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Alfred Harrison Rogers
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Birth: Feb. 12, 1858
Le Claire
Scott County
Iowa, USA
Death: Mar. 6, 1920
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

~ ~ ~ ~ his Joplin home pictured 2nd on right, 621 West Fourth, built 1899 directly west from the famous five story Olivia Apartments. Click on picture for caption ~

~ ~ ~ Southwest Missouri Electric Railway company, organized by A H Rogers in 1893-96, they installed some ninety-four miles of tracks, and was for many years the largest inter-urban trolley system west of the Mississippi River. Service continued until late summer 1935 for Carthage, 1940 for others ~

~ ~ VIEW: His Lakeside Park, with at least some of the one hundred thirty acres is still maintained in the Rogers family name ~

~ MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY: A H Rogers along with W S Gunning purchased first 77 acres of land, each also on committee of eleven creating the new Mount Hope cemetery and Lodge. A major advantage of the site was its location with its Lodge facilities on A H Rogers' electric railway line. Rogers, coincidentally, was a Director and Officer in the cemetery association. His trolley line provided transportation to the memorial park, not only for visitors but also for his specially-fitted funeral cars bearing the coffins.

"The Mount Hope Cemetery Association" was officially incorporated on April 12, 1905, "A H" was one of several building a Mausoleum and he then re-interned his father and first born son there, 28 November 1905. Timothy Lang Rogers, a great-grandson is currently on the Board of Directors, following his father, Harrison Lang Rogers, who served as its president.

h/o Katherine Coburn.

Birth: Last of five known, of seven reported, children in Le Claire, Scott county, Iowa, a town on a rocky bend in the Mississippi river which his father, Robert H Rogers, was reportedly one of three founding families in 1855, with friend Antoninie Le Claire's name as its namesake.

~ VIEW: The Harvard Graduate Magazine of September 1920, Class of 1878 pages 131 through 133 for a comprehensive review of A H Rogers' ancestry and life ~

Father, Robert H (?Harrison?) Rogers, reportedly born in York county, Pennsylvania, married 1839 in Clark county, Indiana on the Ohio river, removed west around 1847, to west bank of the great Mississippi river, Scott county, Iowa, serving as a member of 6th General Assembly, of Iowa state legislature and the year before helping create Le Claire, a partner in firm of Davenport & Rogers, which established a large sawmill, conducted a line of boats and carried on an extensive banking business, in addition to building a large marine dry dock, then removing family southwest to another river town, Leavenworth, Leavenworth county, Kansas in 1868 where its old Army fort, (created May 1827, now oldest Army fort west of the Mississippi river), on bluff over looking the Missouri river ~ ~ town where A H Rogers graduated school in 1874, he entered Harvard College, taking a full classical course, though making a special study of philosophy, in which he took honors in Class of 1878. Shortly afterward commenced the study of law at Wyandotte in the office of Colonel E L Bartlett, and was admitted to the bar at Olathe in 1880. He joined his next older brother, James Clarence Rogers, firm of J. C. Rogers & Co., at Spring Hill, Johnson county, Kansas, engaged in the milling and banking business who removed to Wamego, Pottawatomie county, Kansas, but continued until about 1881 when establishing a bank in Wyandotte (as of 1868, Kansas City), Kansas, removing there, was married in Phoenix, Oswego county, New York, May 18, 1881, to Miss "Kittie" Coburn, of Phoenix. They had two sons, Percival Caldwell born 1882 in New york and Harrison Coburn born 1884 in Wyandotte county, Kansas, where "A H" Rogers reportedly operated bank he had organized, the Bank of Wyandotte, as cashier (chief operating officer) until 1885, then spending a year in Kansas City, Missouri as clerk at Citizens' National Bank [Full name "Citizens' National Bank and Depository of the United States"] before removing his young family to Springfield, Greene county, Missouri.

