Annie Eliza Chambers

Mrs. R. B. Chambers

Annie Eliza Thompson, daughter of Rev. John L. and Harriet (Marsh) Thompson, was born at Nanuet, New York, August 12, 1854, and departed this life at her home in Roberts, Illinois Thursday, November 15th, 1928, aged 74 years, 3 months and 3 days. She was one of a family of seven children, having four brothers and two sisters all of who preceded her in death.
In July 1868, she came with her family to Onarga, Illinois, where she resided until the death of parents in 1870. Two years later she came to Roberts which has been her home since. For a few years she lived with her sister Mrs. Harriet L. Tapp where on August 11th, 1875 she was married to Robert B. Chambers who survives her.
To Mr. and Mrs. Chambers were born four sons, William J. who died in infancy, Robert Elmer who lives at Winter Haven, Florida, Louis Gell of Roberts, and Ora Tapp who died at the age of about two years. They also have five grand-children, Milton J. Chambers of Elgin, Alice B. and Ralph E. Chambers of Winter Haven, Robert W. Chambers of Chicago, and Anna Mae Chambers of Roberts. She also leaves one niece, Mrs. Mattie Marcherette of Chicago besides a host of friends who sincerely mourn her departure.
The deceased was a charter member of the congregational Church but withdrew her membership about thirty-five years ago to unite with the Christian Science Church of Chicago of which she remained a faithful member until her death. A tribute paid to her memory at the funeral was, "Hers was a life of a consistent and consecrated Christian, a faithful and devoted wife and mother, a kind and considerate friend and neighbor, and one whose memory will be cherished as the days and years pass, and find a place in the hearts and affections of those who best know her, which is the highest tribute within human power to bestow. Of her it can be said with sincerity, 'Blesssed are the dead which are in the Lord from henseforth, For Sayeth the Spirit, that they may rest from their labor and their works to follow them'".
The funeral service was held at the Home, Sunday, November 18, at 1:30 o'clock, Rev. Jeanette O. Ferris officiating and Rev. C. A. Sullivan assisting. The remains were than laid to rest in Lyman cemetery.
Among those from a distance who attended the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Roberts W. Chambers, Mrs. Sarah M. Hummel, Dr. Sarah Hummel, Miss Tessie Moore of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Chambers of Elgin, Miss Anna Mae Chambers of Kankakee, Miss Clementine Roberts of Urbana, John A., Joseph K., and Alfred Montelius of Piper City; Albert Schade and Mrs. Fidel Hummel Strawn, and Mr. and Mrs. August Hecht of Gibson City.

--Roberts Herald.  21 November 1928.

No marker for this burial per C. Wilson (Find A Grave Volunteer).

Robert B. Chambers

Robert Barber Chambers  son of Robert and Matilda (Smith) Chambers, was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1851, and died at the home of his son, Louis G. Chambers, in North Lyman, Tuesday, December 24, 1935, aged 84 years, 4 months and 14 days.
In 1870, he came west and worked for Charles Montelius at Piper City. In 1873 he came to Roberts as a clerk in a store owned by J. A. Montelius. In 1875 he built a store building where the Roberts State Bank is now located. In the nineties, he traded that store to I. C. Newman for the building he owns on the North Side of Green Street where he operated a store until after the death of his wife in 1928. He was a successful business man and was very energetic, being always busy. Even in his last years, though feeble, he was always busy. He filled many offices in the church, school district, village and township. He was supervisor for twelve years.
He married Miss Annie E. Thompson, August 11, 1875. She was the daughter of Rev. J. L. and Harriet (Marsh) Thompson of Onarga. Bother were highly respected by Roberts people. To them were born four sons. One, William, died in infancy. Robert Elmert, who now lives in Winter Haven, Florida; Ora T., who died at the age of two years and Louis Gell, of North Lyman.
He had four brothers and four sisters. All are deceased except one sister, Sarah, who married G. G. Wyland and now lives in Ramsey, New Jersey. His parents died when he was a youth of 13 years. He then lived with his brother, Benjamin and attended school at Mifflinburg Academy, and at Union Seminary at New Berlin, Pennsylvania.
Mr. and Mrs. Chambers were members of the Congregational church, having joined when the church first started in Roberts. He seldom missed attending a service of the church.
Besides his two sons, he leaves five grand-children, and five great-grand-children, many nephews, nieces and friends.
The funeral service was held at the Congregational Church in Roberts, Thursday, December 26, at 2:00 o'clock, Rev. Kenneth G. Parks officiating. Interment was in Lyman Cemetery.

