THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   MRS. JENNETTE A. ROBERTS, widow of the late James Roberts, who was born in 1819, and died on his farm March 10, 1891, was born at Ridgeville in the town of Sullivan, Madison County, in 1822. She is highly connected, and is descended from pioneer and patriotic ancestry. Her father, Frederick M. Adams, who was known as Captain Adams, was drafted during the War of 1812-15. Her mother was Persis Bush, a daughter of Deacon Jonathan Bush of New England, who removed to the State of New York at a very early day, and was one of the first settlers in the woods in Sangerfield, Oneida County. This was in 1790. He lived temporarily in a rude log hut until he could find time to erect a stone and frame house a few rods south-east of the present home of the subject of this sketch, which is still standing, and occupied by George Hood. It is on the only rise of ground in the vicinity, and was erected in that place in order that it might be high and dry, and above the wet, swampy land surrounding it in that early day, but which is now the best land in the county, having been drained by the digging of the eight-mile ditch. Deacon Jonathan Bush married Persis Terry, of Tarrytown, N.Y., and late in life removed to within two miles of what is now Toledo, Ohio, selling the farm on which Mrs. Roberts now lives to her father. He spent the remainder of his life on his farm near Toledo.
   Captain Frederick M. Adams was born in Connecticut in 1794, and came from the same place as the ancestors of the late ex-President Rutherford B. Hayes, of whom Captain Adams was a cousin. Captain Adams was related also to President John Quincy Adams. Mrs. Roberts is the only surviving member of her father's family of three children, the eldest of whom, Mary, married Hamilton Cotton, and died in the town of Sullivan, August 22, 1884, when upward of sixty years of age; and the youngest, Byron, died in 1854, aged twenty-seven,--a single man and a farmer. The father of these children died in 1855, aged sixty, his widow surviving him some thirteen years, and dying in 1868, aged seventy-three. He was a farmer, settled in the woods in an early day, and cut down the first tree that was felled in the town in which he located. His brother, J. W. Adams, was the first Presbyterian preacher who settled in Syracuse, there being then but twelve houses in the place. His church was torn down in order to permit the erection of the present fine stone Presbyterian church in that place; and the last timber of the old church was drawn away on the very day that the remains of Rev. J. W. Adams were laid to rest.
   Mrs. Roberts was married in 1852, when thirty years of age. Previous to this event she had been a most successful teacher in several schools, the last year in the seminary at Onondaga Valley, having taught ten years in all. During her last year she took the place of a former male teacher in mathematics, astronomy, etc., being a very fine mathematical scholar, notwithstanding she was self-taught in this most important branch of learning. That she was much better qualified than is the ordinary teacher is evident from the fact that she has a State certificate, given her by Judge Barlow. Mrs. Roberts has buried one son, who died in infancy, and has two daughters living, namely: Jennie M., wife of Charles Foland; and Nellie, wife of Peter Standt, at home on the farm, which Mr. Standt is managing and working. Both the daughters are intelligent and well-educated ladies, and are worthy of their mother. Mrs. Roberts, though now seventy-one years old, is healthy and well preserved, both physically and mentally, and has always been a woman of character and of much more than ordinary ability. The life narrative of such a woman is eminently worthy of a place in a work of this kind.

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