Biography of Frederick Myron Colby
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Frederick Myron Colby, of Warner, as well as all the Colbys of America, is descended from Anthony Colby, one of the Puritan colonists of Boston in 1630, who subsequently settled in Amesbury, Mass., where the house he dwelt in still stands. The second son of his father, Anthony was a lineal descendant of Sir Robert de Colebi, one of King John’s knights in 1199. The family seat was in the County of Norfolk, England. In early times the name was variously spelled Colby, Colebi, Coleby, Colebey, Colebei, Chaulby, Colbye, and Colebeye. The name of two English towns, as well as that of descendants of the family living in their vicinity, is Coleby; but the family estate in Swardest is called Colby Manor. A Danish form is Koldby. The Colby arms are “argent, a chevron engraved between three scallops, sable, the crest a plumed helm and an arm grasping a naked sword. The motto, ‘Vincit amor patriae.'” Anthony Colby, the American settler, had five sons and three daughters. From Thomas Colby, his fourth son, the line of descent was continued through Jacob, Valentine, Levi, Valentine, and Levi O. to Frederick Myron Colby. The following account of Mr. Colby is taken from the Twentieth Century Review for April, 1890 :-
“Frederick Myron Colby, the historical romancer and novelist and the most versatile writer in the Granite State, was born in Warner, N.H., December 9, 1848. He was the son of Levi O. and Mary (Durelle) Colby. His early education was obtained in the schools of his native town and of Concord. He never attended college, but his knowledge is extensive and sound. He is a good French and Latin scholar, has a wide acquaintance with English literature, and is familiar with all the old chronicles and sagas.
“Mr. Colby’s early life was passed on a farm. He has always been a hard worker with brain and muscle, and has a physique abundantly able to sustain much fatigue. For a number of years he was a successful school teacher in Merrimack County. He had written considerably for the local press when, in 1872, a novel of his, ‘The Pioneers of Kentucky ,’ was published by R. M. DeWitt, of New York. This successful venture was followed by other attempts in the same channel. The winter of 1875-76 he spent in Washington, D.C., as the correspondent of Boston and New Hampshire papers; while several historical articles from his pen, of local interest, were written at the capital for some of the leading publications of the country. Mr. Colby may be regarded as a voluminous writer, having had published some thirty serial stories in various periodicals, quite a number of bound books, and over three hundred poems, besides numberless sketches and stories. His most meritorious work, from a purely literary standpoint, was a novel printed by the Methodist Book Concern, New York, in 1886, entitled ‘The Daughter of Pharaoh ,’ which has had a large sale. Another book, a juvenile for boys and girls, entitled ‘Brave Lads and Bonnie Lasses,’ was recently issued by the same house. He is at present engaged on a novel describing Oriental life in the days of Ahab and Jezebel, and he has also nearly ready a story of adventure for boys.
“As a townsman Mr. Colby is a valuable citizen; and socially he is much of a favorite, though somewhat inclined to be reserved in unfamiliar or uncongenial company. He is six feet in height, of fine physique and courteous manner. With a comfortable income from his pen, he lives as near, perhaps, as any one ever does the author’s ideal life, in the pleasant village of his native town.”
In 1882 Mr. Colby was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Maria George, daughter of Gilman C. George, a leading resident of the town. Since he came of age, Mr. Colby has been a candidate repeatedly for every office in town. He has been Town Treasurer four years, a member of the School Board six years, and Postmaster four years. He has been a Trustee of the Pillsbury Library since its establishment. Mr. Colby is a member of the New Hampshire Historical Society, of the New Hampshire Antiquarian Society, and an honorary member of the Manchester Press Club.