By: Lewis Collins


One of the most enterprising and progressive of the farmers and stockmen of Hillsboro precinct is Thomas R. McRoberts, whose fine estate of one hundred and seventy-seven acres has all been improved by himself and is looked upon as one of the model places of Fleming county. This venerable gentleman, who is well and favorably known, is a native of the county in which his residence is maintained, his birth having occurred here July 3, 1832. His parents were Alexander and Sarah (Raulings) McRoberts, the former of whom was killed in 1839 when a young man, leaving four children to be reared by his widow. Alexander McRobert’s was born in. Kentucky, the son of John and Eunice (Crawford) McRoberts, who formed a part of the great exodus from the Old Dominion to the newer state of Kentucky, coming from the neighborhood of Fincastle, Botetourt county, that state, and locating in Fleming county. The subject's grandfather was a farmer and carpenter, and his father was a

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farmer, his home being located on the Hillsboro and Poplar Plains turnpike. Mr. McRoberts' mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Rawlings, was a native of Fleming county, her birth having occurred on the farm which is now the home of James B. Day. She was a daughter of Thomas Raulings, a Virginian. The demise of this worthy lady occurred in 1872, at the age of sixty years. Although Mr. McRoberts was but seven years of age, at the time of his father's death, he was the eldest of four children thus deprived of their natural protector. The others were John, William and James, all residents of Fleming county and all now deceased. Mr. McRoberts was fortunate enough to be reared by a maternal uncle, Austin Rawlings a prosperous agriculturist owning some seven hundred acres near Locust Creek, a part of which is included in his (the subject's) present homestead. He received his education in the district schools and early in life became familiar with agriculture in its various departments, his uncle giving him a thorough training in the same. On October 4, 1854, shortly after attaining his majority, he established a household of his own by his marriage to Miss Mary J. Emmons, daughter of Joseph and Susan (Bowen) Emmons.. Her birth occurred May 26, 1837, at Poplar Plains, Fleming county. Her father was a Virginian, born in that state June 27, 1806, and coming to Kentucky after the death of his parents was reared by a gentleman of kindly instincts, Mr. Fielding Hurst. Joseph spent the remainder of his life in Fleming, county, making his livelihood as a farmer and cabinet-maker. He was called to his reward June 22, 1868, when somewhat past sixty years of age. His wife was born in Fleming county April 7, 1807, and survived her husband by many years, her demise coming on August 14, 1894. She was a daughter of William and Lydia (Armstrong) Bowen, whom, in view of much other similar biography, it is almost needless to say were of Virginia. Mrs. McRoberts was one of a large family of children, but only one other a brother, John W., of Oregon, survives at the present day. The names of the others were James Monroe, Daniel B., Robert, Emily, Lydia Ann, Thomas T., Joseph B., William Edward, and Elizabeth.

Mr. McRoberts came into possession of his present excellent property in the year 1870, and though he and his wife have led their lives amid its pleasant scenes for over forty years.

Their union has been blessed by the birth of a large family of children, of whom eight survive for useful citizenship. The ensuing data is given concerning the sons and daughters:

Austin, deceased; Joseph B., deceased; Layer Frances is the wife: of James Royce, of Mason County, and the mother of eleven children; Sallie, wife of John S. Crawford, of this vicinity, is the mother of four children; John A. is also deceased; Elizabeth is at home; Hattie is the wife of Jess Emmons and makes her home in Mason county; Julia Ann, who married William J. Weaver, is a resident of Fleming county; Etta Russell, wife of Thomas W. McRoberts, makes her home in Fleming county; Harvey is deceased; Thomas T. is at home; as is also Martha J., who married Edward C. Leforge, a farmer.

Mr. McRoberts is a staunch and loyal, Democrat and has never missed an election since 1854. He is greatly interested and well in formed in local and national affairs. He is a member of the Sons of Temperance in whose doctrines lie is a firm believer. Mrs. McRoberts is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. of Hillsboro. The abode of the McRoberts family is, one of the interesting ones of the section, the log part having been erected over one hundred years ago.

Submitted by Renee Schaeffer