Jay Lee and Bessie (Cummings) Rogers

Met and Married in Bijou Hills, South Dakota


Jay and Bessie Rogers

Home Page

Jay Rogers was born in Iowa and walked into South Dakota when his parents moved there when he was a child. The family of Jeremiah and Martha (Bennett) Rogers came in search of free land and settled on a claim near Bijou Hills in Brule County. They are described on a companion webpage. Jay met Bessie Cummings in the Bijou Hills area, and the couple was married there on May 11, 1911. The family lived near the Missouri River in “Rogers Draw” near Snake Creek. Jay operated a ferry at that location for a time. Jay and Bessie had eight children: Ferne, Helen, Vernon, Ruby, Dorothy and Doris (twins), Phyllis, and Evelyn.

Jay Rogers’ ancestry is described below and on the webpage for his parents, Jeremiah and Martha Rogers. Bessie Cummings was the granddaughter of Amos Marrihew and Eleanor Lucy (Houck) Cummings. This couple was from New York and migrated to Bijou Hills with their children Jesse Betsey, William W, and Charles Austin Cummings. George Mortimer and Edgar Amos Cummings were born after the family arrived in South Dakota. Bessie was the third child of Charles Austin and Dora (Porter) Cummings.

Unfortunately, Bessie died of bowel obstruction when the youngest child was only about two years old. Jay never remarried, and the children closely bonded as they more or less “raised each other”. Jay lived to over ninety years old. Both Jay and Bessie are buried at Union Cemetery, near the now-extinct town of Bijou Hills in Brule County.

Addendums to this webpage have been prepared, one for a large collection of photos formerly in the possession of Jay Rogers (click here) and the other for photos related to Bessie Cummings family origins (click here).

Contents

Webpage
Credits

Photo of Jay and Bessie Rogers and Their First Three Children

Biographies of Jay and Bessie Rogers

Jay and Bessie Rogers Home in Rogers Draw, 1920

Photo of Jay Rogers As a Baby

Photos of Bessie Cummings and Her Family of Origin

Group Photos of Jay and Bessie Rogers’ Children

Jay Rogers Operated a Ferry Across the Missouri River

Individual and Family Photos of the Children of Jay and Bessie Rogers

Ancestor Chart for Jay Rogers

Bessie Cummings’ Family Origins

Jay Lee and Bessie (Cummings) Rogers from Jean Rosenkrantz’s “Weavers of a Legacy”

Union Cemetery Lot Certificate for Jay Rogers

Grave Photos of Jay and Bessie Rogers, Union Cemetery, Bijou Hills

Grave Photos of Bessie Cummings’ Grandparents and Parents in Union Cemetery, Bijou Hills

Graves of Children of Jay and Bessie Rogers

References

Webpage Credits

Thanks go to Jean Rosenkrantz for her extensive research for “Weavers of a Legacy1“, the best available source for Rogers family history information.

Photo of Jay and Bessie Rogers and Their First Three Children

Ferne’ Roggow included the following picture, taken about 1920, of Jay and Bessie and their first three children, Ferne, Vernon and Helen, in her photo album.

Ferne’s handwritten caption: “Dad. Mom. Ferne by Mom. 6 yr old. 1912. Vernon by Dad knee. 3 yr old. 1915. Helen on his lap. 1-1/2 yr old. 1917.”

Photo Label by Ferne Roggow:

Biographies of Jay and Bessie Rogers

A great deal of information on Jay and Bessie Rogers is presented in Jean Rosenkrantz’s “Weavers of a Legacy1“. An excerpt on the Rogers family is provided below on this webpage (click here).

Ferne (Rogers) Roggow, oldest child of Jay and Bessie wrote the following excellent summary of the lives of her parents for The Saga of Sully Flats(p. 274). This summary also appears in “Weavers of a Legacy”.

 

Jay L. Rogers,a Missouri River ferry pilot and owner, was born January 1, 1884 in Pelnora, Guthrie County, Iowa to Jeremiah and Martha (Bennett) Rogers. In 1888, in a covered wagon, Jeremiah, Martha and their five children drove their oxen to Bradley, South Dakota. The older boys, George, William and Jay walked beside the wagon from Nora Springs, Iowa to Bradley; James and Edna (a baby) rode in the wagon with the parents. In Bradley the boys worked on the railroad and the threshing crews. They were paid $2 per day tending the separator and engineering. The other boys pitched bundles and earned $1.50 per day’s wages. Jay and William went to Wisconsin where they worked in the logging camps and walked back to South Dakota. they made their bed at night in straw piles along the route. The family moved to a farm which Jeremiah had purchased in Bijou Hills.

In 1900, when Jay was sixteen years of age, the family moved over to the west side of the Missouri River across from the end of Sabens timber. In a log cabin they lived on their 80 … in Section 1, Turney Township.

Jay L. Rogers was married May 1, 1911 to Bessie Cummings at Bijou Hills, South Dakota. Bessie was born May 6,1889 in Bijou Hills to Charles and Dora (Porter) Cummings of Bijou Hills. Jay and Bessie Rogers lived in Bijou Hills the first year of their marriage. Jay and his father, Jeremiah, purchased a threshing machine and did custom work around Geddes. They moved to Minnesota where Jay worked in the timber until 1912 when the family returned to Bijou Hills. Bijou Hills is shown as a small range of hills in the southern end of Brule County where there was once a trading post built by Louis Bissonette.

In 1914 Jay took over the Snake Creek ferry boat, The City of Platte, which he piloted for seven years. Jay narrates, “The first ferry at Snake Creek was put in by Guy Federli when Gregory County was opened up to homesteaders. Guy went down and bought a ferry in the city of Vermillion. He knew there would be a rush of land seekers for homesteads when the time came. Gregory County was opened by lottery. They registered and drew a number. The number entitled the holders to a certain one-fourth of the land when the drawing came. The number “1” choice of all the homesteads in Gregory County was drawn by Sanford Boiles. He drew the quarter where the city of Gregory is today.

Guy Federli ran the boat through the land seekers rush that year or maybe two years. It must have been around 1900 or 1901-02. Guy sold the boat to a man (I think the name was Drake) who bad come up the river on the old snag boat, Mandan. He ran it one year; another guy bought it but only ran it for a short time. He sold the ferry to Alfred Johnson and Jacob Hammer. The old boat became pretty old and was about to sink. Alfred and “Jake” had to built the boat which I ran for seven years. When Alfred had his ranch sale. he said if I would do the crossing for the sale, he would give me his share. This is how I came to own The City of Platte. In 1918-19 1 sold out to Elden McMullen and his father. The old boat was about shot; Elden and I became partners. We built a new boat in 1920-21. I went through the whole thing; I called the inspector to measure it when it was done. I had to call the collector from Pembina, North Dakota. He was the collector of customs and Pembina was the home port of all inland waterways. It was christened the Snake Creek Ferry.”

In 1921 Jay sold his interest to Squire (Elden) McMullen and the family moved to Turgeon’s Place, now called Roger’s Draw. They lived there two years and moved to Iona in January over the ice-covered Missouri River. Jay went into partnership with George Tagtow and piloted the ferry boat called the Phyllis-Lorraine. The family lived near the river by the ferry landing. A year later, 1925, they moved back to Turgeon’s Place.

