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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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M. Roberts, foreman of the locomotive and machinery department of the Iron Mountain Railroad shops. De Soto, is a native of Philadelphia, Penn., and was born September 8, 1852. He is the third in the family of eight children, seven of whom are living, born to Elwood W. and Elizabeth (Davis) Roberts, natives of Philadelphia and of German descent. The former, a farmer by occupation, was born in 1827, and has always lived in his native State, and the latter was born in 1828. M. Roberts was educated in the public schools of his native city, and served an apprenticeship of four years as a machinist in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops, in West Philadelphia. He then became fireman of a locomotive engine on the Pennsylvania Railroad, running from Philadelphia to Harrisburg and Philadelphia to Jersey City, for eleven months, and the following twenty-two months acted as engineer on the same road. In July, 1876, he went to St. Louis, and resumed his trade in the Iron Mountain Railroad shops, in South St. Louis, where he remained until February, 1877, when he went to the Black Hills on a prospecting tour, and at that place erected the first sawmill. In September of the same year he returned to St. Louis, and for two years was engaged as fireman on the Iron Mountain Railroad. In September, 1879, he was promoted to engineer, holding that position until September, 1886, when, in the absence of the regular traveling engineer, Mr. Mercer, our subject was promoted to that position. Mr. Mercer returning in June, in July Mr. Roberts was appointed foreman of the shops at De Soto, which position he still holds, to the universal satisfaction of his employers. July 27, 1887, he was sent to Rome, N. Y., as inspector of the twenty locomotives being built there for the Gould railroad system. December 29, 1881, Mr. Roberts married Miss Cora L., daughter of Daniel and Kate Taylor, and a native of Pierce County, Wis. Mr. Roberts is a Republican in politics, a member of the Masonic order, the A. O. U. W., and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Mrs. Roberts is a member of the Catholic Church.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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