Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Willis Roberts' Career

 Willis Roberts’ Career

Following the Civil War, at a time when the majority of southern families lost everything, Mary Taylor Bolles Roberts still owned property, including three houses on prestigious Government Street. But in-law, Palmer Pillans, purchased one of these houses with Confederate money, which quickly became worthless, creating a serious rift in the family. Mary Roberts lost that property as well as the rental income it had provided. Therefore, it appears that Willis did not have access to family money or else wanted to establish himself independent of the family. It took seven years following his father’s death to establish himself in business. [i]

Willis worked as a bookkeeper and accountant for Dr. George Ketchum throughout most of his working years (1873-1905), with a smattering of different employers before and after Dr. Ketchum. According to local directories, Willis worked in 1870 as a probate court clerk. Following his employment with Dr. Ketchum, Willis worked as a bookkeeper for Home Telephone Company in 1906 and was a bookkeeper for Spiro & Pinchus at 108 S. Joachim from 1907-08. From 1911-1916, he was a bookkeeper at the St. Andrew Hotel, where he also resided until his death in 1917. Dr. Ketchum, however, was the most influential employer in Willis’ career. [ii]

[i] Ibid.[ii] Ibid.

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