ROBERTS, Robert, one of the most extensive and prosperous farmers and stock-raisers in McDonough County, Ill., was born at Bonnhill, Dumbartonshire, Scotland, May 18, 1856. He is a son of William and Mary (Nimmo) Roberts, also natives of Scotland. Mr. Roberts is of a family of twelve children and came to the United States with his parents, who settled in Scotland Township, McDonough County, when he was thirteen years old. He had attended school in Scotland, completing his education in the public school in the vicinity of his new home. At the age of fifteen years he started out to work on a farm by the month, and in the spring preceding his twentieth birthday had saved $600, and began farming on his own account. Five years later he bought 102 acres in Section 10, Scotland Township, to which he moved and on which he was engaged in farming twelve years. At the end of this period he sold the farm, and purchased 256 acres of the Dicky Kreag farm, situated in Industry and Scotland Townships. To this he made additions at intervals, until his farming possessions now comprise 440 acres of land. He is engaged in general farming, but has devoted his attention mainly to stock-raising since 1885, feeding each year from fifty to one hundred head of cattle. He also raises horses and hogs, and makes a conspicuous showing of draft horses at all of the local fairs. On Mr. Roberts' land are over 2,300 rods of drain tile. His two oldest sons, who are married, are comfortably located on different parts of the farm. Besides his farming land, Mr. Roberts is the owner of a three-story and basement business block in Industry, the largest in the town.
On March 4. 1879, Mr. Roberts was married to Melinda I. Rexroat, who was born in Scotland Township and there pursued her youthful studies in the district school. Their children are as follows: Charles F., Nimmo Earl, Silas William, George Sherman, Robert James and Harvey Lewis. The subject of this sketch is a Presbyterian in his religious faith, politically, a Republican. He has held most of the township offices, has served several terms as Justice of the Peace — an office which he still holds — and has the distinction of having performed the marriage ceremony for more couples than have all the other Justices in the township combined. Fraternally, Mr. Roberts is affiliated with the A. F. & A. M., belonging to Industry Lodge No. 327, Morse Chapter (Macomb) No. 19, and Macomb Commandery No. 61; Eastern Star; I. O. O. F., Industry Lodge No. 913; M. W. of A., Camp No. 1742; Rebekahs and Mystic Workers.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 992-993, extracted 29 May 2020 by Norma Hass.
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