The mother, Bessie Cummings Rogers, passed away October 30, 1929. This left Jay to raise the eight children. “He kept us all together and we went through the dirty 30’s. He fished and sold fish; trapped animals; sawed lumber; cut wood-, and worked at odd jobs about the country to make a living.”

In 1937 Jay had a sale and sold out. He purchased an International truck; over the box he stretched a cover. This truck transported the Rogers family to Oregon. Jay and his daughters picked berries and hops during the summer in Oregon. On the way to Oregon they camped in Nampa, Idaho for a week and picked peas. Ferne Roggow was the cook; her daughter Violet was a baby. She could no follow out to the fields so she did the cooking and baking. She sold bread to the Mexican people and they loved it!

In August of 1937 they motored back to South Dakota. Jay and his daughters cut wood for sale. He was offered a job of cutting lumber by George Hollenbeck of Iona. After a while he went to Oacoma and from there he went to Pierre. In 1945 he operated a sawmill for Fred Root of Pierre, South Dakota; he lived in a log cabin near the sawmill. Finally he settled down in Reassau. Jay, 91 years of age, lives with his daughter Helen Byrum who lives twenty miles east of Pierre -near DeGray Hill, where there was once a store and filling station. Jay has one sister, Edna Peterson, 86 years of age, who lives in Ridgefield, Washington.

Some years ago a hunter from Minneapolis bought a gun; engraved on the barrel was “Jay L. Rogers–Snake Creek Crossing, Platte, S.D.”

Jay L. and Bessie Rogers became the parents of eight children: Ferne married Robert Roggow, children Violet, Ralph and Raymond; Vernon married Gladys Flaherty, children Rodney (deceased), and Jim; Helen married George Tagtow (deceased), @hildren Roger and Sandra; Helen married Ray Byrum (deceased), a son Kim; Ruby married George Ludemann, children Donnie, Luetta, Kyla, and Marva; Dorothy married Tomas Baker, a daughter Sharron; Doris married Paul Matucha (deceased) children George and (three daughters deceased, Florence,’ Judy, and Lorna); Phyllis married Claude Grimshaw, sons Tom and Joseph; Evelyn married W. McClintock, children Larry, Lana, Connie, Cindy (deceased), Dennis, Lyle, and Randy.

–Ferne RogersRoggow

The Saga of Sully Flats, 1976, p. 274

 

The gun referenced in italics in Ferne Roggow’s biography above was subsequently brought back into the Rogers family possession when Roger Tagtow, Jay and Bessie Rogers’ grandson, purchased it from a gun dealer. The inscription described above may be seen clearly on the firearm. A picture of Roger with the rifle is shown below. The photo was taken by the website author in November, 2011 at Roger and Bonnie Tagtow’s residence near Banner, Wyoming.

A brief autobiography by Phyllis Grimshaw, second youngest child of Jay and Bessie Rogers, is shown below. It is primarily a description of her childhood in “Rogers Draw” near Snake Creek where it runs into the Missouri. Phyllis’ biography was prepared in November 1999 for the website author, who later provided it to Jean Rosenkrantz for inclusion in her “Weavers of a Legacy”.

 

I don’t hardly remember my mother – she died in October 1929, I wasfive. My Dad raised us girls.

We had a good life in the old draw, lived in a house partly made of logs and partly boards with tar paper on the outside. We all learned to milk cows and ride horses and drive a team of horses. Hauled our water in barrels in a wagon pulled by a team from the Missouri River.

We had a lot of fun when we was kids. Pa made sleds for us and we would slide down hill in the winter seems like mostly in Trewartha’s pasture. We skated on the river in the winter. We swam in the river in the summer and Pafished and sold them in Platte.

Pa also farmed with a team. We all helped in the field since we was little. We drove the team (Dolly and Bonnie) we used a drag to smooth the ground and sometimes we had to cultivate.

Pa ran a ferry boat to get cars across the river at Snake Creek, but that was before my time. We kids always was outside. We rode everything that had four feet–the horses, cows, pigs, calves, goats.

Dorothy, Evelyn and I helped Pa get wood up for winter. We would go to what we called Sabin’s timber up the river from where we lived maybe 5 miles with a team and wagon and brought the logs home on the wagon, then sawed the logs into stove size pieces. Pa made the stove out of a barrel.

Doris liked to play with dolls. Pa made those too and she liked to cut people out of an old catalog then cut out clothes to put on the people like paper dolls. She liked to stay in the house but she could drive a team or milk a cow or anything else like the rest of us.

 

The website author, son of Phyllis (Rogers) Grimshaw, provided the following personal memories of his Grandfather Jay Rogers to Jean Rosenkrantz for inclusion in “Weavers of a Legacy”:

 

Jay injured his knee when jumping onto or off the ferry as a young man, and he limped and suffered from chronic pain for the rest of his life as a result. He treated it with liniment, and I remember as a child that he usually smelled of liniment.

Grandpa was able to make or repair almost anything. He used to whittle a great deal, and I still have a toy he carved–with a rectangular four-posted cage containing a round wood ball, carved in place within the cage, and with a human head on top–all carved from a single piece of wood. He used to make great slingshots for me, too!

 

Newspaper Clipping for Jay and Bessie Marriage

From Ferne Roggow’s scrapbook…

Jay and Bessie Rogers Home in Rogers Draw, 1920

A photo from grandson Virgil Rogers of the Rogers Home is shown below with the handwritten caption for the photo — “Taken in 1920. Ferne by the washing machine. Vernon by the engine & Ruby in the buggy. Helen by the buggy with the doll”. This photo was apparently taken at about the same (1920) as the portrait photo of the same children, but with the addition of Ruby to the family.

Photo from Virgil Rogers, October 2010.

Photo of Jay Rogers As a Baby

Ferne Roggow also had in her possession a picture of Jay Rogers as a baby.

Ferne Roggow handwriting: “My Dad, age 6 mo – 1884, Jay Rogers”

Photos of Bessie Cummings and Her Family of Origin

A photo of two of Bessie’s sisters is shown below. Additional information on her family of origin is provided below.

Grace (left) and Maude Cummings. From Doris Matucha Album B5, p 3. Also from photo collection from Charles Anderson.

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Bessie Cummings’ parents, Charles and Dora Cummings, are shown below with her sister, Grace.

From Ferne Roggow album: “GrPa & GrMa Cummings & Aunt Grace”. Grace later married Arthur Anderson.

Another photo of the family of Charles and Dora Cummings, this one including Bessie, is shown below.

Doris Matucha Album B5, p 1: Charles, Dora and Linnie Cummings (back) and Bessie, Grace and Bert Cummings (front). Photo taken in 1922.

Group Photos of Jay and Bessie Rogers’ Children

Group photos the children of Jay and Bessie Rogers are shown below.

From Doris Matucha Album A7, p 13: “Vernon, Helen, Fern & Ruby. — 1920-21”

From Doris Matucha Album A9, p2: “B Row — Vernon, Fern, Helen, Mom. F Row — Evelyn, Doris, Ruby, Dorothy, & Phyllis. Taken at our school house, 1928.”

