Gila Valley History: Charles Roseberry Rogers

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

Graham County’s first native-born attorney

By Edres Bryant Barney

PIMA – Charles Roseberry Rogers, born Dec. 2, 1888, in Pima, Arizona, was the third child and second son of Louisa Christina Roseberry and Joseph Knight Rogers.  When his father died in an accident, his mother had all 10 children at home.  Within a year, his older siblings, Charlotte and Joseph were married, leaving Charles as the oldest child at home.

They lived at the “Rogers’ Reservoir” two miles southwest of Pima on a half-made farm with two small mules to do all the farm work.  For six years, Charles did every conceivable kind of hard work – digging stumps, digging ditches, gathering wood, leveling land, working in the mines and in the mountains logging. 

Gladys Haws became his bride on Oct. 1, 1915, in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

After he was 30 years of age, he held the following positions:  six years as a janitor, three years as a school teacher, two years as a constable, and two years as Pima City Marshall, four years as Justice of the Peace, 12 years as Graham County Attorney, four years as Assistant Attorney General of Arizona, 25 years as Town Clerk of Pima.  These duties, along with practicing law for 40 years kept him busy. 

Charles holds the distinction of being the first native-born Graham County citizen to become an attorney and the first native of Graham County to become a County Attorney, having the position for a record number of years.

Charles and Gladys spent the year 1965 on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at The Hill Cummorah Mission in New York, and in 1967 were called as workers in The Mesa Arizona Temple.   They were the parents of four daughters and one son.

This and other individual and family histories may be found at the Eastern Arizona Museum in Pima Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.