Person:Oliver Dobbins (1)

Oliver Beard Dobbins
b.6 DEC 1870 Sumner Co., Tenn.
Facts and Events
Name Oliver Beard Dobbins
Gender Male
Birth? 6 DEC 1870 Sumner Co., Tenn.
Marriage 15 DEC 1897 Ford Co., ILto Edith Emma Leonard
Death? 24 OCT 1935 Urbana, Champaign Co., IL.

Oliver B. Dobbins was born at Gallatin, Tennessee, December 6, 1870, and is of old Southern and Revolutionary stock. His great-grandfather Dobbins fought with the Carolina Rangers under the leadership of Marion in the Revolutionary War. His grandfather, Henry Dobbins, was born at Gallatin, Tennessee, in 1798, was a planter in that state, and died there in November, 1870. He was a whig and a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Oliver was brought to Illinois as an infant and lived for 4 years in McDonough Co. until his family removed to East Bend township, Champaign Co., IL. in 1876. There he attended country schools for some time and later became a student at the Normal School in Normal, IL. Subsequently he successfully engaged in teaching in Champaign and Ford counties for 4 years, during which time he began reading law with Judge M. H. Cloud of Paxton, and then pursued a two year course in the law department of the Illinois Wesleyan University, where he was granted the degree of LL.B in 1894. Coming to Urbana, he formed a partnership with Spencer M. White, and together they have since engaged in general practice, meeting with excellent success from the start. On the 15th of Dec., 1897, Mr. Dobbins was united in marriage with Miss Edith Leonard, of Gibson City, IL, who for three years prior to her marriage was a teacher in the schools of Wellington, Kansas, where her father lived. Socially Mr. Dobbins is a Master Mason and a member of the Urbana Lodge, I.O.O.F., while politically he is an ardent Democrat, and has served as a member of the Democratic central committee. In 1896 he was the candidate of his party for state's attorney. Mr. Dobbins has made a specialty of organizing and representing drainage districts, having organized and appeared as attorney for fifty such districts. His work in that line now covers a dozen counties. As a. public leader Mr. Dobbins' name is synonymous with high ideals and the better element of local citizenship. "In national politics he has always been a Democrat, and has also been closely identified with antisaloon work. In 1896 as county chairman of the Democratic party he had the honor of piloting the party to its first county victory in fifty years. From 1913 to 1915 Mr. Dobbins was mayor of Champaign. That administration will have a notable place in a subsequent survey of the city's history. A body of business men interested in the welfare of Champaign obtained a petition signed by six hundred persons to induce Mr. Dobbins to accept the nomination as leader of an independent movement to clean out the dives and joints with which the city was infested. A voluntary subscription of $800 was pledged for the campaign. Mr. Dobbins was elected by an overwhelming vote, exceeding that of the regular Bepublican and Democratic candidates combined. People did not have to wait long to find out what he would do in office. His was a truly reform administration. It was marked by a continuous and unrelenting fight to make the city clean. During that fight one of his policemen was murdered and fhe chief of police was shot. His administration was not confined entirely to the moral benefit and uplift. There also ensued an immense amount of public improvement, particularly noticeable in police and fire departments and in street improvements. Mr. Dobbins' name appears as mayor on either the ordinances or warrants for pavements laid on sixteen streets of the city.

(Champaign Co. Biographical Record) From 1913 to 1915 Mr. Dobbins was the mayor of Champaign. Oliver was 11 when his mother died. O.B. And Edith lived at 805 W. Illinois, Urbana, IL (1900 City Directory, White & Dobbins, Lawyers)