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Those Places Thursday: Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell Family Migration to Jasper County, Iowa, in 1868

Typical farm in Iowa, 1875. Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa by Alfred Andreas. Via Wikipedia, public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family, Daniel Family (Click for Family Tree)

The trip from Warren County, Illinois, to Jasper County, Iowa, was approximately 175 miles for the Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell families via covered wagon. Although Google maps states it would take 54 hours to walk that far today (and less than 3 hours to drive it in a car), traveling with a heavy covered wagon that holds 1,250-2,500 pounds plus having cattle, swine, elderly folks and children, etc. would have made the trip longer.

A covered wagon, pulled by up to eight horses or a dozen oxen, could travel 10-20 miles per day, depending on the terrain. Since the midwest is mostly rolling hills in that area of northern Illinois and eastern Iowa and there are no mountains to cross, we can hope that it only took the families about 9 days to make the trip, if they could make 20 miles per day. If they could only make 10 miles per day, however, it would take 18 days to get to Jasper County.

But that was just the travel time.

Many wagon trains did not travel on the Sabbath, and accidents with required repairs could slow down the trip as well. The families would have needed to cross the Mississippi River too, which could have delayed them in waiting for a ferry, especially if the weather was bad or the river was flooded, too icy, etc. Since the population of Iowa increased by about 70% between 1860 and 1880, there might have been quite a lot of other families making the trek west, further delaying their access to a ferry. (They could probably not have taken the wagons across without a ferry, even though they would have used tar to waterproof the wooden sides and bottom of the wagon- the Mississippi was/is just too large and powerful a river. If it was iced up, however, they could have traveled across in the wagons, hoping the ice was thick enough to hold the weight.)

Illness, lame horses or oxen, a need to procure food, tools, or even a new wagon wheel, could slow down the travelers. If a lot of things went wrong, their trip could have taken three weeks to a month- a long time to be living out of a 18′ long, 11′ high, 4′ wide covered wagon!

Most of those traveling would have walked the whole way, if they physically could. Children and the elderly would have ridden in the wagon for safety and because they would not be able to keep up at times. The wooden and metal wheels used on the wagons over the jarring roads was so uncomfortable and bone-shaking, however, that most of the adults would have preferred the long walk instead of riding.

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The three families made it to Jasper County, Iowa, sometime in 1868, despite all the potential for problems.

The land and community in Jasper County, Iowa, must have suited the Murrell, Daniel, and Roberts families, as they stayed, bought land, and put down roots. Margaret Ann Hemphill and Robert Woodson Daniel were blessed with another child, Lily G. Daniel, in 1872, who survived childhood, and who eventually married George W. Walker (1872-1961).

The satisfaction  felt by the new Iowa immigrants about their new life may have influenced Ann Elisy Murrell (daughter of Wiley and Mary) and her husband, Aaron Brown (1846-1894), to move west. Ann and Aaron stayed in Warren County, Illinois, until sometime between the birth of their son William Brown in 1875 and son George Brown in 1878; they then headed to Jasper County, Iowa. It must have been a wonderful reunion!

Most of the persons mentioned in this series of articles lived out the rest of their lives in Jasper County, and are buried there, in the rich black soils of the prairie.

Jasper County, Iowa, is definitely full of “homeplaces” for the Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell families.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Conestoga Wagon” entry on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conestoga_wagon
  2. Google Maps
  3. Family stories of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, and obituaries.

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Wednesday’s Child: The Daniel Children and Family Migration

Crossing the Mississippi on the Ice by C.C.A. Christensen, 1878, via Wikipedia. Public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Daniel Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

The second oldest son of Charles M. Daniel and Elizabeth (Thomas) Daniel, our ancestor Robert Woodson Daniel, 24, also travelled in a covered wagon to Iowa with his wife, Margaret Ann Hemphill, then 28. They had with them their first child, who was the mother of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck: Ella V. Daniel. It must have been a challenging trip, as Ella was a toddler of just 2 years.

Margaret bore 4 children after Ella, but three died in infancy.  We know that John W. Daniel was born in 1868, and Charles H. Daniel in 1869- perhaps she was pregnant with one or the other during the trip, or maybe John died as an infant on the way to Iowa. One or both of the children could have gotten an illness from the water, spoiled food, or an infectious disease- we just don’t know the particulars of the trip or anything about the deaths of their children, unfortunately.

