Hamilton County Pioneers - the Rogers Family

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - by John Wilson

Long before Chattanooga had been established as a city, Elisha Rogers owned thousands of acres in the beautiful valley at Mountain Creek at the foot of Walden's Ridge. Some of this land he acquired in 1825 at 12 cents an acre. He was from Bledsoe County, having married Sarah Thurman there in 1809 when he was 22 and she was 19. She was one of the daughters of Phillip and Kesiah Kirkland Thurman and was the sister of the wife of Asahel Rawlings, who also moved at an early date from Bledsoe County to Hamilton County. Elisha Rogers and his Rawlings brother-in-law originally had an interest in
a turnpike that was later transferred to Hasten Poe. It was near the present Daisy. Elisha Rogers also had a place on Walden's Ridge.

Elisha Rogers was born Dec. 4, 1787, in the vicinity of the later Lee Co., Va. His family traced back to Dauswell (or Doswell) Rogers. The name Dauswell was an old one in the
Rogers family, and apparently came about when a Rogers married a female Dauswell. The first Dauswell Rogers was born in 1736 and immigrated to Virginia in the mid-1700s. He appears in the records of Halifax County in 1762 in the section that became Pittsylvania County. Dauswell Rogers moved west across the Blue Ridge Mountains to Botetourt County and finally to Lee County near the Tennessee line after the Revolution. One document mentions a transfer from Dauswell Rogers Sr. to Dauswell Rogers Jr.

A son of the first Dauswell Rogers was William Rogers, who was born Oct. 14, 1763. He died in White County, Tenn., in 1824 and left a large family, including Dauswell Rogers who was born in 1789 and who lived his later years in Walker County, Ga. He was a Methodist minister, and the first Dauswell Rogers in Virginia was also said by one source to be a Methodist preacher. Dauswell Rogers married Phoebe Smith, daughter of Leighton and Elizabeth Roberson Smith. His second wife was Elizabeth Vaughn Holloway. William Hurd Rogers, son of Dauswell Rogers, was a noted Methodist minister. He married Mary Ann Douthit, then Martha E. Luttrell. Richard N. Price, a Methodist historian, said William H. Rogers was “brainy but eccentric. His principal faults were vanity and affectation. He had an affected style of delivery - a mock
solemnity that greatly impaired the usefulness of his sermons, exhortations, and conversations. But he was well read, and his mind was stored with general information. He was robust in body, above the average in size and strength, though not corpulent. He had a strong voice, a ready utterance, some imagination, and sometimes preached a sermon of real eloquence.” Ezekiel Birdseye, a staunch abolitionist, in 1842 spoke of William H. and Dauswell Rogers. He wrote, "Rev. William H. Rogers, whose post office is now at Dandridge, most respectfully requests you to send him papers and documents.
If you could add Weld's Bible argument you could not put it in better hands. He is a learned young man ardent in the cause. He says his father, Rev. Doswell Rogers, Delphi, Marion County, is enlisted in the same grand cause and hopes you will remember him.''

The sons of Elisha Rogers included Alfred McKinney, James, John who married Elsie Gaut, Dauswell and William L. Alfred McKinney Rogers married Ann Cobbs and his brother, William L. Rogers, married her sister, Sarah Cobbs. The Cobbs sisters were daughters of Richard and Lucy Harris Cobbs, who were originally from Albemarle County, Va. Elisha also had Jackson who lived from about 1823 to about 1844, Eli who
lived from about 1824 to about 1826, and Phillip who lived from about 1825 to about 1828. Alfred McKinney Rogers was born in Bledsoe County Feb. 27, 1810. He stayed on the Mountain Creek homeplace, which was sold at public outcry in 1858. William L. Rogers moved to South Chickamauga Creek, east of Missionary Ridge. Dauswell Rogers married Elizabeth Bennett of the Sequatchie Valley, and they settled there. James Rogers married Sarah Holloway.

Kesiah Rogers, daughter of Elisha Rogers, married James C. Conner, who was Hamilton County sheriff. He bought the old Anderson Turnpike, which led across Walden's Ridge
from Sequatchie Valley to Chattanooga. Other daughters of Elisha Rogers included Mary who married Russell M. Martin, Nancy who married William H. Lusk, Sally who married Alexander Martin and Phoebe who married Samuel Ware. Another daughter, Elizabeth, married Jonathan Ragon in 1847. They moved to Yell County, Arkansas, in 1850. Elizabeth Rogers Ragon died in 1884.

Elisha Rogers died March 27, 1858, and Sarah Thurman Rogers spent her last days with another daughter, Susan, and her husband, John Vick. Sarah Thurman Rogers died in 1862. Near the time of his death, Elisha Rogers still owned land in Lee County, Va., that had been passed on to him.