From Ferne Roggow album; her handwriting: “Ruby Doris Evelyn Dot Phyll

Jay Rogers Operated a Ferry Across the Missouri River

A 1920 photo of the first ferry is shown below with Jay on the right and Vernon in the middle. The identity of the man on the left is not known.

Individual and Family Photos of the Children of Jay and Bessie Rogers

Shown below are information and photos of each of the children of Jay and Bessie Rogers, presented in birth order.

1. Ferne (Rogers) and Bob Roggow

Ferne Rogers as a young girl is shown below with her baby brother, Vernon.

From Helen Byrum album; Ferne’s Handwriting: “Vernon, Ferne, Platte, S.D.”

A much later photo of Ferne with her husband, Bob Roggow, is shown below.

From Doris Matucha Album 6. Bob and Ferne Roggow with their daughter, Violet.

2. Vernon and Gladys (Flaherty) Rogers

A photo of Vernon and Gladys, taken when he was in the U.S. Army in World War II, is shown below.

Helen Byrum album. Photo from Helen Byrum album.

Vernon and Gladys are shown below with their two sons. Rodney (right) had cerebral palsy.

Doris Matucha Album C2, p84: (no label)

Vernon and Gladys were subsequently divorced, and Vernon married Mae Masciantano. The couple lived on a farm north of Pueblo, Colorado.

3. Helen (Rogers) and George Tagtow

George and Helen (Rogers) Tagtow are shown below with daughter Marie.

From Doris Matucha Album A2, page 10. Date unknown.

Helen had two more children, Roger and Sandy, with George Tagtow. After George’s death, Helen married Ray Byrum and had one additional child, Kim Byrum.

4. Ruby (Rogers) and George Ludemann

Photos of Ruby and George Ludemann are shown below.

Helen Byrum album; Helen’s handwriting: “Ruby George Ludemann son Donald”

Doris Matucha Album B8, p 5: “Gladys, Vernon, Ruby & George Ludemann.”

Ruby and George Ludeman had four children — Luetta, Donnie, Marva, and Kayla.

5. Dorothy (Rogers) and Thomas Baker

Dorothy Baker is shown below with her fraternal twin, Doris, and with her husband, Thomas Baker.

From Doris Matucha Album A9, p14: “Dorothy & Doris with our dog Beaver. We lost Beaver on our trip to Oregon in 1937.”

From Doris Matucha Album B3, p2: “Dorothy & Baker.”

Dorothy and Thomas Baker had one child, Sharon, and raised a child, Linda, of Dorothy’s sister, Evelyn.

6. Doris (Rogers) and Paul Matucha

Doris is shown below with her son, Virgil, and niece, Violet Roggow.

Helen Byrum album, Helen’s handwriting: “Doris, Violet, Virgil, 194_”

Doris with her husband, Paul Matucha, and family is shown below. The photo was taken at the gravesite of Doris and Paul’s youngest daughter, Lorna, who died as an infant.

Doris Matucha Album C3, p45: “George, Dewayne, Paul, Doris, Judy, & Florence. 1954.”

7. Phyllis (Rogers) and Claude Grimshaw

Phyllis Grimshaw is shown below with her husband, Claude, shortly after their marriage. Phyllis and Claude had two sons, Thomas (the website author) and Joseph. Additional information on this family is provided on a companion webpage.

From Phyllis Grimshaw Album 1. Taken shortly after they were married on April 1, 1944.

Claude and Phyllis with sons Tom (left) and Joe, 1974. From Phyllis Grimshaw album.

8. Evelyn (Rogers) and Gordon McClintock

Evelyn Rogers is shown below with her sister, Dorothy. Evelyn and Gordon McClintock had several children.

From Doris Matucha Album A9 p2: “Love Dorothy Evelyn.” Evelyn is on the Left.

Ancestor Chart for Jay Rogers

A summary chart showing ancestors and descendants of Jeremiah is shown; click here for a much more complete version that has been prepared by Jean Rosenkrantz.

 

1John Rogers ( – 13 Aug 1711) & Elizabeth Squire ( – 29 Oct 1713)

|—2 William Rogers (5 May 1667 – 8 Jun 1740) & Elizabeth Unknown ( – 16 Jun 1749)

|—|—3 John Rogers (16 May 1672 – )

|—|—3 Joseph Rogers (3 May 1702 – )

|—|—3 Benjamin Rogers (23 Sep 1705 – 21 Nov 1792) & Ann Pearson ( – 22 Jun 1793)

|—|—|—4 Joseph Rogers (25 Dec 1735 – ) & Elizabeth Holmes (About 1734 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Joseph Rogers (20 May 1757 – 6 Dec 1757)

|—|—|—|—5 John Rogers (29 Oct 1758 – 20 Jul 1759)

|—|—|—|—5 Samuel Rogers (1 May 1760 – 29 Jan 1828) & Ann Gaunt (1762 – 24 May 1823)

|—|—|—|—|—6 Samuel Rogers (6 Dec 1782 – 7 Feb 1857) & Mary Akroyd (1 Aug 1791 – 17 Dec 1836)

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Hannah Rogers (9 Jan 1810 – 29 Aug 1810)

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Mary Rogers (13 May 1811 – 23 Jan 1872) & John Woodley

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Margaret A Rogers (21 Oct 1813 – 23 Jan 1880) & Amasa Benjamin Winchell

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Jacob Rogers (23 Dec 1815 – 5 Apr 1870) & Almira Santee

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Samuel Rogers (15 Dec 1817 – 29 Aug 1895) & Elizabeth Harding (11 Jan 1820 – 4 Jul 1910)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 Mary E Rogers (31 Jan 1842 – 21 Mar 1853)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 George H Rogers (12 Aug 1843 – 2 Nov 1856)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 James P. Rogers (16 Mar 1845 – 27 May 1923) & Jennie Dudley

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Dorothy Rogers,

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Girl2 Rogers,

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 Emmaline (“Emma”) Rogers (1 Apr 1847 – 6 Nov 1916) & Nelson E (“Nels”) Emmons

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 May Emmons

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Laura Emmons

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Celia Emmons

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Wildie Emmons

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Amanda (Kit) Emmons

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 Jeremiah Akroyd Rogers (4 May 1849 – 11 Jul 1929) & Martha Marie Bennett (22 Feb 1849 – 16 Oct 1922)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 James Rogers (4 Feb 1876 – 11 Jul 1919)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 George C Rogers (25 Aug 1877 – 31 Aug 1925) & Flora M (Flory) Covey (29 Oct 1886 – 28 Jul 1954)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Vera Mae Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Opal Marie Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Richard George Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Millicent Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Edna Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Henry Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Marion Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Clease Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Glenn Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Letha DeVee Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 William (“Will”) Rogers (23 Mar 1880 – 7 Feb 1960) & Rhoda Belle (“Belle”) Covey (16 May 1886 – 12 Dec 1978)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Paul William Rogers (16 Oct 1907 – 24 Mar 1983) & Bessie Elizabeth Lake. Married 8 Nov 1930.

