Roberts family papers, 1853-1994

Overview of the Collection

Roberts, A. B. (Alvin Brown)
Roberts family papers
1853-1994 (inclusive)
1.2 linear feet, (2 boxes)
Collection Number
This collection contains newspaper articles, personal notebooks and sketches, genealogical materials, and published articles of an early pioneer family.
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, Room 130
345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
Telephone: 5095275922
Fax: 5095264785
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

A.B. (Alvin Brown) Roberts was born May 17, 1832 in Knox Township, Jefferson County, Ohio. In 1853 he arrived in Oregon Territory and settled in Portland where he established the stone cutting firm of Roberts and Hartle. He served in Company A, Multnomah County, First Regiment from October 13 to December 19, 1855 in what was known as the Yakima War. He fought in what became known as the Battle of Walla Walla on December 7, 1855.

After his military service, Roberts went back to marble-cutting in Boise City, Idaho. On September 15, 1858 he married Martha Elizabeth Baxter in Clackamas County, Oregon. They divorced in 1866.

In March of 1859, he moved to what is now Walla Walla. He purchased a 160 acre land claim from an acquaintance for $250.00. When authorities platted the new town, the area was donated to the city and became known as Roberts Addition. Roberts planted what is believed to be the first apple orchard in the valley. He sold some of his one-year-old trees for one dollar each and then went into the nursery business exclusively. He rose to prominence in the fruit industry of the territory and state, much of which was centered in Walla Walla at that time. He was also the father of masonry in Walla Walla and was first master of the Walla Walla Lodge No.7.

E.G. Roberts, brother of A.B., was the founder of Roberts Monument Co., in 1872. His son, Lee, continued with the business and was a lifelong resident of Walla Walla.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Roberts Family Papers contains newspaper and magazine articles written by A.B. Roberts about life in the Northwest of the 1850s, the Indian Wars, the fruit industry, and the founding of Walla Walla. It also includes A.B.and Lee Roberts' personal notebooks and sketchbooks, genealogical materials about the Roberts family and its descendants, and personal correspondence.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Whitman College and Northwest Archives by Barbara Swan, Mary Lou Cooper and Patsy Jean Pompeo between 1992 and 1994. The accession number is retro-0078.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Personal Names

  • Roberts, A. B. (Alvin Brown)
  • Roberts, Lee