White County INGenWeb


R. D. ROBERTS was born in White County, Ind., January 21, 1837, and was one of eight children born to John and Martha (Dyer) Roberts. John Roberts was born in Martinsburg, Va., July 16, 1804, and when only about a year old his parents moved to Franklin County, Ohio, where be was reared to manhood. He was married about 1827, and the following year he and wife, a native of Ohio, immigrated into Indiana, locating in Tippecanoe County. In the spring of 1831, they moved to this county, and entered 160 acres of Government land, three and one-half mile% southwest of where Monticello now stands, moved into an Indian house standing on the land, and commenced farming. Here they resided until 1866. when they moved to Monticello, where Mrs. Roberts is now living and where Mr. Roberts died SeptemberT,1872. Of their four children still living William D. is married, and resides in Cowley County, Kan.; Maria (Mrs. William Fraser), Susanna (Mrs. Perry Spencer) and R. D. Roberts (our subject) have always made White County their home. R. D. Roberts, in his youth, received a fair common school education, and at the age of twenty-four began doing for himself. November 7, 1861, he married Miss Susan Scouden, a native of Tippecanoe County, and to this union have been born eight children-Celesta (deceased), Martha E., Eva S., Maria, Indiana, Katie, Robert E. and Mary. Mr. Roberts began married life as a farmer; has continued the occupation, and now owns 640 acres in Union Township. In 1876, be and William B. Keefer, under the firm name of Roberts & Keefer, purchased a building which had been used as a woolen factory, christened it the 11 Crystal Mills," put in flouring mill machinery, consisting of three runs of buhrs, and began the manufacture of flour- A year later, Mr. Roberts purchased hi partner's interest, and then ran the business individually until March, 1879, when be admitted as a partner his nephew, Fred Roberts. This firm, under the name of R. D. Roberts, added another buhr, but, in 1881, discarded the millstones and introduced a " gradual reduction " plan, known as the " Jonathan Mills System." They produce a superior flour, keep employed two experienced millers, and run night and day; they have a capacity of 125 barrels per twenty-four hours, but average about 100. The building is three stories high, is 42x76 feet, and the machinery is operated by water-power. In politics, R. D. Roberts is a Republican, and he is one of White County's most substantial citizens.

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