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Jeremiah (“Jay”) Lee Rogers, Jr (1 Jan 1884 – 16 Jan 1978) & Bessie Leona Cummings (6 May 1889 – 31 Oct 1929)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Ferne Leona Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Vernon Jay Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Helen Belle Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Ruby Mae Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Dorothy Ellizabeth Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Doris Mildred Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Phyllis Lorraine Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Evelyn Bessie Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Edna Rogers (10 Feb 1888 – 17 May 1979) & Earl Victor Peterson (10 Aug 1987 – 25 Oct 1956)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Cecil Duane Peterson

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Verdus Bert Peterson

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Eva Irene Peterson

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Howard Solomon Peterson

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Steven Marion Peterson

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Colvin James Peterson

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—10 Alpha Ruth Peterson

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Paul Rogers (25 Dec 1893 – )

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 Sarah Rogers (9 Feb 1852 – 9 Apr 1852)

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 Samuel Richard Rogers (19 Nov 1854 – 11 Jul 1923) & Melva E. (“Melvie”) Mobley

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Richard Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Henry Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Emmons Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Jerry Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Jessie Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—9 Mabel Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—|—8 William George (“Will”) Rogers (7 Jul 1861 – 12 Oct 1932) & Emma M (“Emmy) Mobley

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Elizabeth A Rogers (3 Jun 1820 – 2 Oct 1875) & William VanDyke

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Richard Gaunt Rogers (16 Oct 1822 – 23 Jan 1874) & Mary Bly

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Jeremiah Akroyd Rogers (22 May 1826 – 20 Jan 1877) & Phebe Salmon

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 John Rogers (14 Aug 1828 – 1828)

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 George Higgins Rogers (6 Nov 1829 – 12 Feb 1847)

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Sidney ? Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—|—7 Will ? Rogers

|—|—|—|—|—6 Joseph Rogers (13 Aug 1785 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 Jonathan Rogers (7 Oct 1785 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 John Rogers (11 Feb 1787 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 William Rogers (17 Mar 1788 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 Hannah Rogers (13 Feb 1790 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 Richard Rogers (15 Jul 1791 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 David Rogers (29 Jul 1793 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 Martha Rogers (8 May 1796 – 4 Feb 1798)

|—|—|—|—|—6 Benjamin Rogers (28 Sep 1797 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 Reuben Rogers (8 Dec 1798 – )

|—|—|—|—|—6 Jacob Rogers (1 Feb 1880 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Anna Rogers (29 Jan 1764 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Benjamin Rogers ( – 29 Jul 1766)

|—|—|—|—5 Martha Rogers ( – 17 Jan 1768)

|—|—|—|—5 Benjamin Rogers ( – 8 Nov 1769)

|—|—|—|—5 William Rogers ( – 29 Jun 1771)

|—|—|—|—5 Joseph Rogers (Circa 1772 – 30 Nov 1791)

|—|—|—4 Benjamin Rogers (28 Aug 1737 – )

|—|—|—4 Reuben Rogers (23 Mar 1739 – )

|—|—|—4 Ann Rogers (20 Feb 1742 – )

|—|—|—4 William Rogers (1 Sep 1745 – )

|—|—|—4 Hannah Rogers (27 Dec 1745 – )

|—|—|—4 Ann Rogers (12 May 1750 – )

|—|—3 Ann Rogers (11 Apr 1708 – )

|—|—3 James Rogers (27 Oct 1711 – 7 Oct 1713)

|—|—3 John Rogers (6 Aug 1713 – )

|—|—3 George Rogers (3 Feb 1715 – 7 May 1716)

|—|—3 Frances Rogers (1 Apr 1717 – )

|—|—3 Martha Rogers (24 Apr 1719 – )

|—2 John Rogers (16 May 1672 – )

|—2 Anne Rogers (14 Jun 1674 – )

|—2 Richard Rogers (24 May 1677 – )

|—2 Elizabeth Rogers (1 Jan 1679 – )

|—2 Susannah Rogers (3 Mar 1681 – )

 

Bessie Cummings’ Family Origins

Bessie Cummings’ earliest known ancestors are William and Clarissa (Russell) Cummings, who were married in New York in about 1821, after William arrived there from his birth state of Vermont. William may have ancestors in Ireland, but this has not yet been confirmed. Their son, Amos Marrihew, and Eleanor (Houck) Cummings were married in 1849 in New York and arrived in South Dakota between 1856 and 1862, the birth years of their fourth and fifth child. William and Clarissa Cummings’ descendant chart is shown below; it has been assembled from several family trees on Ancestry.com, which are listed below the chart.

William Cummings, Sr (1785, VT – aft 1860, New Albion, NY) & Clarissa Russell (7 Apr 1800, Thetford, VT). Married abt 1821, Tully, NY.

|—1 William Wellington Cummings? (1822, Tully, NY – 1893, Richland, MI)

|—1 William Spencer Cummings (abt 1821, New Albion or Tully, NY – 10 Dec 1883, Vestburg, MI) & Lydia A Woodmansee (17 May 1825, New Albion, NY – 3 Oct 1906, Richland, MI). Married before 1840.

|—|—2 Amanda Cummings (10 May 1842, New Albion, NY – 9 Aug 1917, Gladwin, MI)

|—|—2 Judson W Cummings (abt 1844, New Albion, NY – 5 Mar 1903, St Louis, MI)

|—|—2 Calvin Spencer Cummings (abet 1848, New Albion, NY – ?, USA)

|—|—2 Anna Eliza Cummings|— (4 May 1852, New Albion, NY – 6 May 1927, Vestaberg, MI) & William C Ogden. Married 20 Jun 1870, Ithaca, NY.

|—|—2 Anna Eliza Cummings|— (4 May 1852, New Albion, NY – 6 May 1927, Vestaberg, MI) & William O Wartz. Married 1880, Elm Hall, MI.

|—|—2 William Wellington Cummings (Dec 1854, New Albion, NY – 11 Nov 1910, Montcalm, MI) & Myrtle L Goho. Married 26 May 1900.

|—|—2 Frank F Cummings (abt 1858, New Albion, NY – abt 1950, Richland, MI) & Melissa Struble. Married 6 Nov 1926, Gratiot Co, MI.

|—|—2 Jennie Lenora Cummings (30 Jul 1864, New Albion, NY – 28 Nov 1947, Vestaburg, MI) & James W Grear. Married abt 1900, Ithaca, MI

|—1 Amos Marrihew Cummings (24 Mar 1825, Tully, NY – 26 Feb 1900, Bijou Hills, SD) & Eleanor Lucy Houck (21 Oct 1828 or 29, NY – 26 Feb 1917, Nevada City, NV). Married 11 Feb 1849, New Albion, NY.

|—|—2 Ada Cummings (abt 1854, NY – ?)

|—|—2 Charles Austin Cummings (15 Dec 1856,  Des Moines, IA – 12 Oct 1836, Brule, SD) & Dora Porter (May 1861, IA – ). Married 1884, Brule, SD

|—|—|—3 Linnie Nadine Cummings* (6 Feb 1886, Bijou Hills, SD – 16 Mar 1981, Gregory, SD) & Lewis Alfred Ellis (1887 – 1924). Married 11 Sep 1907, Chamberlain, SD. 

