John Wintrhop portrait
8th MO Infantry (US)
Company H
First Governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop

Herman Elias Colby is a descendant of Anthony Colby (1605-1660), who arrived in America in the Spring of 1630 on the ship "Arbella" with the "Winthrop Fleet".   This fleet was organized by John Winthrop, who became the first governor of Massachusetts (See Winthrop's portrait above, painted in 1660).
Herman Elias Colby was born on 23 July 1838 in Aurora, Erie County, New York.   He died on 29 January 1892 in Yucatan, Houston County, Minnesota.   Colby came to Minnesota from Erie County, New York, on 18 April 1856, with his brother John.   Colby was the first regular mail carrier from Yucatan, Minnesota, to Caledonia, Minnesota, making the trip once a week: first on foot, then by mule.
Herman Elias Colby served in the Civil War, enlisting in Company H of the Eighth Missouri Regiment in April 1861 and was discharged in September 1862.   The 1890 Veterans Administration census states: "Sent home from Benton Barracks sick with pneumonia in August 1862."   Disability listed: Rheumatism.

(Click here for a explanation of why people from other states joined the 8th Missouri)

After his discharge, Colby lived in Iowa, Missouri, and finally in Kansas, where he was forced to return to Minnesota because of the "copious grasshoppers."
Parents:   John COLBY and Relief ADAMS.
Married to:   Laura Ann WYNN on 29 February 1864 in Minnesota.
Children:   Isaac Wynn COLBY , Lena (Lina) COLBY, Martha L. COLBY.

The above information comes from the 1860 Minnesota Census. Yucatan, Houston County, page 107.
and from research by Tiffant Mulroy.