RICHARD MONTGOMERY TOBIN
Distinguished among the citizens of San Francisco is Richard Montgomery Tobin, secretary and treasurer of the Hibernia
Savings & Loan Society and former envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Netherlands, who
has been prominently identified with important banking affairs of San Francisco for many years and has served his
government with distinction both during and since the World war period.
Richard M. Tobin was born in San Francisco, California, April 9, 1866, a son of Richard and Mary (Regan) Tobin.
He was educated at St. Ignatius College and also studied in Europe for a time. He prepared himself for the practice
of law, but did not take up this profession as he had originally intended. His activities in San Francisco have
chiefly been concerned with banking. In 1889 he was appointed a director of the Hibernia Savings & Loan Society,
and in 1906 he was named to his present dual official position in this institution. He was selected as president
of the Association Savings Banks of San Francisco, and in 1922 was made chairman of the San Francisco group of
the California Bankers Association.
In politics Mr. Tobin has been extraordinarily active for the greater period of his active career. He was chairman
of the Roosevelt Republican League of California in 1916 and chairman of the republican ways and means commission
of northern California in 1920. During the World war he was conspicuous in the service of his country. On December
19, 1917, he was commissioned as a lieutenant, class four, United States Naval Reserve Force, and on January 18,
1918, he was ordered to Paris, France, as the representative of the United States cable censorship, to assume charge
of all cable communications between France and the United States. On October 13, 1918, he was assigned to additional
duty as assistant to the naval attache in the American embassy in Paris. On December 5, 1918, he was attached to
the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in Paris, and in this position he remained until officially detached
on March 25, 1919. From the French government he received the decoration of Commander of the Legion of Honor.
That Mr. Tobin should have further honors from his government after his loyal and brilliant war service was the
natural and logical thing. On March 5, 1923, he became envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the
Netherlands, and in this capacity he served until 1929, a longer period of service than given by any former diplomat
in this position. He discharged his duties and responsibilities with keen judgment, fine tact, and with steadfast
attention to the dignity and rights of his native land. His marked executive ability, as manifested previously
in his banking and war time activities, was further demonstrated in his conduct of the delicate diplomatic affairs
which were placed in his hands. In recognition of his services the government of the Netherlands decorated him
with the highest order, The Grand Cross of Orange-Nassau. In 1929, Mr. Tobin resigned as minister to the Netherlands
and returned to his beloved San Francisco, here to resume his banking connections.
Mr. Tobin is a devout communicant of the Roman Catholic Church. He is a member of the Provincial Society for Arts
and Sciences of Utrecht, and belongs to the Pacific Union and University Clubs of San Francisco and the Knickerbocker
and Grolier Clubs of New York.
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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