Dr. Rogers, Only New Albany Physician  For Many Years, Was Great Humanitarian



Picture of Dr. M. F. Rogers


If Dr. M. F. Rogers were living today, no one would be better qualified to tell the tragic and dramatlc story of the yellow fever The story behind his service epidemic which hit this section in 1878. For the doctor, the only one in Union County at the time, rode night and day over primitive roads to reach his many patients. He lived for weeks with only snatches of sleep, and some people or their children are living today because of his untiring efforts.

Hundreds were dying in Memphis that year, and many more were fleeing the city. Citizens of Holly Springs, thinking their town was too high for the disease to touch it, threw open their doors to the refugees. But the scourge struck there, too, and scores died. Further and further the people were driven, and many came to New Albany. Dr. Rogers had a great responsibility and he faced it with courage.

This doctor was still a young man as doctors go, but he had already lived a remarkable life. What other man could say he had fought in the Confederate army at the age of 13.

Soldier At 13

The story behind his service when he was a mere boy goes back to a day in Ripley two years before the war was over. The young boy got in a fight with a negro, and his mother, who was caring for 12 other children while her husband was away at war, sent him to Oxford to his father. Joseph E. Rogers was commissary for General Forrest̓s forces, a position he held all during the War Between the States.

The South was in need of men and was taking them mighty young, but M. F. Rogers at 13 was the youngest man to serve with Forrest̓s cavalry all during the war. You couldn'̓t have kept M. F. Rogers out. He was a good shot, and he found a place in the ranks.

After the war father and son returned to Ripley, and M F. Rogers entered Ripley high school. Finishing there, he chose medicine as the profession he would follow, and his father, a Baptist minister who had to support a family of 13 children on the menial income pastors got in those days. worked hard to send him to the best medical school in the country then, Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, which is still considered as second only to Johns Hopkins.

Begins His Practice

Returning to the South, Dr. M. F. Rogers began practice at Onzaba, as the assistant of Dr. Hob Stewart. Then he came to New Albany. He was the only doctor in town and he opened the first drug store the town had.

Three years after he came here he married Miss Ada Williamson, and three years later they went to Ft. Worth. They remained there only a year. however, coming back



Note: A search of the World Connect Project shows Dr. Rogers full name was Milford Fenner Rogers, son of Joseph Elliott and Evaline A. Lindsey Rogers.

Additional information on the Rogers family:

Apparently, Dr. Rogers married Ada Williamson, the daughter of James H. and Sarah Williamson. They had three children Roy, Daisy, and Blanche Rogers. My grandmother tells me that Blanche and Daisy were both highly intelligent women and that Blanche worked in the courthouse in New Albany, MS. James and Sarah Williamson also had a child named Hetotal Munford Williamson who was commonly known as Hettie. Hettie married Samuel David Owen and they had Kinloch, Ernest Munford, Nat, Paul, Grace, Bertha, and Martha. Kinloch Owen was my great-grandfather.

Submitted by Claire Arrington


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This page was last updatedJanuary 05, 2006