Reflections: What happened to the Rogers children?

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I love positive stories, but once in a while I come upon information of a sad nature that touches my heart and I want to share.

During the recent Glendale Cemetery Walk, Pat Drouhard assumed the role of a cemetery caretaker and shared the story of several youngsters in the same family, all of whom passed away within seven years. They are listed in the Glendale Cemetery book as the Rogers family.

The family lived in Lincoln Township on a 73-acre farm east of Cardington on what was known as Chesterville Road or SR 529 today. The farm lay south of the highway.

The Rogers’ had a large family with six boys and seven girls. Of those, three boys and two girls died in childhood. Nancy, age eight; Peleg, age five and Anna, age two, all died in 1851, Nancy, in February; and Peleg and Anna in March. John, died in May, 1850 at two months and five days and James, was two years old in 1854 when he died.

As Drouhard noted, as of spring, 1851, John and Chloe had nine living children — the infant had died at two months in 1850. Could the cause of their deaths been water contaminated by something like feces (a well too close to an outhouse or cesspool, people not washing their hands after using the outside toilet or by eating food contaminated by salmonella)? The results of this contamination were cholera and dysentery.

Typhoid was the result of contaminated food. These could have been transmitted from one person to another by not washing their hands, etc. People were ignorant of the causes of these diseases in 1851.

We can only speculate but the family probably did all they could to keep the sick children isolated. Even in death, friends and relatives and even the minister would hesitate to come into the home fearing contacting the disease. It would be up to the parents to prepare each of their children’s bodies for burial and transporting them to the cemetery.

There are nine children’s graves in one cluster in one part of the old cemetery. About this time two other families each lost two children.

The question lingers, were they all buried there because of disease and people feared the spread of those diseases? There were no local newspapers published at that time, so research is difficult.

John and Chloe Rogers left Lincoln Township between 1860 and 1870, moving to Putnam County. Three of their living children lived into the 19th century, the last child, Angelina died in 1933 at the age of 79.

Looking back

1929: A car train wreck at the W. Main Street railroad crossing killed two Cleveland men. Five people had died at the West Main Street crossing during that year.

A driver safety film, “Look, Listen and Live,” was shown at the Dreamland Theater. It was sponsored by the American Legion. The movie addressed railroad grade crossing safety.

The firm of Curl and Sherman Furniture and Undertaking merchants, was dissolved. H. H. Curl took over the undertaking business and Cline Sherman assumed the furniture establishment.

1959: The 22 member Sabres Drum and Bugle Corps gave a 45-minute concert at the three day Harvest Days sale. Directing the Corps was Charles Jackson.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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