nearly every community are to be found individuals who, by innate ability and sheer force of character, rise above their fellowmen and win for themselves conspicuous places in public esteem. Such a one is the well- known manufacturer of fertilizer, William H. Roby, of Winchester, Randolph county, a man who has been identified with the material growth and development of this locality for many years, wielding a potent influence in business circles, while his career as a progressive man of affairs has been synonymous with all that is honorable.
            Mr. Roby was born May 23, 1857 in Huntington county, Indiana. He is a son of Jacob H. and Sarah (Griffith) Roby. The father was born in Ohio and the mother was a native of Virginia. Both removed from their respective communities with their parents in early pioneer days and spent their earlier years in Indiana. Jacob H. Roby engaged in farm work when young, later learning the plasterer's trade which he followed until his death in Huntington county.
            William H. Roby lived in Hartford City, this state until he was twelve years of age, at which time his mother died and he was thrown on his own resources, consequently, his education in the public schools was meager; but this has been made up in after years by miscellaneous home reading and by actual contact with the business world. He first learned the plasterer's trade, but about the time he became a skilled workman his eyes became so badly affected that he abandoned this field and learned to be a millwright, which trade he followed for a number of years, also followed railroad bridge building until the year 1900, doing an extensive business, and becoming known as one of the best men in this line of endeavor in this section of the Middle West. During that period he made his home at Mt. Carmel, Illinois. He was an extensive builder of mill properties. In May, 1904, he came to Winchester, Indiana. In December, 1907, he located two miles west of this city on a farm and became engaged in the farm fertilizer business, which was a success from the start and it has now grown to very large proportions, there being a great demand for his product, Owing to its superior quality and it is shipped to remote parts of the country. He has a substantial, modernly equipped and well managed plant, with a capacity of five hundred tons per year. It is the only plant of its kind in Randolph county and is one of sixty-six such plants in the state. A large number of men are employed here.
            Mr. Roby's attention is divided between the factory and his fine farm of two hundred and ten acres, which, owing to his close proximity to the county-seat and its exceptionally well-improved condition, is one of the most valuable farms of the county. On it is to be found an attractive dwelling and substantial and convenient outbuildings. Here general farming and stock raising are carried on extensively, particular attention being paid to raising and feeding a fine breed of English York hogs, the finest on the market, as well as in Randolph county, and they are greatly admired by all who see them. He also breeds for breeding purposes, and ships his hogs all over the country, always obtaining high prices. His cattle are of the finest Durham breed and, like his hogs, find a very ready market at fancy prices. Mr. Roby is a great corn grower. His home is modern in all its appointments, like a city home.
            Mr. Roby was married on September 11, 1882 to Maggie N. Fischer, a daughter of Adam and Catherine Fischer. The parents were born, reared and educated in Germany and married there, finally emigrating to America and settling at Mt. Carmel, Illinois, where Mrs. Roby was born.
            To our subject and wife three sons have been born, namely: Harry B., Roscoe D., and Adrian J., all at home and assisting their father in business. Pearl H. is an adopted daughter.
            Politically, Mr. Roby is independent and he is always encouraging public improvements of all kinds. Fraternally, he is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men and the Tribe of Ben-Hur.
            Mr. Roby was one of the promoters of the Farmers Telephone Company and is one of the largest stockholders of the same, He is much devoted to his home and family and is regarded as one of our worthiest citizens in every respect.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson

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