William J. Rodgers, Sr.
From the 1889 Goodspeed History
          William J. Rodgers, Sr., farmer, was born in Knox County, Tenn., May 7, 1817, his parents being Thomas and Mary (Donaldson) Rodgers, the former born in Washington County, East Tenn., and the latter in the State of Pennsylvania, in 1770 and 1772, respectively. They were among the early settlers of East Tennessee, and after residing in Knox County for some time, moved to Roane County, where they spent the remainder of their days. They were well-to-do farmers, and were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the father being a Whig in his political views. He lived to be about eighty-two years of age and his wife to be eighty-six. William J. Rodgers, one of their seven children, was reared on a farm, and received his education in the old log school-house of early days. After assisting his parents until about twenty-five years of age, he engaged in farming for himself, which occupation has been his chief calling since, and by good management and industry is now one of the wealthy farmers of the county. He resided in Tennessee until 1867, since which time he has been a resident of Texas County, Mo., and purchased on coming here 680 acres of land, 160 of which he still retains, having given the rest to his children. February 3, 1842, he was married to Julia Stubbs, a native of Tennessee, by whom he has twelve children: Thomas L., James M., Mary D., John, Samuel, Martha M., William J., George P., Jethro M., Archimedes, James M., and Margaret C. The mother of these children died on the 4th of September, 1870, and three years later Mr. Rodgers wedded Mrs. Ahalia (Johnson) Green, who was born in Mecklenburgh County, Va., in 1838, but was reared in North Carolina. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and Mr. Rodgers is a stanch Republican in politics. George P. Rodgers, his son, is also a farmer and stock raiser, and was born in Roane County, Tenn., December 3, 1855, and received good early educational advantages. December 7, 1875, he wedded Miss Nora Nichols, who was a daughter of Capt. John W. Nichols, and died July 26, 1878, without issue. January 8, 1880, Mr. Rodgers married his second wife, whose maiden name was Sarah E. Weller, who was born in Washington, Ohio, October 19, 1858, and by whom he became the father of four children: Lela M., Oscar and an infant. One child died in infancy. He owns 168 acres of land, with about 112 under cultivation, and takes considerable interest in raising blooded stock, being the owner of a fine Durham bull, a good jack and a splendid horse. The results of his efforts are already to be seen in the improvement of the stock of the neighborhood, and his fine farm testifies to his ability as a thorough-going farmer.

 


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