Sarah "Sallie" Clementine Rogers was born December 16, 1863, in Bonham, Texas (Fannin County) the daughter of Clement Vann Rogers (1839-1911) and Mary America Schrimsher (1839-1890). Both of Sallie's parents were of Cherokee heritage. Sallie's father was a prominent figure in the Cherokee Nation. Rogers County, Oklahoma was named him.
Sallie's father, a slaveholder and Captain in the Confederate Cherokee Service, fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. When his wife, Mary, became pregnant with Sallie during the war, she left the Cherokee Nation and took refuge in Bonham, Texas, on a small farm near a Confederate Refugee Camp to escape the destruction and violence in the Cherokee Nation. Mary had already lost her first daughter, and did not want to risk losing another. When the war was over, the Rogers family returned home only to find that their property had been totally destroyed and their cattle and livestock all gone. Devastation throughout the Cherokee Nation was severe. In 1870, the Rogers family established a new home in the Cherokee Nation on the Verdegris River, southwest of Chelsea, where Sallie and her siblings were raised.
Sallie ultimately had seven siblings: Elizabeth Rogers, born September 11, 1861 and died December 1861; Robert M. Rogers, born April 15, 1866 and died in 1883; Maud Rogers, born November 28, 1869; May Rogers, born May 31, 1873 and died May 25, 1909; Zoe Rogers, born January 31, 1876 and died July 24, 1876; Homer Rogers, born July 1, 1878 and died September 25, 1878; and William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers, born November 4, 1879. Only Sallie, Maude Ethel, May, and William Penn survived into adulthood.
Sallie Rogers was educated in Cherokee Nation schools, graduating in 1880 in a class of seven. After graduation, she taught at the Cherokee Orphanage in Salina, where she met her future husband, John Thomas "Tom" McSpadden. On December 15, 1885, in the parlor of the Rogers home, Sallie married Tom McSpadden, who was born March 15, 1852, in Fort Payne, Alabama (DeKalb County), son of Reverend Thomas Kingsbury B. McSpadden and Elizabeth Green. Tom was a Chelsea businessman and cattle rancher. After a honeymoon in New Orleans, Sallie and Tom settled on a farm six miles southwest of Chelsea. In 1890, moved to a new home on the outskirts of Chelsea that they named "Maplewood". Sallie and Tom would have seven children: Clement Mayes McSpadden, born December 20, 1886; May McSpadden, born July 21, 1891; Herbert Thomas McSpadden, born October 1, 1893; Maude Irene McSpadden, born April 5, 1896; Helen McSpadden, born April 11, 1899; Pauline Elizabeth McSpadden, born September 13, 1901; and Maurice Rogers McSpadden, born April 10, 1905.
Sallie had a long career as teacher, church worker, and activist in civic and womens' organizations. A natural leader, well-informed on state and national current events, she served more than 50 years as President of the Womens' Missionary Society. She served more than 50 years as superintendent of the primary department of the Sunday School in the Chelsea Methodist Church, which was established by her father-in-law. She also organized and taught the Madonna Class in that church. She was active in the district and state affairs of the Oklahoma Federation of Womens' Club. She served as National Secretary of Bible Literature for the National Federation of Womens' Clubs. In that capacity, she wrote and staged a Biblical pageant that attracted national attention. An excellent reader and book reviewer, Sallie was a charter member of the Chelsea Delphian Review Club and for many years served as its leader. She was Chairman of the local Red Cross for 16 years and during the First World War, worked long hours in directing in the Red Cross production rooms. She was an honorary member of the Oklahoma Livestock Growers Association. A gifted speaker, she was called upon repeatedly to speak extemporaneously on a multitude of subjects, which she was able to do with the same wit and humor that made her younger brother famous.
McSpadden Park in Chelsea was a gift to the town from Sallie and Tom. In recognition of her countless social and civic contributions, Sallie received many honors. She was matron-of-honor at the program celebrating Oklahoma's Silver Jubilee in 1932. When the Frisco Railway Company put the new Will Rogers passenger train into service in 1936, she was invited to christen the train at a ceremony in Claremore. On April 21, 1938, Sallie turned the first spade of dirt at the groundbreaking for the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma. The following year, she unveiled the statue of Will Rogers that was placed in the Capitol Rotunda Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.
Sallie had a deep Christian faith and set a strong example for her family, her friends, and her community. She loved music and she loved her flowers and her garden and was enthusiastic about all kinds of Indian handwork. She began a movement to revive the art of basket making among the Cherokee people. Intelligent and fearless in stating her opinions on issues, she never tried to force her ideas on other people.
Sallie and Tom's home, Maplewood, burned to the ground on November 24, 1932. They were devastated as they had lived in it for 40 years and had raised their family there. They ultimately constructed a new home on the same site and also named it Maplewood.
In December 1935, Sallie and Tom celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, and 11 months later on November 5, 1936, Tom died in Chelsea, and was buried in the Chelsea Cemetery. Sallie died at her beloved home in Chelsea on August 25, 1943, and was buried in the Chelsea Cemetery.