William Findlay Rogers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 32nd district
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1885
Preceded byJonathan Scoville
Succeeded byJohn M. Farquhar
29th Mayor of Buffalo, New York
In office
Preceded byChandler J. Wells
Succeeded byAlexander Brush
Personal details
BornMarch 1, 1820
Forks Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 16, 1899(1899-12-16) (aged 79)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Caroline Waldron
(died 1847)
Phoebe Demony
(m. 1849; died 1890)
ParentThomas Jones Rogers
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnion Army
Years of service1861-1863
Rank Colonel
Bvt. Brigadier General Major General
Commands21st New York Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

William Findlay Rogers (March 1, 1820 – December 16, 1899) was an American politician who served one term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York from 1883 to 1885.[1]

Rogers is probably best remembered today as the mayor and parks commissioner who hired Frederick Law Olmsted to design Buffalo's park system and its showpiece, Delaware Park. Rogers also supported the foundation of the Buffalo Zoo.

Early life

William Findlay Rogers was born in Forks Township, Pennsylvania, near the borough of Easton, Pennsylvania, on March 1, 1820. He was the son of Irish-born U.S. Representative Thomas Jones Rogers and Mary (née Winters) Rogers, daughter of Christian Winters.[2]

He moved with his parents to Philadelphia, where he attended the common schools. Rogers returned to Easton and entered a printing office in 1832.[3] Two years later, he returned to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and continued working in his trade.[2]


In 1840, Rogers established a paper in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. In 1846, he moved to Buffalo, New York and became a foreman in the office of the Buffalo Daily Courier. Rogers established and managed the Buffalo Republic in 1850.[2]

Rogers served as a member of Company D of the Buffalo City Guard in 1846 and served in the American Civil War as colonel of the 21st New York Volunteer Infantry.[4] He mustered out in 1863.[5]

Political career

In 1867, he became the comptroller of the city of Buffalo and its mayor in 1869. He served as secretary and treasurer of the Buffalo Park Commissioners in 1871. He was nominated for the New York State Senate in 1878 but declined.[5]


Rogers was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth Congress. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1884.[5] He served as the superintendent of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Bath, New York, from 1887 to 1897.[2]

Personal life

Rogers was twice married and the father of four children. He was first married to Caroline M. Waldron (1821–1847), and they were the parents of one son:[2]

After her death, he married Phoebe Demony (1830–1890) in 1849.[2] They were the parents of:

He died in Buffalo on December 16, 1899, and is interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery.[6]


  1. ^ Rizzo, Michael (2005). Through The Mayors' Eyes. Lulu. p. 424. ISBN 978-1-4116-3757-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hakes, Harlo; Aldrich, Lewis Cass (1896). Landmarks of Steuben County, New York. D. Mason. p. 1. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  3. ^ Soderlund, Jean R.; Parzynski, Catherine S. (2008). Backcountry Crucibles: The Lehigh Valley from Settlement to Steel. Associated University Presse. p. 246. ISBN 9780934223805. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  4. ^ Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York. New York (State) Legislature Assembly. 1912. p. 1971. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "ROGERS, William Findlay - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  6. ^ Roll of Honor, The Buffalo Commercial, (Buffalo, New York) May 31, 1900, page 8, accessed May 19, 2017 at https://www.newspapers.com/clip/11102133/roll_of_honot_the_buffalo_commercial/


Political offices Preceded byChandler J. Wells Mayor of Buffalo, NY 1868–1869 Succeeded byAlexander Brush U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byJonathan Scoville Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 32nd congressional district 1883–1885 Succeeded byJohn M. Farquhar