ARTHUR ROBLEY is the owner of one of the best farms of Greene county and in its care and conduct he has displayed a progressive spirit second to no agriculturist of this part of the State. He was born April 11, 1857, on the old family homestead, which is still his place of residence, his parents being Charles and Lydia A. (Day) Robley.His paternal grandfather, Richard Robley, was born in New Hampshire, May 12, 1791, and was a son of Mathew and Mary (Scott) Robley, natives of England, in whose family were seven children, namely: Elizabeth, Mary, Eunice, Angeline, Mathew, Richard and Henry.
Richard Robley was married August 11, 1814, to Desire Griswold, and eight children blessed this union: Eliza A., who married Thomas J. Brown and died December 29, 1831; Henry G., who married Caroline Griswold and lived near Carlinville, Illinois; George B., who wedded Mary Jordan and made his home in Greene county; Charles, who is mentioned below; Emily, who married Julius Twitchell and died September 22, 1872; Villroy, who married Catherine Spence and lived in Bluffdale township; Walter S., who died November 6, 1836; and Mary, who wedded Thaddeus Brace and resided in Carrollton. At an early day Richard Robley left his old home in Vergennes, Vermont, and came west, becoming a resident of Greene county, Illinois, in 1820, when this region was all wild and unimproved.
He was at one time owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land on which the city of St. Louis now stands, and afterward purchased what has since been known as the old Robley homestead in this county. After building a log cabin upon his land he returned to St. Louis for his family in 1821, having left them there while he looked up a suitable location. He came up the river on a flatboat and landed at what is now Newport.
For over half a century he made his home in Bluffdale township and amid pioneer surroundings he developed a farm, which he continued to cultivate and improve up to the time of his death. He died January 3, 1879, having survived his wife many years, as her death occurred July 22, 1836.
He served as captain in the Black Hawk war, was particularly helpful in advancing the substantial development of Greene county, aiding in reclaiming the wild land for purposes of civilization and fostered many measures for the public good.
Charles Robley, the father of our subject, was born in this county, on the 6th of November, 1822, and was reared upon the old homestead. He devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits and the raising of stock, and became the owner of six hundred and eighty acres of land on sections 8, 9, 10 and 15, Bluffdale township, and four hundred acres east of Carrollton.
He fed much stock for the market and in his business transactions was always found reliable, conducting his affairs in a manner that neither sought or required disguise. He was regarded as one of the prominent and influential citizens of his community, respected by all with whom he was associated. In politics he was a republican.
On the 15th of November, 1849, he was united in marriage to Miss Lydia A. Day, a daughter of Samuel Day, who was a native of Vermont. She proved to her husband a faithful companion and helpmate on the journey of life and they became the parents of four children
Walter, the eldest married Louisa Crane and is now living about three miles west of Carrollton. They have three children: Charles H., Ella and Stella.
Henry S. Robley, the second son, is living in Independence, Kansas, and is the owner of a farm in Greene county, east of Carrollton. He wedded Mary Crane, of Kansas, and their children are Alva, Pearl, Jessie, Elsie and Ealen.
Emily is the wife of George A. Giller and their children are: Emma; Eva; Charles E., deceased; Gussie; Lena; Clover; Alta; Byron; and Richard.
Arthur Robley is the fourth member of the family. The father died June 22, 1897, and the mother passed away December 29, 1899.
Arthur Robley was educated in the public schools near his father's home and has always remained on the old home farm. He continued to assist his father until the latter's death and he was appointed administrator of both his father's and mother's estates.
He is today one of the most extensive and prosperous landowners of Greene county, his possessions comprising ten hundred and fifty-one acres of land in Bluffdale township. Every indication of modern progress along agricultural lines is seen upon his place and his is one of the most highly improved and valuable farms of this portion of the state.
He has recently placed a levee around a portion of his farm at an enormous cost. It is two and a half miles in length and at the widest part is fifty-three and a half feet at the base. There is a two and a half inch slope with a ten-foot crown and the pit has all been laid on the outside. This levee has been constructed at a cost of twelve thousand dollars and other expenses will be incurred in its completion in accordance with the ideas of Mr. Robley.