Another child was also born to Margaret and Robert, although we do not know the name of that child, nor when she/he died. Burial records for these three children have not yet been found.

It would have been tragic to lose a child while on the road to a better life, but even more heartbreaking if they had needed to bury a child along the road that they might never again travel.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family records.

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Sentimental Sunday: Elizabeth Ann Murrell and John S. Roberts

1892- John S. Roberts and Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts, cropped from larger family photo with their descendants. Taken in Jasper County, Iowa. Owned by author.

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Once the Wiley Anderson Murrell-Mary Magdalene Honts family settled in Roseville/Warren County, Illinois, their daughter and our ancestor Elizabeth Ann Murrell met a young farmhand named John S. Roberts. He had moved from the family farm of his parents, John Roberts (1805-1875) and Jane Saylor/Salyers (1806-1880), in Indiana, looking for work in the productive grain fields of Illinois. The convergence was fate, as John and Elizabeth married on 8 March 1857 in Roseville, where they set up housekeeping. Elizabeth’s brother John Henry Murrell was living with them in 1860 and working as a farm laborer. Elizabeth had already borne two sons, William Edward Roberts, born in 1858, and Jason Lee Roberts, born in 1859, so it would have been a busy farm household. Their son George Anthony Roberts (the father of Edith Roberts McMurray Luck) was then born in 1861, and finally a daughter, May Jane Roberts, joined the family in 1863, and was also born in Illinois.

We know that the Roberts family had a friendship with a Daniel family in Warren County. Charles M. Daniel (1819-1875) and his wife Elizabeth Thomas (1817-1885) had both been born in Virginia. Elizabeth and then their son, Robert Woodson “R. W.” Daniel (1843-1922), were born specifically in Rockbridge County, Virginia, just north of Botetourt. This family may have known the Murrell or Honts families even as far back as the early 1800s in Virginia, as suggested by some research that still needs more work. The Daniel family, however, decided to migrate to Missouri about 1845 (R.W. was just 2 years old), and then on to Illinois around 1864-1865. Their second migration is understandable, too, by considering the Civil War, as we did for the Murrell family. Being a border state, Missouri was a very dangerous place to live during that conflict. A farmstead could be raided by the Rebs in the morning, and then have Union troops descend that evening, also looking for food, supplies, and “spoils of war.” And then there were the border gangs that took no heed of any allegiance and were themselves committed to violence… It was challenging for a family to survive in Missouri, no matter the side they championed or who was beating on their door.

“R. W.” Daniel  enlisted in the Missouri State Military Cavalry in 1862, and served until 1865. (More on R.W. in the future.) Some sources state that he was in Warren County, Illinois in 1865, but he did marry Margaret Ann Hemphill (1839-1915) on 18 January 1866 in Pike County, Missouri. (He likely knew her from when he lived there, and may have gone to Warren Co. to recuperate from the war after his discharge.) The couple moved about 150 miles north to Young America, Warren County, Illinois, where their first child, Ella Viola Daniel, was born on 29 October 1866.

The John and Elizabeth Roberts family went to visit and congratulate the Daniel family on the birth of their child. John and Elizabeth took their sons and daughters with them for the visit, per their granddaughter, Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. It was the first time that little George A. Roberts, about to turn five years old, saw his future wife for the very first time.

And that is why this is a “Sentimental Sunday” post!

 

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Vital records such as birth, marriage, and census that can be found on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, etc.
  2. Family stories written and told by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck.

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Farming Friday: The Murrell Farm in 1850s Virginia

"Tippecanoe Waltz" sheet music. Cornell University Collection of Political Americana, with kind permission of Cornell University Library; no restrictions.
“Tippecanoe Waltz” sheet music, 1840. Cornell University Collection of Political Americana, with kind permission of Cornell University Library; no restrictions. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Since farming has been such an important part of the American economy, especially for most of our ancestors, we are starting a new type of post called, “Farming Friday,” that will tell us a bit more about the places so many of our ancestors called “home.”

Farms varied greatly, and that plot of land wasn’t just “home” either. It was the family’s livelihood and place of business, whether that meant tilling the soil or churning butter and manufacturing cheese to sell to neighbors or in town. It was a place for social activity- barn raisings come to mind, but of course, there was all sorts of visiting between farms on an individual and small group basis, in addition to parties and special events like weddings. Even more special events took place on the farm too- quite a lot of our ancestors were born right in the bed they probably were conceived in, and may have later inherited for the circle to continue with their children.

