Benjamin Rogers, farmer and lumberman, section 5, Big Prairie Township (13, 11), was born in Anson, Maine, May 11, 1820. His parents, Robert and Betsey (Hodges) Rogers, were both natives of Maine, of English origin. The former was born about 1785 and died in 1861; the latter was born in 1788 and died in 1823.
The death of the mother broke up the household, and Mr. Rogers, then three years old, was taken in charge by his sister Betsy, the wife of George W. Gordon, a lumberman, with whom he resided until 1837. Mr. Gordon came to Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1834. In 1848, Mr. Rogers embarked in the lumber business at Grand Rapids, in which he has since been engaged. He came to Newaygo County March 20, 1853, and bought 80 acres of land in Big Prairie Township. He pursued lumbering ten years before he erected his dwelling and became a permanent resident on his real estate, where he has since made good improvements.
Mr. Rogers was married at Grand Rapids, in 1837, to Betsey Maria Reynolds. One child, Robert, was born to them April 7, 1850, on the Grand River about two miles above Fruitport. He is now living in Big Prairie (see sketch). The mother fell into ill health, and Mr. Rogers went to Stevens Point, Wis., with the hope and belief that his wife would be restored; but she died after five months. The expenses of removal, sickness and death exhausted the means of the husband, and he remained in Wisconsin until he had earned sufficient to discharge his indebtedness and bring her remains back with him, which he did in about two years, and buried her near Grand Rapids. He placed his child in the care of his maternal grandmother.
Mary Jane (Miller) Rogers, his present wife, was born in Grass Lake, Jackson Co., Mich., Aug. 10, 1835. She is a daughter of John and Minerva (Parsons) Miller, the former born of Irish parents in Vermont, the latter of English extraction, born in New York. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers were married July 16, 1854, and are the parents of five children: Betsey M., Benjamin F., John A., Steven A. and Walter.
Mr. Rogers is a subscriber to the tenets of the Democratic party.