Merrit A. Roberts
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

MERRITT A. ROBERTS—Formerly engaged in business as the proprietor of a general store, Mr. Roberts is now the owner and manager of his father's farm on Eagle Mills Road near Troy, New York. He was born at Center Brunswick, New York, December 17, 1864, son of Merritt and Catherine (Dusenberg) Roberts. His father was a skilled agriculturist and for many years devoted himself to the care and cultivation of the farm now occupied by Mr. Roberts. In August, 1916, he died, and his death was a source of deep regret to all classes of the community. Mrs. Catherine (Dusenberg) Roberts died May 12, 1910.

Mr. Roberts received his education in the public schools of his native county, and completed his studies at the Lansingburg Academy. He began to help his father in the work of the farm when he was only ten years old, utilizing his spare time and the summer vacations for light work, as, for instance, gathering eggs, chopping kindling wood, driving cattle to and from the pastures, and before long he became skilled in all kinds of agricultural lore. He found farm work agreeable and remained at home associated with his father on the farm until 1884, when he decided to seek a change of occupation, for a while at least. Accordingly, he invested his capital in the establishment of a general store at Center Brunswick and met with unusual success from the very beginning. He had a natural instinct for trade, and by means of carefully planned advertising, and by establishing a reputation for goods of the highest quality, he soon built up a substantial business. His trade increased, and many families gave him their exclusive and regular patronage. He might have continued at this business indefinitely had he not felt a desire to return to his father's farm and to give him what assistance in managing it that he could. His father was anxious to have him come back, and consequently Mr. Roberts disposed of his interest in the store at a handsome profit and once more took up the business of agriculture. He has remained on the farm ever since, and the store which he founded at Center Brunswick is still carried on by his former partner, Mr. Haynes, to whom he sold his share of the business in 1891. While his father lived, Mr. Roberts assisted him in the work of running the farm, gradually assuming more and more of the responsibilities and duties connected therewith as his father's strength declined. In 1916, when the elder Mr. Roberts died, the farm passed into Mr. Roberts possession and he still conducts it. He does not specialize in any particular crop, but raises various crops, practicing the most scientific methods of cultivation and maintaining the fertility of his land by careful rotation of crops and the use of well-chosen fertilizers. He is keenly interested in the work of the United States Government as carried on by the Department of Agriculture on behalf of agriculturists throughout the country, and makes a point of keeping up with the latest developments of science in regard to farming and its problems.

In religious faith, Mr. Roberts is a member of the Gilead Lutheran Church, of which he is an elder. He is devoted to the best interests of the church and never spares himself in his efforts to further its humanitarian and religious undertakings. He is a Republican in politics, and was elected county supervisor in 1919, for a four years' term of office. He is an active member of the Order of American Men, and has been through all the chairs of this organization.

On September 30, 1886, Mr. Roberts married, at Center Brunswick, Martha Van Arnum, daughter of Jacob H. and Martha (Smith) Van Arnum. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have no children.

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