Harry Rogers was my Mother’s brother. He was a good man and very well loved by his six older sisters. My grandfather William Riley Rogers probably considered Harry an unexpected miracle when he was born June 1, 1919.
The family gathered in front of a crop of giant sunflowers the following summer for a family portrait.
That’s Harry in the little white dress (all babies wore dresses – boys and girls) sitting on his Mother’s lap, surrounded by his sisters. Later, another boy, Fred, was born, and then one more sister. Seven girls and two boys. Harry and Fred must have felt they had a house full of mothers.
Harry attended a country school.
As soon as he was old enough, he started working in the fields with his father. He worked in the woods, too, and learned to cut staves for the railroad.
When World War II began, he enlisted in the United States Navy.
This is Harry Rogers with his nephew, Jim Kemp. Because Harry was so much younger than his sister, Lenora, her oldest sons were almost the same age as Harry, and they grew up together like brothers.
Harry made it through World War II. He got married and bought a garage in Mokane. I talked recently to one of the men who sold the garage to Harry Rogers. He said they left all the parts they had on hand in the garage, with the verbal understanding that when a part was sold, Harry would pay for it. Harry was scrupulously honest: at the end of every day he walked to their home, told them what parts had sold, and delivered the money.
Men who came into Harry’s garage talked about how strong and athletic he was. There was an old anvil left in the garage, too heavy for most men to lift. Harry could pick it up and throw it. He was a good car mechanic and could fix anything.
Harry and his wife, Marie, had two little boys, Tommy and Gary. Harry built a house for his family.
On May 4, 1957, he was digging a well for his home. He was working in the bottom of the well, with hand tools, when he suffered a fatal heart attack. Harry Rogers was only 38 years old.