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Mobley, Richard M.

Born: 1800-08-29 West Virginia

Died: 1887-XX-XX Washington, D.C.

Flourished: 1824-1840 Sangamon County, Illinois

Richard M. Mobley was a state legislator, city government official, circuit court clerk, banker, federal government official, and friend of Abraham Lincoln. Often referred to as Mordecai, his middle name, Mobley spent his early years in Brooke County, Virginia, in the section of the commonwealth that would become West Virginia. At the age of eighteen, he moved to Shelbyville, Kentucky, and in 1819, he ventured on to Illinois, settling in Jonesboro. In 1821, Mobley moved to Vandalia, and in July 1823, he moved to Springfield, where he settled. In 1824, Mobley married Martha Stevenson, with whom he would have at least six children. He represented the Sangamon County in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1826 to 1828, and was a member of the first board of trustees for the city of Springfield in 1832. Throughout the 1830s, he invested heavily in public land across central Illinois, as well as serving as a justice of the peace and a clerk in the Sangamon County Circuit Court. At least three times, Mobley retained Lincoln and his partners to represent him in lawsuits. In 1844, Mobley and his family moved to Dubuque, Iowa, where he served as cashier and president of The Miner's Bank, later opening his own firm, M. Mobley & Co. Mobley continued in banking until the Panic of 1857. He was also involved in civic affairs, serving as a Dubuque city alderman in 1846 and 1853, Dubuque's first school fund commissioner from 1847 to 1849, a member of the Old Settler's Association, and an incorporator of the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad Company. From 1849 to 1853, Mobley served as receiver of the U.S. General Land Office in Dubuque. In 1861, President Lincoln appointed Mobley principal clerk of public lands in the U.S. General Land Office, a position he held during and beyond the Civil War. Five of Mobley's sons served in the Union Army. He and his wife were members of the Christian Church, and in 1844 they were founding members of the Church of Christ in Dubuque.

The History of Dubuque County, Iowa (Chicago: Western Historical, 1880), 403, 410, 528, 530, 536, 612, 620, 629, 850; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 28 November 1824, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, McLean County, 69:67, Menard County, 69:44, 66, 67, 87, Sangamon County, 68:13, 104, 226, 228 234, 237, Tazewell County, 69:67, Cass County, 69:66, Morgan County, 69:66, Christian County, 145:95, Marshall County, 68:267, 69:52, 67, Woodford County, 69:67, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Blankenship v. Hewitt et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009),http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=138267; Klein et al. v. Mather, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=135919; Mobley v. Virden, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=139900; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Dubuque County, IA, 110; Howard H. Preston, History of Banking in Iowa (Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1922), 29-30, 50; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1849 (Washington, DC: Gideon, 1849), 138; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1851 (Washington, DC: Gideon, 1851), 142; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1853 (Washington, DC: Robert Armstrong, 1853), 140; Nathaniel S. Haynes, History of the Disciples of Christ in Illinois, 1819-1914 (Cincinnati: Standard, 1915), 573; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 200; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1863 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1864), 98; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1865 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1866), 124.