Josephine A. Tobin

The San Antonio Daily Express
Friday morning
October 23, 1908

Mrs. Josephine A. Tobin, for the last seventy-one years a resident of San Antonio, died at her home, 1017 Main Avenue, at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon as the result of an attack of pneumonia. She had been ill only a few days. The decedent came from parentage prominent in the early history of Texas and of San Antonio. Her family has been prominently identified with the progress of the city since its founding. She was a descendant of Curbelos and Delgados, both Canary Island families.

The funeral will be held from St. Mark's Epsicopal Church this afternoon at 4 o'clock.

Mrs. Tobin was born in New Orleans, La., October 30, 1836. Her mother had gone on a visit to that city as a measure of safety during the turbulent times of the Texas Revolution. At the time of her birth her father was in the Texas army. A few months afterwards her parent brought her back to San Antonio and she had made this her home continuously ever since.

While yet in her teens she was sent to Newark, N. J. and placed in an education institution. Three years were spent in this school, at the expiration of which time she returned to San Antonio a matured young woman and took her position as Belle of the town. But it was not so peaceful...while away she had affiliated with the Episcopal church and this action went far from meeting the approval of her staid Catholic parents. Especially can her predicament in this respect be appreciated when it is reflected that while a babe in Louisiana she had been baptized into the Catholic church of her parents. But the young girl persisted in her new belief and while all relatives attended services in the Catholic institution of religion, she went her lonely way each Sunday to the only Episcopal Church in the city. This was situated on about the center of Main Plaza over a grocery store and saloon.

Mrs. Tobin was one of the organizers of this little pioneer church, as she later helped to organize St. Mark's Church.

In December of 1853 she married to W. G. Tobin and of that union ten children were born, all of whom survive her. They are: Mrs J. A. Fraser, Mrs. A. W. Burroughs, Mrs. J. M. Vance, Mrs. Sam C. Bell, Mrs. J. M. Carr, Mrs. W. P. Rote, Mrs. Lucy T. Thornton, W. G. and J. W. Tobin of this city and C. M. Tobin of Rochester, N. Y. All, with the exception of Mrs. Vance and C. M. Tobin were at the bedside of their mother when the end came yesterday afternoon. Both were notified and are hurrying toward San Antonio as fast as steam can bring them. Her only sister, Mrs. H. M. Newton was present at the time of Mrs. Tobin's death.

Her mother, who prior to her marriage was a Miss Maria Jesusa Curbello, born in San Antonio, and in a day when the American population of the city consisted of eight families. She died in August, 1884, in the house which has been the family residence for many years.

Forty-two grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren survive the dead pioneer. The grandchildren are: Mrs. A. B. Spencer, Mrs. F. M. Lewis, Mrs. M. W. Terrell, all of this city. Mrs. A. M. Graham who is now in the Philippine Islands, Mrs. A. M. West of Philadelphia, Mrs. S. G. G. Newton, Jr., John A Fraser, Douglas Fraser, John J. Burroughs, Zelime T. Vance, Miss Jessie Bell, Josephine Bell, Miss Ella Carr, Miss Josephine Carr, Miss Lucy Carr, Edgar Gardner Tobin, Ethel M. Tobin, Janie G. Tobin, William P. Rote, Jr., Tobin Rote, Jack Rote, Woodward Thornton, William Thornton, Olivia Tobin, Agnes Tobin, of Rochester, and Miss Catherine Tobin of this city.

The great-grandchildren: Frank and Clara Lewis, children of Mr. & Mrs. F. M. Lewis, Albert and Vance West, sons of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. West; Mary and Alexander, children of Mr. & Mrs. A. B. Spencer, Agnes and Mary, daughters of Mr. & Mrs. M. W. Terrell; and Ellen and Elizabeth, daughters of Mr. & Mrs. S. G. Newton, Jr.

Father Was Mayor

John W. Smith, father of the decedent, was the first mayor after the incorporation of San Antonio, in the early forties and he held the office for three terms. He then held during his life ten other different offices of the city and county among them being County Clerk, Tax Assessor, County Tax Collector and County Surveyoer. During this time he filled out deeds for many large tracts of land in this section of the State, some of these document remaining in the possession of the family to this date. As a reward for efficiency in this line he was given a large tract of land in San Antonio.

Behind Mr. Smith's service to the city of San Antonio lay a brilliant career of activity in the cause of Texas Independence. It was he who was the last messenger to leave the Alamo before that fateful day of March in 1836. Mr. Smith had left the little fortress a few weeks before and had succeeded in getting back through the Mexican lines with a little band of reinforcements. On the very day that the Alamo fell, Mr. Smith read to the convention at Washington on the Brazos the letter of Col. W. B. Travis, imploring help in his fight.

Mrs. Tobin has, almost since its organization, been a prominent member of teh Daughters of the Texas Republic. At the time of her death she was President of the Alamo Mission Chapter of this organization. Mr. O. M. Farnsworth, Corresponding Secretary of Alamo Mission Chapter has called a meeting of the members for this afternoon at 2 o'clock. Wearing the Chapter badge, they will attend the funeral services in a body.

The decedent was known far and wide for her purity of private life and her charity of action.

Funeral services will be conducted by Rev. W. B. Richardson and Rev. J. L. Patton at St Mark's Church in which organization she has for so many years devoutly worked. Pallbearers selected are: Dr. Adolph Herff, Albert Maverick, John J. Stevens, Ed. F. Glaze, Carlos Bee and H. O. Skinner.

Interment will be in Cemetery No. 1. The body will be laid to rest by the side of her husband.