California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
SAMUEL ROGERS — Two localities responsible for a considerable part of the history made in San Bernardino County, and appropriately recounted on other pages, are Holcomb Valley and Victorville. One of the most interesting and active figures in these scenes was the late Samuel Rogers, and it is the purpose of this brief article to preserve an outline of his career for the benefit of future generations.
Samuel Rogers was born at Stockport at Muskingum County, Ohio, January 13, 1829, one of seven children, five sons and two daughters. He had a common school education, left home at the age of eighteen and thereafter he was responsible for his own life and his own success. He crossed the continent by ox team during the great gold rush of 1849. For a number of years he was profitably engaged in mining in Marysville and vicinity. It was the gold excitement in the Holcomb Valley that attracted him to this district of Southern California, and he shared in its excitement and victory for a time. In 1875 he bought the Old Huntington Stage Station, about one mile northeasterly and on the opposite side of the Mojave River from the site of the present Victorville. This old overland station was one of the points on the route of the stage and mail coaches and was also an outfitting place for freighters, mining men and prospectors. Mr. Rogers operated the station for six or seven years and was one of the first postmasters there.
In 1876 he also bought a squatter's claim to lands located at Victorville and Mojave River, and he took out the first water rights on that stream. A great deal of difficulty ensued before he could secure his title to the land. He had a contract to purchase from the railroad and it was twenty or thirty years before the titles were cleared and the railroad gave him his deed. He had one and a half sections of land, all virgin and wild, and many years of industry were required to make it productive. The level lands he cleared and prepared for irrigation, and the rough lands were retained for grazing. He was the first man to raise alfalfa in that valley. It was in this work and in the congenial surroundings of Victorville that Samuel Rogers spent his life. He died in San Bernardino April 22, 1914, when eighty-five years of age.
He married in 1880 Mrs. Jane (Arbom) Gamer. She was born in 1849 in Australia, and came to California with her parents at the age of eight years. The family first lived at San Pedro and in the vicinity of Lx)s Angeles when that city was a pueblo, the population being largely Mexican and Spanish. Her father, Robert Arbom, spent his last years on a farm in the Rincon Valley. By her first marriage to Freeman Gamer, Mrs. Rogers had three children.
The only child of the late Samuel Rogers is Sam Knox Rogers, who was born August 29, 1882. He was born in San Bernardino on ground where the Ramona Hospital now stands. He acquired a common school education, and from boyhood worked with and became familiar with his father's farming operations. In July, 1920, he sold a portion of the old land, but still retains half a section. He has since lived with his mother at San Bernardino.
From pioneer times the efforts of the Rogers family have been impressed upon the developments in the vicinity of Victorville. Samuel Rogers was a pioneer who reached the high tide of his life when stage coaches were still running over most of the traveled routes in Southern California.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011