Browse (4 total)

  • Octavia Roberts Collection

Octavia Ridgely Roberts was born in Springfield, Illinois, in 1875. She was one of five children of Charles D. Roberts, a men’s clothing merchant, and Octavia Ridgely, who was the daughter of prominent Springfield banker, N.H. Ridgely. Octavia Roberts attended St. Agatha’s Episcopal School in Springfield. She worked as a reporter for the Illinois State Journal prior to her marriage to attorney Barton Corneau in 1913. A former Springfield resident, Corneau was the son of W.B. Corneau, former treasurer of the Wabash Railroad. Barton and Octavia Corneau resided in Boston, Massachusetts, and Ogunquit, Maine.

After her marriage, Octavia Roberts Corneau authored several books, both published and unpublished. Her published works include My Lady Valentine (ca. 1916); Lincoln in Illinois (1918); With Lafayette in America (1919); and The Perilous Isle (1926). Some of her unpublished works include “The Road of Remembrance” [Springfield in the late 19th and early 20th centuries]; “The Governor’s Mansion, (1853-1953), A Social History of the Illinois Executive Mansion”; and “’Little Occie’, as seen in the Journals of her Sister, Ann Ridgely.” Octavia Roberts Corneau died on March 14, 1972, in Ogunquit, Maine, at the age of 96.

The Corneau-Roberts Family Collection contains related images to the Octavia Roberts Collection. The Corneau-Roberts Family Collection may be found at

The finding aid for the Octavia Roberts Corneau Papers, 1857-1959 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum may be found at

Photographs in this collection include portraits of Octavia Ridgely Roberts as a young girl.

Help improve access to historic documents by transcribing handwritten pages (look for START TRANSCRIBING or CONTINUE TRANSCRIBING documents) and reviewing the transcriptions of others (look for NEEDS REVIEW documents). Sign in or create an account and then select an item below to get started.