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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Lindsay Corbley

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


LINDSEY CORBLEY. The subject of this sketch, who is now serving his eighth term as supervisor from Kerr township, is a native of Greene county, Pennsylvania, where he was born on the 15th of November, 1831. His grandfather, the Rev. John CORBLEY, emigrated from England to this country, and first lived in the city of Philadelphia; afterward removed to Western Virginia; and finally settled in south-western Pennsylvania, in Greene county, at the period of the earliest settlement of that region of country. His history has been commemorated by a series of sketches published during the centennial of our independence. The date of his settlement there was previous to the Revolutionary war. He had three children massacred by the Indians. He was an active and influential minister of the Baptist denomination, and founded several churches in that part of Pennsylvania. Great energy and decision were prominent traits in his character. He was an effective preacher, and is described as having been capable of producing remarkable impressions on an audience. His death occurred in 1803. William CORBLEY, the father of the subject of this biography, married Rebecca STEPHENS in Greene county, Pennsylvania. By this marriage there were eight children, of whom Lindsey CORBLEY was the fourth. In the year 1837, the family emigrated from Pennsylvania to Athens county, Ohio, and there he was raised, acquiring a good common school education. At the age of sixteen he left home, and went into the employment of his uncle in Fairfield county, Ohio, who was largely engaged in the stock business. He made frequent trips with stock across the mountains to Philadelphia and New York. On the first of these trips he started with cattle from Missouri; from that State they were driven to Illinois and there wintered; and from Illinois the following spring, on to Philadelphia. The trip from Illinois to Pennsylvania required seventy-two days. Although railroads were then in operation, they had not at that date been used for the transportation of cattle. In the year 1853, Mr. Corbley removed from Ohio to Illinois, and settled in Kerr township, Champaign county, then a young man twenty-two years of age. In partnership with his brother, Edward CORBLEY, he bought 540 acres of land on Middle Fork, and undertook the work of its improvement. On the 24th of February, 1856, he was married to Sarah WOOD, daughter of Henry WOOD, who was one of the pioneer settlers of Vermillion county. The fall of 1855, Mr. Corbley removed to Ford county, then a part of Vermillion; he resided there till 1863, when he returned to Champaign county, and settled where he now lives, on section 12, township 22, range 11. He is the owner of eleven hundred acres of land, and has been largely engaged in farming and stock-raising. The death of his first wife occurred on the 17th of January, 1866. On the 24th of March, 1867, he was united in marriage to Mary A. SNOLL, a native of Crawford county, Pennsylvania. This marriage took place at Meadville, Pennsylvania. Mr. Corbley has six children, Henry L., William Sherman, James L., Freddie M., Lama F., and Evalin. The three eldest and first-mentioned are by his first, and the others by his second marriage. Mr. Corbley was an early Republican. He has been a member of that party from its first organization, and voted for Fremont for President in 1856. He remained a member of the Republican party till within the last three years, since which time his political action has taken an independent basis. He is still, however, a firm believer in the cardinal doctrines of Republicanism, though he differs from the financial policy which has shaped the course of the party, believing that the time has come when the interests of Western agriculturists and producers should receive recognition at the hands of legislative bodies, as well as those of Eastern capitalists. Mr. Corbley is a gentleman of liberality and enterprise. His success has been gained by judicious enterprise and careful business management. His personal relations with his neighbors in his business transactions have been of the pleasantest character. The number of times he has been chosen by the people of his township to represent them on the Board of Supervisors, is sufficient evidence of his popularity, and the confidence reposed in him.

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