E. D. Roberts
ROBERTS, DANA, LAPHAM, TRAVIS, SMITH
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/16/2011 at 20:25:36
E. D. ROBERTS, a well known farmer residing on section 24, Lincoln Township, Grundy County, is a western man, his entire life having been passed in the Mississippi Valley. He was born near Detroit, Oakland County, Mich., in 1854, and is a son of Ethan and Sarah W. (Dana) Roberts. His paternal grandfather, Elisha Roberts, was born in New York in 1794, and lived in Cattaraugus County for many years. He married Cynthia Lapham, and unto them were born eight children, four sons and four daughters: Melissa, Reuben, Asa, Ethan, Lucy, George, Cynthia (deceased) and Jennie. The grandfather followed farming throughout his entire life, his energies being devoted to no other work. In a very early day he emigrated to Oakland County, Mich., where he made a claim and developed a farm, there making his home until his death in 1891, at the advanced age of ninety-seven. His wife also reached an advanced age. He was an official member of the Quaker Church, was a stanch Abolitionist, and was quite prominent in public affairs.
The father of our subject was born in New York in 1824, and when a child went with his parents to Michigan, where he was reared to manhood on a farm. He prepared himself for teaching school, and followed that profession for a number of years. During the summer vacations he traveled through Wisconsin and Illinois with an apparatus showing the workings of the Morse system of telegraphy. At the age of twenty-eight he married Sarah, a daughter of Joseph Dana. She was born in Massachusetts, and came to the west as a teacher. About 1851, Ethan Roberts removed with his family to Wisconsin, and entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in La Crosse County, where he improved a fine farm, upon which he still makes his home. In politics he is a Republican, and has held a number of official positions.
Our subject is the eldest of three children, his brothers being G. C. and F. L. Roberts. The district schools of Wisconsin afforded him his educational privileges, and when a youth of sixteen years he started out in life to make his own way in the world. For two years he was employed as a clerk in a general merchandise store, and then went to Illinois with his uncle, Asa Roberts, who now owns eight hundred acres of land in Grundy County. He has since been connected with his uncle in business, and now had control of five hundred acres of valuable farming land. In 1874, Asa Roberts came to Grundy County and invested largely in real estate. The following year he was joined by our subject, who began working by the month for his uncle.
While in Wisconsin, E. D. Roberts was united in marriage with Rachel Travis, and they became the parents of a daughter, Lillie, who was born in the Badger State. The mother died soon after coming to Iowa, and Mr. Roberts later wedded Matilda, daughter of Thomas H. and Eliza Smith. The father was a native of Canada, and her mother was born in Germany. They are numbered among the early pioneer settlers of Grundy County. Mrs. Roberts is a native of Stephenson County, Ill. By the second union has been born a family of five children, one son and four daughters: Flora, Ethan, Leoti, Ruby and Jennie.
Mr. Roberts was formerly a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is now connected with the Ancent Order of United Workmen of Cedar Falls. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party. Possessed of good business ability, he ably manages the large landed interests of which he has control and makes the same a paying investment. In this community he has a wide acquaintance and is held in high regard by those who know him.
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