|—|—|—|—4 Buford Ellis (11 Nov 1908 – ?)

|—|—|—|—4 Clayton Ellis (28 Jul 1909 – ?)

|—|—|—|—4 Violet Ellis (12 Jun 1910 – ?)

|—|—|—|—4 Merl Arlyn Ellis (17 Jan 1918, Academy, SD – 14 Oct 2005) & Edna Elaine Walker (1 Aug 1918 – 24 Jun 2006) 

|—|—|—3 Linnie Nadine Cummings* (6 Feb 1886, Bijou Hills, SD – 16 Mar 1981, Gregory, SD) & Amsy Franks. Married Sep 1925. 

|—|—|—3 Bert Amos or Amos Bert (“Bertie”) Cummings (10 Sep 1887, Bijou Hills, SD– 24 Dec 1960, Granite Falls, WA) & Anna Marie Turgeon (8 Jul 1885, Academy,  SD – Apr 1960, Granite Falls, WA)

|—|—|—|—4 Shirley E Cummings (1914, SD – ?) & ? Creamer

|—|—|—|—4 Kenneth Cummings (1915, La Roche, SD – 11 Oct 1936, Brule, SD)

|—|—|—|—4 Virgil V Cummings (1917, SD – ?)

|—|—|—|—4 Garnetha Yvetta Cummings* (23 Mar 1920, La Roche, SD – 11 Oct 1994, Mantesano, WA) & Novak

|—|—|—|—4 Garnetha Yvetta Cummings* (23 Mar 1920, La Roche, SD – 11 Oct 1994, Mantesano, WA) & Leonard D Lyons (17 Oct 1916, Nobles Co,, MN – 3 Jan 1999, Seatlle, WA). Married 6 Mar 1939, Davison Co, SD.

|—|—|—|—4 Roy R Cummings (1928, SD – ?)

|—|—|—3 Bessie Leona Cummings (6 May 1889, SD – ?, SD) & Jay Lee Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Fern L Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Vernon J Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Helen B Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Ruby Mae Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Doris M Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Dorothy M Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Phyllis L Rogers

|—|—|—|—4 Evelyn Bessie Rogers

|—|—|—3 Maude Cummings (May 1893, SD – bef 1917) & Arthur V Anderson (4 August 1886, Bijou Hills, SD – 9 Mar 1962, Brule, SD). Married 7 May 1913, Brule Co, SD. (Married sister after wife died)

|—|—|—3 Grace Cummings (Jan 1895, Brule, SD – ?) & Arthur V Anderson (4 August 1886, Bijou Hills, SD – 9 Mar 1962, Brule, SD). Married 16 Jan 1917, Brown Co, SD.

|—|—|—|—4 Marilyn L Anderson (ca 1919, SD – ?)

|—|—|—|—4 Charles O Anderson (ca 1922, SD – ?)

|—|—|—|—4 Albert Anderson (ca 1928, SD – ?)

|—|—2 William W Cummings (Jan 1858, Des Moines, IA – 14 Nov 1932, Oacoma, SD) & Martha Adaline Hoff (25 Sep 1862, Hoff’s Settlement, IA – ?). Married 1882, Oakdale Settlement, IA. 

|—|—|—|—4 Gertrude Cummings (22 Jul 1888, SD – ?) & James Raymond Frank (5 Feb 1885, Elk Point, SD – Aug 1950). Married 13 Mar 1907. 

|—|—|—|—4 Carrie E Cummings (May 1891, SD – ?) & F V Rhodes. Married 29 May 1911, Council Bluffs, IA. 

|—|—2 George Mortimer Cummings (12 Mar 1862, Whetstone Agency, SD – 23 Jul 1929, Mobridge, SD) & Louisia Bridget DuCharme (21 Nov 1863, Wheeler, SD –22 Dec 19264, Dewey, SD) Married 3 Dec ?

|—|—|—3 Private?

|—|—|—3 Private?

|—|—|—3 Walter George (Jay) Cummings 11 Jan 1887, Wheeler, SD – 1 Jun 1951, Spearfish, SD) & Lavon Johnson. Married 3 Dec 1917, Aberdeen, SD.

|—|—|—3 Henry Mortimer Cummings (29 Apr 1889, Wheeler, SD – 13 May 1941, Hot Springs, SD)

|—|—|—3 Agnes Bell (Bob Dixon) Cummings (21 Apr 1891, Wheeler, SD – 27 Apr 1970, Denver, CO)

|—|—|—3 Myrtle May Cummings (13 Dec 1893, Wheeler, SD – 30 Jun 1969, South Pasadena, CA)

|—|—|—3 Earl Elmer Cummings (4 Oct 1895, Bonesteel, SD – 21 Feb 1968, Hot Springs, SD)

|—|—|—3 Carl Cummings (abrt 1895, SD – ?)

|—|—|—3 Eleanor Lucy Cummings (31 Mar 1897, Mobridge, SD – 12 Apr 1986, Cannon Falls, MN) & Fred Edward Hill (2 Jul 1898, SD – 14 Jun 1963, St Paul, MN)

|—|—|—3 John Amos Cummings (31 Mar 1897, Mobridge, SD – 5 Aug 1965, SD) & Hannah Anderson

|—|—|—3 Mabell Marie Cummings (4 Feb 1901, Promise, SD – 3 May 1982, Seattle, WA) & Fred Edward Hill Hill (2 Jul 1898, SD – 14 Jun 1963, St Paul, MN). Married 5 Dec 1917, Promise, SD.

|—|—|—3 Gladys Irine Cummings (2 May, Promise, SD – ?)

|—|—|—3 Alvina Mary (Taddy) Cummings (21 Sep 1908, Promise, SD – 13 Jun 1991, Ventura, CA)

|—|—2 Jesse Betsy Cummings (Oct 1866, IA – 15 May 1938, Napa, CA & Rinaldo Elmer Lotz (May 1888, SD – 8 Feb 1930, Tenino, WA). Married 1887.

|—|—|—3 Albert Ross Lotz* (May 1888, SD – 8 Feb 1930, Tenino, WA) & Mary Tierman ?

|—|—|—3 Albert Ross Lotz* (May 1888, SD – 8 Feb 1930, Tenino, WA) & Eva Anna ?

|—|—|—3 Ethel M Lotz (Nov 1889, SD – ?)

|—|—|—3 Della Evelyn Lotz (8 Sep 1892, SD – 30 May 1980, Vacaville, CA) & Clyde James Davis

|—|—|—3 Ernest Elmer Lotz (17 Nov 1894, SD – 2 Jan 1955, Santa Barbara, CA)

|—|—|—3 George Corlys Lotz (8 Nov 1901, SD – 5 Nov 1950, Alameda, CA)

|—|—|—3 Edythe Mildred Lotz (24 Mar 1906, Plainview, NE – 24 Jan 1962, Salinas, CA) & Henry Glenn McKinsey

|—|—2 Edgar Amos (Pat) Cummings (12 Mar 1870, Jefferson, IA or Whetstone Agency, SD – 20 Feb 1952, Challis, ID) & Marie Boutieller (1 Sep 1875, IN –28 Apr, MacKay, ID). Married 1895.

