Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Benjamin D. Roberts

BENJAMIN D. ROBERTS, a pioneer settler of Labette county, Kansas, lives in Richland township, in section 9, township 34, range 21. He was born in Warren county, Ohio, in 1830, and is a son of J. T. Roberts.

J. T. Roberts was born in 1800, in Pennsylvania, where he lived some years, and followed the trade of a cabinetmaker. He died in 1889, in Ohio, whither he had removed when a boy. His wife died in 1846. They had the following children: One who died in infancy; Adolphus D., a retired carpenter, who lives in Chicago, Illinois; E. Jane, who lives in Ohio; C. D., deceased; Benjamin D.; M. A., the wife of A. Sutton, who lives in Ohio; E. D., who also lives in Ohio; M. F., deceased; and John A. G., who for years has been cashier of the Adams Express Company in Chicago.

Benjamin D. Roberts remained at home until he reached, the age of nineteen years. He learned the trade of a carpenter, and followed this occupation until he came to Kansas. In September, 1861, he enlisted in the 23d Reg., Ky. Vol. Inf., and after one year's service was discharged on account of disability. He reenlisted, in January, 1864, in the 1st Kentucky Independent Light Artillery, and served until the close of the war. In 1868 Mr. Roberts removed to Kansas, and took up a claim in Richland township, Labette county, in sections 9 and 16, township 34, range 21. He gradually added to this until he owned 640 acres of finely improved land. In 1892 he sold three quarter-sections, and has fitted up homes, for his children. He is at present living with his son, J. Q. Roberts, who will inherit the home when his father dies. When Mr. Roberts left Ohio, he had about $600 in money, but this was quickly used for payments on the claim which he bought, and for general expenses. He well remembers the time when he was obliged to spend his last 50 cents for quinine, - money being scarce and sickness threatening. Mr. Roberts set out over seven miles of hedge, and also fruit and shade trees. He has built three houses on the section, and has lived in two of them at different times.

Mr. Roberts was united in marriage with Mary A. Southern, in Ohio, in 1852. She was born in England, and died in 1884, having had four children, namely: U. F.; J. Q.; B. F.; and A. E. M. F. died in infancy; J. Q. married Sarah Tibbetts, and has three children, - Maud, Alma and Benjamin; and B. F. and A. E., twins, are engaged in the grain business in Nebraska. All of the children were born in Ohio. Mr. Roberts has always voted the straight Republican ticket. He was township treasurer for seven years, and was treasurer of the school board, District No. 25, for twenty years. He is a member of the G. A. R. Post, of Chetopa. Mr. Roberts' mother was a Quakeress, but he is a Universalist. Mr. Roberts has the record of having never tasted a drop of liquor, or used tobacco in any form. He is one of the most highly respected men in the county, and has done much to improve the township in which he lives. He has ever been a public-spirited citizen and trustworthy neighbor, and has many friends in the community. His portrait accompanies this sketch.