Friday, March 18, 2011

Edward Davis Roberts, San Bernardino

Updated 3/1/17

Born in Wisconsin, E.D. Roberts (1846-1920) arrived in San Bernardino County in 1886, after selling his first successful banking enterprise in Bridgewater, South Dakota. His father John W. Roberts, who was successful in the flour business in Pennsylvania, purchased a half interest in the McCook County Bank that son E.D. and his brother-in-law sold to Boston interests after just two years. The three decided to try banking in California, following the brother-in-law's father, John W. Davis.

With success in Colton, the San Bernardino National Bank was formed, with E.D. becoming President in 1903 upon the death of his father. The family moved from Colton to San Bernardino, where he purchased a large lot and home at 775 West 2nd St.

The E.D. Roberts Residence ca. 1910

Mrs. Maude Roberts, Center

Living in the house in 1910 were E.D., his wife Maude, their two children Louise and Marie, and two servants. With their establishment in San Bernardino, the Roberts were heavily involved in the city's 1910 centennial.

And in 1911, Mr. Roberts' experience in banking was noted with his appointment by the governor to California State Treasurer, to replace W. R. Williams, who was appointed to the post of Superintendent of Banks. After his appointment, the Roberts settled in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, returning to San Bernardino in 1915 after completing his term. He was asked to be a Vice-President at the Los Angeles National Bank soon after, so he returned to Los Angeles for another four years. He then retired in 1920, but passed away in San Bernardino only a few short months later, in August, 1920. He is believed to be buried in Inglewood Cemetery, Los Angeles, alongside his daughter Marie, with a memorial in place at the Pioneer Cemetery in San Bernardino.

It would be unusual for a residence of this age to still be present--and while there are still Victorians in San Bernardino (including the house for the San Bernardino Historical Society), this one had the bad fortune to be located on what was to become a main street in San Bernardino. Today's view courtesy of Google:

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  1. Thank you for profiling my great-grandfather, Eddie Roberts, and for providing some photos. I was working on my account this morning when I ran across your piece. Question: other information says he was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery... can you provide more info on this?

  2. bbkamm,
    You're more than welcome. My (not so) secret site for cross-checking burial locations is, where I found this listing. According to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, he died in San Bernardino on August 4 after an operation for appendicitis.


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