Pages 208-210, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.


Henry C. Rogers


HENRY C. ROGERS—The late Henry C. Rogers, of Bronson, was one of the characters of eastern Allen County, not alone because he was an honorable citizen but because he represented the age of pioneering in the county and because his death closed the chapter devoted to the living pioneers. He came to the county at a time when white men were a curiosity on our eastern border and when any piece of prairie from Rock Creek to the east line of Allen County might have been preempted or homesteaded. The settlements adjacent and tributary to where Mr. Rogers and his uncle settled were around the Turkey Creek post office and at Ira Hobson's mill on the Osage River, in Bourbon County. Prior to the Civil war the land between Moran and Bronson belonged to the Indians but they did not occupy it. They had, no doubt, abandoned it to whoever might settle it as per an act of Congress providing for the disposition of the public domain. To the few settlements made prior to the war, to the events affecting this locality during that struggle and to the period of settlement succeeding the war, including the fencing of the last tract of prairie "lying out," Mr. Rogers was an eye witness. He not only saw it all but he was a distinct part of it all and could his reminiscences have been gathered while in his physical and mental vigor they would have added much to the completeness of the story of the settlement and development of Allen County.

It was November 10, 1858, when Henry C. Rogers and D. V. Rogers, his uncle, stopped on the creek southeast of Moran. They were seeking a location and the uncle claimed the "Dick Gilliam" place and died on it in 1875. Young Henry remained with his uncle till old enough to enter land when he took up the south half of the southwest quarter of section 10, township 25, range 21, Marmaton township, and there resided till about


1880 when he sold and located on the county line south of Bronson two miles.

The settlements on the prairies of Kansas in an early day were chiefly disturbed by the devouring flames of a prairie fire. This scourge visited every settler who made his abiding place in Allen County from the earliest time to 1880, and many of them more than once. It was no unusual thing to see everything swept away and a family left penniless after a hard summer's work. Thieves and marauders made occasional sallies into the settlements and plied their trade effectively but the vigilantes took frequent charge of them and left them alone in their solitude. The drouth of 1860 was a calamity visited upon the frontiersmen and, had not the winter following been as mild and as gentle as that of Florida, great suffering among man and beast would have ensued. During the war the Bushwhackers and Butternuts did not disturb the peace and repose of eastern Allen County. Its able-bodied men all belonged to some military regiment and were called out only when the State was threatened with invasion. Mr. Rogers was a member of Cal. Orlin Thurston's regiment of State guards which rendezvoused at Ft. Scott during the last Price raid.

H. C. Rogers was born in Vermillion County, Indiana. He started to Kansas from Vermillion County, Illinois, but his parents settled in Vermillion County, Indiana, and it is probable that there was where his birth occurred February 23, 1842. His father, Daniel Rogers, who left Vermont when young, was a pioneer to the above Indiana county. His parents no doubt accompanied him to the west for his father, Allen Rogers, resided in Indiana, Illinois, and lastly Iowa, where he died and is buried. His sons were: Elisha, Minor, John, Daniel and Jobe Rogers, all of whom reared families. Daniel Rogers married Mary Baldwin who died in Perryville, Indiana, in 1853. Daniel also died early in life. Their children were: Henry C.; Hannah, wife of Richard Davis, of Altamont, Kansas; Nettie, deceased, wife of Mr. Blair, of Neosho County, Kansas.

Henry C. Rogers was not an educated man. The circumstances of his time were such as to preclude the acquirement of more than the primary elements of an education. He was only sixteen years old when he assumed the responsibilities of a citizen in Allen County, where schools were the scarcest of necessities. Whatever of success has attended him has been the result of his efforts with stock and the farm. He was married June 10, 1865, to Miss Ruth Main, a daughter of John Main, a pioneer to the west from Virginia. Mrs. Rogers was born in Mongoha, Virginia, June 23, 1846. The children of their marriage are: Charles, married to Cora Thompson, resides nearby; Henry C. Jr., married to Mary Goodno, resides on the homestead; Dora E., wife of Elijah Hodge, of Bronson, Kansas; Oscar V., married to Maggie Thomas, of Bronson, Kansas; Bertha May Rogers, a teacher; William and Roy.

Mr. Rogers' political affiliations were with the Republicans. In 1872 he espoused the Greeley movement but, using his own words, "never got into the Democratic party." He never took a very active part in local


politics and the only office in which he consented to serve was that of school director which he held for twenty years.

When the day shall come when the contemporaries of the pioneers shall all have passed away and their lives and deeds are known only in history, then will their posterity come to a full realization and a just appreciation of them and their efforts. A word from those "who saw and did" is more to be desired than a volume from those who were not there and only heard.

Mr. Rogers' last illness was of long duration. He died November 30, 1900, and was laid away in the 59th year of his age.

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