ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Will Rogers--Indian, Cowboy and Legendary Entertainer.

Updated on April 7, 2018
dahoglund profile image

Don has worked in newspaper writing, business writing, and technical writing.

Will Rogers with Horseshoes

Source

Birthplace

Source

The Cherokee Cowboy

Rogers was born November 1879 as William Penn Adair Rogers, the son or a prominent Indian Territory family, in what is now Oklahoma. He reminds me much of Mark Twain as a humorist, writer, performer and social commentator, without Twain’s hard edge.

I think I’ve heard quips of Rogers all my life but I think my first introduction to Rogers was the movie The Story of WillRogers in which his son Will Rogers, Jr. played his father. I find that when I go by memory of a movie that I haven’t seen for a long time I don’t always remember right. However, I recall two things from the movie, which I saw when I was in the equivalent to junior high school. The first was that Rogers was given the honor at a political convention of a favorite son nomination. I was impressed at the time because I thought it was a bigger deal than it was, since favorite son is sort of like an honorary degree. The other thing I recall is that Will Rogers got on a train and met Gene Autry, who was a telegraph operator at the time. Autry wrote about it.

His parents were Clement Vann Rogers (1839-1911) and Mary America Schrimsher (1838-1890). Mary was quarter Cherokee Indian. According to Wikipedia Will was 9/32’s Cherokee. His mother belonged to the Paint Clan.

Youngest of eight children he was named for the Cherokee leader Col. William Penn Adair. His father Clement V. Rogers was a Cherokee leader: a judge, Confederate veteran and a delegate to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention. He also served several terms on the Cherokee senate.

Unable to live up to his father’s expectations a rife developed between the two until Will became a success in vaudeville. He was a good student and read the New York Times but left school after the tenth grade. He preferred cowboys, horses, and learned to rope and ride.

For a few years he worked the Dog Iron ranch. In 1901 he left with a friend hopping to work as gauchos in Argentina. After a few months trying to succeed as ranch owners in the Argentina pampas they lost their money and he was too embarrassed to write home for more. Rogers went alone to South Africa and got work at Piccione’s Ranch in Mooi river station.

Wild West Show

Texas Jack had a small Wild West show that did a big business in camps. “I did some roping and riding.” He said and Jack took an interest in him. Rogers learned from Jack and moved on to Australia. He got a letter of introduction to the Wirth Brothers Circus. Later he brought his act to the vaudeville stage.

Vaudeville

At Madison Square Garden a runaway steer began to climb into the viewing stand. Will roped the steer, the crowd was delighted and Will made front-page news

In 1908 he married Betty Blake and they had four children His son Bill played him in the film, was a WWII hero and a member of congress.

Rogers went on to write a newspaper column, play in movies, went on “lecture tours” a la Mark twain. He also became a star on radio using the material from his newspaper columns.

A staunch Democrat, he did support Republican Calvin Coolidge. FDR was his favorite. Briefly he served as mayor of Beverly Hills.

In 1928 he did a mock presidential campaign called the “Anti-bunk Party.”

He liked liberal philosophies on most issues and extolled hard work and long hours of toil in order to succeed. He symbolized the self-made man, the common man who believed in America, in progress and the American dream of upward mobility. Seems like contradictions by today’s standards.

His Lagacy

His use of language was legendary, as he used up-to-date slang and invented new words. He also used puns and cowboy terms and southern speech patterns. He seems like the ancestor of the modern cowboy poets.

Rogers was avid about air travel and like other performers was destined to die in an air crash. August 15, 1935 Rogers and his pilot Wiley Post died in an air crash after take off from a lagoon near Point Barrow, Alaska.

Memorials abound in Oklahoma for their favorite son. Many places and buildings are named for him. California and Texas have memorials as well.

© 2010 Don A. Hoglund

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Riyad 

      3 years ago

      Keith, The Next is Now video is something that we're rlealy proud of as well. For anyone who looks at the stats, they'll find that, not only did it garner many views and was much tweeted about, but it held viewers attention right through to the end. That's a well told story.And while it worked well online, I got an even bigger kick out of the fact that Kevin Newman, the Chair of the University of Waterloo's Canada 3 conference, showed the video during his opening for the conference. Having someone like that use your material for a purpose beyond which it was created suggests that you truly hit on something genuine and worthwhile.Thanks again for letting Thornley Fallis be part of the Rogers team this year. You gave us a chance to stretch and do some of our best work. And that's a chance that we truly appreciate.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Storytellersrus, thanks for commenting. Yes, I think Will Rogers is one of america's great humorists.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I love Will Rogers- especially his humor. He always makes me laugh and makes me think!!! Great hub.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I appreciate the compliment.The way history was taught in my day was not very inspiring.As a result I did not study it much until later.When I do write on a historical subject I try to make it interesting.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As a history major, I admire what you did with the sketch of Will rogers.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thank you for reading it and leaving a comment.Will Rogers legacy still offers us words of wisdom.

    • profile image

      Susieq42 

      6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about Will Rogers; he's an interesting character and wasn't afraid to try new things. In other words, he knew what he was interested in and did it. We should all do this! Thank you, very informative, nice story format.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Gnelson

      Yes, Will Rogers had ironic and common sense observations about the world around us, and it doesn't seem to change that much.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      ahorseback

      I seem to be confused by hubpages new methods, I don't know how I missed answering you and I apologize.I did do a short ebook and it is free to download This link should get you there.http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/77624

    • GNelson profile image

      GNelson 

      7 years ago from Florida

      I have a Will Rogers book of quotes on my desk. He is one of the best. His quotes still makes sense today.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 

      7 years ago

      I have not , I've only thought of doing that! Good luck you definately have a knack for good writing , good luck and keep us posted. I'd love a book! By the way ,thats a great picture.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I discovered my laptop has a built in camera so I thought I would try it out.I am planning some ebooks and needed a picture for the publisher.I hope it is good enough.You might try your poems in an ebook,or have you already?

      I don't recall a quote about hats from Will, but I am sure he must have had one.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 

      7 years ago

      Dahoglund , I love Wills quotes and country logic. Great piece of writing! Hey whats with the new picture here Mr.D . I like the tilt of that hat , didn't Will say some things about a mans hat !

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      That is very complimentary. Thank you. I have always like Will Rogers.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Will Rogers was "America's Son". You have captured the very heart of this man in your excellent hub. I truly enjoyed every word. Thank you. Rated up. vocalcoach

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      T^heanks for commenting. I think he is among the great talents.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 

      7 years ago

      I too loved his wit because out of it came simple truth and common sense. thanks

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 

      7 years ago

      I never miss the chance in columns to read his wit , great read. Gets my vote.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks. I'm still in the learning proscess.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Not a problem link to whatever you want to. Once again I enjoyed reading your article on Will Rogers :)

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Coolmman2009

      Thanks for commenting. I learned a few things myself in researching it.

      I'm starting to put links in my hubs. Since you asked my permission to link to one of my hubs do you mind if I link to some of your hubs?

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      I have read about Will Rogers in the past, but I learned a few things from your article I didn't know. I enjoyed reading your article.

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Bill,

      Thanks for the comment. Feedback like this is useful so that I know I am on the right track.

    • profile image

      Kinghorn 

      8 years ago

      Your very compact and informative writing is pleasant and the brevity doesn't result in a dogmatic tone.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)