This well-known pioneer and retired stock raiser and farmer of Vernon township, Hancock County Indiana, and now a resident of Fortville, was born near Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana, May 12, 1830, a son of Joseph and Youtsha (Cox) Roberts, the former of whom, when sixteen years old, came from North Carolina to Indian with his parents who settled in Wayne county. Joseph Roberts was a son of Thomas Roberts of whom, however, little can now be learned save that he died when about forty-five years old.

Joseph Roberts and his family, including Lee, came from Wayne county to Hancock county March 17, 1841, and located in Center township, where Joseph had bought a bract of land in a wilderness where could be found only here and there a few acres cleared in the township, and to this place the household goods were hauled with a four-horse team. A year later Joseph traded this farm for another, situated in Green township, to which he at once removed and on which he reared his children. In 1858 he returned to Center township, where his death occurred the same year at the age of fifty-seven years, his wife having died in 1856, when forty-seven years old. These parents had born to them a family of seven children, namely: Lee, who name opens this notice; Nancy Jane, who was married to Abner Frasier, but both of whom are now deceased; Minerva Ann, wife of James Busia; Youtsha Jane, wife of John Campbell; Elijah; Miranda, wife of Enoch Dobbins; and Ellen, wife of Willam Garrish. The father of this family was a genuine pioneer farmer, and among his other crops raised flax, which his wife spun and wove into cloth.

Lee Roberts was released from parental restraint before he had attained his majority and started out in earnest to win a competency. He found nomon occurrence. Education at that time was difficult to be had, the school houses being of the rudest construction, while the schoolmasters were not altogether gentlemen of refinement, as Mr. Roberts can vouch from the fact that one day his own teacher gave him a shilling and sent him to the nearest village for a gallon of whisky. When the lad returned, the teacher gave each pupil a drink of the liquor, and it may well be believed that he did not forget himself in dealing out the drinks.

The marriage of Lee Roberts took place April 15, 1851, to Miss Leah Henry, daughter of Samuel Henry, who was born in Ireland and came to America when sixteen years old, spent several years in Virginia and finally settled in Center township, Hancock County, Indiana, when his daughter Leah was six years old, she having been born in Virginia, December 10, 1832. To the marriage of Lee and Leah Roberts have been born eight children, namely: Mary, wife of Jacob Wisehart; Joseph; Youtsha M. married Arch Garrett; Susan, married Charles Pope; Attie, wife of James Kingan; Mattie, wife of John Kingan; Vina, wife of Sanford Cooper, and Effie, wife of Shelt Olford.

That Mr. Roberts has been one of the most enterprising and go-ahead citizens that ever had a home in Vernon township no comment on the part of the writer is necessary to substantiate.

Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 417-418.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI Aug 15, 2006.

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Tom & Carolyn Ward / Columbus, Kansas / tcward@columbus-ks.com

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