--Roberts Herald.  1 January 1936. 

(No marker for this burial per C. Wilson (FAG).)

John P. Smith


John P. Smith, son of James F. and Elizabeth (McKelvey) Smith was born near Kempville, Ontario, Canada, July 17th, 1855, and departed this life at his home in Roberts, Illinois, Wednesday, afternoon, March 2, 1938, at 5:30 o'clock, aged 82 years, 7 months, and 15 days. When barely four years of age he came to Illinois with his parents and settled on the wild prairie land of Ford County. The father arrived here on the second day of May 1859, just two months and fifteen days after the county was organized. The mother and children did not come until a few months later after the father had built a home.
They did not come to Roberts because the village of Roberts was not started until twelve years after their arrival and they lived in this prairie home ten years before the organization of Lyman Township. However their home was three miles north of the present location of Roberts on the farm where the Smith School stands.
The boy John P. Smith remained on this farm until he was nineteen years of age. He attended the country school and later the Northern Indiana Normal School, now the Valparaiso University, at Valparaiso, Indiana. He specialized in telegraphy and bookkeeping and then accepted a position with the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield Railway as agent at Cornland where he served seven years. This Railway is now a part of the Illinois Central Systems.
Later he came back to Roberts and entered the General Merchandise business with this father and brothers. In 1889 he started the grain business but after a few years sold that business and established a bank which he conducted for twenty-five years. He was always, very popular in his business relations.
In 1920 the forming of the Roberts State Bank united the Roberts Exchange and the John P. Smith Bank and Mr. Smith retired from active business relations but during the eighteen years since that time he has been in frequent consultation with those who sought his advice and help in their own business ventures.
On the sixth day of October, 1880, Mr. Smith then at Cornland married Miss Sarah N. Day of Logan County, who preceded him in death April 25, 1937.  To them were born three children, one son Clyde who met a tragic death at the age of nine years, and two daughters, Della and Edna, twins, who survive him. Della is the wife of Dr. E. M. Glenn of Wichita, Kansas, and Edna is the wife of Dr. J. A. Colteaux of Roberts. He also leaves four grandchildren, Miss Jeanette and Wilfred Colteaux of Roberts, and Mrs. Sterling Kreuger and Jack Glenn of Wichita, Kansas. He leaves one sister, Mrs. Margaret Currie of Lincoln, Nebraska, and three brothers, Rev. William A. Smith of Ashland, Oregon, and David B. Smith and James R. Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, also a large number of other relatives and friends who mourn his passing. Two sisters Mrs. Jane Light and Mrs. Mary Montague preceded him in death.
Mr. Smith was a devout member of the Methodist Church at Roberts and always supported it with his presence, his advice, his official action and his finances. He served on the official Board for so many years that only the records can establish the number. He leaves a vacancy in the church circles that will be hard to fill. He was a member of the Masonic order joining at Mount Pulaski when he was at Cornland and transferring to Melvin Lodge 811. His membership extended over a period of about sixty years.
He served as a public official of the Village of Roberts from the time of its incorporation until recent years. He also served many years on the school board and was supervisor of the town of Lyman for several terms.
The funeral services were held at the home in Roberts Friday afternoon March 2, at 2:00, Rev. John T. Killip and Rev. E. B. Morton officiating. Burial was in Lyman cemetery. Those from outside the state who attended the funeral were his brothers, David and James, Roy McGovern and son, Robert of Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter, Mrs. E. M. Glenn of Harper, Kansas, who had been with him for thirteen weeks preceding his death, and others. Telegrams were received from the brother in Oregon and the sister in Nebraska, sending regrets at being unable to attend. Several other telegrams were received. The banks of flowers and tokens of remembrance showed the esteem in which he was held.
Others from a distance were Mrs. Irene Mathes, Mrs. John Siregg and Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Day of Springfield; Mrs. and Mrs. George Read of Lincoln, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Read and Mrs. Read of Broadwell, Dr. and Walter Gonwas of Chisman, Mrs. R. E. Squires of Piper City and Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Stephesn of Paxton.
It was one of the requests of Mr. Smith that Tennyson's poem, "Crossing the Bar" should be read at his funeral service which was done. This poem is published in another column of this paper.
The following tribute from a daughter was also read:
I am grateful to Heaven
For blessings it sent.
For Peace and Good Friends
For success and content,
I am grateful for health
And for skies bright and blue,
But most grateful of all
For a father like you.