At Springfield, he was cashier (chief operating officer) at the Bank of Springfield with other interests, such as: owner of the Lincoln Caverns named by its discoverer, John Greer Knox; formerly Knox Cave, Klu Klux Klan Cave, he renamed it as Percy Cave, for their first born, later known as Temple Caverns now known as the Fantastic Caverns. This, in part, according to information received July 2014 from Jeff Campbell's research, to wit: "Under his supervision Percy Cave became the third commercial cave to have electric lights. He also built an amazing lodge (destroyed in 1952) which also used electricity and had running water." Organized Springfield Savings Bank in 1889 till around 1893/94 when he removed family to Joplin, Jasper county, Missouri, where lead & zinc was being mined. There, starting 1st with a 2-1/2 mile mule drawn inter-urban trolley system from SEP 1890 to MAR 1893, then electric with December 31, 1896 officers of The Southwest Missouri Electric Railway Company being: President, Alfred H Rogers, Vice President Elias Zollinger Wallower (1854-1941), (also financier of mines and builder/owner of then the prestigious Keystone Hotel, Joplin), Sec'y and Treas, Wm M Donaldson, with F. H. Fitch superintendent, offices in Webb City, Jasper county, Missouri & Harrisburg, Cumberland, county, Pennsylvania. turning over his German Insurance company of Freeport, Illinois. which he had served as general agent, within the entire state of Missouri as his territory to W. W. Calhoon. Mr. Calhoon and J.F. Harrison continued this agency for years with great success. It was while conducting this general insurance agency, that Mr Calhoon (1892-1894 mayor of Carthage), with others, built the electric line from Carthage to Carterville, then known as the "White Line." (because of their 'white trolleys') while Rogers' group were acquiring other lines, then acquired the Jasper County Electric Railway company, whose 1904 officers were: W. W. Calhoon, president; J. F. Harrison, vice president; C. F. McElroy, secretary; D. R. Goucher, treasurer; and F. H. Fitch, superintendent, following, Rogers' earlier conversion to electric powered trolleys.

The nation's electric trolley system owners were finding additional revenues by providing FREE family parks to their riding public, accessible only by their trolleys, ~ ~ so A H Rogers convinced his investors to purchase forty acres (enlarging to one-hundred thirty acres by 1913) which their trolleys crossed near Center creek, west from Carthage, being year following birth of his daughter Le Claire, 1895, building this magnificent and extremely popular Lakeside Park, operating forty some years. (see photos of Missouri Digital Heritage Initiatives) for which Scott Joplin wrote his song, "Take Me Out to Lakeside".

They first built the four foot high dam across Center creek forming a large lake among the many mature shade trees which provided cooling breezes under the Missouri(ah) summer's blistering hot sun. This effort started an entertainment mecca with access only by their trolley system during first twenty years. A small community of homes even grew near the park. Admission was FREE for those paying the normal trolley fare of 1.25 cents per mile.

Lakeside Park soon became more and more a center for family and group entertainment, by later expanding and including baseball games, with stands furnished, charging 25 cents for the more comfortable shaded seats, however, the games were FREE, a dance pavilion with popular orchestras much of the time, roller rink, roller coaster said to be a duplicate of that at St Louis World's Fair, a swinging bridge, boating and swimming. and other things to interest the public, even a hotel was built near by, all of which capturing the hearts of the public thus drawing more trolley traffic.

With the advent of the automobile brought forth roads which cut into their trolley traffic starting early twentieth century, with THE "Mother Road" of all roads, "Route #66", built later near the parks northern boundary, which brought automobile and bus traffic from far and near, however in another ten years Lakeside Park had outlived its usefulness, becoming but a fond memory for we who enjoyed it. I'll go to my grave remembering the swinging bridge, food & drink stand, bath house, cool shady lake area, and having enjoyed our mother driving us to swim there in the blistering hot days of the Missouri(ah) summers so a great big thank you to Mr A H Rogers, et al. Commentary of Bill Boggess

~ SOURCE of following: Historic Joplin

"At its peak, the railway company operated a huge fleet of streetcars and 94 miles of tracks in three states. But its days were numbered. As private ownership of motor vehicles increased, railway patronage dwindled. In 1925, the company began running passenger buses and phasing out its streetcars. The Joplin stretch of Route 66 was under construction from 1927 through 1932. After Royal Heights was annexed into the city of Joplin in 1929, the railway company removed the tracks through Royal Heights. The old track-bed was paved as Euclid and became part of the historic "Mother Road."


