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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
Charles H. Roberts
(Photo Included in Source Book.)
In the course of an honorable career Charles H. Roberts, of Windsor township, Fayette county, has been successful in the manifold lines to which his efforts have been directed and he is enjoying distinctive prestige among the representative men of the county of which he is a native. He was born in the extreme southwest corner of Bethel township, October 2, 1860, the son of E. M. and Polly (Tambling) Roberts, both natives of the state of New York, having spent their youth in their home community in St. Lawrence county, Polly Tambling having been the second wife of E. M. Roberts. (See sketch of Lucian O. Roberts, elsewhere in this work, he being an elder half brother of Charles H. Roberts.) Polly Roberts was born on June 1, 1829, and her death occurred February 8, 1882, on the old home place, at the age of fifty-three years.
Charles H. Roberts, the eldest son of the family, was reared by his uncle, Charles H. Roberts, in whose house he was born. He was inured to much hardship in early life, during the hardest years known to pioneers. He roughed it during the hard times resulting from the failure of the main crop, that of wheat, which for several years failed to mature, the prices remaining about the same for a long time. He was in this part of Fayette county when it was wild and undeveloped, and he recalls seeing the first train come into West Union. When a lad he herded cattle and horses, many hundreds of the former at a time. He himself broke the first eighty-acre tract of wild prairie land here, outside of the old Roberts homestead, his uncle having given him the place because he was named for him. After breaking it, however, it was sold to other parties and he never tilled it. He remained at the home of his uncle until he was more than of legal age. Later he bought the old farm known as the “Evergreen Farm”, of his father, who had started a nursery. The pines on the place grew to be huge trees and since that time fifteen thousand feet of pine lumber has been cut from it and there is still a fine grove of pine on the place. Mr. Roberts purchased this place in 1886 and in March, 1899, he sold it and purchased his present farm, two and one-half miles east of Hawkeye, known as the George W. Schrock farm, comprising two hundred and forty acres, for which he paid upwards of thirty-five dollars per acre. A large barn built of huge hewn timbers is to be found on the place. It is forty-four by sixty-six feet and was built by Mr. Schrock. A large and well equipped dairy is also on this farm, Mr. Roberts keeping from sixteen to twenty milk cows all the time, his cattle being thoroughbred. Although his stock business takes considerable time, he devotes his attention principally to his general farming pursuits and in both lines he is one of the most successful of the enterprising men of this favored section of the Hawkeye state. He had been in the creamery business before coming here and he assisted in establishing the present flourishing creamery at Hawkeye, of which he became one of the first directors, having served in that capacity for several years, assisting to make it the best creamery in Fayette county. He has been very successful in all his business dealings and is now quite well established.
Mr. Roberts served two years on the school board, and, although a good Republican and interested in the success of his party at home and in national capacity, he is no politician, preferring to devote his time exclusively to his individual affairs.
Mr. Roberts was married on November 29, 1887, to Rose Crandall, daughter of George Francis and Esther Jane (Pendleton) Crandall, the former a native of the state of New York and the latter of Maine. They came to Iowa when young and married in Fayette county, living three miles north of Hawkeye for a period of forty-two years. George F. Crandall died in 1894, but his widow is still living on the old home place with her son, Clyde.
To Mr. and Mrs. Roberts four sons and one daughter have been born, namely: Harrison G., who graduated in the normal department of the University of Iowa, with the class of 1910, had taught already one year each in three different schools and is now teaching in the high school at Plover, Iowa. His mother, who was a teacher for three years, received her first certificate from George W. Fitch, having taught school in Bethel township where she met her husband. Reno R. Roberts was also a student in the State University; Charles Irvin, Archie M. and Edna Rose.
Mr. and Mrs. Roberts are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Hawkeye and active in church work, being liberal supporters of the local congregation.
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