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William E. Roberts. A resident of Indian Territory and Oklahoma since 188l, and since 1895 engaged in business at Nowata, William E. Roberts has been closely identified with the movements and activities which have combined to bring prosperity to this part of the state. When he first came here, in 1881, as a young man of twenty years, he engaged in farming, but subsequently his attention was attracted to the opportunities offered in business life in the rapidly growing commonwealth, and during the twenty years that he has been so engaged he has been connected with several successful ventures, his latest achievement having been the development of the Roberts Realty Company, of which he is president.
Mr. Roberts was born on his father’s farm in Montgomery County, Indiana, September 24, 1861, and is a son of James T. and Lydia A. (James) Roberts. His father, born in Kentucky, in 1833, moved to Indiana in young manhood, and there after his marriage followed farming in Montgomery County, as well as the merchandise business until 1870, when he removed to Liberty, Kansas. There he continued his activities in both agricultural and mercantile lines until 1881, in that year taking up his residence in Indian Territory, six mires southeast of the present site of Nowata. The remainder of his life was passed there in farming and stock raising operations, and when he died, in 1903, he was one of his community’s prosperous and highly esteemed citizens. He was a democrat but not an office seeker. Mrs. Roberts, who was born in Kentucky in 1838, died in 1904. There were seven children in the family, of whom five are living, William E. having been the first born.
William E. Roberts was reared on his father’s farms in Indiana and Kansas, and received his education in the public schools of those states. Coming to Indian Territory in 1881, with the family, he was associated with his father in his agricultural and stock enterprises until 1895, when he came to Nowata to engage in the general merchandise business with his brother, E. T. Roberts, under the firm style of William E. Roberts Company. In 1907 the business was mutually dissolved, and Mr. Roberts turned his attention to the real estate, loan and insurance business, which was incorporated under the name of the Roberts Realty Company, of which he is president, his son J. T., is vice president, and his son William E., Jr., is secretary and treasurer. The firm handles lands, loans, oil and gas leases, royalties and production, and has an excellent standing in realty circles of the state. William E. Roberts has always been ready to contribute his talents to the welfare of the community, and for thirteen or fourteen years has been a member of the Nowata City Council. His political support is given to the democratic party. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Sunset Lodge No. 57, A. F. & A. M.; Nowata Lodge No. 1151, B. P. O. E.; the Modern Woodmen of America and the Federal Aid Society.
Mr. Roberts was married in July, 1885, to Miss Mary E. Riley, who was born in the Cherokee Nation, and four sons have been born to this union: James T., William E., Jr., Charles H. and Floyd B. James T. Roberts was educated in the public schools and at Drury College, Springfield, Missouri, following which he studied law by correspondence school course, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1912. He is now engaged in active and successful practice at Nowata, and among others is attorney for the Roberts Realty Company, of which he is also vice president. He belongs to the Nowata County Bar Association, the Oklahoma Bar Association and the American Bar Association, and is fraternally affiliated with Sunset Lodge No. 57, A. F. & A. M.; Albert Pike Consistory, McAlester, Oklahoma, thirty-second degree, and Akdar Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Tulsa, Oklahoma; and is a life member of Lodge No. 1151, B. P. O. E., at Nowata. His political belief makes him a democrat. Mr. Roberts was married July 23, 1906, to Miss Mabel N. Howard, who was born in Kentucky, and they have one son, James T., Jr. William E. Roberts, Jr., received good educational advantages, and is one of Nowata’s leading young citizens and business men, being the incumbent of the office of justice of the peace, and secretary and treasurer of the Roberts Realty Company. He was married in January, 1907, to Miss Roxanna Sides.