|—|—|—3 James Edgar Cummings (27 Jul 1897, Box Creek, UT – ?)

|—|—|—3 Amos Merrihew Cummings (13 May 1909, Nampa Rural Northeast, ID – 4 Mar 1993, Boise, ID)

|—1 Aaron S Cummings (Apr 1830, Tully, NY – ?, USA)

|—1 Jane Elizabeth Cummings (Jan 1832, Tully, NY – 29 Mar 1914, Richland, MI) or

|—1  Elizabeth Jane Cummings* (Jan 1833, New Albion, NY – 29 Mar 1914, Richland, MI) & Hiram James B Chase. Married abt 1851, Cattaraugus Co, NY.

|—1 Elizabeth Jane Cummings* (Jan 1833, New Albion, NY – 29 Mar 1914, Richland, MI) & Philetus A Waldron. Married 15 Oct 1908, Ithaca, MI.

|—1 Catherine Cummings (11 Apr 1836, Little Valley or New Albion,, NY – 14 Aug 1889, Clinton, MI) & Malcolm M Sherwood (16 May 1823, Darien, NY – 17 Jul 1903, Gratiot, MI.

|—1 James Avery Cummings (1836, New Albion, NY – 17 Feb 1867) & Sophronia Sias (1842, NY – 1895, Gratiot, MI). Married 8 Oct 1859, Gratiot, MI.

|—1 Charles L Cummings (abt 1841, New Albion, NY – 5 May 1864, Orange Co, VA)

Source: Family Trees on Ancestry.com — GREEN Family Tree, Dis, Cummings-Royal Family, Five Oaks, Horner Family Tree,  Glen Eaton Family Tree, Hill2, Walter Laverne Cummings Family Tree, ANDERSON_DICKMAN, Blazing Dalzell’s Time Warp, ZILINCIK Family Tree, Sherwood Family Tree Kevin Charles, Thomas, Holliday Jr. Family Tree, smith Family Tree

The following Cummings family photo was found on the Hill2 Family Tree on Ancestry.com. The individuals were identified as shown below the photo. George Cummings was Bessie’s uncle, Arthur Anderson was her brother in law (husband of Grace), and Bert Cummings was her brother. Garnetha Cummings was her neice (Bert Cummings’ daughter).

Williampsam originally shared this

25 Jul 2008 Portrait / Family Photo

Left to Right Ann Cummings, Bert’s Wife Brother in law, Bert Cummings, Mrs. John Cummings, Mr Anderson (Father of Mrs John Cummings),Blanche (Mrs. John Cummings Sister) 

Bottom Left To Right Garnetha Cummings, Geo Cummings (Patriarch)

White River Celebration

Additional Cummings family photos may be found in the addendum to this webpage described in the introduction; click here to to to the addendum webpage.

Jay Lee and Bessie (Cummings) Rogers from Jean Rosenkrantz’s “Weavers of a Legacy1

Jean’s book is available on a website for the Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Project. The project is self described as follows:

Welcome to the award-winning Sullivan County Pennsylvania Genealogy Page! Here you’ll find a plethora of information concerning the settlers of Sullivan County, its rich history, the Endless Mountains, and a lot of useful resources to research your family surnames. This is a FREE genealogy resource sponsored through USGenWeb and PAGenWeb and can always be reached directly at no charge.

“Weavers of a Legacy” may be found at the following website: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pasulliv/

Or, the publication may be located at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pasulliv/settlers/settlers46/settlers46.htm

A PDF file is also accessible on this “Grimshaw Origins” website, “Link to “Weavers”

The description of Jay and Bessie Cummings in “Weavers of a Legacy” is shown below.

 

Generation 9: Jeremiah “Jay” Rogers , Jr. and Bessie Cummings

Jeremiah Rogers, Jr., as far as any of the living relatives know, was known as “Jay” and will be so referenced in this biography. Jay married Bessie Leona Cummings on May 1, 1911 at Bijou Hills, South Dakota. Jay and Bessie were the parents of Ferne born 1912, Vernon born 1915, Helen born 1917, Ruby born 1919, twins Dorothy and Doris born 1921, Phyllis born 1924 and Evelyn born 1925. All of the children, as of this writing, are deceased except Helen who lives in Pierre, South Dakota and Phyllis who lives in Texas.

Just three months after the death of his father, Jay lost his wife, Bessie, who died on October 31, 1929 at Snake Creek. Her death left Jay with eight children to raise, the youngest only four years old. Jay did not remarry. He did not “farm out” the children. He did not have emotional support from a widower’s grief group or Parents Without Partners. His children probably had to grow up very fast, and the older ones cared for the younger ones.

Jay played an historical role in early Missouri River navigation as the owner and pilot of a ferry which crossed the Missouri River linking the east bank of Charles Mix County with the west bank of Gregory County. There were no bridges across the river at that time. The first known ferry on the Missouri River in this area was a rope pull ferry located at Ft. Randall in Charles Mix County. A cable was anchored on each bank and the cable ran through rings on the side of the ferry. The boat was pulled, oared and pushed across the river. [11] That first boat was sold to a Donald Slate who put a tread power on the ferry that was powered by horses. In 1898 a gas powered sternwheeler, “The Nellie L,” replaced the tread power boat at that crossing.

The Snake Creek ferry crossing was on the east side of today’s Platte/Winner bridge between Charles Mix County on the east bank and Gregory County on the west bank. Jay Roger’s involvement with that ferry crossing is noted below in his own words with editorial comments in parentheses:

The first ferry at Snake Creek was owned by Guy Federli when Gregory County was opened up to homesteaders (1901 per Jack Broome). Guy went down and bought a ferry in the city of Vermillion (the boat was called the “City of Platte”). He knew there would be a rush of land seekers for homesteads when the time came. Guy Federli ran the boat through the land seekers rush that year or maybe two. Guy sold the boat to a man named Drake who had come up the river on the old snag boat, “Mandan.” He ran it one year; another guy bought it but only ran it for a short time. He sold the ferry to Alfred Johnson and Jacob Hammer. The old boat became pretty old and was about to sink. Alfred and “Jake” had to build a new “City of Platte” which I ran for seven years. When Alfred had his ranch sale, he said if I would do the crossing for the sale, he would give me his share. This is how I came to own “The City of Platte.” In 1918-1919 I sold out to Eldon McMullen and his father. Eldon and I became partners. We built a new boat in 1920-1921. It was christened the “Snake Creek Ferry.”

Local Gregory County educator and historian, Jack Broome, provides a bit more family history related to the Snake Creek ferry crossing:

Rogers Ferry, Snake Creek Crossing, Missouri River, Charles Mix County, SD

(Photo from scrapbook of Ferne Rogers Roggow)

Mrs. Allie Trewartha and son, Orrie, built the Snake Creek store at the crossing in 1910. (Allie was Alma Ann Bennett Trewartha, a sister of Martha Bennett, and an aunt to Jay Rogers.) The store also provided travelers with lodging and a barn. Jay Rogers and Eldon “Squire” McMullen were pilots of the boat, but assistants included George Gordon, George Harding, George and Ewald Roggow. The ferry crossing fare was $1.25 plus 25 cents for an auto. Business was brisk, especially on weekends, with many fishermen on the west side of the river heading to Red Lake.

