William A. Theobald
One of the successful stock-feeders in Crawford county is William A. Theobald, who is living upon a farm of three hundred and twenty-eight acres on section 34, Nishnabotny township, in the cultivation of which he has been engaged for nearly thirty years.
He is the eldest son and second child born to Robert and Isabelle (Bernard) Theobald, his birth having occurred in Middleberry, Iowa county, Wisconsin, on the 14th of January, 1854. The father was a native of England but left the mother country when a lad of twelve years, locating on Prince Edward's Island, where he continued to reside until he removed to Middleberry in 1848. During his residence on the island Mr. Theobald, who was a lumberman, operated an up and down saw in a shipyard, and after going to Wisconsin he sawed all of the lumber which he used in the construction of the barn on his farm.
In 1871 he came to Crawford county, Iowa, where he bought two hundred and forty acres of prairie just two miles west of the homestead of his son William A. He engaged in the cultivation of this until he passed away in 1900, being one of the most prominent as well as extensive agriculturists in the community. Mr. Theobald was always an active and energetic man and death came to him on his way to work, just in the manner he had desired.
He was twice married, his first wife being Sophia Goldsmith, to whom he was united while living on Prince Edward's Island. One child, William, was born to them but he passed away in infancy, and after locating in Wisconsin Mrs. Theobald also died.
Some time later Mr. Theobald was again married, his second choice being Isabelle Bernard, a native of Prince Edward's Island, but their marriage was solemnized in Wisconsin. Seven children were born of this union: Jane, the wife of Ed Pennison, living in the vicinity of Defiance, Iowa; William A., our subject; Sophia, the wife of Joseph Slagg, who is a resident of North Dakota; Phyllis, who married Addison Morgan, of Manilla, Iowa; James, who died in infancy; Delia, the wife of Fletcher Dyson, of Boone, Iowa; and Edward, an ex-auditor of Crawford county, of Manilla.
The early years of William A. Theobald were spent upon the family homestead in Wisconsin, the district schools of which state provided him with an education. After laying aside his text-books he engaged with his father in the cultivation of the farm, remaining a member of the paternal household until he had attained his twenty-eight year, at which time he was married and removed to the place where he continues to reside.
He engages in general farming and stock-raising and for the past ten years has been a heavy feeder of stock. Success has rewarded his efforts and he has added to his original tract, now owning three hundred and twenty-eight acres of land on section 34, Nishnabotny township, all of which is well improved and under a high state of cultivation. He has erected two residences and is now living in the second, which is a large, comfortable house, well designed to meet the needs of a permanent country home.
For his wife Mr. Theobald chose Miss Christina McCloud, a native of Nova Scotia, who was teaching in Crawford county at the time of their marriage in 1882. Nine children have been born of this union: Maybell Eliza, who is a teacher, living at home; Forester M., Ravina, Herbert Alfred, Margaret, Edward Henry, R. Fred, Blanche, and Beulah, all of whom are at home.
The religious faith of the family is manifested through their connection with the Presbyterian church, while politically Mr. Theobald affiliates with the republican party. Although he is a progressive and public-spirited man he does not prominently participate in civic affairs, owing to the heavy demands made upon his time by his extensive personal interests. One of the successful and substantial farmers of Nishnabotny township, Mr. Theobald owes the position he has attained to his ability to ably direct large undertakings, in the development of which he concentrates all of his energy.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.