James H. Roberts, tanner and farmer, was born in Knox County, October 25, 1832, the son of Henry G. and Rebecca (Harris) Roberts, the former of English-Irish stock, born in Knox County in 1808, and deceased in 1866, and the latter born in Raleigh, N.C., in 1810, and still living, a member of the Presbyterian Church. The father was a farmer. Our subject, the eldest of eight children, received a common education, and when fourteen became a clerk at Woodburn, Knox County, and ten years later entered the stock trade at Chester, S. C., where he had a livery and sale stable, to which be brought stock purchased at home. In 1861 he also engaged in tanning, and was postmaster at Woodburn until 1868, first under the Federal and then under the Confederate Government. In 1863 he also engaged in farming, and is now a magistrate. He lost very much during the war, being twice burned out. January 30, 1852, he married Saphrona, a daughter of Lewis M. Ellis, of Grainger County. They have a large family. Both are Methodists, having joined in 1853. Our subject is a Mason and a Prohibitionist.
Source: History of Tennessee Containing Historical and Biographical Sketches of Thirty East Tennessee Counties. Illustrated, pp. 1146-1152. Published: Chicago and Nashville: The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1887.