In 1921 McMullen bought out Jay Rogers and continued navigation of the ferry until 1931. George and Ewald Roggow piloted the ferry until ‘34 along with Wilbur “Boom” Slagel and Paul Rogers (nephew of Jay Rogers). Paul Rogers was the last pilot of the ferry which was sold at the McMullen farm sale. [12]

Paul’s son, Eldon “Bud” Rogers, adds that his father had been the youngest person to receive a river captain’s license at the time.

Jay’s daughter, Ferne Rogers Roggow, penned her rendition of the family history on September 26, 1975:

My father, Jay Rogers, was born to Jerry and Martha Rogers, January 1, 1884 in Panora, Guthrie County, Iowa. Their family consisted of George, Jim, William, Jay and Edna. Jim and Will passed away years ago. Edna Rogers Peterson is 86 years old and in very poor health. She lives in Ridgefield, Washington. Jay is 91 years old and in fair health. He lives at Pierre, South Dakota with his daughter, Mrs. Helen Byrum.

Jay Rogers and Bessie Cummings were married May 1, 1911 at Bijou Hills and lived there the first years of their married life. Jay and his dad, Jerry Rogers, bought a threshing machine together and threshed grain a couple of years around Geddes, South Dakota.

Our mother passed away on October 30, 1929 (sic October 31) leaving Dad to raise eight children and he did. He kept us all together; went through the dirty 30’s. He fished and sold fish, trapped animals, sawed lumber, cut wood and worked for different ones to make a living.

Back in 1914 he took over the Snake Creek ferry and ran it 7 years, built a new one and he and Eldon McMullen worked together. In 1921 or 1922 he sold out to McMullen and moved to a farm we called the “Turgeon Place.” Now they call it the Rogers Draw. We lived there two years and moved to Iona on the ice in January and went into partnership with George Tagtow to run that ferry boat called the Phyllis-Lorraine. We lived right on the river by the ferry landing. We lived there one year and moved back to the farm at Platte, or Turgeon Place in 1925. We lived there until 1937 when we all decided to go to Oregon. During this time on the farm we never raised many good crops. We lived in a log cabin; they are warm homes.

In 1937 Dad had a sale and sold out, bought an International truck and put a cover over it, and we all went to Oregon. The girls and Dad picked berries during the summer, also hops. In August they all came back to South Dakota.

After Dad got back to South Dakota, he and the girls cut wood and sold it. He was offered a good job cutting lumber north of Iona for George Hammerbeck. Was there for awhile, went on up to Oacoma, South Dakota, and from there to Pierre. Finally settled down by Rousseau [13] where he lives today.”

Another daughter, Phyllis Rogers Grimshaw, wrote a short autobiography in November 1999 of her growing up years in Rogers Draw along the Missouri River. Excerpts from her story follow:

I don’t hardly remember my mother–she died in October 1929, I was five. My Dad raised us girls.

We had a good life in the old draw, lived in a house partly made of logs and partly boards with tar paper on the outside. We all learned to milk cows and ride horses and drive a team of horses. Hauled our water in barrels in a wagon pulled by a team from the Missouri River.

We had a lot of fun when we was kids. Pa made sleds for us and we would slide down hill in the winter seems like mostly in Trewartha’s pasture. We skated on the river in the winter. We swam in the river in the summer and Pa fished and sold them in Platte.

Pa also farmed with a team. We all helped in the field since we was little. We drove the team (Dolly and Bonnie) we used a drag to smooth the ground and sometimes we had to cultivate.

Pa ran a ferry boat to get cars across the river at Snake Creek, but that was before my time. We kids always was outside. We rode everything that had four feet–the horses, cows, pigs, calves, goats.

Dorothy, Evelyn and I helped Pa get wood up for winter. We would go to what we called Sabin’s timber up the river from where we lived maybe 5 miles with a team and wagon and brought the logs home on the wagon, then sawed the logs into stove size pieces. Pa made the stove out of a barrel.

Doris liked to play with dolls. Pa made those too and she liked to cut people out of an old catalog then cut out clothes to put on the people like paper dolls. She liked to stay in the house but she could drive a team or milk a cow or anything else like the rest of us.

Thomas Grimshaw, son of Phyllis Rogers Grimshaw, adds his personal memories of his Grandfather Jay:

Jay injured his knee when jumping onto or off the ferry as a young man, and he limped and suffered from chronic pain for the rest of his life as a result. He treated it with liniment, and I remember as a child that he usually smelled of liniment.

Grandpa was able to make or repair almost anything. He used to whittle a great deal, and I still have a toy he carved–with a rectangular four-posted cage containing a round wood ball, carved in place within the cage, and with a human head on top–all carved from a single piece of wood. He used to make great slingshots for me, too!

The childhood memories of Jay’s children, who lived under conditions that we would label as deplorable today, are a tribute to the courage and tenacity of not only Jay Rogers, but of all prairie pioneers. Let’s take a short diversion to explore just one of the many prairie hardships endured by all early pioneers of the South Dakota homestead era–housing.

Prairie Housing

The humble little dirt-floor log cabin where Jay lived was actually quite “modern” for its time. Prairie housing was more typically tar paper shacks, dugouts and sod houses. Homesteaders such as the Rogers, who lived near a river, hauled logs up from the river bottom to construct their log houses.

Tar paper shacks were framed with twisted planks and then covered with black tar paper. Such a crude shelter was only intended as temporary housing during mild weather months, but in reality often became a permanent dwelling place for impoverished settlers. The dugout consisted of a hole literally dug out of the side of a hill sometimes with an open roof covered with brush and sod. Often the only visible sign of a dugout was the stove pipe sticking out above the sod roof.

Sod was plentiful, but digging and plowing of the virgin prairie grass with its deep, tangled roots was arduous. The sod shanty, referred to as a “soddy,” nevertheless, was the most common architecture of the day. Furrows were turned over with a plow from approximately one-half acre of thick sod and then cut with a spade into blocks of three foot lengths. The blocks were stacked on top of each other with every third layer laid crosswise for stability. The roof was usually constructed of willow branches or planks and then covered with sod. Many houses were only 10 x 12 foot structures, but the more pretentious soddies were 16 x 20 feet. The sod house was fairly durable, cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but often had a leaky roof and afforded little protection against mice and other prairie vermin. It had poor lighting and ventilation and was impossible to keep clean. A sod house usually didn’t last more than six to seven years. [14]

The poem to follow is a humorous tribute to all of our pioneer ancestors who endured the hardships of the soddy.

My little old sod shanty on my claim

I am looking rather seedy now while holding down my claim,

And my victuals are not always served the best

And the mice play slyly round me as I nestle down to rest

In my little old shanty on the claim.

The hinges are of leather and the windows have no glass

While the roof it lets the howling blizzard in,

And I hear the hungry coyote as he slinks up through grass

Round the little old sod shanty on my claim.

