Buena Vista County, IA
IAGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 631-32.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Richard W. Roberts

Richard W. Roberts has for twenty-two years been a resident of Storm Lake, where for sixteen years he has been engaged in the draying and transfer business.  While there have been no unusual chapters in his life record it is that of a man who is reliable and trustworthy in his business relations, progressive in his citizenship and faithful to the duties which devolve upon him in other relations.  He was born in Jennings county, Indiana, in 1866.


His father, Albert W. Roberts, was a native of Pennsylvania and, tracing back the ancestral history, it is found that earlier representatives of the name came from Scotland and founded the family in the new world.  Albert W. Roberts was both a carpenter and farmer and following his removal to the middle west became the owner of a large tract of land in Indiana, to which state he went with his parents in his boyhood days. In early manhood he wedded Katherine E. Rawson, who was born in Indiana and is a representative of one of the old New England families, her ancestors living for several generations in Vermont.  Members of the family were soldiers of the Revolutionary war and Mrs. Roberts had three brothers who were advocates of the Union in the Civil war.  Her husband who was a member of the Home Guard at Indianapolis, during the period of hostilities between the north and the south, was wounded in service.  He, too, had a brother who wore the blue uniform and defended the stars and stripes in the south.  The death of Albert W. Roberts occurred in 1876, when he was thirty-seven years of age.  He was a faithful and devoted member of the Baptist church and belonged to the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  He voted with the republican party and was called to a number of township offices.  His widow still survives and is now living in Storm Lake, at the age of sixty years.  Their family numbered three sons:  Richard W., of this review; Francis, who is deceased; and Wesley, a photographer, making his home in Minnesota.  After the death of her first husband Mrs. Roberts became the wife of O. P. Jenkins, a well known business man of this city.


Richard W. Roberts spent the period of his minority in Indiana, working upon the home farm and learning in the school of experience many valuable lessons.  His mental training was received in the public schools, while he was taught the worth of industry, economy and perseverance upon the home farm.  He arrived in Iowa in March, 1886, at which time he took up his abode in Storm Lake and entered the lumber and machinery establishment of J. P. Dickey.  Later he learned the carpenter's trade, becoming a contractor, and erected a number of houses in this city but for the past sixteen years he has been engaged in the draying and transfer business, which he finds profitable, for he has a liberal patronage in this connection, which brings him annually a good financial return.  He also owns a half section of land in Minnesota.


In September, 1891, Mr. Roberts was married to Miss Louisa E. Fanning, a native of Sac county, Iowa, born in 1876, a daughter of E. S. and Hannah Fanning.  Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have two sons and a daughter:  Edward, who is in school; Orrin M.; and Lucille.


Voting with the republican party, Mr. Roberts thus expresses his political preference.  He has never sought nor desired office, preferring to give his attention to his business affairs.  His name, however, is on the membership rolls of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, the Modern Woodmen camp and the Court of Honor and he is in sympathy with the beneficent and helpful spirit upon which these orders rest.  As the years have gone by he has worked diligently to achieve the success which is his and his genuine worth as a man and citizen commends him to the regard and good will of those with whom he is daily brought in contact.