Travers Dodd Rogers was born in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, on November 7, 1856, the sixth child of Joseph and Ellen Rogers. He grew up in Rockcastle and Garrard Counties. Sometimes one sees Trav's name listed as Travis Rogers and sometimes as Travers Rogers. In fact, it is listed as Travers on his grave stone,and in the 1860 and 1880 censuses. Other documents refer to him as Travis. The spelling probably depended on the type of accent a person had. It is rather easy to see how someone from the hills of Kentucky could make Travis sound like Travers. However, he was usually referred to simply as Trav.
Benson Harper, a grandson of Trav, told that Trav came to Missouri as a young man. He came with his brother-in-law, who had shot a man in Kentucky. The identity of this brother-in-law is not known with certainty; however, it was probably Bud Woolwine, who was married to Trav's sister, Margaret. Ben recalled that Trav told his grandchildren to stay away from Bud because "he was crazy and might shoot someone."
Trav's daughters, Ada and Nellie, wrote that Trav,
"left Kentucky when he was 19 and rode a freight train to Kansas City and a little later drove a team and covered wagon over dirt and frozen roads and walked beside the wagon most of the way and landed at what is now Fae Hopkins' farm about 1/2 mile down the road from Curt's place (Curtis Curnow lived at the Travis Rogers home place). He (Travis) worked for G. B. Bothwell for five years and he raised sheep by the thousands. They had a small old barn to use when lambing and lots of open sheds with south end open. When a blizzard came and caught the sheep away from shelter, they would huddle and the men would have to dig them out or they would soon smother. There were 15 to 20 men who worked for him (Bothwell). A man and wife lived in a boarding house and she cooked for them. Snow would blow in where shingles were off and they would be snowed under in their beds in the loft."
The earliest official record of Trav in Missouri, is that he was listed in the Caldwell County Census for 1880. He was living with the George Snook family in Breckenridge Township. George Snook was age 28 from Ohio. George's wife was Lettie, age 20, and they had sons, Harry, age 1 and William E., age 3/12. "Traverse Rogers" was listed as age 23 and single, born in Kentucky. Both George and Trav listed as occupation, "works on farm".
On January 12, 1882, Trav was married to Margaret Ann Toner, daughter of Thomas P. and Liza Bryan Toner. Margaret Anna had been born in June, 1862, in Missouri. The marriage took place in the home of the bride's parents near Mooresville. They spent their honeymoon at Utica in a new brick hotel near the railroad station. The marriage occurred and was recorded in Livingston County.
Trav and Anna's first child, Stella M. Rogers was born in November, 1882. Grandchildren of Trav tell that from then on, Trav and Anna said that their marriage year was 1881. This was because Anna's father did not think it sounded nice for a child to be born in the same year as the parents were married, although in this instance, the difference was January to November.
Trav was apparently a good farmer as by 1886, he purchased a farm on the Caldwell - Livingston County Line road on the Livingston County side of the road. The farm had a beautiful two story home that surely must have been one of the show places of the county. The farm was originally seventy acres and later another eighty acres were bought in the back.
A daughter of Trav wrote, "Daddy didn't know what an overshoe was and wore boots most of the time and after he married, Mama would get up after all the rest were in bed and heat oats and put in his boots to dry them out for the next morning - hot oats draw out moisture."
By 1895, the family was complete. The January 28, 1898, Breckenridge Bulletin, told of a family get-together:
A Birthday Dinner
"On last Thursday, a pleasant day was spent at Thomas Toner's, in honor of his sixty-fifth birthday anniversary. All brought well filled baskets. The table was loaded with delicious eatables, in the center of which was a turkey, which weighed 25 pounds, raised by T. P. Toner for the occasion. As his children had not missed celebrating his birthday for 17 years, he knew a turkey would be appreciated.... Events of the day: Trav Rogers, Ed Bryan and Edward Toner had to be helped away from the table... A snowball fight took place between Nellie Higgins, and Mrs. Wolfe, in which Nellie got the worst of it."
The 1900 federal census showed the Trav Rogers family in Mooresville Township, Livingston County, Missouri:
Rogers, Trav Dec 1856 43 Ky Va Ky
Margaret June 1862 37 Mo NJ Tn
Stella M. Nov 1881 18 Mo Ky Mo
Rella P. Mar 1884 16 Mo Ky Mo
Thomas B. May 1886 14 Mo Ky Mo
Adda Apr 1888 12 Mo Ky Mo
Cora A. June 1890 9 Mo Ky Mo
Nellie July 1892 7 Mo Ky Mo
Willia M. June 1895 4 Mo Ky Mo
The census showed that Trav and his wife had been married 19 years and they had had 7 children and all 7 were living. The birth year of Stella was listed incorrectly in the census since Travis and Anna had not been married until 1882.
Earliest known photo of Travis Rogers
Travis Rogers home.
Travis and Anna Rogers and family.
Nellie Rogers Hicks once wrote, "
"In later years, he (Travis) went back to Kentucky and had a new pair of overshoes to wear over Sunday Laced up shoes. Grandpa (Joseph) thought he (Trav) was a sissy to have overshoes as he had never seen a pair before. Mama or none of us kids but (Stella who was under six) ever saw our grandparents (Joseph and Ellen in Kentucky) as Daddy didn't go often and money was always a problem with 7 mouths always ready to be fed."
One of his trips was reported in the October 25, 1901, Breckenridge Bulletin. The Wolf Grove items told that, "Trav Rogers returned from Kentucky, Thursday."
Another trip occurred in 1906, as the Breckenridge Bulletin recorded a longer trip,
June 15, 1906
"Trav Rogers left Monday evening where he will visit his parents."
