Lee County Biography

Francis E. Rogers


Francis E. Rogers is the son of a pioneer of this section of Illinois, and now owns and is successfully managing the fine farm on section 10, Wyoming Township, that his father redeemed from the hands of nature many years ago. Our subject is not only known as one of the successful farmers and stock-raisers of Lee County, but as one of its valued public officials, representing his township on the County board of Supervisors.

Mr. Rogers was born in Wyoming Township, Luzerne County, Pa., August 2, 1840. His father, Elihue Rogers, was born in the same county, in the town of Exeter, coming of an old family, of whom but little is known, though there are traditions concerning its history, and some of his ancestors were among the early Colonial settlers of New England. Nope Rogers is the first one of whom mention is made; his son Jethro was the next in line of descent; after him came John Rogers; then Josiah Rogers, who was the great-great-grandfather of our subject; following him came Jonah Rogers, the great-grandfather of our subject, and his son Elihue was the grandfather of our subject. The latter was an earl}' settler of the beautiful Wyoming Valley, and spent his last years in Luzerne County, where he carried on business as a tailor. The maiden name of his wife was Rhoda Drake. She survived her husband some years, and from Pennsylvania went to Ohio, and finally coming to Lee County made her home in her last days with her son Jacob D. She now lies quietly sleeping the sleep of death in the cemetery at South Paw Paw.

Elihue Rogers, Jr., grew to manhood in Luzerne County, and in due time took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Bersheba Stiles. In 1847 he left his old home to go forth into the unknown wilds of the "Great West," as this part of the country was then called. He was accompanied on his momentous journey by his wife and eight children, and they traveled slowly with teams over the mountains and prairies and through the forests that intervened, and cooked and camped by the wayside at night, and at last after forty days arrived in McHenry County. The family spent the remainder of that fall and the following winter in that county, and then came to Paw Paw in the spring of 1848. The father bought a tract of land on section 10, of what is now Wyoming Township. A few acres broken constituted all the improvement that had been attempted, and as there was no dwelling upon the place Mr. Rogers bought a house near by. and moving it to his land, soon after built on an addition, and made it his home until his death June 1, 1873. In the years of toil and care that followed his settlement here he had cheerfully endured the privations inseparable from life in a newly settled country, had worked early and late, and in time acquired a comfortable property. He held a worthy place among his pioneers associates, was a loyal citizen, was all that a husband and father should be in his domestic relations, and he was in all ways deserving of the sincere respect accorded to him by the people among whom so many years of his life were passed.

The parents of our subject had nine children, of whom the following is recorded: Olive married Harley Green, of Chicago: Arabella married E. G. Rogers, of St. Paul, Minn.; Amorintha is the wife of James Simons, of Kansas City, Mo.; Elihue W. lives at Chicago, Ill.; Lewis S. is a resident of Bakersfield. Cal.; Marion B. resides at Chicago; Francis E. is our subject; Elizabeth A. died at the age of five rears; Lydia married Philo Smith, of Lincoln, Neb.

He of whom this sketch is written was but a child of seven years when his parents brought him to Illinois, which was still in the hands of the pioneers, though parts of the State had been settled for many years. At that time there was not a railway in the State, and Chicago was the nearest market for the people of this region. Our subject was reared under wholesome pioneer influences to a vigorous manhood. He began early in life to gam a knowledge of agriculture on his father's farm, which since his father's death has come into his possession. It is a valuable piece of property, in a desirable location, is amply supplied with buildings for every needed purpose, its fertile acres are well tilled, and Mr. Rogers is constantly making improvements on the place.

Mr. Rogers lived with his parents until their death, and was their stay in their declining years. In 1866 he was married to Miss Nancy Barratt, a native of Ohio, and in her capacity for making home pleasant and cozy, he has found much of the solid comfort and true happiness of life. They have three children, whom they have named Belle C, Francis D., and Mary E.

Our subject was a soldier in the Union Army during the latter part of the Civil War. lie enlisted March 4, 1865, in Company O, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, was immediately sent to the front to join his regiment in North Carolina,and marched with the victorious army through that State onward to Washington by the way of Richmond, and at the National Capital took part in the Grand Review. He did not, however, leave the army at the close of hostilities, but was detained in the service until September 16, 1865, when he was honorably discharged with his regiment. Returning home be resumed his calling as a farmer, and has made his citizenship valuable to his community, win re he has spent the most of his life, and where he is so well known. He is a member of Anchor Lodge, No. 510, I. O. O. F.; and of the William H. Thompson Post, No. 308, G. A. R. In politics, he stands stanchly by the Republican party. He was elected a member of the County Hoard of Supervisors in 1800, and so faithfully and conscientiously did he serve the interests of his township, as well as those of the county at large, he was honored by re-election to the same important office in 1891.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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