Thomas Milburn Hobson, Jr. has made his mark and impress on the world of affairs as an advertiser, and has built up an organization for poster advertising and general advertising, extending through a chain of towns from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Kansas City, Missouri. He has also been extensively interested in the theatrical business, though he has recently disposed of all his holdings in that field.
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He was born at Paola, Kansas, September 23, 1883, and has spent most of his life in the Sunflower State. His ancestors came from Ireland and were early settlers in Ohio and Indiana. His grandfather, John Hobson was born in Kentucky, was a miller and later carpenter and builder, and died at Utica, Indiana, 1862, before his grandson was born.
T. M. Hobson, Sr., who still lives at Paola, was born at Utica, Indiana, in 1845, was reared there, but came out to Kansas in 1867, and has since had his home for forty-nine years at Paola. He is still active in business, as a house mover and bridge builder. He has taken an active part in local affairs, at Paola, having served as mayor and several terms on the council. He was married in 1874 at Fort Scott, Kansas, to Miss Minerva Catherine Tresslar, who was born at Franklin, Indiana, in 1852. He is a republican and connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and other fraternal orders. Their children are: Chattie, wife of John Lanier Frve, a merchant at Vandalia, Illinois; and Thomas Milburn, Jr.
Mr. Hobson had an excellent education as a preparation for his life work. After attending the public schools of Paola, leaving the high school in 1901, he spent a year in the Kimball-Union Academy of Meriden, New Hampshire, and then attended Hiram College in Ohio, an institution of which James A. Garfield was once president. He left college in the junior year and in 1905 took up advertising, a line he has followed ever since, especially in poster advertising. He was first located at Paola and worked at his business in that vicinity and still retains interests there, with a manager in charge. In 1909 he went to Douglas, Arizona, and built up a poster advertising plant and also leased the Orpheum Theater until May 1, 1910. At that date he established his headquarters and home at Independence, Kansas, and has developed the extensive advertising business already noted. As a theatrical man he had interests in theaters at Independence, Coffeyville, Ottawa and Caney. His offices are at 112 West Laurel Street and he owns his home at Fifth and Locust streets and considerable other city property. Mr. Hobson is vice president of the Tri-State Poster Advertising Association.
He is affiliated with Fortitude Lodge No. 107, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons; Keystone Chapter No. 22, Royal Arch Masons; St. Bernard Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar; Mirzah Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Pittsburgh, Kansas; with Council No. 45 of the United Commercial Travelers at Independence; with Lodge No. 780, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Independence; with the Loyal Order of Moose, and is a republican, a member of the Commercial Club and the Country Club, and is president of the Rotary Club.
On December 3, 1912, at Independence, Mr. Hobson married Miss Marie Ziegler, a daughter of W. E. and Jessie Ziegler of Coffeyville. Mrs. Hobson is a granddaughter of Mrs. A. C. Stich of Independence.