Roberts, Editha Iowa Ferguson
Haaken Co., SD
The diminishing list of old settlers in Haakon County this week lost another of its members. Mrs. Joe Roberts passed away Tuesday night [August 2, 1938]. She was 80 years old, and had come to Philip the year it was first settled in 1907.
Mrs. Roberts had been failing in health for several years, and during the past three years had been forced to spend nearly all of the time in bed.
Funeral services for the deceased pioneer will be held in the Presbyterian Church Friday morning at 10:30 o’clock.
++The Pioneer Review, August 4, 1938++
Funeral services for Mrs. Editha Ferguson Roberts, 80, a resident of Haaken County since 1907, were conducted Friday morning at the Presbyterian Church in Philip, with Rev. H. C. Ernst conducting the services. Mrs. Roberts died Tuesday, August 2, after a lingering illness.
Born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Mahaska County, April 11, 1859, the deceased received her early education in the county grade schools. She taught music and later attended the Baptist College at Pella, Iowa. At the age of 16 she became a member of the Baptist Church.
In September, 1878, she was married to Joseph Roberts, and to them two children, a son and a daughter, was born. The son, L. B. Roberts, preceded her n death in 1927. Had she lived 32 days more, she and Mrs. Roberts would have been married 60 years.
In 1907 the family moved to Philip, where they homesteaded near the Grindstone Buttes. The following year they built the Winchester Hotel, which was their home for 26 years. In 1934 they moved into a private residence. Besides her husband and a host of friends, she leaves to mourn her, her daughter, Ethel Peshek, two brothers, John and Elisha Ferguson, three sisters, Mrs. James McClure, Mrs. A. Stuard and Mrs. M. A. Tate, all of Iowa, and two grandchildren, Jean and Bob Roberts of Rapid City.
With her passing, the following expresses Mrs. Roberts’ love of the western prairie:
Prairies are enchantment,
When a sultry day
Turns the grass to rivers,
With a golden spray.
Lakes of blue and amber
Rise up from the heat,
When the sun shines warmly
On the swaying wheat
Prairies wear their canyons
Like a family crest.
Flaming in the west.
Valleys veil their error
With a trailing fog.
Hills hide scars with pine trees,
Rivers slide through bog.
Prairies hold their faces
Straight up to the sun,
Let me sleep and rest there
When my race is run.
The Pioneer Review, August 11, 1938
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman