Among the leading agriculturists of Wallowa County is the subject of this biography, and we are pleased to accord him space in his county’s history, since his capabilities and thrift have given him the need of abundant success, while his moral qualities of worth are displayed constantly and commend him to all lovers of uprightness and truth.
In Bates County, Missouri, on March 9, 1844. Samuel was born to Nelson and Jane (Melton) Roberts. His early life was spent in the invigorating exercise of farm work, while also he gained a good education in the public schools of the various vicinities where he lived. In 1853 he accompanied his parents across the plains to the Pacific coast. The trip was made with ox teams and consumed six months, but despite the danger of hostile Indians, other dangers of primitive traveling and numerous hardships it was completed without serious injury to any of the family. They settled in Washington County, Oregon, where our subject was a member of the household circle until 1865, then he sought the newer fields of the Grande Ronde valley, where he selected government land and set to the task of building a home. At that early day few settlers were within the valley, and many hardships and deprivations incident to pioneer life were the lot of our subject, but bravely and faithfully he held steadily on his way and gained the distinction of being one of the builders of Union county. In 1887 he again sought to the frontier, coming to Wallowa County, where he settled on his present place, which is two miles south of Leap. He purchased a quarter section of raw land and soon had it well improved and producing abundant crops. He has a good and comfortable house, commodious barn and all other accessories to a first-class farm, while his land produces all the fruits, grains and vegetables that pertain to this latitude.
Mr. Roberts married Miss Merica Prow, a native of Missouri, on January 10, 1865, and they have become the parents of eight children, as follows: William, married to Ina Bay and living near Paradise: John, married to Etta Hearing, near Leap: Frank: Eva M., wife of A. Parker, of La Grande: Susey, wife of Hiram Meek, near Leap: Lilly, wife of frank Cook, near Lostine: Dora: Hattie, deceased. Mr. Roberts affiliates with the I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 195, of Lostine. Mrs. Roberts is a member of the Presbyterian church and they are the recipients of the respect and esteem of their fellows, while they have ever demeaned themselves with wisdom and uprightness and display of sound principles.
Mr. Roberts mother died on February 14, 1902, aged one hundred and nine years, doubtless the oldest person of her section. The father had been dead for twenty-five years.