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RODGERS FAMILY HISTORY

Considerable information on the Rodgers family has been passed down from generation to generation in the form of colorful stories and written recollections, but many aspects of these historical accounts have not been confirmed by written records. There are some discrepancies and questions about dates of when certain things actually occurred, and it is hoped that these accounts will eventually be clarified and that we will come to understand as much as we can about the true history of the Rodgers family



EARLY ORIGINS

Family tradition holds that the progenitor of the our branch of the Rodgers family is Pat Rodgers of Ireland. His wife's maiden name may have been Frain. It is possible that the Rodgers family originally came to Ireland from England. It has been said that during the hard times of the Great Potato Famine in Ireland (about 1845 to 1847), Pat was forced to send some or all of his children to live with relatives. One of these children was Pat's son, Mike Rodgers.

MIKE RODGERS

Mike Rodgers (13 March 1849 12 January 1933) was sent by his parents to live with an uncle. The uncle's name is unknown at this time, and he could have been a maternal or paternal relative. Probably during the 1850's, young Mike and his uncle immigrated to the United States. It is not known where they arrived, but they are thought to have landed somewhere in the northeast United States, probably Boston, Philadelphia, or New York. Soon after they began to work in the wagon freight, or dray, business. Tragedy struck when the wall of a burned out building collapsed, killing Mike's uncle. It is thought that after Mike's uncle died (probably before 1861), he made his way to South Carolina where other family members may have lived. Mike is thought to have arrived in South Carolina prior to the start of the Civil War in 1861.

Mike was a teenager (probably as a 16 year-old) when he enlisted to serve in the Confederate States Army in an South Carolina artillery unit at the very end of the Civil War. To date, the only record we have of his service is the inscription on his grave marker which reads "Vet. of the C.S.A., Art. Div., S.C.". However, towards the end of the war, many young boys and old men volunteered to serve the as the situation became desperate for the Confederacy. Records of these late-forming units were virtually non-existent, as the south was short of paper, ink, and the time it took to follow such procedures. Furthermore, if these records were made, many were destroyed as a result of the war. Some of these South Carolina units served in defense of the state as the Union forces attacked, while others were fighting under General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia.

After the war, Mike moved west, and according to the 1870 census, he was 22 years old, living alone, and working as a laborer in Fort Worth (Tarrant County), Texas. In 1872 he married Charlotte E. Gray (26 June 1850 3 June 1911) who was originally from Mississippi, and whose parents were from Tennessee.

By 1877, Mike and Charlotte Rodgers had settled north of Fort Worth near the town of Grapevine (Tarrant County), Texas, where their first children were born. By about 1881, they had moved to Hamilton County, Texas, where they initially lived in a log cabin in the Sunshine Community southeast of Carlton. At some point between 1881 and 1900, Mike Rodgers purchased a 140 acre farm about three miles southeast of Carlton, where he built a rather impressive two-story house and several outbuildings (smokehouse, well house, barn, etc.).

 

MIKE RODGERS FAMILY, CARLTON, TEXAS


Mike & Charlotte Rodgers and their 6 children (plus a friend). Picture made about 1905.

The following is the text of an e-mail I (Ray Weathers) received from Mr. Scales on 9 July 1999. Perhaps the only clarification that I should add is that Norman Rodgers referred to below is the only child of Will (We knew him as Willie --2nd from the right) and Zula Stuckey Rodgers.

"Norman Rodgers sent me some great old photos of the Rodgers in Hamilton County. One was of the family standing in front of their farmhouse, which is the same house we discussed in our last e-mail correspondence. However, the attached photo is much better than what I sent you before. We estimate it was taken around 1900-1905, and the subjects are (left to right): twin daughters Maggie and Mattie Rodgers, an unidentified friend, daughter Alice Rodgers, daughter Ellen Rodgers, mother Charlotte Gray Rodgers, father Mike Rodgers, son Willie Rodgers, and son Hiram Rodgers. I was amazed to see how good the farmhouse looked when relatively new (as compared to its ruinous state today!), and also interested to see how barren the landscape looked. No trees in sight! Perhaps it was all under cultivation?

UPDATE (of sorts) -- Here is how the house in the background looked in the late1950's


Mike Rodgers' house near Carlton, TX, in the late 1950's

And, finally. Here is the same house as photographed in February 1999.

Mike Rodgers' house near Carlton, TX, in February 1999

Mike and Charlotte had eight children, six of whom lived to adulthood. These six were Hiram Bryant (20 August 1874 31 January 1951); Mary Ellen (20 September 1877 31 March 1946); Maggie (1 February 1880 25 April 1916); Martha Annie "Mattie" (1 February 1880 10 November 1963); Alice "Allie" (9 April 1882 6 November 1961); and William Lewis (15 October 1884 9 November 1971). Maggie and Mattie were twins. 

Maggie and Will enrolled in the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth in 1916. Maggie became ill shortly thereafter, and died in April of that year. Will continued his studies, and became a Baptist minister and served as pastor of several churches around the state. Will married Zula Elizabeth Stuckey (9 February 1896 24 September 1990) on 6 June 1918 in Rochelle, Texas. They had one son, Norman Allen Rodgers, who now lives in Madison, Mississippi, just north of Jackson. William and Zula are buried in the Carlton Cemetery.

Mike Rodgers and 3 of his children:
Alice "Allie", William Lewis "Willie," Mary Ellen, and Martha Ann "Mattie"

Shared by Roger Scales

 

More Rodgers

Alice "Allie" Rodgers; Zula Elizabeth (Stuckey) Rodgers (Mrs. William Lewis);
Mary Ellen Rodgers; Mike Rodgers; and Martha Ann "Mattie" Rodgers

Shared by Roger Scales

Rev. William Lewis "Willie" Rodgers

Shared by Roger Scales

Mike and Charlotte's four daughters, Ellen, Maggie, Mattie, and Alice never married. Mike, Charlotte, and three of their daughters, Ellen, Mattie, and Alice, lived on the family farm for most of their lives. Charlotte died in 1911 at age 60, and Mike died in 1933 at age 83, both at their home on the farm. Ellen contracted cancer in 1946, and at age 68, also died at their home on the farm. At some point, probably in the 1950's, the surviving sisters, Alice and Mattie, sold the farm and moved into the town of Carlton. At age 79, Alice died of heart condition in 1961. Shortly thereafter, Mattie moved into a nursing home in Hamilton, where she died two years later in 1963 at age 83. They are all buried in Carlton Cemetery.

The Rodgers sisters were well-known in the community. They did virtually all the work on their own farm, and were very active in the Carlton First Baptist Church. Neighbors knew them as the "Rodgers Girls" or the "Maids" (Old Maids). Mike Rodger's two story farm house stood for about 100 years (well into the 1980's), and the remains of the home can still be seen today (1999). Sadly, the house was partially demolished for lumber in the mid-1990's, but the ruins of the house still lay on the small hill on the southwest corner of the old Rodgers property.

 HIRAM BRYANT RODGERS

Mike and Charlotte's oldest child, Hiram, married Louisa Matilda "Lou" Stroud (9 July 1871 2 March 1937) in Carlton. Lou was born in Texas, but her father, J. B. Stroud, had originated in Kentucky and her mother, Emilene Williams, in Tennessee or Virginia. They rented a farm near Carlton and lived in the immediate area until at least 1903. Hiram and Lou had five children, who were: Euphie (July 1896 - ?); Elvie (Elva?) (September 1898 - ?); Thurman (? - ?); Lou Rhea (1910 20 November 1984); and Arthur Euwin (13 August 1903 22 October 1983).

Hiram and family moved around quite a bit, renting farms or working on the farms of others. By 1932 they had settled in Electra (Wichita County), Texas where Hiram farmed and worked in the booming Electra oil fields for the Texas Company (later Texaco). In his latter years, Hiram lived with his son Arthur Euwin's family. As did several other members of the family, Hiram and Lou lived out their lives in Electra, and are buried in the cemetery there.

ARTHUR EUWIN RODGERS

This picture of A. E. Rodgers (left) and his uncle Rev. Will (aka Willie) L.Rodgers was supplied by Mr. Roger Scales.
A.E. Rodgers & his uncle Rev.Will Rodgers

Hiram's son Arthur (who was known as "Euwin", "A. E.", or "Rodgers"), married Hester Brown (1906 1930) about 1925. They had one son, Weldon Ray Rodgers (12 February 1926 present), who was born while Euwin and Hester lived in Bowie (Montague), Texas. Euwin was probably working as a farm hand in the area. Hester became ill in the late 1920's, probably contracting tuberculosis, and on their doctor's advice, Euwin moved the family west to either New Mexico or Arizona. Despite these efforts, Hester died in 1930 and is thought to have been buried at an unknown location in one of these two states. There is a memorial marker erected in her honor in the cemetery at the small community of Vashti (Clay County), Texas, where it is thought that her family lived. Several members of the Brown family did live in Electra, Texas, to include Hester's sister-in-law Ethel, Ethel's son J. N. Brown, and one of Hester's sisters. Not much else in known at this time about Hester Brown and her family.

Euwin worked several different jobs during this period, but from the early 1930's until his retirement in the late-1960's, he worked in the oil fields around Electra as a pumper for Texaco.

On 11 November 1933, Euwin married Lois Nettie "Dill" Andrews (9 May 1904 13 October 1987). Dill had previously been married to William Howard Barker (married on 5 October 1923) and had one son from that union, Morris Parmley Barker (6 January 1925 present). Euwin and Dill both attended the Assembly of God Church in Electra, but the pastor of that church was not permitted to marry them because Lois had been divorced. So, they were married at the Presbyterian Church in Vernon (Wilbarger County), Texas. Euwin, Dill, Morris, and Weldon lived in a house in Electra just north of the Assembly of God Church, where they were very active. Euwin and Dill had one child together, daughter Helen Yvonne Rodgers (12 June 1935 present).

