J. A. Dobson, devoting his energies to the further development and improvement of a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Dover Township, not only tills the soil but also engages to some extent in dairying and raises considerable stock, his life being thus a busy and useful one. He was born in Rochester Township, March 3, 1859. a son of Richard and Jane (Cockroft) Dobson, natives of England, the former born in Lincolnshire and the latter in Huddersfield. It was in the year 1842 that Richard Dobson came to the United States and in Rochester he married Jane Cockroft, whose father, Joseph Cockroft, a native of England, became the founder of the family in the new world, but he died when a comparatively young man. Richard Dobson started out in life a poor boy and whatever success he achieved was attributable entirely to his own efforts. He learned and followed the blacksmith’s trade and also became the owner of a farm of forty acres. His interest in political affairs was manifest in his loyal support of the Democratic Party. To him and his wife were born five children. of whom four are yet living: Mary H., the wife of Joseph Squire, a retired farmer, of Rochester ; Emeline, the wife of W. Stein-house, a retired farmer, of Storm Lake, Iowa; Lawrence H., a retired farmer, living in Waterford, Wisconsin; and J. A., of this review.
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The last named after obtaining a district school education became associated with his brother in the purchase of their grandmother’s farm, at which time J. A. Dobson was a lad of but fourteen years. He has since carried on general farming save for seven years, when he was engaged in the milling business at Rochester, and his activities have been well directed, bringing him a substantial measure of prosperity. He carries on general farming, raising the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, does some dairying- and also gives considerable attention to stock raising. He has one hundred and twenty acres of excellent land and has made every dollar himself, a fact that is indicative of a well spent and industrious life.
In 1886 Mr. Dobson was married to Miss Mina Mead, a native of Dover Township, where her father, Burr Mead, settled in an early day. Mrs. Dobson passed away in 1888 and on the 17th of June, 1896, Mr. Dobson wedded Anna Bancroft, a daughter of George Bancroft, a farmer of Dover Township. Mr. Dobson has five children: Lucile, who is teaching in Dover Township; Alice, who is attending high school at Waterford; Walter and Lulu, who are pupils in the district school; and Russell, four years of age.
The parents are members of the Congregational church at Rochester and Mr. Dobson belongs also to the Odd Fellows lodge, in which he has filled all of the chairs. In politics he maintains an independent attitude, but in matters of citizenship manifests the same spirit of loyalty which his father displayed when, in response to his country’s call for aid, he served throughout the war as a Union soldier. The Dobson’s have always been loyal to the best interests of the community and their name is a synonym for all that is honorable and progressive in business.