Born in Philadelphia and educated in Philadelphia public schools, William T. B. Roberts moved to Franklin, Venango Co., PA, when he was approximately 14 years old. There his father farmed and also managed the Asher Petroleum Company. The family remained in Franklin for only three years; and when they returned to Philadelphia, the younger Roberts apprenticed to a carpenter and builder. Following his apprenticeship, he and his father engaged in building operations, with William T. B. Roberts eventually assuming control of the business.
As a builder, Roberts was associated with the construction of the Aubrey Hotel during the Centennial Exposition, as well as the construction of the P. A. B. Widener Residence at Broad Street and Girard Avenue. As a building developer, he was also engaged with P. A. B. Widener as well as with Elkins in developing residential neighborhoods adjacent to the run of the Traction street railway syndicate. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Roberts was avidly engaged in residential development and played a role in the neighborhoods of Glenside and Latham Park, which he advertised in a 1912 brochure listing sites for sale.
Sandra L. Tatman.
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