Buena Vista County, IA
IAGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 481-82.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  James Rogers

James Rogers lives upon a farm which he has occupied since 1881.  More than a quarter of a century has passed since he took up his abode here, and all of the improvements upon his place stand as monuments to his thrift and perseverance.  His home is on section 18, Newell township, and comprises one hundred and sixty acres of land, which is rich and arable and responds readily to the care and labor he bestows upon it.


Mr. Rogers is one of the native sons of the middle west, his birth  having occurred in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, on the 23d of December, 1850.  He is descended in both paternal and maternal lines from English ancestry.  His grandfather, Walter Rogers, was a native of England and there resided until his death, his time and energy being devoted to the milling business.  His family numbered six children:  Walter, Mary, Betsey, James, John and Priscilla.  Of these, John Rogers was born in England, the place of his nativity being Cambron.  For a long period he was employed in the tin mines of England and also followed the milling trade.  He married Elizabeth Perry, who was born at Elston, England, where her parents spent their entire lives.  Her father died when about thirty-five years of age.  He had been married twice, his first wife being the grandmother of our subject.  It was in the year 1845 that John Rogers came to the United States and settled in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, where he engaged in mining.  He was employed in the lead mines and later turned his attention to farming in the same county and became a thrifty and well-to-do man.  He died September 1, 1908, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years, while his wife passed away in 1902, at the age of eighty-four years.  In early life they were members of the Church of England but afterward united with the Methodist church.  Their children were John; James; Walter; Matilda, deceased; Elizabeth, wife of T. A. Harris; Richard and Thomas.


James Rogers was reared in Jo Daviess county, Illinois, upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist.  He attended the district schools when not engaged in the work of the fields and later the German-English school at Galena, Illinois.  He afterward went to Colorado and for a short time was employed in the silver mines.  Coming to Iowa, in 1S81, he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, in Newell township, Buena Vista county, and has since given his time and energy to the work of further developing and improving this place.  It is now a good property and the fields respond readily to the care and labor which is bestowed upon them.  He has recently erected a beautiful residence, heated by a furnace, and supplied with a bathroom and other modern conveniences.  He has given considerable attention to the dairy business and now milks eighteen or twenty cows.  For six years he has been president of the Coon River Cooperative Creamery Company, of which he was one of the promoters, and is still serving as president and one of the trustees.  Under his able management the creamery has proved profitable and now turns out from thirty to forty tons of butter per week.


Mr. Rogers married in 1882 Miss Alice Elizabeth Kerslake, a daughter of George and Eliza Jane (Harris) Kerslake.  Her father was born on the Isle of 'Man, while her mother was a native of England.  He has been dead some years but she lives with her daughter, Mrs. Rogers, at the age of seventy-three years.  The other children in their family were Richard, who resides at Scales Mound, Illinois; William; George, who resides at Storm Lake; and Alice.  Mrs. Rogers was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has become the mother of four sons and three daughters:  Wilbur Walter, George Kerslake, Louisa Jane, John James, Bessie Irene, Cereta May and Robert Glenn.  The family circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death and all are yet under the parental roof.


Mr. and Mrs. Rogers hold membership in the Methodist church and he is serving as one of its trustees.  He belongs to Newell lodge, No 282, I. O. O. F, while politically he is a republican.  He has never sought nor desired public office, yet he is not remiss in the duties of citizenship for he is interested in all that pertains to the general welfare.  His time and attention, however, have been fully occupied by his business affairs and he has shown good work in the community in promoting its substantial development.