The children of Alfred McKinney Rogers included Madison Rawlings Rogers who lived from 1839 to 1841 and Richard Cobbs Rogers who lived from 1842 to March 13, 1863. Another son, Alfred Jefferson Rogers, was born in 1846 at Mountain Creek. He married Elizabeth Henderson, daughter of Richard Henderson, attorney and one-time mayor of Chattanooga. Henry Fletcher Rogers, another son of Alfred McKinney Rogers, was born in 1848. He was city treasurer for Chattanooga and was county register of deeds for three terms. He also served as prison commissioner at the Brushy Mountain mines. “Fletch” Rogers “for years was one of the most potent influences in political affairs in this section. He had to be reckoned with in county campaigns for over a quarter of a century.” He married Martha Ellen Lattner, a daughter of the early merchant T.J. Lattner. Alfred H. Rogers, another son of Alfred McKinney Rogers, was a county surveyor. He married Tennessee Thomas. Their children were Harry who married Lena Rose, Thomas J. who married Jessie Briggs, Fletcher and Joseph Leander who married May Gahagan. Thomas Jefferson Rogers, son of Alfred H. Rogers, was born in 1879. He became Hamilton County circuit court clerk. He married Jessie E. Briggs.

The children of William L. Rogers included Lucy Ann who married William H. Smith, Leona who married Francis Marion Gardenhire, Penelope who married Elisha Taylor Durham, Virginia, Patrick and James.

James and Sarah Holloway Rogers had Alfred, Alabama, Virginia, Rufus S. and Charles M. Dauswell and Elizabeth Bennett Rogers had Harriet who married Madison Layne, Sarah E. who married John Welch, Mary who lived from 1855 to 1859, Kesiah Alice who married Clarence W. Palmer, Nancy Jane who lived from 1859 to 1884, Joseph Bennett who married Laura B. Hendrix, and Hester who lived from 1865 to 1887.

THERE WAS a William Rogers in early Hamilton County who had property around Moccasin Bend. This was apparently the same William Rogers who married Mary Lauderdale at Rhea County in 1814. Mary Lauderdale Rogers was one of the heirs of Joseph Dunham Sr., who in 1809 obtained 2,500 acres on the north side of the Tennessee River “on both sides of the first creek above the Suck.” The Mountain Creek property was included in this tract. Joseph Dunham Sr. was “an old Indian fighter and companion of Sevier in the early times of East Tennessee.” He died in 1815, and his Mountain Creek
property was eventually bought up by Elisha Rogers. Mary Rogers, widow of William Rogers, died in 1872.

Their children included Altamyra (Allena) who married Fountain Hale, Mary E. who married George Washington Thomas, Nancy A. who married Isaac G. Thomas, Cynthia A. who married Samuel P. Jones, Sarah J. who married James M. Griffin, Elizabeth S. who married William A. Cathy and Susannah Emmeline who married Charles P. Gamble. The Griffins moved to Alabama, the Cathys to Texas and the Hales to Missouri. There was a son, Monroe Rogers. Another son, William Jefferson Rogers, was born in 1820. He was a deputy sheriff, then was county clerk. A bachelor, he was known as “crippled or limping Bill Rogers.” William J. Rogers was a veteran of the Mexican War, and at
the start of the Civil War he organized Co. D of the Fourth Georgia Cavalry. This unit was recruited in Lookout Valley and it marched to Dalton, Ga. William J. Rogers died near Jonesborough, Ga., in the summer of 1866.

STILL ANOTHER Rogers who lived in Hamilton County prior to the Civil War was Edley Henry Rogers, son of Joseph and Susannah Shue Rogers of Lee County, Va. He was apparently a kinsman of Elisha Rogers, who was also from Lee County. Edley H. Rogers and his brother, John Henry Rogers, were living near Elisha Rogers at the time of the 1840 census. After Joseph Rogers died, Susannah Shue Rogers married Joseph Walling and they moved to McMinn County, Tenn. They were there at the time of the 1830 and 1840 censuses. Sisters of Edley Rogers were Louisa who married William M. Davis and Lucinda who married Thomas Russell. Joseph Rogers, father of Edley, had a sister, Katherine, who married William Roberts. The Roberts and Rogers families had property on Blackwater Creek at Lee County, Va.