--Roberts Herald.  9 March 1938.

Christopher Anderson


 
Christopher Anderson, son of Adam and Martha (Hamilton) Anderson was born at Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, April 28th, 1842, and died at his home in Roberts, Illinois, Monday evening, March 10th, 1924, aged 81 years, 10 months, and 12 days. When he was six years of age his parents moved to East Lothian where his father was superintendent and manager of coal mines. Christopher attended the grammar school at Musselburgh until fourteen years of age. He then entered the auditing department of the Edinburgh & Glosgow Railway. In 1860 he became his father's assistant in management of the Barton's Hill Coal Works.
During this time he also served as a volunteer in the Ninteenth Lanarkshire Regiment. Here he received a medal for his excellent skill as a marksman. This medal reads, "Presented by Major Hozier, 1862, won by Christopher Anderson, 95th company, 4 A Battalion, L. R. V.
July 4th, 1866, Mr. Anderson sailed from Scotland to America. He landed at Montreal and came immediately to La Prairie Center, Illinois. After a short visit with relatives there he went to Chicago to the officers of the Illinois Central Railway which recently had been built through the state. He had letters of recommendation from railway officials in Scotland which he presented and asked for a position. He was sent to the office of general manager. The general manager told him that he could give him a position, but, he said, "There is a far better opening for you out on the prairies of Illinois. We have a lot of good land to sell cheap, and a young man of ability can go out there and soon make himself independent of the whims and caprices of others, which no railroad man can ever do." He was soon convinced and the result was that he settled on a farm, now known as the Ortlepp farm in North Lyman.
A few years later the Gilman, Clinton & Springfield R. R. was built and when the Village of Roberts was started he came here and began a commercial life. He was in general merchandise business for several years. Also, for many years in the grain business. He built the Roberts Brick and Tile Works in 1883 and when it burned two years later, with John Kenward rebuilt it and they continued in business there until Mr. Kenward died nine years ago. He bought the Roberts Exchange Bank in 1882 and continued in that business for 33 years. He was one of the few men who were able to conduct several different businesses at the same time and make a success of all.
On October 12, 1869, Mr. Anderson married Miss Mary Goodlet Martin of Marshall County, Illinois. They were the parents of nine daughters and one son all of who are living. He was the last survivor of four children, his sister Mary Smart who lived for many years at Roberts and Piper City, his sister Jeanie Campbell who lived at Piper City for years and his brother James Anderson of Scotland, all having preceding him in death. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson united with the congregational church at Roberts at its re-organization in 188?, bringing their letters from the First Presbyterian church of Piper City.
Besides attending to his varied business interests he found time to serve his fellow men in official capacity. Though not seeking office he never shirked a duty. He served for more than thirty years as Justice of Peace, for many years as member of the school board, also on the Village Board, both as trustee and as president. He also served several terms as commissioner of highways.
As an official he was ever known as a man unto who rendered his judgment as he thought right regardless of friend or foe. In his business career and in his every position in life there was never a doubt as to what stand he was taking. His "yes" meant "yes" and his "no" meant exactly what he said. There was no half way, and no fear that he could not be depended upon. When the writer of this article came to Roberts the first man he met was Christopher Anderson and from that day until his death he was one of our staunchest friends. Many times we have disagreed and in official life we have opposed each other on many questions but while our strife was at its height he was just as warm a friend as ever and he never took an unfair advantage or tried to conceal his actions, and was every ready to grant any personal favor.
The funeral services were held at home Saturday afternoon, March 15th, Rev. J. O. Ferris officiating.
 
--Roberts Herald.  19 March 1924.