"The crowd at the Fourth of July celebration at Lakeside Park yesterday is conceded by everyone to have eclipsed in size any that ever before gathered at the popular resort. After pouring people into the park all day long, it took until 4 o'clock this morning for the electric line to get all the people away again, crowding every car to do so. Boating, swimming and swinging furnished pleasure for many. A "ten set" dance was kept going in the pavilion all day and nearly all night." [Estimated from 35,000 to 40,000 by others].
Source: Powers Museum.

      and yet another newspaper story of 1900:

   "An Evening Picnic at Lakeside.

"A picnic party went out to Lakeside late yesterday afternoon and enjoyed an evening lunch supplied from well-filled baskets. Boating and other amusements were much enjoyed. The return to town was made about 10 o'clock.

"Those in attendance were: Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Calhoon and their three nieces, the Misses Calhoun, and Miss Mollie Moore, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Mr. and Mrs. C. F. McElroy and daughters, Elsie and Julia, and son, Walter F.; Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Miller, Prof. W. L. Calhoun, John Harris, and Rev Mr. Earl, of Webb City."

Source: Mornin' Mail

About 1906, Rogers' renamed the Southwest Missouri Electric Railway company to Southwest Railroad company which accessed, Oklahoma, Galena & Pittsburg Kansas, east to Carthage, Missouri where from Fairview it went down middle of Main street (where we would lay an Indian Head penny on its track to be run over), startling the horse pulling the Ice Wagon, which we kids would get small pieces of ice to suck on, then on to around Carthage's square, also serving many of the mining areas of northeast Oklahoma, southeast Kansas & southwest Missouri. Vice-President Elias Zollinger Wallower's son Frank C Wallower, himself, a miner and operator of the Joplin's Keystone Hotel, coming west to oversee his father's interests in 1906, was in 1925 elected director and general manager of the Southwest Missouri Railroad Company, the interurban ninety some mile line between Carthage, Missouri, Picher, Oklahoma and Pittsburg, Kansas. He later served as a co-receiver and trustee of the railroad. Reportedly some land of Lakeside Park remains property of the Rogers family in 2014.

Rogers had, around 1910, invested in the Interstate Grocery company, then purchased a large share of the Globe Publishing company in Joplin from Gilbert Barbee who controlled the Joplin Globe. It was during Gib's ownership, strongly partisan in politics, and its control made its owner the dominant figure in the Democratic leadership of the fifteenth district. One of the fixed policies of the Globe under "old Gib's" ownership was to fight the Southwester Railway, that owned the urban and inter-urban street car lines that radiated through and out of Joplin. Naturally this fight of the old warrior would center on A. H. Rogers, the head of the corporation that owned the street car lines. His friends in Southwest Missouri were startled and confused to learn that he had sold the greater part of his stock in the Joplin Globe to Rogers.- Rogers had bought most of his stock. But it wouldn't do him any good. His money would be wasted. Men who were under the spell of Mr. Barbee's personality and power still controlled a majority of the stock. They would vote it as "old Gib" directed - and Rogers would find he had spent his money for nothing.

"Well Gib, you certainly put one over on me. I'll have to hand it to you for that. It's all right and you won't hear any squalling out of me. When it comes to controlling a political situation you know all about it and I know nothing. But when it comes to a fight for the control of a corporation, I believe I know a good deal more than you. So I'm going to tell you now that while I haven't figured out just how I'm going to do it, when the next meeting of the stockholders occurs it will be me and not you who elects the slate of directors."

Rogers was true to & as good as his word

~ Indeed, ~ ~ A H Rogers was a man who achieved much for southwest Missourians!

Census: 1860 age 2, in Le Claire, Scott county, Iowa with parents and two of 4 siblings.

Census: 1870, age 11 listed Harry, in Leavenworth, Leavenworth county, Kansas with parents & older sister Ada.

Census (Kansas): 1875, age 19(sic) in Leavenworth, Leavenworth county, Kansas with parents & two siblings.

Census: 1880, age 22 in Wyandotte county, Kansas, single

~ married in 1881 at Kansas City, Kansas.

Census(Kansas): 1885, age 27 Wyandotte, Wyandotte county, Kansas with wife & two sons, a banker.

Census: 1900, not found.

