Grandpa Rogers related this information to me in or around 1979.-Don Beck


The first Rogers that he was aware of was Johnny Rogers who came to Tennessee from North Carolina.  He did not know the dates and said that he had been told that by other relatives.  Johnny Rogers had either a son or grandson named Wilburn Rogers.  Grandpa said that Wilburn Rogers was his great grandfather.  He had three wives.  By one of these wives he had a son named Tom Rogers born in 1855.  He had brothers named Wiley, Bobby, B. Rogers and a sister named Betty.


Tom married Maggie Alford.  She had a sister named Margaret and a brother, Johnny, who died in the Civil War.  Tom and Maggie were the parents of Edward, Wiley, James Polk, Laughton, Florence and Wilburn Rogers.  Wilburn was born in 1875.  Grandpa remembered his grandfather, Tom, as having a long, white beard.  He said that some of his kin have a picture of Tom.  Tom died of cancer.





Wilburn Rogers was a farmer and a blacksmith.  His first marriage ended when his wife died during childbirth along with the baby.  He married Ovie Simmons who was grandfather's mother.  She died in the great flu epidemic of 1918.  Grandpa was born in 1907 at Bradyville.  His first schooling was at a place called Rocky Point and was in session only 3 months a year.  He later went to Curlee and Readyville to school.  His mother died in 1918 and he quit school after the 9th grade and began farming.  In 1925 he started doing a little carpenter work for his wife's-to-be uncle.  He married June 1, 1926.  From then until 1930 he worked as a handyman around Bradyville and earned about a dollar a day. In 1930 with the depression, he moved back to the old hill and farmed.  In 1933 he got a job with the WPA working for $2.40 a day.


In the next year they had him building toilets (outhouses) for them (WPA).  He was made foreman and earned $4 a day.  He bought his first car that year -- a 1922 Model T.  He stopped building in 1935 and worked in a rock quarry for a while.  In November 1935 he got a job working on the Woodbury Courthouse.  The next year with the courthouse finished, he went to driving a school bus, which he did for about 5 years along with farming.  In 1940 he began doing carpentry work again along with his farming.  In 1944 he had his last grain crop.  He drove the Kittrell school bus about six months and, beginning in 1945, started building houses with his brothers.  In 1947 he began contracting on his own.  He did this until he retired around 1969. 



Added by Don---

CD Rogers and crew built many houses around the Readyville-Woodbury area.  He built his family a new house in the late 1950s, moving them from “the hill” down into Readyville.  This modern three-bedroom house with indoor bathroom was quite a change for the whole family, but a welcome one.  He had planned to have a garage attached to the house, but before construction was over, he had converted it to a den/bedroom for the family.  This was the boys’ room as well as the den. The girls took the two bedrooms on the other end of the house and CD and Lois had the room off the kitchen.  Several of his sons were employed by him in his construction business.  Fifty years later the house still stands, though it has undergone remodeling by subsequent owners.




After his retirement, CD took up a hobby of ‘flea marketing.”  He would attend auctions and sales to pick up antiques, toolsand other items to take to weekly flea markets.  He set up almost every week in good weather at nearby Murfreesboro’s Mercury Plaza.  He became well-known for his good quality “antiquey” items and he had many steady customers looking for him every week to see his wares.  One episode of interest occurred when he was arrested by local officials because he had not paid some city business tax.  See the newspaper articles for details.  When grandson, Ken Beck, moved to the central Tennessee area, he bought an old pickup truck and joined his grandpa at the flea market each chance he could.  Grandsons Don and Terry, visiting from Arkansas from time to time, would also enjoy helping him load and unload and observe him at the trade.  When customers wanted something in particular, they would tell CD and he would make a note of it.  More times than not, he would find the item at a sale or auction to the satisfaction of his customers.  He knew all about old tools used in farming, agriculture and construction and, if someone had such an item that they couldn’t figure out, he could usually identify it.


One pleasant memory I have is the time Terry and I were looking through some old items he had recently obtained on a trip to Kentucky where he bought out an estate.  One of these was a chest of drawers.  The top drawer had some old papers in it, among which was an envelope.  I opened the envelope and there was $55 in it.  We gave it to Grandpa and he seemed mighty pleased.  He handed me the five dollar bill, then gave Terry a dollar or two.  We were also pleased.


CD’s mail box had a signed attached - “Junk Dealer.”  He enjoyed this activity until he fell ill and died shortly afterward on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1981 at age 73, a few days short of his 74th birthday.  He was buried in Thyatira Cemetery in Bradyville.