Robert Naylor Rogers, banker, son of Captain Robert Naylor Rogers, senior, and Elizabeth, nee Coleman, was born at Bandon, County of Cork, Ireland, May 16, 1832. He comes from an old military family, related to Sir Walter Raleigh, who lived in the days of “Queen Bess.” Members of the family built portions of Fort Gibraltar, and one of the streets there, called “Rogers’ Ramp,” was named from this family. A great uncle on the grandmother’s side, Major Wilkes, invented red hot shot, at Gibraltar, where it was first used when the fortress was besieged.
Captain Rogers was Lieutenant 2nd battalion 30th Regiment foot, at the battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815, and our subject has the silver medal struck for his father, who was one of the survivors of that memorable battle. Captain Dennis, who was wounded at the battle of Queenston Heights, October 13, 1813, was a first cousin of Captain Rogers. The latter went into the military service when only fourteen years of age, and was not quite seventeen when the battle of Waterloo occurred. In 1851 he brought his family to Canada, being still in the service, and was stationed awhile at Fort Malden, on the Detroit River, where he was drowned in 1854. His body was never found.
Our subject was educated partly in England and partly in Ireland, finishing at Eaton College, Galway, in his native country; became a clerk in a bank at Toronto in 1852; was in a similar institution at Hamilton from 1854 to 1858: then managed a bank at Berlin for fourteen years, and since November, 1876, has had the management of the Chatham branch of the Merchants’ Bank of Canada the oldest chartered bank in Chatham is manager of the Federal Bank of Canada, same place in all twenty-two years a manager of such institutions. Few men in the province have held such a position longer than Mr. Rogers, and still fewer, probably, have shown more prudence and better business capacities. In his management he has shown a friendly spirit towards the people, and a disposition to foster local industries, and has thus made the bank very popular.
Mr. Rogers is a Freemason, and was Treasurer of the Lodge at Berlin during all the time he was there, and has been Treasurer of the lodge at Chatham from the date of his settling here. His religious connection is with Christ (Episcopal) Church, and his life is consistent with his Christian profession.
July 11, 1855, Miss Amelia Cook, daughter of Hiram Cook, many years a lumber merchant at Garden Island, near Kingston, became the wife of Mr. Rogers, and they have four children; Hiram William Naylor, Edward O., Anna Maria, and Robert Harrington. The eldest son, first named, is teller in the Merchants’ Bank, Chatham; the others are single, and securing their education.