Ami M. Roberts was born September 6, 1836 in Wales Township, Erie County New York to John Roberts (1813-1857) and Mariah (maiden name unknown) Roberts (1815- ). He was the oldest of four children. He was followed by sister Francis (1840- ), brother Ephraim (1842-1864) and sister Carolin (1844- ).

In 1844, the family moved from Wales Township to Almont. Also coming were his grandparents Silvester Roberts (1777- ) and Sylvia Lydia Demary Roberts (1782-1870). John’s brother, A. Robert also came. Where he originally settled is not known but he was one of the first settlers in Goodland Township. He later moved to Lynn Township in St. Clair County.

Upon coming to Almont, John established a trading post (now the location of Maria’s Restaurant). Locals would come to the post with farm produce and trade for items they needed for their homesteads. The Native Americans, while camping at their hunting grounds in Goodland Township, would bring in deer, tanned hides, beaded items, and freshly picked fruits and berries to trade for knives, gun powder, cloth, and whiskey.

Before 1850, John also opened a wagon making shop, which also produced railroad and miscellaneous transportation equipment.

Ami attended school and worked with his father learning the wagon-makers trade. Probably in 1852 at the age of fifteen, he went to work in the trading post. In the late 1850s, he went to work for about eighteen months in the John Phelps & Co. store.

In April 1858, he married Mary Phelps in Almont. It is assumed that Mary was John Phelps daughter. In early 1860, he established his own wagon making business and operated it for about six months.

On August 22, 1860, Mary died. Where she is buried is not known.

Ami married for a second time on October 6, 1861 to Harriet A. Clark (1843-1915). Harriet was born April 22, 1843 in Michigan but her parents are unknown.

After Mary’s death, Ami went to work in his uncle’s general merchandise store which also contained the post office for Goodland Township. He remained there until he enlisted in the Civil War.

On December 25, 1861, he enlisted at Almont for three years of service in Company F of the Tenth Michigan Infantry Regiment. He enlisted as a Bugler. After going through training, he was mustered into service on February 6, 1862. He listed “musician” as his occupation on his enlistment papers. He had played as part of a local band.

Ami’s younger brother, Ephraim had moved to Memphis, Michigan and enlisted on August 14, 1862, in the 5th Michigan Cavalry Regiment. In late June of 1863, the 5th Michigan Cavalry Regiment became part of the 1st Michigan Cavalry Brigade, which also included the 1st, 6th and 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiments. At that time, the 1st Michigan Cavalry Brigade was led by Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer. Ephraim took part in the repulse of Major General J. E. B. Stuart’s Confederate Cavalry Corp at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. By their actions that day, the 1st Michigan Cavalry Brigade saved the Union Army and the nation.

Ephraim would be killed at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia on October 19, 1864. Ami requested a twenty day leave to attend to Ephraim’s affairs at home. The leave was granted. In Goodrich Cemetery in Bruce Township, Macomb County, Ephraim’s name is on a large obelisk headstone. It is not known if he was returned home for burial or the marker is only a memorial stone. This headstone is just south of his father’s stone.

Ami enlisted as a Bugler and continued in that position until February 1864, when he was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant. He was promoted because of the organizational skills he demonstrated, which were the result of his working in his father’s store. On December 31, 1864, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and Full Quartermaster.

The Regiment fought at the Battle of Buzzards Roost on February 25, 1864. This was the most severe fighting the Regiment was involved in during the entire war. After this battle, the Regiment was given a 30 day furlough in Detroit. The Regiment returned to Tennessee and then marched to Georgia. They took part in the siege of Atlanta and then became part of Major General William Sherman’s “March to the Sea”.

After General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, the Regiment went to Washington D. C. and took part in the “Grand Review”. The Regiment was mustered out on July 19, 1865, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ami was in Almont on July 4, 1865, when the “Liberty Pole’ was erected to honor the soldiers who had served in the war.. It is not known with any certainty, but it is likely that Ami helped play music for the ceremony.

Upon returning home, after several different jobs, Ami eventually went to work as a bookkeeper for Currier, Moses, & Co. (Currier Agricultural Works). He stayed with the company when Henry Currier bought out his father and created H. A. Currier & Bros.

Ami and Harriett had three children: son Homer (1867-1914), and daughters, Mabel (1869-1899) and Vinnie (1872- ).

Sometime after 1880, Ami took a job in Detroit and he and Harriett moved there. Ami died August 19, 1890, in Detroit. Harriett survived until January 19, 1915. They were buried in the Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit.

Copies of the Almont Historical Society’s various books can be purchased by contacting Jim Wade at 810-796-3355 or jrwade49@ gmail.com or stopping by the museum on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.