About Clement Vann Rogers
Clement Vann Rogers (1839–1911) was a Cherokee senator and judge in Indian Territory. Rogers was a Confederate veteran and served as a delegate to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention. Rogers was the father of entertainer Will Rogers.
Rogers County, Oklahoma is named in honor of Clement Rogers.
Clement Vann Rogers's parents, Robert Rogers and Sallie Vann, "came from Georgia before the main removal of the Cherokees in 1838." Sallie Vann was a sister of David Vann, who was related to the Cherokee chief James Vann. "Clem became associated with the brilliant Cherokee leader, William Penn Adair", and named his son William Penn Adair Rogers after him. Clem served as a member of the Cherokee Senate during the years 1862-63. In 1891 Clem was President of the Cherokee Livestock Association. "Clem's political activities began in 1877 when he ran successful as Judge of Cooweescoowee District ... . He was Senator from his district five terms for the following years : 1879, 1881, 1883, 1899, 1903." "In 1890 he was President of the Vinita Fair Board ... . In 1894 ... Clem Rogers became Vice President of the First National Bank of Claremore, a position he held until his death in 1911." "In 1899, he was elected President of the Claremore School Board. ... That part of his beloved Cooweescoowee District where he lived was re-named "Rogers County" in his honor."
For his children, and photos, click on: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=rogers&GSfn=clement&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=38&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=8583391&df=all&
From The Papers of Will Rogers: from Vaudville to Broadway:
Obituary for Clement Vann Rogers, ca. 29 October 1911, Claremore, Oklahoma:
On Saturday night, 28 October, Clement Vann Rogers died at his daughter Maud Lane's home in Chelsea. As the patriarch of the Rogers family, a significant figure in Cherokee Nation politics, and a successful rancher and businessman, Rogers was widely known in the area, and his funeral was attended by many people. He was mourned by hundreds of friends in Oklahoma. On learning the news of his father's death, Rogers immediately left New York for Claremore, canceling his engagement at Hammerstein's Victoria Theatre and Keith and Proctor's Fifth Avenue Theater. 
C.V. Rogers, familiarly known as Uncle Clem, one of Claremore's oldest and most respected citizens, died Saturday night at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J.T. McSpadden, in the town of Chelsea, and will be buried at that place Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Mr. Rogers had been in failing health for several years and his death was not unexpected by those intimately acquainted with him. He died sometime during Saturday night and was found Sunday morning by his daughter when she went to his room to call him for breakfast. 
Mr. Rogers was one of the most prominent citizens of the Cherokee people and was noted far and wide as a most philanthropic and public-spirited citizen; he was a friend of the school children, and every person in distress could find a ready helper in Uncle Clem Rogers. He amassed a fortune in his time, but a large portion of it had been devoted to charity before he died.
He was vice president of the First National Bank of this city from the time of its organization until his death.
Mayor E.A. Church has issued a proclamation requesting every business house in this city to close its doors from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon as a mark of respect for our distinguished citizen.
Clement Vann Rogers was born Jan. 11, 1829, in Going Snake District of the Cherokee Nation, near the present site of the town of Westville in Adair County. His parents were Robert and Sallie Rogers, nee Vann. He attended the male Seminary at Tahlequah for several years, although he was not a graduate of that institution.
In 1857, he moved to Rabb's Creek west of the town of Oolagah and established a trading post with the Osages; this was the first trading post ever established in the Cooweescoowee District, which at the time embraced nearly all of the Cherokee Nation west of the Grand River. In 1858, he was married to Miss Mary A. Scrimsher, a sister of the late Judge John G. Scrimsher. To this union six (eight) children were born, three of whom survive the deceased: they are Mrs. J.T. McSpadden, and Mrs. C.L. Lane of Chelsea, and William P. Rogers of this city. 
At the commencement of the Civil War, Mr. Rogers espoused the cause of the Southern Confederacy and served with distinction as a soldier and statesman throughout the four years. He enlisted in Company G of the First Regiment of Mounted Cherokee Volunteers under Capt. James L. Butler; Col. Stand Watie being Colonel of the Regiment, he was elected First Lieutenant in this company and in 1863 was elected Captain of Company C of the same regiment.
