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Biography - GEORGE W. ROBERTS

The subject of this review, who is now retired from active business pursuits, is one of the substantial and influential men of LaSalle county, Illinois, and for many years has been an honored and esteemed resident of Ottawa. He was born January 27, 1829, in Luzerne (now Wyoming) county, Pennsylvania, and is a son of Moris and Susan (Newman) Roberts. Moris Roberts was born in the state of New York, but moved with his parents to Pennsylvania, and there grew to manhood and engaged in agriculture. He was married to Miss Susan Newman, a native of Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Caleb and Emily (Reynolds) Newman, whose forefathers were early settlers of the state of Rhode Island. Eleven children were born of this marriage, ten of whom reached adult years, and it is a remarkable fact that five of them served in the war of the Rebellion. Those who attained maturity were as follows: Clarentine, deceased; L. B., deceased; George W., our subject; Adaline, deceased; Benjamin F., a member of the Eighteenth Illinois Infantry, was commissioned lieutenant and died in Kansas, in 1895; Daniel, now of Ottawa, was a member of the Twentieth Ohio; John L. was a member of the Eighteenth Illinois, moved to Kansas, where he died, near Great Bend; Edward H., the Ottawa baker, was also a member of the Twentieth Ohio; Giles H., a partner in the bakery, was a member of Captain Kimball's company in the Ninety-sixth Ohio; and Moris B., also a resident of Ottawa. The grandfather, Samuel Roberts, was born in New York and married Sarah Morehouse, but the origin of the Roberts family was in Wales, whence three brothers emigrated to America, and from them have sprung the various branches of the family in this country.

George W. Roberts went with his parents to Delaware county, Ohio, when about ten years of age, living near Sunbury, where he attended district schools, and later he entered Central College, in Franklin county, that state, pursuing his studies there for some time. He then taught country schools during the winter, farming in the summers, and in this way his time was spent in an industrious and profitable manner until 1855, when he came to LaSalle county and accepted a position as clerk in the store of G. L. Thompson, the leading druggist of Ottawa. After remaining there for some months he formed a partnership with Louis Hess, under the firm name of Roberts & Hess, and conducted a bakery and confectionery store for six years. He then sold out to Mr. Hess and remained out of business eight years. On March 1, 1877, he and his brother Daniel opened a bakery and confectionery, and soon built up a profitable business. In connection with this they established a lunch room, which was well patronized and proved a paying investment. This partnership was continued until 1898, when George sold his interest in the firm to his brother Giles H., and it was continued under the old name of Roberts Brothers, our subject retiring permanently from active business life.

In 1858 Mr. Roberts led to the altar Martha E. Mcintosh, of this county, whose parents, Daniel and Henrietta (Crouch) Mcintosh, at that time resided near Crawfordsville, Indiana. She is a most excellent woman and has been a constant inspiration and strength to her husband. Four children have been born to them, namely: Elma, who married H. A. Stanard and died in February, 1888, leaving three children; Eliza E., who resides at home; Alice; and Susan B., who has been employed for several years as teacher in the Ottawa schools. The family are members of the Congregational church and are held in high esteem. Fraternally Mr. Roberts is a member of the Legion of Honor and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 332-334.

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