Many of our ancestors held ‘unimproved land’ that most likely was wooded; the wood from these trees was an energy source for the fireplace for warmth, the cookstove for food, and even a place to hunt to provide meat to be cooked on that wood-fired stove or even earlier, in the fireplace. The woods were also a fun place for farm kids to hang out away from the prying eyes of adults, climb trees, and play tag. There was likely a bit of courting that went on in the woods, too, and maybe even a stolen kiss.

Agricultural schedules were taken along with the population census in the years 1850-1880, plus some states conducted an 1885 census that also enumerated farmers and their acreage, livestock, and products. Not all of these can be found today, as with most records, but we will tell the story of our family’s farms as we can with those schedules that have survived. Tax records and deeds also sometimes tell the story of a farm, so we will share those as well.

We have already told the story of Robert Woodson Daniel (1843-1922) and his wife Margaret Ann Hemphill (1839-1915) in an earlier post- see Those Places Thursday: Robert Woodson Daniel’s Iowa Farm in 1879. Today we will start our official new topic with the farm of Wiley Anderson Murrell (1806-1885) and his wife Mary Magdalen Hontz (1806-1887). The Daniel, Murrell, and Roberts families lived in Warren County, Illinois, at the same time, and we know that they knew each other. They may have migrated together, or encouraged each other to move after one family had made the trek to Jasper County, Iowa. The Murrells married into the Roberts family, as did the next generation of Daniels and Roberts.

If we look at the US Federal Population Schedule for 1850, it tells us that Wiley, age 41, and Mary, age 44 (ages were not always correct, whether on purpose or just ‘misremembered’), were living on their farm in District 8, Botetourt County, Virginia. Their daughter Elizabeth Ann Murrell (the maternal grandmother of our Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck) was 15 and the oldest. She was probably often in charge of her brother John Henry Murrell, 13, William Murrell, age 9, James E. Murrell who was 8, and little Ann Elisy Murrell, then just 5. Wiley was listed as a farmer, but it was also noted that he could not read nor write. The whole family was born in Virginia, and none attended school within the year per the 1850 US Federal Census.

1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 1. Ancestry.com
1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 1. Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)
1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 2. Ancestry.com
1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 2. Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)

Although a small farm, the whole family would have been needed to make their living from it. The farm schedule was completed on 7 October 1850, and indicated that the Murrells had 45 acres of improved land to farm, and 85 acres unimproved. The entire cash value of the farm was $800- it was one of the smallest in the area. The farm implements and machinery were worth about $75- even adjusting for inflation, today’s farmers would scoff. Wiley’s implements and machinery would have be valued at about $2,240 in today’s money, which might not even buy a tire for one of the big tractors or combines used today.

Livestock was a mainstay on our ancestor’s farms- they did not have the ‘luxury’ of factory farming and concentrating on just one species of animal or one type of grain. They had to supply much of what the family needed, plus have a little surplus to sell for the necessities that they could not make on their own, such as cloth or sugar. So Wiley and Mary had 2 horses- likely draft horses for pulling a plow and a buggy or wagon; 1 ‘milch’ cow for making butter (the ladies manufactured at least 50 pounds) plus milk for baking and drinking. They also had 2 other types of cattle, possibly for beef. They did not list any oxen, which is why we think the horses would have been the sturdier work horses.

The Murrells also had 7 sheep, and they produced 17 pounds of wool in the previous 12 months. Mary and Elizabeth may have spent some of their evenings spinning the wool into yarn. They might have had their own loom, or provided the yarn to a neighbor who did have one, and then the neighbor would make the cloth and keep some of the yarn for herself in payment. Instead, they could have just sold the wool outright.

The total value of “home manufactures” was $30 per the 1850 Agricultural Schedule.

1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 3. Ancestry.com
1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 3. Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)
1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 4. Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)
1850 Agriculture Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell, part 4. Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)

Pork has always been a staple in the American diet as pigs reproduce and grow quickly and without much fuss- one can even let them loose in the unimproved parts of the property to graze on acorns, etc., and fatten up. “Slopping the pigs” meant all the leftovers from mealtime, which some of us today would compost, went into a bucket and the contents were thrown out in the pig pen, to be biologically recycled into tasty bacon and ham. The Murrells owned 7 swine in October of 1850. The total value of all their livestock was about $165. They slaughtered animals worth $48 the previous year, and those may have been for home consumption and/or sale in town.

