Source: Biographical and genealogical record of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1900, p 332.
The subject of this review who is now retired from active business pursuits, is one of the substantial and influential men of LaSalle County, Illinois and for many years has been an honored and estimable resident of Ottawa. He was born Jan 27, 1829, in Luzerne now Wyoming Co PA and is a son of Moris (sic) and Susan Newman Roberts. Moris Roberts was born in the state of NY but moved with his parents to PA and there grew to manhood and engaged in agriculture. He was married to Miss Susan Newman, a native of Luzerne Co PA daughter of Caleb and Emily Reynolds Newman, whose forefathers were early settlers of the state of RI. 11 children were born to this marriage, 10 of whom reached adult years and it is a remarkable fact that 5 of them served in the war of the Rebellion. Those who attained maturing were: Clarentine deceased; LB deceased; George W, our subject; Adaline, deceased; Benjamin F, a member of the 18th Ill Inf was commissioned Lt. and died in KS in 1895; Daniel now of Ottawa, was a member of the 20th Ohio; John L was a member of the 18th Ill, moved to KS where he died near Great Bend; Edward H, the Ottawa Baker, also a member of the 20th Ohio; Giles H, a partner in the bakery, was a member of Capt. Kimball's Co in 96th Ohio; and Morris B, also a resident of Ottawa. The grandfather, Samuel Roberts, was born in NY and married Sarah Morehouse, but the origin of the Roberts family was in Wales, whence 3 brothers emigrated to America and from them have sprung the various branches of the family in this county. George W. Roberts went with his parents to Delaware Co Ohio when about 10, living near Sunbury, where he attended district schools and later he entered Central College in Franklin Co that state pursuing his studies there for some time. He then taught country schools during the winter, farming in the summers, and in this way his time was spent in an industrious and profitable manner until 1855 when he came to LaSalle Co and accepted a position as clerk in the store of GL Thompson, the leading druggist of Ottawa. After remaining there for some months he formed a partnership with Louis Hess, under the firm name of Roberts & Hess, and conducted a bakery and confectionery store for six years. He then sold out to Mr. Hess and remained out of business 8 years. On March 1, 1877, he and his brother Daniel opened a bakery and confectionery, and soon built up a profitable business. In connection with this they established a lunch room, which was well patronized and proved a paying investment. This partnership was continued until 1898, when George sold his interest in the firm to his brother Giles H and it was continued under the old name of Roberts Brothers our subject retiring permanently from active business life. In 1858 Mr. Roberts led to the altar Martha E. McIntosh, of this county whose parents, Daniel and Henrietta Crouch McIntosh at that time resided in Crawfordsville, Indiana. She is a most excellent woman and has been a constant inspiration and strength to her husband. Four children have been born to them, namely: Elma, who married H. A. Stanard and died Feb 1888, leaving 3 children; Eliza E, who resides at home; Alice and Susan B, who has been employed for several years as teacher in the Ottawa schools. The family are members of the Congregational church and are held in high esteem. Fraternally Mr. Roberts is a member of the Legion of Honor and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.