Joseph Coleman Roberts

DR. JOSEPH COLEMAN ROBERTS was born on the Madison and Limestone County line, in Alabama, November 18, 1822, being of honorable parentage, not wealthy or distinguished, but highly respected for the sort of integrity and strength and purity of character and modesty in asserting their claims to high distinctions that constituted marked virtues among the agricultural classes in the earlier years of this country. He received an elementary education in the country schools of that day, and afterward attended the Frazier Academy, at Athens, Ala., and studied the classics, and at the age of about nineteen began teaching school, after which he entered the office of Dr. Frank Malone, at the Cross Roads, in Madison County, and in 1843-44 attended a course of medical lectures; after which he located in Limestone County and practiced his profession four years. He then went to New York City, and graduated at the University of New York in 1848. He returned home and located at Bethel, Giles Co., Tenn., where he has since resided. In 1849 he married Sarah I. Anthony, and to their union four children were born: J.C., Estella (who died in childhood), Walter A. and Sallie Bettie. The Doctor was laborious and persistent in his medical studies, and diligent and faithful in his professional engagements. At the beginning of the war the means he had accumulated had been invested mostly in slave property, and as a result of that conflict he was left comparatively penniless. He offered his services to the Confederacy, and served in the field and hospital as aid to Dr. Ford, acting in the capacity of assistant and director. When the army commanded by Beauregard and Bragg started on the Kentucky campaign, he was transferred to the Western Department, and was assistant to Dr. Wooten, now of Texas. After the war the Doctor located in Pulaski, Giles Co., Tenn., and by energy and frugality owns a nest and valuable brick residence on Main Street, and a farm of 600 acres of excellent land in the county. He has been constantly engaged in his profession for about forty-two years; has the reputation of being a studious, able and successful physician, and is engaged in active practice at the present time. His parents, George and Elizabeth (Kendrick) Roberts, were born in Georgia and were of English and Welsh ancestry. They moved to Alabama about 1800, and located where our subject was born. The father died in Lawrence County, Ala., and the mother in Mississippi. Their family consisted of seven sons and three daughters. Dr. Roberts is considered one of the county's best men. He is a Mason, a Democrat, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.


From: Goodspeed's History of Giles County