Memoirs of an American Pioneer

Rodgers Family History

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These are the memoirs of an authentic American pioneer farmer - handwritten at the age of 89, a little over 100 years ago in 1907. Although partially meant as a Rodgers family genealogy, the primary intent of this outpouring of reflections was to impart some life's lessons to his many grandchildren, one of whom was my grandfather. His writings impart the struggles, hardships, and joys of life growing up on the untamed prairie. This includes stories from his childhood - his rustic education - making fiber and then clothes from flax - courtship rituals - and then the mysterious urge to move west - first to Iowa and then to Kansas. Intermixed in his life's saga are vignettes of politics, day-to-day life, and religion - for he was a devout member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. All his little tales are mixed with practical pioneer wisdom based in the Bible as well as the poems of Whittier. Here is an excerpt from his memoirs.

"To two classes: to those whose lives are measured by their genuine value, to those honored and priceless ones who have served their day and generation, and who are gathering up their feet for their final departure, and to those darlings of the home, whose tender feet have just touched the first step of the stage of life. To the 'Old Arm Chair' and the cradles - to the grandfathers and grandmothers and the precious babies of our family, this Book is sincerely and kindly dedicated."

And another:

"When a man and woman in the loving integrity of their honor and purity of their hearts unite their fortunes and live as husband and wife and start out to build a home and raise a family, it is not only their privilege but their duty to avail themselves of every reasonable faculty that will aid them in the most serious tasks that falls to the lot of mortals. A record of lives before us should be a help."

Table of Contents

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