JANUARY 11, 1839

SCHEROKEE JUDGE/STATESMAN CLEMENT V. “UNCLE CLEM” ROGERS BORN

Born in Westville, Goingsnake District, Cherokee Territory, Rogers’ parents, both of mixed blood, moved there from Georgia in 1832, before the Trail of Tears.  Leaving schooling, Clem became a ranch hand and, in 1856, set up a ranch and trading post near Oologah.  During the Civil War, like most Cherokee of mixed blood, Clem favored the Confederacy and joined with Stand Waite as a Captain, First Mounted Cherokee Volunteers.  He also was a member of the Cherokee Senate, 1862-63.  After being elected a judge in 1877, he was elected as Senator 5 times (1879, 1881, 1883, 1899, and 1903).  He also served as President of the Vinita Fair Board (1890), Cherokee Livestock Association (1891), and Claremore School Board (1899), and was Vice President, First National Bank of Claremore (1894-1911).  “Rogers County” was named for him.  In 1906, he was a Cherokee delegate to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention.  His son was famed comic, Will Rogers.  Clem died October 28, 1911, in Chelsea, Oklahoma.   

Source:  Paula McSpadden Love, "Clement Vann Rogers 1839-1911," in THE CHRONICLES OF OKLAHOMA, Vol. XLVIII (1970), pp. 389–399.
Photo:  Author unknown, 1906.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.  The photograph was taken in connection with the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention.  The only source for this photo is listed as supremecourt.gov as part of an amicus curiae brief presented before the U.S. Supreme Court in Jimcy v. Oklahoma, No. 18-9526 (2020). 

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