Biography of Henry Roberts
Oneida County, NY Biographies





After an active and useful life Henry Roberts, for more than thirty five years prominently identified with the hardware business at Utica, passed away May 13, 1895, honored and esteemed by all who knew him. He was born at Utica, September 6, 1825, a son of Evan and Ann Roberts. He received his early education in the public schools of Utica and continued at home until 1849 when he yielded to the gold excitement and went to California. There he applied himself with such energy and ability that he became the owner of a large wheat and cattle ranch near Sacramento. But as the years passed he yearned to behold his old home again and in 1860 he returned to Utica and associated with his brother, John E. Roberts, in the hardware business under the title of John E. Roberts & Company which later. became, Roberts, Parry & Company. In 1899 the sons of Henry Roberts changed the name to the Roberts Hardware Company in memory of their father and it has so remained. The firm is now composed of William H. Roberts and William T. Baker. In addition to his interest in the hardware business Mr. Roberts was vice president and director of the Second National Bank of Utica and he was also a member of the building committee which erected the Home for the Aged Men and Couples in the city of Utica. He possessed in a remarkable degree the confidence of his business associates and of all with whom he had dealings.

On the 17th of September, 1861, Mr. Roberts was married at Utica to Miss Frances Julia White, a daughter of Nicholas Alonzo White, and to this union six children were born: William H., who is now engaged in the hardware business; J. Fred, of Denver, Colorado; Catherine, who married Jacob Agne of Utica and is now deceased; Charles N., who is engaged in the contracting business; Wallace W., who died August 22, 1901; and Henry W., who served as postmaster of Utica until April, 1911, and is now engaged in the controlling business in Utica. Wallace W. Roberts was married October 25, 1897, to Miss Kate Baker of Utica and two children were born to them, Kathryn Baker and Angela Baker. Mr. White, the father of Mrs. Roberts, was born at Thetford, Vermont, February 26, 1819, a son of Noah and Fanny (Moore) White, the family settling at Utica in 1827. Mr. White obtained employment in the pottery of George Brayton and Adam Kellogg; later his father purchased this business and also acquired another pottery in Utica. In 1840 the son was made a partner and a brother, William, was also admitted to the firm. Noah White died November 4, 1865, and the firm name was changed to N. A. White & Son, Nicholas Alonzo White's son William having been admitted to partnership. The latter died in 1877 and Nicholas Alonzo White continued the business alone until his death in 1886. He was a very prominent man in the community and served as alderman for two terms and as a member of the state assembly. On the 25th of March, 1841, he was married to Miss Julia Tucker, a daughter of Josiah Pascal Tucker who served under General Peter Gansevoort at Fort Stanwig and took part in the unfurling of the first flag at the fort after the formal adoption of the flag by congress, June 17, 1777. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. White, namely: Frances Julia, now Mrs. Henry Roberts; Charlotte, who became the wife of E. B. Odell; Charles N., of Utica; Catherine, who married L. I. Foster, of New York city; William N.; Dr. Sue A.; James Wallace; Annie; and Frederick, deceased.

Mr. Roberts possessed many admirable traits of character that greatly attracted those with whom he came into contact. He was true to his civic duties, being an adherent to the republican party, able in business, sincere and unselfish in his friendships, and as a husband and father was loving and considerate. His death deprived the community of one of its most trusted and valued citizens. Mrs. Roberts has for many years been an active worker on social and philanthropic lines. She was state regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution for four years and is now president of the Commodore Woolsey Chapter of the National Society of the United States, Daughters of 1812, being also a valued member of the Society of New England Women and the New Century Club. She served with marked ability for thirteen years as president of the Home for Aged Couples of which her husband was one of the founders, but has recently resigned from that position, turning over the responsibility to younger shoulders.

From:
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


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