William T. Roberts

Taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas
Goodspeed Publishers, 1891

Parson William T. Roberts.
Among the pioneers of Union Township none are more worthy of mention than the subject of these memoirs. Born in North Carolina in 1842, a son of John L. and Sarah (Proby) Roberts, who were also natives of the "Old North State," where they continued to reside till about 1849, when they immigrated to Conway County and purchased a large tract of land five miles north of where Plummerville is, where they improved a good farm and took an active interest in the welfare of the neighborhood. Mr. Roberts died in the hospital at Little Rock while in the service of his country as a soldier in the Third Arkansas of Union troops. His beloved wife followed him some years after; she was of an old Quaker family, and was reared an orphan. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were consistent members of the Methodist Church. Hugh Roberts, the grandfather, was a North Carolina farmer; he was of Trish descent, and died in North Carolina. Parson Roberts is the eldest of his father's family, and is truly a self-made man, having been reared in the pioneer days of Conway County, with such an education as the country schools of this section afforded in that day. Being of suitable age when the war broke out, to assist in that struggle for liberty he, in 1862, joined Company I of Williamson's Batalion, afterwards Third Arkansas Infantry, and still later mounted infantry, and participated in the battles of Corinth, Tupelo, Chickamauga, all through the Georgia and Atlanta campaign, and on to the sea, and finally surrendered near Raleigh, North Carolina, thus ending a brilliant military career, and left him once more to join in a peaceful domestic life. On April 21, 1866, he married Mary Bell, a daughter of Hugh and Margaret Bell, who removed from Tennessee to Van Buren County, but later to Conway County, where Mr. Bell died. Mrs. Bell is still living. Mrs. Roberts was born in Tennessee March 24, 1844, and departed this life Decembes 24, 1886, being the mother of seven children: James C., born 1867 (deceased); Hugh L., born 1869; infant (deceased); Romulus T., born 1874; Rimulus T., born 1876; Hiram G., born 1878; William T., born 1880. In 1887 Mr. Roberts married Mrs. Emma Nichols, a daughter of Samuel and Mary Coffee, who were born in South Carolina, but married in Tennessee, where Mr. Coffee died about 1884; wife died about 1878; she was a Cumberland Presbyterian. Mrs. Roberts was born in Maury County, Tennessee, where she was married the first time, and in 1869 came to Conway County where Mr. Nichols died in 1875, leaving one son, Samuel W. Nichols. Mr. Roberts spent the first few years of his married life in the Arkansas River bottoms, but since then has lived on his present farm of 160 acres, a part of the old homestead, and is one of the most valuable farms in the vicinity. From his childhood till after the war, Mr. Roberts was a devout Methodist, but during the last thirteen years he has officiated as a minister of the gospel in the Christadelphian order of faith. He was formerly a member of Howard Lodge, A. F. and A. Masons, but now of the Springfield Lodge, No. 127. His reputation for honesty and integrity is beyond question, and none are more ready to respond to calls for the public interest and the general welfare of the country. Mrs. Roberts is a Methodist.