Biography of Chester M. Roberts
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





Chester M. Roberts, who since 1905 has been cashier of the Peoples National Bank at Independence, was born December 28, 1867, in Fayette county, just over the border line of Buchanan county. His father, John B. Roberts, was a native of southern Indiana and in the early '50s arrived in Iowa, settling upon a farm in Fayette county. He wedded Louisa M. Carpenter, who was born in the state of New York and with her parents removed to St. Charles, Illinois, whence they came to Iowa at an early period in the development of this state.

For many years Mr. and Mrs. John B. Roberts continued to reside upon a farm in Fayette county but about 1883 removed to Fairbank, Buchanan county, where he established a lumber yard, continuing in the business to the time of his death, which occurred in the year 1900. His wife survived him until December, 1912, when she, too, passed away. At the time of the Civil war Mr. Roberts enlisted for service in Company F of the First Iowa Cavalry and remained at the front as a private for three years. He was always loyal in his citizenship, displaying the same spirit of patriotism in days of peace as in times of war. To him and his wife were born five children, all of whom are yet living: John H., a farmer residing at Lanark, Illinois; Guilford W., who is engaged in the lumber business at Webster City, Iowa; Chester M.; Cora E., the wife of W. C. Brant, a resident of Fairbank, Iowa; and Griffith, who is engaged in the lumber business at Ames.

Chester M. Roberts attended the public schools at Fairbank and also the district schools, but his educational opportunities were somewhat limited and it has been in the school of experience that he has mastered life's most valuable lessons. He early became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the farmer and remained at home, assisting his father until twenty years of age, when he began clerking in a. store in which he was employed for about two years. He was afterward with an elevator company for about two years and for a year was connected with his father in the lumber business. He then came to Independence, having been appointed to public office. His political allegiance has always been given to the democratic party. He filled the position of deputy clerk under L. F. Springer for two years and was city collector for seven years prior to 1901, when he was elected county treasurer, succeeding James A. Poor, who had held this office about thirty years prior to his death. He was elected on a minority ticket with a majority of over two hundred. This office he filled for two years and was then reelected. He resigned his position, however, to accept the office of cashier in the Peoples National Bank in 1905 and has since served in that capacity. He has been a popular official of the bank, courteous and obliging to its patrons and ever loyal to the interests of its stockholders. He also owns an interest in a farm of two hundred and ten acres, in which his partner is Rudolph Ligtze and which is operated as a. general stock and dairy farm. He is likewise interested in the Wapsic Company and owns real estate in Independence.

On the 5th of September, 1891, Mr. Roberts was married to Miss Myrtle M. Higbee, who was born in Fairbank, Iowa, a daughter of R. H. and Rachel (Patterson) Higbee. In early life her father engaged in merchandising at Fairbank as a partner of Mr. Roberts' father, and after the latter's death Mr. Higbee removed to Lewiston, Idaho, where he is now living retired. He served in the Civil war with an Iowa regiment. To Mr. and Mrs. Higbee were born four children: Marvin H., who conducts a cafe and delicatessen store in Lewiston, Idaho; Mrs. Roberts; Elizabeth, the wife of T. J. Gorman, who is conducting a millinery and tailoring establishment in Independence, and Maud G., the wife of A. R. Luther, who is engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Independence.

Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Roberts. Eva R., who was born August 25, 1892, is a graduate of the independence high school and is now remittance clerk in the Peoples National Bank. Esther L., born July 30, 1894, is also a high school graduate. Albert Chester, born December 21, 1906, completes the family. Mr. Roberts holds membership with the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. His entire life has been passed in this section of the state and he has an extensive circle of friends here who entertain for him warm regard because his life has been well spent. His salient traits of character may be marked sterling and his worth is acknowledged by all with whom he has come in contact.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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