Department of New York

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The
Grand Army
of the Republic

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William Finlay Rogers
Commander
Department of New York
1878


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William Finlay Rogers of Buffalo, was born
March 1, 1820 in Forks Township, near Easton,
Pa. His father, General Thomas J. Rogers, soon
afterward moved to Philadelphia and died there
when his son was only 12 years of age. The lad
had attended school 5 years. He then returned to
Easton to become a printer and, at the age of 20,
established a weekly at Honesdale, Pa. In 1836
he came to Buffalo, was foreman of the Courier
composing room and established the Buffalo
Republic, a daily, later known as the
Times-Republic.

When the Civil War broke out he was Captain of

Company C, 74th Regiment. At the first call for
troops the 21st New York Volunteers was
organized at Elmira. He accepted the command
of this regiment, served as Colonel through the
Virginia and Maryland campaigns and when
mustered out was brevetted Brigadier General
for faithful service in the field.

Afterwards he was Commissioner of Enrollment and later Provost Marshall of the 30th District
of New York. He also served for many years as Major General of the 80th Division of the
National Guard of the State. In the Grand Army of the Republic he was Commander of
Bidwell-Wilkeson Post No. 9 and Chapin Post No. 2 and New York Department Commander. He was also Post President of the New York Military Association. In 1887 he was appointed
Superintendent of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Bath and held the office for 10 years.

General Rogers's pubic life in Buffalo led him into prominence. He was auditor of the city in

1864, comptroller in 1866 and Mayor in 1868. To him is accredited the initial movement from
which has developed the magnificient park system of the city. He also aided much in the
establishment of the Buffalo State Hospital. He was elected to the 48th Congress as a Democrat
and won distinction in the House. He died in Buffalo, December 16, 1899, honored and
respected for his soldierly qualities, for his unquestioned integrity, for his charitable impulses and
for all those sterling attributes which mark the successful man and patriotic citizen.

General Rogers was twice married. His first wife, Caroline M. Waldron, of Honesdale, Pa., died

a short time after their marriage leaving a son, Franklin Rogers, of Washington, D.C. His second
wife, Phobe Demoney, of Buffalo, died in 1890, leaving three children, Thomas J. Rogers, Mrs.
William C. Brown and Mrs. Charles N. Armstrong, all of Buffalo.

Source: 1900 Journal of the NY Dept. GAR

 

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