He was a member of the Senate of the Confederate Council from 1862 to 1865.
After the War, he settled on the Verdigris River about 3 miles east of the town of Oolagah, where he later built a palatial home and improved what was known far and wide as the best farm in the Cherokee Nation. About this time, he also embarked in the cattle business and became wealthy, He was elected as judge of Cooweescoowee District in 1877, serving his country in this capacity two years.
In August 1879, he was elected as Senator of the Cherokee Council, was re-elected in 1881, 1883, and again in 1889.  In 1898 and 1899 he served on the commission to provide for the relinquishment of the title to their lands by the Cherokee people paving the way to individual allotment.
Grover Cleveland in June 1893 appointed Mr. Rogers a member of the commission to appraise the improvements of intruders in the Cherokee Nation. 
His first wife died on May 28, 1890, and on June 8, 1893, he was married to Miss Mary A. Bibles, daughter of the Hon. John Bibles; she died Jan. 17, 1900. 
In 1907, he was elected a delegate to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, where he served with distinction, he being the oldest member of that body. 
The present county of Rogers was named in his honor as a fitting tribute to a long and useful life spent in its boundaries. After the Constitutional Convention, Mr. Rogers' health failed rapidly and he gave up active interest in politics and business. He continued to make his home in this city until the day of his death, always spending Sunday with his daughters at Chelsea. He was on one of these visits when death called him.
Printed in CDP, ca. 29 October 1911. Scrapbook A-3, OkClaW.
- 1. Rogers was held over for an extra week at Hammerstein's Victoria and was booked to perform at the Fifth Avenue Theatre. At Hammerstein's, he would have been on the playbill with Irene Franklin, and at the Fifth Avenue Theatre with Ruth St. Denis and her company (clippings, scrapbook A-3, OkClaW; NYT 29 October 1911). Betty Blake Roger recalled that her son, nicknamed Bill, was just one week old when Uncle Clem, as many affectionately called him, died. She wrote: "I had just received a package from Uncle Clem - three pairs of little black wool stockings with pink and blue toes and heels, and a pair of tiiny beaded Indian moccasins - when the message arrived... Will was terribly hit hard by the news and left immediately for Oklahoma" (Rogers, Will Rogers, 120). Betty remained in New York to care for the baby.
- 2. Clement Vann Rogers, who lived in Claremore, regularly went to see his daughter's family in Chelsea on the weekends. He would take the train to Chelsea on Saturday, spend the night at Maud Lane's house, and then go to Sallie McSpadden's home for Sunday. Maud's daughter, Estelle, discovered her grandfather lying dead in bed on Sunday morning. His death was diagnosed as heart failure. The funeral on 31 October 1911 was held at Chelsea's Southern Methodist Church and was conducted by Rev. J.L. Gage. Rogers was buried in the cemetery at Chelsea. The bodies of his first wife, Mary America Scrimsher Rogers, his son Robert, who died as a teenager, and two infant children, Zoe and Homer, were moved from the Rogers ranch and buried next to his grave (clippings, scrapbook A-3, OkClaW; CR, 2 Nov. 1911; Keith, "Clem Rogers and his influence on Oklahoma History," 95; Yagoda, Will Rogers, 123).
- 3. Clement Vann Rogers and his first wife had eight children, counting Elizabeth, Zoe, and Homer, who died in infancy. Three of the eight were still living at the time of his death (see Will Rogers' Family tree, PWR, 1:474). His second marriage, to Mary Bibles, was childless.
- 4. Rogers served as a senator in the Cherokee Nation for five terms beginning in 1879, 1881, 1883, 1899, and 1903 (see PWR, 1:540-41).
- 5. Principal Chief C.J. Harris appointed Rogers; the other two members were appointed by President Grover Cleveland.
- 6. Rogers and Mary Bibles were married on 15 January 1893. She died at the age of 34 and was buried in Claremore (PWR, 1:548-50, biographical appendix entry for Mary Bibles Rogers).
- 7. Rogers was elected in 1906 to the Constitutional Convention.