Sunday, October 16, 2016

Disney Rogers (1844-1917)

Portrait courtesy of Find-A-Grave.

   Hailing from a state that has yielded many an oddly named public official, Judge Disney Rogers' unusual first name will most likely conjure up images of Mickey Mouse and other Disney World related subjects. Despite having no connection to the more famous "Uncle Walt" and the many characters he created, Disney Rogers was a figure of distinction in the Mahoning County area for over forty years, serving two terms as Prosecuting Attorney and also as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
   Born on December 19, 1844 in Columbiana County, Ohio, Disney Rogers was one of eleven children born to James and Elizabeth (Jamieson) Rogers. While Disney is most certainly a peculiar name to give a child, James and Elizabeth also bestowed unusual names on several more of their children, these being Arminda, Volney, Diogenes, Lycurgus, Moronha and Zagonyi Lyon!  
  Disney Rogers attended the public schools of Middleton and New Lisbon, Ohio and decided upon a career in law at a young age. He began reading law at New Lisbon in the mid-1860s and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1866. Soon after he relocated to Mt. Gilead in Morrow County to establish his practice and from 1866-74 was a member of the law firm of Andrews and Rogers. Disney Rogers married in Mt. Gilead in February 1869 to Ida Andrews (1852-1937), the daughter of his law partner. The couple were wed for nearly fifty years and later had one son, James Bertrand (1870-1937).
   During his residency in Mt. Gilead Disney Rogers entered political life for the first time, serving as president of the Mt. Gilead town council and later as a district court commissioner. In 1874 he relocated to Mahoning County and after settling in Youngstown joined his brother Volney (1846-1919) in the law firm of Rogers and Rogers, which would continue operation until 1901.  
   Several years following his relocation to Youngstown Disney Rogers made his first foray into the political life of Mahoning County, being named as chairman of that county's Republican central committee in 1880. In 1884 Rogers would win election as Prosecuting Attorney of Mahoning County, serving two terms in that office from 1885-1891. In September 1899 Rogers was appointed as Judge of the Common Pleas Court of Mahoning County following the resignation of Judge James P. Kennedy. Rogers was elected to a term of his own on the bench in 1901 and in 1906 won another five-year term.
   In addition to his judicial service, Disney Rogers was a longstanding member of the Trumbull Baptist Association, serving as its moderator for over twenty years.  After many years of public service, Disney Rogers died in Youngstown on April 13, 1917 at age 72. He was survived by his wife Ida and son John, both of whom were interred alongside him at the Tod Homestead Cemetery in Youngstown.

From the Alliance Review and Leader, April 16, 1917.

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