Memorable Manitobans: Robert Rogers (1864-1936)
Merchant, MLA (1900-1903), MLA (1903-1907), MLA (1908-1910), MLA (1911-1914), MP (1911-1917), MP (1926), MP (1930-1935).
Not to be confused with businessman Robert A. Rogers, with whom he was contemporaneous.
Born at Lachute, Quebec on 2 March 1864, son of Lt.-Colonel George Rogers and Dora Moore, brother of William Rogers, he was educated at Berthier, Lachute and Montreal. He came to Manitoba in 1881 and engaged in mercantile business at Clearwater and Rat Portage (now Kenora, Ontario).
He unsuccessfully contested Mountain for the Manitoba Legislature in 1886 and 1892, and unsuccessfully contested Lisgar in the 1896 federal general election. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in 1899. He was made a member of the Executive Council, without portfolio, on 29 October 1900. He became Minister of Public Works on 20 December 1900, re-elected by acclamation, again returned at the general elections of 1903, 1907, and 1910. He resigned in 1911 and entered federal politics as a member of the cabinet of Sir Robert Borden (Minister of the Interior), elected in an October 1911 by-election; he was Minister of Public Works from 1912 to 1918. Defeated in the 1921 federal election, he contested South Winnipeg in the 1925 federal election in which he was elected over Tobias Crawford Norris. He was defeated in the 1926 election and was re-elected in the 1930 election.
In 1885, Rogers married Aurelia Regina Widmeyer, with whom he had one son, Robert George Rogers. He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Carleton Club, St. Charles Country Club, Lakewood Country Club, Masons, and Albany Club (Toronto).
He died at Guelph, Ontario on 21 July 1936 and was buried in St. John’s Cemetery.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
The Leading Financial, Business & Professional Men of Winnipeg, published by Edwin McCormick, Photographs by T. J. Leatherdale, Compiled and printed by Stone Limited, c1913. [copy available at the Archives of Manitoba]
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Hon. Robert Rogers, veteran politician, dies at age of 72,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 July 1936, page 1.
“Hon. Robert Rogers will be buried here on Thursday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 July 1936, page 3.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 February 2022