Edley Henry Rogers was born Oct. 2, 1814, and his wife was Mahala Amelia Rogers. They were married Feb. 18, 1835. The family lived in Tennessee, then moved to Georgia, and returned to Hamilton County in the vicinity of North Chickamauga Creek just before the war. The children included Joseph Washington who married Missouri Rains, Henry J., Eliza Ann who married Daniel Bradfield, John Benton who married Sarah Sniteman, William Neely David, Susan Emily who married Asahel S. Jackson, Thomas Jefferson who married Nancy Ellen Miller, Edley Anderson, Miranda Lucinda who married George W. Ewing, George Stevens and James Miles who married Elizabeth Fink. Members of this family were active in Burk's Chapel church in Hixson.

Joseph Washington Rogers had 18 children - Martha, Jane who married John Rowlet, Sarah E. who married J.R. Fink, Melissa who married William Hicks, George W., Mary I. who married James Wimley, Thomas, Miranda A., Tennie who married Marion Hobbs, Leona who married L.M. Moody, Flora who married Gus Cantrell, Addie who married J.R. Van Matre, Daniel, Juda who married A.J. Shirley, James, Sammie, Ruth and Melvin. The Joseph W. Rogers family moved to Vian, Okla.

William Rogers and his wife, Sarah, had W. Elbert, Edley Andrew, James, Martha who married Charles Purse, Mary and Elizabeth. They lived at Havana, Ark.

Thomas Jefferson Rogers had William R., James Benton, Joseph, Nervie who married Jack Ritchie, Thomas D., David E., Margaret, Elizabeth, Susan who married James Emerson, and Henry Jackson. They lived at Havana, Ark. Thomas Jefferson Rogers moved to Arkansas. He died there July 27, 1927.

Edley A. and Harriet Rogers had S. Wesley, Lee D., Adolphus, Alva, Desey, Esther, Harriet, Vivian, Newton and Elizabeth. They lived at Havana, Ark.

George and Martha Rogers had Mahala who married Joseph Wilson, Theara who married James Watters, Edward, Ila who married Henry Smith, Elizabeth who married Will Henson, Altha, Bert, John, William and Robert. They lived at Havana, Ark.

James and Elizabeth Rogers had Julia who married Henry Rose, Franklin, Acie, Elmer and Millard, Asbury, Ervey and Oscar. They lived at Millard, Ark.

John Benton Rogers and Sarah Sniteman had James Benton who married Arabelle Rogers, Mahala Ann who married John Clark, Melissa who married Everett.E. Swingle, Christian Edley who married Ada Hawley, Daniel T. who married Kearney Stansell, and Emma who married Joseph Ashley. John Benton Rogers was a sergeant with Co. K of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry. Sarah Sniteman Rogers died in 1911, then John B. Rogers married Mary Ashley in 1920 when he was 80 years old. He died in 1930 when he was 90. One son, J.B. Rogers of Hixson, was on the Quarterly Court. C.E. Rogers and Daniel T. Rogers, were on the faculty at East Tennessee State Normal School. C.E. Rogers was also superintendent of Johnson City School and D.T. Rogers was superintendent of Loudon city schools.

ANOTHER ROGERS FAMILY in the Hixson area was that of Joseph Rogers and his wife, Rebecca Hixson. Joseph Rogers, who was born in Greene County, Tenn., in 1803, lived in the vicinity of North Chickamauga Creek. He died in 1855, but his wife lived until 1882. Joseph Rogers “was of Irish descent and a farmer and stock raiser by occupation. He began life in very ordinary circumstances and succeeded in accumulating quite a handsome fortune.” Rebecca Hixson Rogers was born in Greene County in 1803
“and was of Dutch descent.” She was a “zealous Christian worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church.” Their children included Anna who married Wiley Frizzell, Nancy who married E.L. Reagan, Rebecca who married O.S. Green, Rhoda J. who was the second wife of Allen B. Rogers, Sarah who married John M. Hixson, Caroline who married Joseph Fryar and Delilah who married William Fryar. The Reagans, Fryars and Frizzells moved to Arkansas. Pleasant Alexander Rogers, a son of Joseph and Rebecca Rogers, fought for the Union in many Civil War battles, including Stones River, as a member of the 2nd East Tennessee Infantry. He later engaged in the milling business and had a 500-acre farm on the Tennessee River. He married Mary Ella Rogers, a daughter of Henry and Charity Wingo Rogers, in 1869. Their children were Leonora E.
who married Napoleon Hixson, Ernest A. who married Leona Gadd, Arabell who married James B. Rogers, Volney E. who married Helen Smith, Lawrence A. who married Bessie Selcer, Leon A. who married Ina Lewis and Gertrude who married William H. Barker. Pleasant A. Rogers died in 1934 at the age of 88. J. Foster Rogers was another son of Joseph and Rebecca Rogers. The owner of several farms, he was a justice of the peace, assistant tax collector and tax assessor. He married Martha Jane Kirklen, daughter of Elisha Kirklen, in 1869. They lived at St. Elmo. Their children were Ida and Arra.