The Chillicothe Constitution Tribune of July 13, 1933 carried the first obituary after the death of Travis Rogers. It contained many spelling errors:
TO TRAV ROGERS
Widely Known Farmer of Mooresville Township Died at Chillicothe Hospital Wednesday
An injury received seven weeks ago when an automobile struck a buggy in which he was riding on highway 36 south of Breckenridge, caused the death of Trav Rogers at the Chillicothe hospital Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 o'clock. The body was taken to a Breckenridge Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held from the family home south of Mooresville Saturday afternoon at two o'clock. Burial will be in the Mooresville cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Anna Toner, and the following children: Mrs. Stella Harper, Mrs. Bell Farris, (Phares), Ben Rogers, superintendent of the county infirmary; Mrs. Cora Potts, Mrs. Nell Hicks, Mrs. Willa Kerno (Curnow); two brothers, Joe Rogers and Tom Rogers of Nevada, MO., and three sisters, Mrs. Emily Bayles (Bales), Nevada; Mrs. May Ellen Luchsinger (Singer) and Mrs. Martha Bord (DeBoarde), both of Kentucky. The deceased is an uncle of Allen Rogers, proprietor of the Strand barber shop.
The force of the impact of the automobile with the buggy threw Rogers to the pavement fracturing his left shoulder. He was brought to the hospital Wednesday morning and the fracture reduced.
Trav Rogers was a native of Kentucky, having been born in that state 76 years ago. When a young man, he came to Missouri, settling in Mooresville, where he had resided since that time. Mr. Rogers was one of the Democratic leaders in that section of the country. Candidates sought his advice in the campaign. Several years ago, he was a candidate for the nomination of sheriff, but was defeated in the primary by William Nothnagle.
The Breckenridge Bulletin, of Friday, July 14, 1933, also carried an obituary:
Trav. Rogers died in the Chillicothe hospital Wed. evening about 7:00 following an operation.
Mr. Rogers was injured the last week of May when his buggy was struck by an auto near the Miller Filling Station on highway 36. Since the accident, he had been confined to his bed and was not recovering from his injuries. He was taken to the hospital first of the week for examination. An X-ray picture showed that an operation was necessary. He lived about 24 hours after coming out of the anesthesia.
Mr. Rogers would have been 78 next November and had resided here about all his mature years, having come here from Kentucky when about 21 years old.
The July 21, 1933 issue of The Breckenridge Bulletin printed an obituary that was probably contributed by a relative:
Trav Rogers was born at Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky, December 3, 1857, son of Joseph and Ellen Rogers in a family of 9 children, six of whom survive him: Joseph and Thomas Rogers and Emily Bales, Nevada, MO., Martha DeBock (DeBoarde), Ohio, Margaret Woolwine, Mary E. Singer, Kentucky.
At the age of 19, he came to Missouri where he worked as a farm hand for G. B. Bothwell, a number of years.
In 1881, he was married to Margaret Ann Toner. To this union, were born seven children all of whom survive him but the eldest daughter, Estelle Harper, who passed away eleven years ago. In 1886, they purchased the farm home where they have passed 47 of the 52 years of their contented wedded life.
He was a good farmer and stockman, a great lover of good horses. Mr. Rogers was a great favorite with children, especially his grandchildren as he always took a deep interest in what interested them most. He would make any sacrifice for his family sharing their griefs as well as their pleasures.
A more devoted husband and father never lived. Those who knew him best loved him most. He possessed in an eminent degree a heart full of kindness. He never passed a crippled beggar without dropping a coin and would divide his last crust with the hungry or give his last dime to the needy.
While Mr. Rogers professed no church membership he had many virtues of a true Christian character. On the streets, you could hear such remarks as "I've lost my best friend" or "I have always known Trav as a friend to man."
He was a loved and loving father and husband, and grief knew no bounds when he was called from our midst. But we must all be called to that mysterious realm where each shall take his place in the silent halls of death. God's will be done.
Besides the devoted widow, he leaves to mourn his loss a son and five daughters - Ben, of Chillicothe, Willa Curnow, Mooresville, Rella Phares and Nellie Hicks, Breckenridge, Ada Russell and Cora Potts, Nettleton. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren.
The funeral was held from the home Saturday, June 15 at 2 o'clock, conducted by Rev. Allwell of the Methodist church. The house and yard were filled to overflowing which with the beautiful flowers, spoke without words of his numberless relatives and friends who paid their last respects to so worthy a citizen. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery.
Nellie Rogers Hicks wrote that, "Pete Bales drove Aunt Emily (his mother), Uncle Tom and Amelia (Bales) Eaton up from Nevada when Daddy passed away." Benson Harper recalled being at the Travis Rogers home for the funeral when Uncle Tom arrived. As he saw his great uncle Thomas Rodgers come through the gate, he was amazed at how much Tom and Trav looked alike. Ben said it was almost like Trav was walking through the gate.
Margaret Anna Toner Rogers continued to live on the home farm until her death on October 2, 1934. Her obituary in the Breckenridge Bulletin told that she died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Dan Russell west of Breckenridge. Funeral services were held at the Methodist church at Bothwell Chapel, where she was a member. Anna was buried beside Trav in the southeast part of Rose Hill Cemetery.
The Trav Rogers family has remained close over the years. This is evidenced by the large number of descendants buried near Trav and Anna in Rose Hill. Six of their seven children are buried there along with several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Reference: This information was extracted from "The Rogers Family of Paint Lick and Crab Orchard" by Lyndon Irwin
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