Mary and Elizabeth also probably had chickens and a large home garden with vegetables, herbs, and maybe some fruit trees. Of course, this was a part of “women’s work” so would not have been listed on the Agricultural Schedule. It probably is what helped keep the family alive, however, and women often sold eggs, cakes, etc. in town for a little extra money for the family.

Of course, one has to feed the livestock, and provide grain for the family, a little extra to pay the miller, and hopefully have some good seed for the next year. To that end, the Murrells harvested 91 bushels of wheat, 300 bushels of ‘Indian corn,’ and 33 bushels of oats, which would have been used as feed. If the family was of Scots-Irish descent (which we do not yet know), they may have also made porridge from some of the oats for many of their meals.

The Murrells also produced 200 pounds of flax, which was a fiber used to make linen, cording, etc. Linen was used as sheets and clothing until cotton became more available and less expensive. Wiley and family also produced 1 bushel of flaxseed, which could have been pressed for use as an oil and lubricant, or saved or sold as seed for the next year’s crop.

 

Wow, we have time-travelled through a farm year with Wiley and Mary Murrell in Botetourt County, Virginia. Looking at the population census and the agriculture schedule for the same year gives us great insight into what life was like for the family.

I am tired just writing about it. They must have quickly fallen asleep each night after such hard work, day after day. Gives one a new respect for our forebears, and makes one realize that the “good ole days”  were maybe not that great after all.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. See also Robert Woodson Daniel  http://heritageramblings.net/2015/04/30/those-places-thursday-robert-woodson-daniels-iowa-farm-in-1879
  2. 1850 Population schedule for Wiley A. Murrell & family. Census Place: District 8, Botetourt, Virginia; Roll: M432_936; Page: 156; Image: 547. 1850 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432.
  3. 1850 Non-Population schedule for Wiley A. Murrell & family. Census Year: 1850; Census Place: District 8, Botetourt, Virginia, “Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880,” Ancestry.com online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
  4. Inflation calculator- http://www.in2013dollars.com (but it does go to 2016).
    5. This post will be published on Murrell Family Genealogy: A One-Name Study blog under another name.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Talented Tuesday: George Lucas Roberts

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection
George Lucas Roberts , from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Album.
George Lucas Roberts , from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Album. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Previous posts have detailed the recently “found” family line of William Roberts (1827-1891) and Sarah (Christie) Roberts (1829-1912). William Roberts was a son of John S. Roberts and Jane Saylor/Salyers, who were also the parents of “our” John S. Roberts (1832-1922). (He was the grandfather of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck.) So the children of those two brothers would be cousins, and then depending on generation, we would add # of times ‘removed’ to find current relationships. Let’s just make it easy, as folks of that day would have, and call them all “cousin.”

Our cousin George Lucas Roberts was the second of the three sons of William and Sarah Roberts. The boys all grew up on the family farm in Decatur County, Indiana. George was born on 19 November 1860, near Adams in Decatur County, Indiana, when his older brother John W. Roberts was almost 12 years old. George’s younger brother, Isaac Henry Roberts, was born about 2-1/2 years later, so George would have had someone nearer to his age to play with when they were not out doing farm chores.

William Roberts, while a farmer after George was born, had taught school in his early years, and education was thus probably very important to the family. George attended the common rural schools and private schools, and he became a teacher when just 18 years old- even before he had completed high school. He taught in a one-room rural schoolhouse in Decatur County, Indiana, then attended Indiana University’s College of Liberal Arts, receiving a bachelor of arts degree; he was 24 years old. George went back to Greensburg to teach, and moved up to principal of the Greensburg High School for ten years- George was very interested in the educational psychology of adolescents.  He then became Superintendent of the Greensburg city schools, on 1 January 1898. He was good at his job and moved up to become the Superintendent of Schools in the Indiana towns of Frankfort (1901-1903), and later Muncie.

George L. Roberts, Superintendent, Muncie High School, Education in Indiana: An Outline of the Growth of the Common School System, page 385
George L. Roberts, Superintendent 1903-1904, Muncie High School, Education in Indiana: An Outline of the Growth of the Common School System, page 385
George L. Roberts, Superintendent, Muncie High School, Education in Indiana: An Outline of the Growth of the Common School System, page 386.
Common Indiana high school courses and statistics. George L. Roberts, Superintendent, Muncie High School, Education in Indiana: An Outline of the Growth of the Common School System, page 386.

[Note: When looking at the number of graduates of high school, remember that a large proportion of the boys went into farming and were needed on the farm, so often did not attend school for as much time during the year as the girls. The girls would be needed on the farm as well at certain times of year, such as when planting or harvesting, as they had to help feed large crews of workers. So it was hard to make schooling a priority, and college was not needed by most at that time.]

In the meantime, while moving up the educational ladder, George had married Olive “Ollie” C. Lynch on 19 November 1884. They had two children: Paul Lynch Roberts, born in 1886, and Miriam Roberts, born 1891.

George was not an idle teacher during the summer months- instead he switched sides of the desk and became a student. Clark University and Columbia University programs on educational psychology occupied the time and his mind, and he taught botany as part of his practical work. His diligent work earned him a Master’s Degree in Education from Columbia’s Teacher College, and a Master’s of Art from Columbia in 1910. Despite being the Dean of Purdue University’s Department of Education, George L. Roberts never earned a Ph.D.

George’s work in the public schools of Indiana totaled 27 years.

At that time, over 20% of the teachers in Indiana did not hold a college degree, had no supervised training in the classroom, and students were not adequately prepared for college, which few even entered. In 1908, Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, opened their education department with a professorship of industrial education, which was described as “That area of education between manual training and college engineering.” George L. Roberts was the man for the job.

George was hired by Purdue as a professor of Industrial Education in 1908, and for six years, George was the department. Not until 1914 did Purdue add more teachers, in order to train even more teachers.

George was described as a “student of the science of education.” Not only was he an excellent organizer and administrator of the new department, but he taught five classes as well. (His classes included those dealing with hog cholera and contagious diseases that caused hogs to abort their offspring. Combining agriculture and science into practical education was one of his strengths.)

Students loved him- they called him, “Daddy” Roberts.

George Lucas Roberts, staff photo in The Educator-Journal, Vol. 10, No. 10, no page no., June 1910 issue.
George Lucas Roberts, staff photo in “The Educator-Journal,” Vol. 10, No. 10, no page no., June 1910 issue.

A history of Purdue University gives us a glimpse into the personality of George L. Roberts:

“… he carried off his academic role with aplomb and confidence. More than six feet tall, he parted his thick, silvery hair in the middle, wore pince-nez glasses, and was always impeccably dressed.”

George was a bit formal, sometimes reserved and soft-spoken, but he could be stern and deliberate when needed. He was considered a pleasant and kind man by all who knew him. The history goes on to say that George was so active in outside professional activities that his presence gave Purdue an excellent reputation in educational psychology and training of teachers from the beginning of the department in 1908.

Although he was the Dean of the College of Education at Purdue University, George did not publish many papers- this seems appropriate since he was more of a ‘hands-on’ teacher with industrial arts. As early as 26 April 1898 he presented a paper at the first meeting of the newly-formed Indiana Audubon Society on “Bird Study in the Schools.” He was a charter member of the society- #32.

Occasional articles to the Indiana Educational Journal and Purdue catalog material constituted most of his writing for publication. At Purdue, he taught five subjects, supervised student teaching, and rendered assistance to the new Department of Agricultural Extension. This cooperation with Agricultural Extension was the means he used to meet the demand for vocational instruction in agriculture and home economics. Through this effort, Purdue’s School of Agriculture began, in 1914, to train teachers in vocational agriculture and vocational home economics for the public schools.

Here are a number of items to add to the timeline of George Lucas Roberts:

1911, George L. Roberts, A.M., Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana

On 27 September 1913, George L. Roberts participated in the Northwest Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church concerning the church’s work at  Purdue University. He was a prominent member in his local church, and was a member of the board of stewards. He also acted as Superintendent of the Sabbath School.

1914-15, George L. Roberts, A.M., Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana. Also listed as a Summer School Director in La Fayette, Indiana (home of Purdue University) for “Summer School for Teachers of Agriculture, Home Economics, and Manual Training to be held June 12 to July 24. George was involved with these institutes for at least 5 years. During these sessions, teachers were trained in “work and methods of teaching,” in hope of improving the quality of teachers throughout the state. George’s specialty was the science work.

1915, George L. Roberts, A.M., Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana; also listed under American Educational Associations:

1915- Educational Associations- George L. Roberts.
1915- Educational Associations- George L. Roberts.
 George wrote a section for “The Educator-Journal” on teaching methods, and in November of 1915 became the editor.
"The Educator-Journal," George L. Roberts, Editor, November 1915.
“The Educator-Journal,” George L. Roberts, Editor, November 1915.

In 1917, George L. Roberts became the President of the Indiana State Teachers Association. He had been very active in the Association for many years, including a member of the Executive Committee, and at one point he was President of the Mathematical Section.

September, 1917 was when one of the few published articles by George appeared in print. It was a review in “The School Review,” and he was quite qualified to review the book:

Review of "The Rural School from Within." In "The School Review, Vol. 25, No. 7, Page 529.
Review of “The Rural School from Within.” In “The School Review, Vol. 25, No. 7, Page 529.

1919- Dean of Purdue University, Department of Education, Lafayette [Indiana]

Sarah (Christie) Roberts, George’s mother, was living with the family in 1900. She passed away in 1912, and then sadly, George and Ollie’s son Paul died on 2 October 1918. He had been in college in 1910, and had also registered for the World War I draft, stating he was married and his occupation was working on an electric vehicle. He was living in Philadelphia but apparently died in New York at the age of 31. We have not been able to determine exactly what happened, but might he perhaps been a victim of the 1917-1918 influenza outbreak? (Ordering the death certificate from New York would give the answer.)

George and his wife Ollie had 11 more years together, until she passed away on 2 April 1929; they had been married 45 years. Their daughter Miriam Roberts Smiley and her two children came to live with him while he was still working at Purdue University, and they were enumerated there in the 1930 US Federal Census. George still lived in the Lafayette, Indiana area in 1935, but by the 1940 US Federal Census he was living in  Mission, Johnson, Kansas, with his daughter Miriam, her husband and two children. George had retired.

Both Miriam and her husband had completed four years of college- he was superintendent of a manufacturing company, so fit well into the family with his experience in industrial arts. George’s granddaughter had already completed her third year of college by 1940, and his grandson was in high school. Definitely a well educated family, carrying on the traditions through four generations, starting with George’s father, William Roberts, who taught school.

George passed away one year later, on 26 February 1941, in Kansas City, Clay County, Missouri, where the family had moved. The Rev. Williams of Lafayette, Indiana (home of Purdue) conducted the memorial service, and said George was:

“an overflowing soul that fed, encouraged, inspired and built character in the lives of his students. So it was to his friends and collaborators in society, school and church. He was a life crowned with great achievements.”

George, his wife Olive C. (Lynch) Roberts, his two children Paul L. Roberts and Miriam (Roberts) Smiley, and George’s mother, Sarah (Christie) Roberts, are all buried in South Park Cemetery in Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Special thanks to Jon Roberts for the information he shared and his excellent biography of George L. Roberts on Find A Grave- we have used one paragraph directly. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=134894771&ref=acom
  2. The Roberts family valued education in other lines as well- George Anthony Roberts sent his daughter, Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck to the University of Iowa. (Her brother was not interested in college and preferred to work on the farm, so his father bought him a herd of cattle instead.) Edith graduated with a degree in biology in 1923- fairly unusual for a woman back then.
  3. A genealogical and biographical record of Decatur County, Indiana; compendium of national biographyby Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1900. “George L. Roberts” entry, pages 253-254. https://archive.org/stream/genealogicalbiog02lewi#page/252/mode/2up
  4. Education in Indiana: An Outline of the Growth of the Common School System, Together with Statements Relating to the Condition of Secondary and Higher Education in the State and a Brief History of the Educational Exhibit. Prepared for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Held at Saint Louis, May 1 to Nov. 30, 1904, by Indiana Dept. of Public Instruction, Fassett Allen Cotton, 1904, pages 298, 385. https://books.google.com/books?id=NqwAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA385&lpg=PA385&dq=%22George+L.+roberts%22+education&source=bl&ots=I73pBlOB6Q&sig=orTvFptpHDHD85YkSr29UTEcIdQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQsYeElILMAhWKcT4KHXiHB_4Q6AEILzAG#v=onepage&q=%22George%20L.%20roberts%22%20education&f=false

