Life Sketches of Comanche-co. Pioneers * Some of Their Struggles and Early-Day Experiences.
At left: Mr. & Mrs. Isaac K. Rodgers
The state of Ohio furnished a large number of the pioneer settlers of Kansas, most of them coming during the 70s or early 80s. Among the number was Isaac K. Rodgers, who is a native of Washington-co. in the Buckeye state, and who has been a resident of Protection-tp., this county, for 33 years. Mr. Rodgers' father was a native of Pennsylvania, but settled in Ohio about the year 1840. The young lad, Isaac Rodgers, was a member of a family of 13 children. He attended the district schools in his home county, but at the age of 19 or in the year 1874, he decided to come to Kansas and "grow up with the country." He first located in Garey-co., not far from Junction City, and for 16 years devoted his attention to farming and stock raising in that county. It was there that he learned much in the school of adversity and of hard knocks. He broke out his prairie farm with ox teams; he worked diligently at any kind of work he could find to do; he braved the years of poor crops, grasshoppers, low wages and "hard times" in general, and continued to labor on, while others became discouraged and turned back. Ike's brothers, Al, John and Fremont, had also come west and had become interested in the stock raising business. Al visited all parts of southwestern Kansas, including what is now Comanche-co., during the early 20s, while buffalo and Indians were the principal inhabitants of the plains. The four brothers finally decided to locate in this county. They secured some good farm and ranch land near Protection and soon took rank among the county's leading farmers and stockmen.
On September 7, 1900, Isaac Rodgers was united in marriage with Mrs. Laura M. Cook. Mrs. Cook is a daughter of M. M. Gaylord, whose death occurred in Protection a few years ago. She was a native of Missouri, but came west over 35 years ago. Her first husband, A. B. Cook, was a pioneer merchant in Protection and was a prominent factor in early day affairs in that city. He died about 30 years ago.
Mrs. Rodgers too, has known something of what the early settlers had to endure, something of their struggles to build themselves a home in a new country. She has, during her 37 years, residence in Protection, been a leader in church and community work, and he influence for good had been felt in many ways among her large circle of acquaintances.
For several years, Mr. Rodgers was engaged in the mercantile business in Protection. Retiring from that business about six years ago, he has since given his time to looking after affairs about his farm. Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers have well won the high esteem in which they are held and the privileges they now enjoy of having a good home and of being surrounded by friends, many of whom, like themselves, have had no small part in helping to make the town and county what they are today. They belong to that class of substantial, forward looking, law abiding, progressive citizens of which our county has a right to be proud.
James W. Dappert: Reminiscences of Early Days in Comanche-co.
The Western Star, January 15, 1926.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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