The water passes out through the levee through a three-foot sewer and valve and Mr. Robley expects to add an eight-inch pump with a capacity of twenty-five hundred gallons of water per minute to pass over the top of the levee. In times of low water the drainage will be through the valve, but in times of high water this valve will be closed. This levee drains six hundred acres of land and reclaims four hundred acres.
Mr. Robley's lands are not subject and never will be to drainage assessment, owing to a compromise made with the Keach drainage district and signed by the county judge. This was secured through the assistance of F. A. Whiteside, an attorney of Carrollton.
Mr. Robley has constructed and put in his own telephone line. He has every modern convenience upon his farm known to the city and at the same time enjoys the privileges of rural life.
He has long been a breeder of high grade horses. He had Pioneer, with a record of 2:29 as a trotter, but he was also a double-gaited horse and had the tract record at Carrollton during his time. Mr. Robley exhibited this horse at Kansas City and St. Louis. Pioneer won nine races out of eleven in straight heats and defeated Monon, owned by J. V. Striker, five times in straight heats. Mr. Robley also raised John R. Tanner, a fast horse, but sold him.
On the 27th of January, 1888, Mr. Robley married Miss Gertrude M. Dayton, daughter of Thomas H. and Mattie J. (Ricketts) Dayton. Her paternal grandfather was Matthew Dayton, who was born in Schoharie county, New York, July 6, 1798, and was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Dayton, of English parentage.
Matthew Dayton spent his early life upon his father's farm and came west when twenty years of age. In 1819 he came to Greene county in company with Captain Richard Robley, previously mentioned, and others, the journey being made by wagon. He located in Woodville township on the Illinois river bottom, and like other early settlers used to send his produce down the river by flatboat to the St. Louis markets.
Although he commenced life without capital he became the owner of five hundred acres of land along the bluff. In politics he was first a Whig and later a Democrat. In 1825 he married Margaret Taylor, who died in March, 1862, and his death occurred October 4, 1874, in Montgomery county, Illinois.
They had eight children. One of this number was Thomas H. Dayton, the father of Mrs. Robley. He was born in Woodville township, this county, November 6, 1843, and spent his entire life upon the old homestead farm, being the owner of five hundred and seventy-five acres of land. During the Civil war he entered the service and was mustered in October 9, 1861, as a member of Company G. Sixty-first Illinois Infantry. He participated in the battle of Shiloh, the siege of Vicksburg and other engagements, and at the close of the war was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois. The regiment to which he belonged was commanded by his brother-in-law, Colonel Nulton, of Carrollton.
On the 31st of December, 1867, he was untied in marriage to Miss Mattie J. Ricketts, a native of Jersey county, Illinois, and a daughter of Aaron and Margaret (Barr) Ricketts. Her father was a soldier of the Black Hawk war, and after that struggle settled in Jersey county, where he died in March, 1852. Her mother's death occurred in Greene county, April 21, 1874. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dayton were born seven children, namely: John M., Lizzie J., Margaret Gertrude, Amanda Ann, Robert E. Lee, Guy, and Thomas Henry. The father of this family died on the 7th of May, 1882, and the mother was again married July 29, 1884, her second union being with Frank Clark. She is still living on the old homestead.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Robley have been born four children: Lester C., now fourteen years of age; Clover L., eleven years old; Gilda Dayton, seven years; and Richard Yates, a little lad of four summers. The parents are very prominent in social circles, and their own beautiful home is noted for its gracious hospitality. Mr. Robley is an advocate of Republican principles, and is a member of Carrollton Lodge No. 50, A.F. & A.M. He is one of the board of directors of the Greene county fair, and is justly regarded as one of the most progressive men of the county. His business interests have become extensive and of an important character, and in their control he has displayed keen discernment, strong executive force and marked capability. Having carefully considered his plans, he is determined in their execution and his life record proves that prosperity is not the result of genius, but is the outcome of clear judgment, experience and unfaltering enterprise.