HENRY ROGERS was a very early settler in Hamilton County, arriving in the 1820s. Born in Georgia in 1796, he was married to Charity Wingo, who was born in Virginia about 1806. In addition to the daughter who married Pleasant A. Rogers, their other children included John Carroll, Paul M., Emeline, Matilda and Elizabeth. A daughter, Julia A., who was born in 1823, married Franklin Adams. Julia Rogers Adams lived
until 1911. Matilda married William Champion, and Elizabeth Caroline married John Rawlston. Charity Wingo Rogers died in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War. Henry Rogers lived until 1876.

GEORGE W. ROGERS, who was born in Monroe County in the early 1800s, was a carpenter and Methodist exhorter. He was a justice of the peace and deputy sheriff. His wife was Catherine Jackson of Sequatchie County. Their children included James C., Marianna Isabella who married William Riley Brown, Mary, Anna, Agnes, Catherine Eliza, John H. and Nancy. James C. Rogers was a second lieutenant in Co. D of the Fourth Georgia Cavalry. He fought at Chickamauga and elsewhere for the Confederacy, but he returned home in 1864 and was “forced into service in the regular army of the
United States.” He was a farmer and blacksmith. James C. Rogers first married Mary W. Smith, daughter of Elijah and Nancy Smith. After her death in 1867, he married Lydia Barker, daughter of John H. and Nancy Barker. By his first wife, he had Elijah W., James Madison, George A. and William M. By his second wife, he had Ransom and Emma. James C. Rogers was a justice of the peace and school commissioner. John H. Rogers, son of George and Catherine Rogers, was also a Methodist minister. He married Rebecca Sniteman, a daughter of Christian Sniteman. Catherine Eliza, daughter of George W. and Catherine Rogers, married Elisha R. Martin.

George W. Rogers died in 1886, and Catherine Jackson Rogers in 1880. She was "a helpless cripple from rheumatism the last eight years of her life.''

WILLIAM ROGERS, who was born in 1800, lived in the Ooltewah area with his wife, Elizabeth. Their son was Jeremiah Rogers. William Rogers listed $10,000 in personal estate and $30,000 in real estate just before the war. Allen B. Rogers, who was born about 1811, was apparently a brother of William Rogers. Allen B. Rogers and his first wife, Sarah, apparently had no children. Shortly after the Civil War, Allen B. Rogers took as his second wife Rhoda J. Rogers, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca Hixson Rogers. He was then in his late fifties and she was in her early thirties. Their children included John Pleasant, William M., Allen and James Foster. John Pleasant Rogers married Mary Fryar, daughter of Sevier Fryar. James Clifford Rogers, who still resides at Ooltewah, is a grandson of John Pleasant Rogers and son of William Lonzo Rogers. William M. Rogers moved to Cohutta, Ga. James Foster Rogers married Mandy Hopper Brogan. William and Allen B. Rogers were active in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Ooltewah. After the Civil War, William and Elizabeth Rogers moved to Washington County, Ark., along with the Arnett and Douglas families.

SPENCER CLACK ROGERS, who was born in 1816, was a prominent Chattanoogan prior to the war. He was descended from Elijah Rogers, a prominent Baptist preacher, and from Spencer Clack, a hero of the Revolution who entered some 1,000 acres across the Pigeon River from Sevierville. S.C. Rogers was married to Jane Chandler, sister of the merchant Benjamin Chandler. Spencer Rogers was one of the incorporators of the City Water Company, and he was interested in property on Lookout Mountain at the first settlement around Holman Spring (present Commons area). His wife, Jane, died in 1855 and was buried on the mountain. When the casket was dug up in 1871 for removal to another site, it was so heavy that it could hardly be lifted. Spencer Rogers had the casket opened, and it was found that the body had petrified. One of the daughters of Spencer Rogers, Harriet, married James Cravens, a son of Robert Cravens. Other children of Spencer Rogers included John C., Arthur C., Bartley, Jane C., Cornelia A., Emeline, William S. and George M.

BARTHOLOMEW ROGERS was born in Kings County, Ireland, and he made his way to Hamilton County. He came to the United States in 1821. Rogers enlisted with the Fourth U.S. Infantry Nov. 25, 1836, at Syracuse, N.Y. His company was involved in fighting with Indians in Florida, then was transferred to Camp Worth and Fort Cass, Tenn. He was discharged Oct. 22, 1838, at Fort Cass by order of Gen. Winfield Scott. Bartholomew Rogers married Rebecca Gibson in 1843. Their children included William, John and Louise Jane who married Edward H. Thompson.

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