Dr. James F. Roberson biography

DR. JAMES F. ROBERSON, who is engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Montague county, maintaining his office at Hardy, was born in Alabama, May 1, 1855. He acquired a common-school education while spending his boyhood days in his parents’ home. He is a son of James T. and Cynthia (White) Roberson, who were born, reared and married in Alabama. The father was a merchant stock dealer of that state and in 1860 removed to Texas, settling in Cooke county, where he established a large ranch. He then engaged in the stock business and was making steady progress toward the goal of prosperity when the Civil war came on. During the war he became a captain of a militia company that patrolled the frontier and was in many hotly contested engagements with the Indians, during which service, however, he never received a wound at the hands of the red man. He was thus engaged in military duty until the close of the war, but during that time the Indians burned all of his property and stole his stock, so that his fortunes were so sadly shattered that he abandoned his ranch. Following the close of the war he engaged in handling fat cattle and also opened a small store in the Indian Nation. His last business enterprise was the purchase of a large herd of fat cattle and also opened a small store in the Indian Nation. His last business enterprise was the purchase of a large herd of fat cattle, which he drove to New Orleans market. At Marshall, Texas, however, he was taken ill and died very suddenly. The men he had employed to assist him in taking the cattle to Louisiana then run the stock to Shreveport, where they sold out for cash and were never afterward heard from, so the family received not a dollar of the money that was due them. Mr. Roberson was an energetic business man, also public-spirited, broad-minded and intelligent. He voted with the Democracy and worshipped with the Baptist church, of which he was long a devoted member. His wife survived him until 1893, when she was called to her final rest, and she did a mother’s full part toward her children, whom she carefully reared. She was a daughter of Ambrose White, a cabinet-maker of Alabama, who followed his trade for a number of years, and also engaged in farming. At an early day he came to Texas, settling in Grayson county, where he died in 1885 at the very advanced age of ninety-eight years. His children were: Mrs. Cynthia Roberson, B. Frank, Nancy, Sarah, Ellen and James.

Mr. and Mrs. Roberson had a family of eight children: John A., a mechanic; Molly L., who became Mrs. Livingston, and after her husband’s death married M. L. Reed; Levi B., a merchant of the Indian Territory; James F.; Alice, the wife of Josiah Cook; Robert A., a farmer of Oklahoma; Richard H., a merchant of the Territory; and William C., a physician, who died in September, 1894.

Dr. Roberson after acquiring his early education in the public schools was engaged in teaching for five years and then turned his attention to the drug business, which he followed in Hardy, Texas. During that period his leisure hours were devoted to reading medicine and in 1884 he entered the medical department of Vanderbilt College, at Nashville, Tennessee. After studying a year there he successfully passed the examination before the medical board and was granted a license to practice. He has since pursued a three years’ course of study and was graduated in 1887. Entering upon the practice of his chosen profession in hardy, he there remained until 1890, when he pursued post-graduate work in St. Louis, Missouri. He next opened an office at Vernon, Texas, where he was accorded a liberal and gratifying patronage for five years, when he located at Duncan, Indian Territory, where he later engaged in the drug business in connection with his professional service as a physician and surgeon. His practice extended over a great area and his labors were attended with gratifying results when viewed from both a professional and financial standpoint. He remained at Duncan until 1904, when he purchased the Wash Williams farm at Hardy, where he is now located. At each place where he has lived he has gained a liberal patronage and his qualifications are such as well entitle him to the professional support of the public. He keeps in touch with the most modern methods known to the medical fraternity and his knowledge is broad and comprehensive, while in the diagnosis of a case he is very careful, seldom making the last error in judgment concerning the outcome of disease. While in Duncan he took an active and helpful part in the permanent improvement and development of the town. He was a member of the first city council and later was selected by a committee of citizens to visit Washington, D. C., in the interests of that municipality. His mission there was successful and he drafted a bill, which passed congress, regulating the practice of medicine in the Territory.

Dr. Roberson purchased and now occupies the Wash Williams farm, which is one of the early landmarks of Montague county, situated in Willowally valley, adjoining the town of Hardy. It contains four hundred acres of land in cultivation and the place is well improved with a commodious residence, substantial barn and other outbuildings. The home is attractively situated and everything about the place indicates the careful supervision of a progressive owner.

Dr. Roberson was married in 1893 to Miss Laura Williams, who was born at the old Williams homestead, near Hardy, in 1870, and is a daughter of Washington and Cynthia (Robertson) Williams, both of whom were natives of Tennessee, where they were married, emigrating to Texas in 1858. They lived in Lamar county until 1860, when they came to Montague county, where Mr. Williams purchased land in Willowally valley and there developed a farm, to which he added until it became a very extensive and profitable property. It is this farm upon which the Doctor and his wife now reside. When the Williams family came here there was a fort on this farm, affording safety for the pioneer families. During the Civil war Mr. Williams was in the frontier service, taking part in many raids and battles with the Indians, and his time was thus passed until the close of the hostilities. He afterward settled on the farm and resumed the business of cultivating the fields and raising stock. Later he engaged in merchandising at Forestburg in company with Mr. Adkins and successfully carried on the enterprise for a number of years. He witnessed the development of the county from a sparsely settled district to a populous region, in which were many homes of a contended and prosperous people. The wild game was replaced by the domestic farm animals and the red men were followed by white settlers, whose enterprise and labors have wrought a wonderful transformation in improving and developing the country. In all of his business transactions he was strictly fair and honorable, his integrity being above reproach. At length he retired form the labors of the farm, rented his land and removed to the Indian Territory, and at Duncan was engaged in the drug and furniture business. While devoting his energies to the conduct of that enterprise death claimed his wife, who died in 1897. She was a devoted member of the Baptist church and was an earnest Christian woman, beloved by all who knew her. Mr. Williams has since retired from active business and now spends his time among his children at the ripe age of seventy-three years. He, too, is a faithful member of the Baptist church and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity. He had three sons and a daughter: George D., who is living in Lawton; Charles R., also of Lawton; Laura, now Mrs. Roberson; and Nathaniel C., a resident of Duncan.

Dr. and Mrs. Roberson have two interesting children: T. L., who was born in August, 1890; and James W. R., born December 25, 1905. They also lost two: George L., born December 3, 1893; and John R., born May 16, 1901. The parents are members of the Baptist church and Dr. Robertson is a Royal Arch Mason. In a profession where success depends entirely upon individual merit and achievement he has worked his way steadily upward, and the extent and importance of his practice is indication of the unqualified trust and confidence reposed in him by the general public.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 637-638.