Yet I rather like the novelty of living in this way

Though my bill of fare is always rather tame,

But I’m happy as a clam on my land from Uncle Sam

In the little old sod shanty on my claim.

But when I left my eastern home, a bachelor so gay

To try to win my way to wealth and fame

I little thought I’d come down to burning twisted hay

In my little old sod shanty on my claim.

My clothes are plastered o’er with dough, I’m looking like a fright,

And everything is scattered round my room.

But I wouldn’t give the freedom that I have out in the west

For the table of the eastern man’s old home.

Still, I wish that some kindhearted girl would pity on me take

And relieve me from the dreadful mess I’m in,

The angel, how I’d bless her, if this her home she’d make

In the little old sod shanty on the claim.

Author: Annie Chamberlain

Jay and Bessie Cummings Rogers with children — Helen, Vernon and Ferne — 1917

(Photo from scrapbook of Ferne Rogers Roggow)

Although the descendants of the emigrant woolen weavers branched out into many other vocations, some of them were still weaving in one fashion or another in the 20th century. Jay Rogers and his daughter, Ferne Rogers Roggow, and possibly the other children as well, wove fish nets traps which they used for their own fishing and marketed to other Missouri River fishermen. Ferne was also known throughout the neighborhood as a skilled seamstress and quilter.

I am indebted to Ferne, as the Rogers-Roggow historian, for her records and photos that have graced this chapter plus her personal encouragement through the years. She died January 13, 2000 at Burke, South Dakota and is buried with her husband Robert “Bob” Roggow at Lucas where she and Bob spent most of their married life about seven miles from their beloved Missouri River. Ferne’s father, Jay Rogers, died January 16, 1978 at Pierre, South Dakota, and is buried in the Rogers family plot at Bijou Hills Union Cemetery with his wife, Bessie Cummings Rogers.

Log Cabin where Jay Rogers lived for many years at Rousseau near the Missouri River

(Photo from scrapbook of Ferne Rogers Roggow)

Rogers Fish Nets

(Photo from scrapbook of Ferne Rogers Roggow)

Homestead Country of Rogers, Bennetts and Petersons in South-Central South Dakota

Still Dakota Territory During Settlement By These Ancestors

Snake Creek Store

May 22, 1912

Will Rogers Team Hauling Water From the Missouri River

[1]Myron Northrop was the son of Alma Rogers (Jacob3, Samuel II2, Samuel I1).

 

Jeremiah and Martha (Bennett) Rogers, parents of Jay Rogers, are described as follows in Jean Rosenkrantz’s “Weavers of a Legacy”. As noted, this family may be found on a companion webpage.

Jeremiah Rogers was born in Pennsylvania in 1849. He was descended from a family line that originated in Yorkshire. Jeremiah and Martha Bennett, who was born in Wisconsin also in 1849, were married in Red Mount, Wisconsin in 1875. They had six children – George, James, William, Jeremiah Jr (who went by “Jay”), Edna, and Paul (who died in infancy). The family left Wisconsin and migrated west, living first in Iowa and then South Dakota. The first three children were born in Wisconsin, Jay in Iowa, and the last two in South Dakota.

Jeremiah and Martha took out a homestead in Brule County, South Dakota in 1889, about four miles east of Bijou Hills. However, the family moved around a good bit, living at different locations in South Dakota and Bemidji, Minnesota. Jerry and Martha lived out their lives in South Dakota and are buried at Union Cemetery near Bijou Hills.

Union Cemetery Lot Certificate for Jay Rogers

Pat Surat of Bijou Hills found the certificate for Jay Rogers’ lot at Union Cemetery; it is shown below. The certificate indicates that Lot 162 was purchased on February 12, 1938 by Jay Rogers for $5.00. This certificate is somewhat of a mystery, since Jay’s wife, Bessie, died in 1929 and is buried in the lot.

Grave Photos of Jay and Bessie Rogers, Union Cemetery, Bijou Hills

Jay and Bessie Rogers are buried next to each other in Union Cemetery near Bijou Hills, SD. Their graves — under a windblown tree — are shown below with a closeup of the main gravestone. There are individual gravestones under the tree as well. Jay’s parents, Jeremiah and Martha Rogers, are also buried in Union Cemetery. The photos were taken by the website author in 2010.

Grave Photos of Bessie Cummings’ Grandparents and Parents in Union Cemetery, Bijou Hills

Shown below are the gravesites of Bessie’s grandparents, Amos and Eleanor Cummings, and parents, Charles and Dora Cummings. The photos were taken by the website author in 2010.

Gravesite of Amos and Eleanor (Houck) Cummings in the Northeast Part of the Cemetery (Eastward View). Note the Bijou Hills in the Background. Photo Taken by Website Author in 2010.

The following closeup of the grave marker is from Find-A-Grave.

 

AMOS 

CUMMINGS 

BORN 

Mar 24, 1825 

DIED 

Feb 18, 1906 

AT REST 

Asleep in Jesus blessed sleep From which none ever wakes to week

The inscription is from a hymn written by Margaret Mackay, 1832, and set to the tune “Rest” by William Batchlder Bradbury, 1843.

Description from Find-A-Grave.com

Amos M. Cummings

Birth: Mar. 24, 1825

Death: Feb. 26, 1906

Burial: Bijou Hills Union Cemetery

Bijou Hills, Brule County

South Dakota, USA

Plot: Ground 5, Lot 52, Block 3, Section 1

Created by: Shirley Bybee

Record added: May 11, 2008

Find A Grave Memorial# 26757348

Eleanor M. Cummings

Birth: Oct. 21, 1828

Death: Feb. 26, 1917

Burial: Bijou Hills Union Cemetery

Bijou Hills, Brule County

South Dakota, USA

Plot: Lot 52, Block 3, Section 1

Created by: Shirley Bybee

Record added: May 11, 2008

Find A Grave Memorial# 26757351

The grave markers of Charles and Dora (Porter) Cummings are shown below.


The gravestones are located near a Cummings family plot in Union Cemetery, but are not in the plot.

Graves of Children of Jay and Bessie Rogers

The gravesites of the eight children are shown below. The collection is still incomplete.

Ferne and Bob Roggow: Lucas, SD

Vernon Rogers: Pueblo, Colorado

[To be added]

Helen and George Tagtow: Pierre

[To be added]

Doris and Paul Matucha: Gregory Czech Cemetery

Phyllis and Claude Grimshaw: Black Hills National Cemetery

References

1Rosenkrantz, Jean, 2006, Weavers of a Legacy — Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel Rogers (1760-1828), Ann Gaunt (1762-1823), Yorkshire, England and Allied Families: Privately Published, 151 p. Online. Available:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pasulliv/settlers/settlers46/settlers46.htm

2 Gnirk, Adeline S, 1977, The Saga of Sully Flats: Gregory, SD, Gregory Times-Advocate. 299 p.

Home Page

Webpage posted June 2008. Upgraded June 2012 with transfer of information from Jeremiah and Martha (Bennett) Rogers webpage. Updated December 2014 with family origins information on Bessie Cummings and with creation of addendum webpage for large collection of photos.