John N. Roberts, former adjutant-general of Kansas, a veteran of the Civil war and prominent citizen of Lawrence, is a native of Ohio, born in the Western Reserve, at Mecca, Trumbull county, July 3, 1838. He is of Scotch descent and a direct descendant of Major Roberts of the British army, who was a Scotch Highlander and came to America in the Seventeenth century. William Roberts, the paternal grandfather of General Roberts, was a soldier in the American Revolution, and served with the heavy dragoons, known as "Scotch Highlanders." The parents of General Roberts were John and Emaline (Hotchkiss) Roberts, natives of Hartford, Conn. His father was a manufacturer of engines and machinery in Ohio, and in his father's factory the son learned the trade of a machinist and engine maker. The business career of General Roberts has been that of a manufacturer. He obtained a fair common school education, and then learned his trade. He answered to the first call of President Lincoln for troops in the defense of the Union, and, in April, enlisted in the Nineteenth Ohio infantry, for a term of ninety days, and served under the command of General McClellan, in western Virginia, participating in the battles of Rich Mountain and Beverly Ford. At the expiration of the ninety days his regiment was mustered out of the service, and then Mr. Roberts assisted in the organization of the Sixth Ohio cavalry, which was mustered in the service, in October, 1861, for a term of three years. He was commissioned as first lieutenant of Company G, of this regiment, and in August, 1863, was promoted to the captaincy of Company D, in the same regiment. In November, 1864, he was commissioned major of the regiment, serving in the Army of the Potomac. He was severely wounded at the battle of Upperville, Virginia, July 21, 1863, but remained with the army until Nov. 12, 1864, when, by reason of the expiration of the term of enlistment and troubles arising from his wound, he was honorably discharged.
In October, 1867, General Roberts married Miss Emily S. Sutliff, at Warren, Ohio. She is a daughter of a lawyer at that place. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have one daughter, Isabel, the wife of Mark E. Otis, of Chicago. In the summer of 1869 General Roberts came to Kansas and established his residence at Lawrence, where he has since resided. In business, as a manufacturer, he has achieved financial success and is numbered among the capable business men of the state, and in Lawrence he has one of the largest and most beautiful homes of the city. It is modern throughout, and is a model in architecture. In politics General Roberts has always been an ardent Republican. He served with credit in the Kansas legislature, in the regular session of 1885 and the special session of 1886. In 1889 he was appointed adjutant-general of Kansas and this office he held for four years. In fraternal relations he is a Knight Templar Mason and Noble of the Mystic Shrine, and with his comrades in arms he is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the military order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.Pages 343-344 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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