A Tribute to the Memory of the Late Captain Cyrus M. Roberts
by Prof. W. A. Chamberlin, of Denison University, Granville, Ohio:
Captain Cyrus M. Roberts, whose death occurred on December 15, spent the last years of his life at his farm, near Granville, to which he retired from active business life for the benefit of his health. As one who became well acquainted with him during these years and knew him in the home and in his various relations to others, it is a pleasure for me to speak of his manly, Christian character, as it was revealed to me during this time. A prevailing trait of his character was modesty. This was, perhaps, developed especially during these declining years, when he felt that his active services for his country, in business sand in society had earned the reward of rest. So quiet was his life among us that, perhaps, only a few appreciated his sterling worth. He had made a career for himself that was honorable and worthy of pride. Yet he never boasted of his achievements, but preferred to stand on the solid merits of his present attainments. His military record was illustrious, yet he scarcely ever referred to it, and few knew how distinguished his service had been. Only by reference to his war diary, which he allowed me to read a few years ago, I found that he performed special and dangerous services in the Signal Corps, and as aid-de-camp to Gen. Pleasanton in the struggles in the West. His valuable services brought him promotion to the Captaincy of his company, and he returned to his regiment in time to participate in the closing scenes of Sherman’s march.
His faithfulness in everything relating to duty was one of his most pronounced characteristics. This was specially noticeable in his church work, in which his service was freely bestowed, and efficiently rendered. Every Sunday found him in his accustomed place in the church, and this continued to within a few weeks of his death. He looked forward with pleasure to the services of the Sabbath, and relinquished his place only when failing strength made it impossible for him to attend the services longer. For several years he had served the church as trustee and deacon.
Yet only those who knew him in the home can appreciate the sweetest graces of his character. There he was friendly and cordial to his friends to a rare degree. His home was ever open to them, and his hospitality made it a welcome spot to all visitors. No one ever took more delight in family life. All the members of the home circle shared the affection of his warm, personal nature and were endeared to him by the strongest ties of love.
His life had not been free from trials, but these he bore with patient, uncomplaining fortitude. The most severe of all was reserved for the last. Death, whom he faced unscathed on the battle field, was destined to come after a long and weary struggle, in which strength ebbed slowly away. But he faced the last foe with courageous trust. For months he knew that the end was approaching. Yet he went about his duties calmly, as his strength permitted. During all the long summer and fall he bore up bravely under the terrible struggle, supporting himself on the “precious promises” which he cherished. The memory of his love, his faithfulness and his patient, Christian living, will ever remain fragrant in the hearts of his friends.
W. A. Chamberlin,
Granville, Jan. 4, 1901.