June 2, 1786 - February 24, 1871

 
 

Dr. David Rogers was a land speculator, herb doctor, and philanthropist. His reputation was of a generous healer.

He came to LaGrange County from Wayne County, New York in 1833, just after land opened up for sale. He deliberately chose various part-sections throughout the great hawpatch. His land purchases added up to 1500 acres. Settlers were arriving so fast, Dr. Rogers sold most of his land in 2 years. Sometimes he would even buy back and resell land after the residents decided to move further west.

Local folklore mentions Dr. Rogers traveling with his ox team and harvesting wild herbs. The herbs were then dried, packed in barrels and shipped back to doctors in the east who used them for medicines. For his own medical work, his reputation was for generosity. Rogers would not charge for medical care to those who might not be able to afford it.

Residents of LaGrange County were served for many years by the eccentric doctor who lived alone and traveled often. Upon Dr. Rogers' death in 1871, his estate was bequethed to the commissioners of LaGrange County to build an orphanage. He asserted that his estate be used to provide a home for the "orphaned, poor and other indigent children." Though his will was contested by a nephew, the will stood and the orphanage, the large brick house to the north of the park, was built.

The Rogers Children's Home no longer cares for youth. However, the Rogers Children's Fund still serves area youth over 140 years after Dr. Rogers’ death. David Rogers Memorial Park is part of the original Rogers land purchase and became the first LaGrange County Park. The inscription on his monument, at the high point of the park, reads "He was the friend of the invalid, gave medicine without money and without price." Here we honor Dr. Rogers’ caring and pioneering spirit.

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