Eden Prairie Real Estate Plus

Rogers Family- Eden Prairie

My great grandfather, John Rogers was born in Worcestershire  County, England in 1873. When he first came to this country, in 1892, and after visiting several  States he arrived in Eden Prairie in 1897. He chose to stay. He had his clothes and an ox yoke with him.  I possess the ox yoke now.

John Albert RogersRenting  farm land and hiring nearby Indians to tend to his celery  crop,  was how he started here. He would travel with the Indians to Shakopee, by canoe, for supplies.  He rented the Douglas house, now known as the Smith-Douglas-More house,  most currently Rustica, and began his family with his wife, Matilda (Melchoir).  Their four children were born there;  my  grandfather, Roland, great uncle Harry and great aunts Helen (Dressen) and Alice (Zell).

In addition to farming, John, with others, developed horse-drawn routes for milk and other produce.  They had one of the first truck milk routes in the area. John convinced the railroad to build a corral and loading dock to expedite shipping of livestock, helping the neighbors, and it also helped him with his livestock business.  The Eden Prairie Depot was close to the Douglas House, very convenient for him. Eventually, as trucks became a viable mode of transportation he shipped livestock to the St Paul stockyard by truck.

He thought so highly of the area, he coaxed relatives from England to move here, with moderate success. Some stayed longer than others. His nephew, James, is perhaps the most notable. James served as an Eden Prairie assessor, and one of his sons, Donald, served on the town board and became the first mayor of Eden Prairie.

John was very civic minded. He was a member of the Eden Prairie School Board for over 20 years and on the Town Board for over twenty five years, serving at times as chairman.  He passed this civic mindedness on to his family. His son Roland, was the “road boss” in Eden Prairie, doing his best to ensure the roads were passable.  His other son Harry, worked with the town, to provide garage space for equipment, but perhaps his greater civic calling was being the president/caretaker of the Eden Prairie Cemetery. In turn, Harry passed this position on to his nephew, Roland’s son Bert, and Bert passed this position on to his son Mike. Mike Rogers is the current President of the Eden Prairie Cemetery.

John and Matilda moved from the Douglas House to the home and farm they purchased on Pioneer Trail, the William Geisler Home. Matilda passed away in 1933. John later married Elizabeth Richards, she had a daughter, Irene. Irene later married Alex Dorenkemper and they lived at the Dorenkemper house when it was south of Pioneer Trail. The Dorenkemper house was moved to Riley Lake, on The Riley-Jackues Farmstead site,  because of it’s historical value, being one of the log built homes that remained. That home was built by the Geisler’s, too. The Dorenkemper House is on display regularly and by appointment, somewhat like the Cummins-Phipps-Grill House, on Pioneer Trail.

John built a home on a parcel for himself, and passed the Geisler Farm on to his son Roland, and his wife Marion (Russell), who raised their family there;  Sons, John, Norbert, Norman and daughter Elizabeth. Roland passed it on to Bert and it was sold to the Marshalls, they operated an apple orchard and it was sold for development. John’s home still stands just east of Dell Road on the south side of Pioneer Trail. John stayed busy gardening and helping with farming for his sons and grandsons until the age of 85, he died in 1959.

 

In partnership with the City of Eden Prairie, the aim of the Eden Prairie Historical Society is to discover and preserve the history of the Eden Prairie area, and to share this information with the general public. While many of the historical sites in the area are owned and maintained by the city, it is the historical society’s responsibility to gather, protect, and preserve the historic artifacts and records of the city, and to make it possible for visitors of all ages to learn about and understand the local history.

The historic sites connected with the Eden Prairie Historical Society Include:

The Riley-Jacques Farmstead

The Smith-Douglas-More House

The Staring Lake Outdoor Center

Glen lake Children’s Camp

Cummins-Phipps-Grill Homestead

 

In partnership with the City of Eden Prairie, the aim of the Eden Prairie Historical Society is to discover and preserve the history of the Eden Prairie area, and to share this information with the general public. While many of the historical sites in the area are owned and maintained by the city, it is the historical society’s responsibility to gather, protect, and preserve the historic artifacts and records of the city, and to make it possible for visitors of all ages to learn about and understand the local history.