Those Places Thursday: Isaac H. Roberts and a Move to Kansas

Issac H Roberts, c1893, from the William Roberts Family Photo Album.
Issac H Roberts, c1893, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Album.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Places today are easy- we have so many modes of fast modern transportation to choose from, and if we can’t be there in person, we can Skype, email, or make a free cell phone call- even look at places on a webcam! Not so in the 1800s though. Train travel did make it easier than we may realize, but folks did not travel back and forth for each holiday or special event once they had moved to a new part of the country. Letters had to suffice for most or all of the time, and often the lines of communication broke down over many years. It must have been very sad for parents such as William and Sarah Roberts to watch their son Isaac drive off to head west to Kansas sometime between 1880 and 1900. They probably worried that they might never see him again.

Isaac Henry Roberts had been born to William Roberts (1827-1891) and Sarah (Christie) Roberts (1829-1912) in March of 1863, likely in Adams, Decatur County, Indiana. He was the youngest surviving son of three, and had a sister who did not survive infancy.

Isaac would have grown up on the family farm, and was listed in the US Federal Census as age 7 in 1870. In 1880, he was 17 and listed as “at home” with the family, rather than a farm laborer.

Isaac’s father died in 1891 in Indiana- did Isaac decide to move west after that?

Isaac married Clara Lillian Shrader (b. 1866) about 1894, and they were living in Arion, Cloud County, Kansas at the 1900 US Federal Census. Isaac farmed and raised stock on their land. He owned the farm which was mortgaged, and he was listed on the Agriculture Schedule.

Clara Shrader, eventually wife of Isaac H. Roberts. From the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection, cropped from picture with Eva Bennett.
Clara Lillian Shrader, eventually wife of Isaac H. Roberts. From the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection, cropped from picture with Eva Bennett (a cousin since her mother was a Bennett?).

Isaac and Clara had two sons, Lloyd William Roberts (1897-1981), who owned all the photos in the collection we have been posting, and Max Duane Roberts (1898-1980).

The family was still living in Arion in 1905, but in 1910 they were listed in Pomona, Franklin, Kansas, again owning a farm with a mortgage. They were found in the same place through the 1940 US Federal Census, the most recent available. They were still noted as farming in 1940 when Isaac was 77 years old.

Clara died just six years after that 1940 census, on 5 June 1946. Isaac survived her by four years and then was laid to rest quietly beside her after his death on 3 May 1950 (in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma). They share a headstone in  Highland Cemetery, Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas.


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Find A Grave Memorial #158908260 for Isaac Henry Roberts –
  2. Find A Grave Memorial #158908315 for Clara Lillian (Shrader) Roberts-
  3. Mentioned in biography of his brother George Lucas Roberts in A genealogical and biographical record of Decatur County, Indiana; compendium of national biography, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, page 253-


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