Census: 1910, age 52 in Joplin, Jasper county, Missouri with wife & 2 kids, married 29 years, wife had four children, two living.

Census: 1920, age 62, in Marion township, Jasper county, Missouri with wife and daughter, her husband and granddaughter.

Death: from heart failure in Los Angeles, Los Angeles county, California where he & wife spent their winter months. Joplin Globe obituary is as image to right

~ OBITUARY: Springfield-Republican,
March 11, 1920, page 10.

LATE A H ROGERS Former. Springfield Banker Will Be Buried in Jasper County Friday

Employees, Pallbearers, city officials

Several business institutions will Close in Joplin Friday afternoon out of respect to the late A. H. Rogers, a former Springfield banker, who died at his home(sic) in that city last Saturday morning. Funeral services will be held at 2: 30 o'clock at the Southwest Missouri Railroad company's club house [built in 1910] , where the body will lie in state from 10 a. m. to 1 p. m. Friday. Rev. William Cleveland, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Joplin, will conduct the services and Allen Reynolds, general counsel for the railroad of which Rogers was president, will deliver, an address. Twelve honorary pallbearers have been chosen from among the business associates and friends of Mr. Rogers, while the active pall bearers will be conductors, motormen and shop men from the Southwest Missouri Railroad company. Interment will be In the family mausoleum at Mount Hope cemetery, between Joplin and Webb City. - ' Several years ago Rogers lived in this city and was associated with the, late A. R. Ingram in operating the bank. While serving as president of the bank, Rogers took an active interest In the commercial and political affairs of this community. Percy cave [now Fantastic Caverns], northwest of the city, was named after Rogers' infant son, who died while his father was interested In business here.

~ View pages, from 328 to 333 Joel Livingston's 1912 publication, A History of Jasper County, Missouri, and Its People.

Father: Robert H Rogers b: 22 JUL 1811 in Hanover, York county, Pennsylvania
Mother: Mary Jane Caldwell b: JUL 1818 in Kentucky

Marriage: Katherine Coburn b: 5 DEC 1854 in New York City, New York.
Married: 18 MAY 1881 in Phoenix, Oswego county, New York.

Known Children (3 of 4)

Percival "Percy" Caldwell Rogers b: 14 JUN 1882 Phoenix, Oswego county, New York.

Harrison Coburn Rogers b: 2 MAR 1884 in Wyandotte City(Kansas City on March 1886), Wyandotte county, Kansas

Le Claire Harrison Rogers b: 25 MAY 1895 in Jasper county, Missouri

Known Grandchildren

Katherine T Estes b: 2 FEB 1917 in Jasper county, Missouri

Harrison Lang Rogers b: 10 OCT 1919 in Jasper county, Missouri

Alfred Harrison ("A H") Rogers b: about 1924 in Jasper county, Missouri.

~ REVISED: 23 AUG 2014.

Prepared in part by Bill Boggess.
Family links: 
  Robert H Rogers (1811 - 1885)
  Mary Jane Caldwell Rogers (1818 - 1901)
  Katherine Coburn Rogers (1854 - 1940)*
  Percival Caldwell Rogers (1882 - 1887)*
  Percival Caldwell Rogers (1882 - 1887)*
  Harrison Coburn Rogers (1884 - 1946)*
  Le Claire Harrison Rogers Estes (1895 - 1965)*
  Jennie E Rogers Day (1841 - 1917)*
  William A. Rogers (1842 - 1924)*
  James Clarence Rogers (1847 - 1913)*
  Adeline R Rogers (1855 - 1927)*
  Alfred Harrison Rogers (1858 - 1920)
*Calculated relationship
Mount Hope Cemetery
Webb City
Jasper County
Missouri, USA
Maintained by: NJBrewer
Originally Created by: Jody
Record added: Aug 30, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7807896
Alfred Harrison Rogers
Added by: Bill
Alfred Harrison Rogers
Added by: NJBrewer
Alfred Harrison Rogers
Added by: NJBrewer
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 Added: Jul. 5, 2014

- Bill
 Added: Mar. 21, 2012
A. H. Rogers, Trolley Car baron of Southwest Missouri.
- NJBrewer
 Added: Jul. 19, 2010
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