Heere (Harry) Fencken


Harry Fencken, who dropped dead here Friday, was buried Sunday, the funeral services being conducted by Rev. Mr. Hen??? at the M. E. church. The circumstances of Mr. Fencken's sudden death are pathetic. Mrs. Fencken is an invalid with an incurable disease and a great sufferer.
Some time since a specialist from Chicago agreed to cure her for a stipulated sum if cured, and no pay if the cure was not effected, it is said. He required Mr. Fencken to sign a contract to this effect, which later, it is alleged, turned out to be a note for the full amount. This Mr. Fencken refused to pay and the specialist sued. The trial was to come off Saturday. Although Mr. Fencken was in his usual health, to all appearances, and worked as usual during the week, the matter worried and harassed him greatly. Friday morning he was in conversation with his wife, when without warning, he fell dead. Mrs. Fencken was so prostrated that she was with difficulty resuscitated and is yet almost at the point of death.

--Paxton Daily Record.  21 December 1904.

Fred Roeder




FUNERAL SERVICES FOR FRED ROEDER HELD MONDAY

Retired Roberts Farmer Killed Instantly Friday by Green Diamond

Funeral services for Frederick August Roeder, who was killed instantly at 1:05 Friday afternoon when his automobile was struck by the Illinois Central Green Diamond one mile north east of Melvin, were held Monday afternoon at the home of his son, Harvey Roeder of Roberts, and at the Roberts Methodist church.
Rev. Brooks Barker, pastor of the Methodist church, officiated and burial followed in Lyman cemetery.
Mr. Roeder was the only occupant of the car and was traveling west on a country road, which intersects the railroad tracks at an angle.
It is assumed that Mr. Roeder's vision was obscured by a heavy snow accompanied by high winds.
The train, which was reported to be running behind schedule, was delayed 30 minutes following the accident but was reported undamaged by its conductor, William Tate of Chicago.
An inquest into the death was held Monday evening at the Danforth funeral home in Roberts by County Coroner Henry Hanson. The coroner's jury brought in a verdict of accidental death.
Mr. Roeder was born at Roberts September 27, 1876, a son of John Henry and Mary Plock Roeder. He was married to Dorothy Zahn on June 12, 1901 at Roberts and they resided on farms in the Roberts community until retiring and moving to Paxton one year ago.
The Roeders recently purchased the home of Dr. and Mrs. C. I. Safford on West Orleans street and moved in last Saturday. They had been living at the extreme east edge of Pells street.
Surviving are his widow; a son, Harvey of Roberts; one grandson, Delford of Roberts; two great grandsons; a brother, Daniel of Gilman; two sisters, Mrs. Lena Zahn and Mrs. Mary Tarvin of Roberts.
Mr. Roeder was a member of the Roberts Methodist church.
The lone witness to the accident, the fuel engineer of the Green Diamond, said that Roeder's car stalled on the track but that he didn't think the engine actually was killed until the train whistled as it approached the crossing. The car was carried about 40 yards before being knocked off the track.

--Paxton Record.  20 December 1951.

John P. Liby


The funeral services of J. P. Liby were held Sunday, March 15, at the M. E. church here, the Rev. R. W. Ames officiating, and was one of the largest that has ever ...been held here, and the summons of the only surviving veteran of the city brought much sorrow into our midst. Mr. Liby saw much service during the Civil war and he found great pleasure in telling his friends of the experiences which he encountered during this time. It has been the pleasure of the writer to talk to Mr. Liby on a number of occasions in regard to his service as a soldier, and he had promised to give us a complete story of the hardships and struggles which he encountered. The most interesting of these was his capture by Confederate soldiers and his confinement in the Cahaba, Ala., prison. From this prison he made his escape and it was only with the greatest difficulty that he was able to reach the Union lines. Mr. Liby spoke to the school children here on several occasions, telling them of his experiences, and he also gave a talk on Decoration Day at the services. The deceased leaves to mourn his loss besides his wife two sons, Thomas of Ash Creek, Minn.; Joseph of Roberts; three daughters, Mrs. Estella Norbit, of Piper City; Mrs. Bell Maxson of Talbot, Ind., and Mrs. Cora Smith, of Freeland Park, Ind. Miss Dora Herr, a granddaughter, whose mother died some fifteen years ago, has been making her home with Mr. and Mrs. Liby here.

--Paxton Record. 26 March 1914.