  5. Education Report, 1911- Professors of Pedagogy and Heads of Departments of Pedagogy in Universities and Colleges, in

    Report of the Commissioner of Education [with Accompanying Papers]., Volume 1, United States. Bureau of Education, page 654. US Government Printing Office, 1912.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=-1Q6AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA654&lpg=PA654&dq=%22George+L.+roberts%22+education&source=bl&ots=RgK2iJr5Qv&sig=nIYUkYTEjiIC3VZPEIgoSMCPkko&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj8-vyglILMAhUMdD4KHRxMD_o4ChDoAQgdMAE#v=onepage&q=%22George%20L.%20roberts%22%20education&f=false

  6. Professors of Pedagogy and Heads of Departments of Pedagogy in Universities and Colleges, in Education for the Home: Introductory survey ; Equipment for household arts, Benjamin Richard Andrews, US Government Printing Office, 1915, page 84, 118. https://books.google.com/books?id=72UAAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA84&lpg=RA3-PA84&dq=%22George+L.+roberts%22+education&source=bl&ots=ywjTYB7Oue&sig=0U9YofQVMW3uBqh48yPCDGh-ZmU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQsYeElILMAhWKcT4KHXiHB_4Q6AEINzAJ#v=onepage&q=%22George%20L.%20roberts%22%20education&f=false

  7. Problems of Vocational Education in GermanyWith Special Application to Conditions in the United States, Issues 33-43, pages 81, 177, George Edmund Myers, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1915. https://books.google.com/books?id=oWcAAAAAYAAJ&dq=%22George+L.+roberts%22+education&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  8. Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), “Past Presidents of the Indiana State Teachers Association 1854-Present.” https://ista-in.org/your-ista, accessed 04/09/2016.
  9. Patterson’s American Educational Directory, Volume 16, American Educational Company, 1919, page 627. https://books.google.com/books?id=AmRAAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA627&lpg=PA627&dq=%22George+L.+roberts%22+education&source=bl&ots=1mEJA9_KwE&sig=nmHsWcwaQFvAt-kyXZRTjDdBf2s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQsYeElILMAhWKcT4KHXiHB_4Q6AEIKDAD#v=onepage&q=%22George%20L.%20roberts%22%20education&f=false

  10. The Educator-Journal, Vol. 10, No. 10, no page (Google p329), June 1910, Educator-Journal Company, 1910. https://books.google.com/books?id=0E_PHPTZwk8C&dq=educator-journal+volume+10+no+10&q=george+l.+roberts#v=snippet&q=george%20l.%20roberts&f=false

  11. The Educator-Journal, Vol. 15, page 504, Educator-Journal Company, 1914.
  12. Engineering Technology Teacher Training-http://www.education.purdue.edu/dean/PCC/attachments/2008-01-10/ETTE%20Program%204%20PCC%201-10-08%20(2).pdf
  13. Roberts, George L. (1914-) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections- http://www4.lib.purdue.edu/archon/?p=creators/creator&id=420
  14. A Century and BeyondThe History of Purdue University, by Robert W. Topping, Purdue University Press, 1988. pp. 172-3.

  15. History of agricultural education of less than college grade in the United Statesa cooperative project of workers in vocational education in agricultural and in related fields, Federal Security Agency, 1942, p.132.

  16. Minutes of the Northwest Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, GoogleBooks, p155-156. https://books.google.com/books?id=hG0zAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA155&lpg=RA1-PA155&dq=%22george+l+roberts%22+purdue+education&source=bl&ots=sW1-0hIG7p&sig=Egm9s6kWY4yfEkOC_lmAiN6MTGc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj31q6xp4fMAhWEpR4KHRjBB0IQ6AEINzAI#v=onepage&q=%22george%20l%20roberts%22%20purdue%20education&f=false
  17. The Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana AgricultureA Biography of William Carroll Latta, Purdue University Press, 2005, page 242.

  18. Annual report of the Office of Experiment Stations for the year ended June 30, 1908, U.S. Government Printing Office, via GoogleBooks. https://books.google.com/books?id=i5lcT1NE5ksC&dq=%22george+l+roberts%22+purdue+education&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  19. “History of the Indiana Audubon Society 1898-1998” by Charles E. Keller, Indiana Audubon Society, 1997, np. http://www.indianaaudubon.org/portals/0/documents/ias_history.pdf
  20. “Review of “The Rural School from Within” by George L. Roberts in “The School Review, Vol. 25, No. 7, Page 529.
  21. Some excerpts above are included on the Find A Grave memorial for George, written by Jon Roberts. Find A Grave Memorial# 134894771.

 

 

 

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