Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


Dr. Frederick Albert Roe, who was well settled in the practice of his profession at Madrid in 1896, illustrates in his own experience what may be accomplished in a few years by a young man of courage and determination of purpose, in the way of higher instruction and adequate preparation for discharging the duties and surmounting the difficulties of a professional career.

He was born at Swan Creek, Ill., Sept. 28, 1868, and received his early education in the graded schools of Burlington. After completing his work in the public schools, he took a commercial course in the Orchard City Business College, on completion of which he entered the employ of Kant & Kriechbaum, retail dealers in stoves and hardware, remaining there some time with credit to himself and satisfaction to his employers. In 1888 he accepted employment in the station department of, the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company, — now the Great Northern, — continuing with it till 1889, when he entered the State University of Iowa. While in the employ of the Great Northern, he began reporting for the papers, and continued this connection during the eight years spent at the University. He graduated from the classical course in the Iowa City Academy, preparatory to proper classification in the University Department of Liberal Arts.

He visited the World's Fair at Chicago in the interests of a Minnesota paper, and in the fall of 1893 entered at the University for the dental course. He completed this course, and received his degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in March, 1896. In the meantime he had passed the examination before the State Board of Dental Surgery, and had been licensed to practice. In the spring of 1895 he went to Madrid and opened an office, since which time he has been regularly engaged in the practice of his profession, with a success that vouches for the thoroughness of the University's course in fitting graduates for their life work.

Sept. 17, 1895, Dr. Roe was married in Burlington to Miss Flora May Samson, A. M., daughter of Professor William J. Samson, A. M., of the Burlington schools. She is a graduate of the Iowa Wesleyan University, and was professor of Greek and Latin in the Burlington Institute for two years preceding her marriage. The young couple spent the school year of 1895-96 in Iowa City, where Mrs. Roc took a course in the Musical Conservatory, and pursued literary and post-graduate courses; and on Dr. Roe's graduation, they went to Madrid to commence housekeeping, and remained happily settled in that bright and prosperous little city until September, 1898, when they moved to Burlington. Here Dr. Roe has continued his professional work in the Tama building, with a constantly increasing practice. He has one of the best-equipped offices in this part of the State, having modern apparatus and electrical equipment throughout. That he is a close student, keeping up with all the latest discoveries of value in his profession, is evidenced by the recognition that his contemporaries in the work have accorded to him. In 1905 he was in attendance at the Iowa State Dental Convention, in session at Des Moines, and was named as a delegate from that body to the National Dental Convention meeting at Buffalo, N. Y.

Dr. Roe, as well as his talented wife, has decided musical ability, and he has for the past six years been a member of the choir of the First Methodist Episcopal church, of Burlington.

The point that we wish particularly to make, as an encouragement to young men of ambition and small means, is that from the time Dr. Roe left the commercial school in 1887, until his final graduation from the Iowa State University in March, 1896, he received no financial aid from any source other than his own efforts yielded, yet he was able in these years, step by step, to climb the ladder of scientific and practical knowledge to the point we have seen; and now, still a young man, he finds himself well started in a prosperous career. It is worthwhile, now and then, to call attention to the beneficence of institutions of learning, the laws, and the conditions of society in a free land, all of which make these things possible. In view of these things, let no young man, struggling to obtain an education such as will fit him to enter the walks of professional life, despair of reaching his goal.

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