TOBIAS TELLER, one of the active and enterprising agriculturists of Washington Township, was born in Schenectady County, New York, December 12, 1830, a son of W. I. and Catherine (McClain) Teller, his parents being natives of New York State, the mother born in June, 1796. They were the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters, of whom six are still living. The parents immigrated with their family to Illinois, in 1854, and settled in Whiteside County, where the father died in May, 1860. After his death the mother returned to New York, and later went to Vermont, where she remained till her death in 1884. Tobias Teller, the subject of this sketch, was reared to manhood in his native county, and received his education in the village schools. He accompanied his parents to Illinois, remaining there till 1859, when he crossed the plains for California with an ox-team, being on the way six months and eighteen days, and while there was engaged in mining. He enlisted in the service of his country in the Fourth California Infantry, and was sent to Puget Sound to relieve some regulars who were stationed there. He was afterward sent to Fort Yuma, in Southern California, were he was discharged in September, 1864. He then returned to Illinois, going thence to Washington, D.C. where he reenlisted in Company A, United States Veterans, and was sent to Winchester, Virginia, where he was engaged in burying the remains of those who were killed in the battle of the Wilderness, which at that time were principally bones. He was mustered out at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, as First Sergeant, being discharged in 1865. After the war Mr. Teller returned to Illinois, where he worked at the carpenter’s trade. In 1868 he was married to Mary Holden, a native of New York, and they have had born to them two children – William B. and Charles Roy. After his marriage Mr. Teller settled in Sterling, Illinois, where he followed carpentering. In 1871 he removed with his family to Clarke County, locating on a farm of eighty acres, on section 15, Washington Township, which he still owns, occupying this land till 1881. He then removed to the farm where he has since made his home, and in connection with his general farming he is devoting considerable attention to stock-raising, making a specialty of cattle and horses. Mr. Teller has served Washington Township as clerk, assessor, and school treasurer. He was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors of Clarke County, in 1881, which office he still holds, having been re-elected in the fall of 1884. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Osceola Lodge, No. 77, and the Royal Arch Chapter, No. 23.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 384-5