World War II gasoline rationing forced Euwin and family to move near his work in the oil fields southwest of Electra near the Grayback / Beaver Creek area. They lived in a small "lease house", which was very basic, and the children went to school in nearby Harrold, Texas.

After graduating from high school, sons Morris and Weldon both served in the armed forces during World War II.

When the war was over, Euwin and family moved back to Electra, which was fairly close to his work and many family members also lived there. He purchased a small frame house at 305 Avenue C and the vacant lot next to it, and he built fairly sizable additions to this house. Euwin loved to fish, and he built a fishing house and pier on nearby Lake Diversion with materials he had salvaged from two old houses he purchased and tore down in Electra. Dill was a wonderful mother and grandmother, and was a great cook. She loved to write short stories and teach children how to play the piano. Euwin retired from Texaco in the late 1960's, and he and Dill enjoyed an active life in Electra and spending time with their grandchildren. He and Dill traveled around the country quite a bit, and even had the opportunity to visit Europe and Africa. Euwin died in 1983, and Dill in 1987, and they are both buried in the Electra Cemetery.  


WELDON RAY RODGERS

After graduating from high school, Weldon joined the U.S. Navy as a Radioman 3rd Class aboard the U.S.S. Eldorado, the flagship of Admiral R.K. Turner's fleet of amphibious forces. The Eldorado was equipped with some of the most extensive and sophisticated radio equipment in the Pacific Fleet, and had the capacity to rival Radio Honolulu. On board the Eldorado were the Indian Code Talkers, a group of American Indian servicemen who used their native tongues to communicate sensitive messages for the armed forces. From the deck of his ship anchored in a nearby bay, Weldon was an eye-witness to the famous raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. Weldon was the first to broadcast to the Marines stationed at Manila, Philippines a message intercepted from the Japanese Emperor Hirohito advising of Japan's willingness to accept the Allies' terms of surrender.

On October 4, 1947 Weldon married Ruth Tull (21 September 1925 - present) in Abilene, Texas. Ruth is the daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Tull of Carlton, Texas. They have one child, daughter Tonya Ruth Rodgers (17 February 1952 - present), and they all now live in Abilene. Weldon attended the University of Texas and was employed by Sun Oil Company while he and Ruth lived in Midland, Texas. Tonya is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Family Therapist, and operates her own practice in Abilene.


MORRIS PARMLEY BARKER

After graduating from high school, Morris became an Armorer-Gunner with the rank of Corporal in the U.S. Army Air Corps. On August 20, 1944, during a mission to bomb the Lobau oil storage installations near Vienna, Austria, Morris' B-24 bomber was shot down over the small village of Papau, Hungary. He was captured, and was a prisoner of the Germans for a year and a half, until he was liberated on May 3, 1945 by the advancing Allied forces.

Morris married Mary Helen Whiteside (8 April 1927 - present) of Stephenville, Texas, and they have three children: Melissa, Marsha, and Mark. Morris graduated from Texas A&M University and was employed by General Tire. Mary is a psychology professor at the University of Texas Permian Basin. They have lived in Odessa, Texas for many years. Melissa became an M.D., and works at the Baylor University Health Center on the campus of that university in Waco, Texas. Her husband, Dr. Jerry Benham, is an orthopedic surgeon in Waco. Marsha became a teacher, and she married Kerry Mason, who owns and operates Data Voice Specialists, a telecommunications company in the Dallas, Texas area. Mark is the regional manager for Total Safety, an industrial safety and equipment provider in Houston. His wife Linda is a registered nurse, and they live in Friendswood, near Houston.


HELEN YVONNE RODGERS SCALES

Euwin and Dill's daughter Yvonne married Bert F. Scales, and they have two sons, Roger and Jonathan. Bert graduated from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada. While he attended college, Yvonne worked as a bookkeeper for an automobile dealership and an insurance company. Bert became a geologist, and after working for Texaco and other independent oil companies for 25 years, he founded his own oil and gas exploration and production company, Natural Reserves Group, Inc.  After graduating from Baylor University and Texas Tech University, son Roger joined Bert in the family business, which they continue to operate in Houston, Texas. Jonathan graduated from Baylor University and the University of Houston, and became a Certified Public Accountant for by Ernst & Young in Dallas. He and his wife Charlotte live in the Dallas, Texas area.

June 1899

Robert Henry Scales and the ice wagon he drove in  the Sweetwater area for some time.  Robert Henry Scales married Cora Elizabeth Pittman on 17 Dec.,1890, in Hamilton County, TX--Hamilton County Marriage Record Bk. 1, p. 210.
Roger Scales

 

 
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People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress