COLBURN, HENRY WILLIAM. - the rural delivery mail carriers are held in the highest esteem by those whom they connect with the centers of industry. They bring to the farmer the new of national happenings and put him in touch with the largest commercial houses in the world. These carriers have to be men of responsibility, whose probity and reliability have been thoroughly tested, and one who is an excellent representative of his class, is Henry William Colburn, of Loami. He was born December 20, 1863, a son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Davis) Colburn, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Colburn attended school in his native town of Loami, and his first work was in the large flouring mill owned by his father, which was the first of its kind in this part of the county, drawing trade for a radius of forty miles. After ten years of this employment he began handling carriages, wagons and farm implements, thus continuing until his appointment as carrier in March, 1803, since which time he has faithfully attended to his duties, and gained the confidence of those on his route. His standing was 97 per cent, in the civil service examination. He is also a Violinist of considerable ability having had several years experience as teacher of that instrument.
On September 13, 1888, Mr. Colburn was married to Anna E. Hilgenberg, also born in Loami, in August, 1868, daughter of William Hilgenberg, a native of Germany. Mrs. Colburn died in 1896, having borne her husband two daughters: Bernice M., born October 6, 1889, and Ruth M., born October 8, 1894. Miss Bernice is a graduate of the high school, and is a musical genius, having for a year been a teacher of instrumental music and making a specialty of the piano. The other daughter, after graduating from high school, and after ten years' work and being Valedictorian, standing highest in the county, is now teaching at seventeen years of age. She fitted herself for teaching, standing highest among the ten taking the county examination, when only fifteen. During all the grades she had stood at the head of her class, winning a silver medal when only eleven years old. On October 29, 1899, Mr. Colburn married Mrs. Emma (Davidson) Henry, born near Palmyra, Ill., August 27, 1872, widow of Edward R. Henry. The death of Mr. Henry occurred August 4, 1893. She is a daughter of Winchester and Mary (Bates) Davidson, and was brought by her parents from Ohio, where he birth occurred, to Illinois. Mrs. Davidson died when Mrs. Colburn was only nine years of age, and the latter was reared in the home of Charles M. Poley, of Auburn. Mr. Davidson survives, making his home with Mrs. Colburn. There were three children in his family: Mrs. Colburn, Cora M. and Joseph W. Mr. and Mrs. Colburn have three children: Marjorie A., born February 18, 1901; Beulah F., born July 3, 1903, and Howard Wayne, born March 18, 1909. For seven years Mrs. Colburn was a teacher in Portland, Ore., and held a state certificate in that State. She comes of a talented family and owns some much prized and valuable paintings executed by her grandmother. These bear verses composed by this venerated lady. Mrs. Colburn herself is an artist of ability and her productions adorn walls of the comfortable home, owned and improved by Mr. Colburn. In addition Mrs. Colburn is the author of many charming poems, and enjoys training her children to make the most of their attainments. The atmosphere of this home is charming, and no one comes within it without being made the better for it. A faithful Dunkard, Mrs. Colburn lives up to the teachings of her church and teaches her children to live upright, Christian lives.
Mr. Colburn is a Republican and his party has shown its appreciation of his services by electing him to the office of Tax Collector and Township Clerk by a large majority. Fraternally he is a Mason, Odd Fellow, Modern Woodman of America, and he and his wife belong to the Eastern Star and Royal Neighbors. He has been a representative to the Grand Lodges of Masons and Odd Fellows and filled all the chairs in the Knights of Pythias, holding the office of Secretary for fifteen years, and has been a representative in the Grand Lodge. He took the Grand Lodge Degree of the Odd Fellows and is very prominent in all of these fraternal organizations. Mrs. Colburn has been Recorder in the Royal Neighbors for five years, her abilities being recognized in it as well as in the Eastern Star Order. It would be difficult to find any family in Sangamon County more truly representative of its best interests than this one, and which exerts a better influence in social and literary circles.