An integral part of the community is a public school. It,
along with the church and general store, was evident in most early
communities. Delton was no exception.
Everett J. ROGERS was born in that community in 1906. He first
went to the horse Shoe School--so named because New River circled
the area. After the school closed he went to the Delton School.
"The school closed about 1915 when the new school was built
above Delton on a hill. It was called the Delton School. It was
bigger. It had three rooms and a library. We still had the water
bucket and a dipper and outdoor plumbing," ROGERS stated.
"Most everybody finished the seventh grade. Some went on
to Draper High School and some went to college."
In 1937 the Delton School consolidated and was moved to Draper.
The school was more than a center for education. It was the scene
of various community activities, such as ice cream suppers and
One of eight children, he recalled how he, his brothers and sisters
depended on the poultry for their school clothes. One year, a
fox almost caused them to freeze to death.
"We raised turkeys. When the turkey season was over we would
drive them in and
put them in coops and take them to Draper. The money we got went
for school clothing. We'd order them from the Sears and Roebuck
catalog. One year we liked to froze to death. A fox ate the gobbler
and the eggs didn't fertilize. So we didn't have any turkeys.
We didn't have much to buy clothes with," he remarked.
According to ROGERS, the original Delton School was sold in 1915
to Emmett QUESENBERRY who used the building as a home. At one
time the John and Ellen Bryson EDWARDS family owned the building.
The last owner was the Norm JENNINGS family in 1937.
The iron ore mines at Delton were closed when Rogers was born
but his uncle ran a dinkey in 1877. "In 1915 the conservation
division stopped the mines from running mud into the river. They
closed them all down because iron was found in Lake Erie. They
said it was so bad you could dip it out with clam shells."
The Arbuckle Mine at Delton was named after a brand of coffee,
according to ROGERS. He related the story.
Between paydays the miners would get Arbuckle coffee on credit
from the local store. They would use the coffee at the "blind
tiger" in exchange for bootleg liquor.
A "blind tiger" was the means of putting coffee or money
into a two-way drawer and receiving a bottle of booze in return.
The person on one side never saw the
Delton had two ferries operating at the turn of the century. Dr.
Bruce CLARK's ferry crossed the river at Delton while the Dr.
John CLARK ferry crossed at Allisonia.
"The thing that disrupted Delton was the Claytor Lake dam.
It took the road, Jim RIGNEY's mill and store and nice big bottom
land. A portion of Delton is underwater," Rogers informed.
After leaving the area in1937, ROGERS went to work in a chemical
plant in Charleston, W.Va. and later became a coalminer. "I
worked for over 30 years in the mines. I was a foreman from 1938
to 1954. I was fire boss or second boss. I liked working in the
mines," he said.
When he developed black lung, he and his family moved to New Jersey.
He came back to this area. His wife, the former Thelma BISHOP,
was originally from Delton. 'When most of her family died in the
1918 flu epidemic, she went to live with a relative who later
died. Mrs. ROGERS was sent to the Odd Fellows Orphanage in Lynchburg
where she stayed until she became 18 years old. She later became
All three of the couple's sons are ministers. Lawrence ROGERS
is a pastor in Bluefield, W.Va. Joe Rogers is a music teacher
in the Roanoke City Schools and an ordained minister in Salem.
Doyle ROGERS is a pastor in Shippingsburg, Penn.
ROGERS is a member of the Pentecostal Holiness denomination. Because
of his bad health he's unable to attend church. His wife is a
resident of Highland Manor.
Source: SW Times, Interview with Everett J. Rogers, Writer:
Wayne Quesenberry, Feb. 28, 1987