ROGERS, Herbert Augustine

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Herbert A Rogers


ROGERS, Herbert Augustine (1858-1918), younger brother of Eugene Frederick Rogers, was born in Vermont, and came to California in 1874 at the age of sixteen with his mother and brother. His father and older brother had come to California the year before. Herbert joined his older brother, Eugene, in the local sealing and Chinese fishing industries.

Herbert married Sylvia Barber and they had two children:

  • Ona Sylvia Rogers (1886-1959) = Edward D. Jones (1885-1954)
  • Roscoe B. Rogers (1890-1957) = Irene Nagel (1895-1977)

Herbert Augustine Rogers is buried in the Barber mausoleum of the Santa Barbara Cemetery.


E. Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara

'H. A. Rogers Commission Merchant, Dried fruits, beans, honey etc.' was painted on the side of his brick building on East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara.



In the News~

November 17, 1879 [SBDP]: “On Friday night last, the schooner Surprise was becalmed above Lighthouse Point, and Mr. Herbert Rogers, who was anxious to get home started to go ashore in a small boat, accompanied by two men. When near the shore a breaker upset the boat and threw the three men out into the water. The two men being unable to swim clung to the boat, but Mr. Rogers struck out for shore, which he reached just above the lighthouse. He started on foot for home and had a cold and disagreeable walk, but on Saturday said he felt none the worse for the ducking. The boat with the two men came ashore all right and the salt bath did none of them any harm.”


March 20, 1880 [SDU]: “The schooner Star of Freedom weighed anchor and gracefully sailed away for the island of Anacapa on Sunday afternoon from San Diego, having on board Mr. Rogers and a party of Californians who are employed to capture alive twenty sea lions. This is accomplished by means of the lasso, but not without much ingenuity and considerable danger, as the lions when their way of escape is cut off, fight viciously, and woe to him who comes within reach of their huge tusks.”


March 23, 1880 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom arrived last night from the island of Anacapa with the sea lion hunters, but minus the game. Mr. Herbert Rogers, who with a party of Californians undertook their capture for Captain Webber of San Francisco, reports that nine or ten larger ones were taken alive, but owing to the fact that there was no place to keep them on the island out of the hot sun, the schooner having left the island as soon as the party had landed, and also for the reason that this being their breeding season, they were very ugly and many are supposed to have been severely handled in their capture, they only survived a day after being taken… ”


September 22, 1884 [SBDI]: “We learn that H. A. Rogers is to fit out the schooner Emma for an otter hunt receiving two otter boats on the Santa Rosa last evening for such purposes.”


September 24, 1884 [SBDI]: “H. A. Rogers has about completed the fitting out of the schooner Emma, which will leave tomorrow for a cruise of three months on an otter hunt. Her destination will be along the northern coast.”


October 17, 1884 [SBDI]: “Herbert Rogers is fitting out the Ocean King today with provisions for his men who are engaged on the different islands in the channel in capturing seals.”


December 15, 1884 [SBDP]: “The Ocean King arrived in port Saturday forenoon from Santa Cruz Island, with shells and skins for H. A. Rogers, gathered by the Field brothers.”


January 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “The schooner Angel Dolly went to San Miguel Island yesterday, taking over Mr. H. Rogers. On the return of the other hunting party from the island, it is said the schooner will sail for Lower California where her crew will engage in the same business.”


January 26, 1885 [SBDI]: “Harry Maguire in company with H. Rogers are taking in the different islands situated in the channel.”


February 7, 1887 [SBDP]: “George L. Massey, an aged deaf and dumb man stopping at the Morris House, while walking on the beach yesterday afternoon, a short distance above Castle Point, discovered the dead body of a man, face downward and entangled in a quantity of seaweed. The proper authorities were immediately notified and the body removed to the morgue. At an inquest held this afternoon by Coroner Ruiz, the remains were identified as those of sailor ‘Jack’ Murphy, who has been missing since, two weeks ago, he went in the evening in a small boat to place a signal light on the schooner Angel Dolly, on which he was employed. It will be remembered that his boat was afterwards found floating in the kelp in the channel, all the circumstances pointing to his death. At the inquest this morning, Mose Ralles, sworn, said:

‘I live in Santa Barbara, my occupation is a fisherman. I knew the deceased. I saw him before he started out for the schooner. Of late he was of intemperate habits. I think deceased was about 46 years of age. He was a sickly man, and think he had consumption. Mr. H. A. Rogers said deceased had been in his employ about one month. The day the schooner left Murphy was intoxicated. Saw deceased last about two weeks ago. Captain F. W. Thompson said he knew deceased by name of Welch. Thinks deceased went out to fasten the boat to the bowsprit and fell overboard. Ramon Mosi, a sailor, said he saw deceased two weeks ago. Deceased said, ‘I am going down to light the lamps.’ The Coroner’s jury returned the verdict: ‘Deceased came to his death from accidental drowning.’”


1888. The New Directory of the City of Santa Barbara lists H. A. Rogers' residence on De La Viña Street between Canon Perdido and Carrillo streets.


March 23, 1888 [SBDI]: “The sloop Brisk arrived this morning from Anacapa Island with a load of shells for H. A. Rogers.”


October 3, 1888 [SBMP]: “A party of otter hunters left on the sloop Brisk yesterday morning for San Miguel Island. The party was fitted out by H. A. Rogers.”


June 13, 1889 [SBDP]: “The schooner Ethel arrived this morning with 21 fine otter skins for H. A. Rogers.”


July 9, 1891 [SBMP]: “The Santa Barbara sailed for San Miguel Island with Captain Ellis and Herbert Rogers.”


November 25, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “E. W. Gaty has purchased of H. Rogers the house and lot he has so long occupied at 1306 Garden Street, known as the McPhail property…”


December 12, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Mr. And Mrs. Frank Conant gave a euchre party… H. A. Rogers and Mrs. Muzall won the first prize…”


December 31, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “The yacht Santa Barbara has returned from San Diego. Herbert Rogers and Frank Thompson were with her on the trip.”


February 28, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Ruby was sent out yesterday by H. A. Rogers with eight otter hunters for a cruise of eight months around the islands.”


October 6, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “E. F. Rogers of the firm Rogers Brothers left yesterday afternoon for Chicago. He expects to be absent until the close of the World’s Fair.”


September 5, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “One of the numerous concessions the Midwinter Fair Association has been asked to grant is the right for a company of enterprising Santa Barbara businessmen, Mayor Gaty and Mr. Rogers being interested in the company, to erect a building on the fair ground to contain grottos, aquariums and rookeries, where seals, sea otters, sea lions and sea tigers will sport in their native element…”


November 11, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty expected to sail today for San Nicolas Island to get some spotted sea lions for the Midwinter Fair Exhibit. Five men constituted the crew, and Herbert Rogers was to be in charge.”


April 24, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Five large hair seals were brought over from the islands last night, and landed on the wharf in cages. They will be shipped to San Francisco. They were a treat to many tourists, who had never seen live wild seals before. Mr. Rogers of this place has a number of orders from the east for seals, which he will fill as rapidly as his men can catch the creatures.”


May 8, 1896 [LAT]: “Recently an order from New York for five seals was received by Mr. Rogers. The schooner Big Loafer went over to the islands yesterday and caught three, but owing to the rough weather, no more could be captured. The schooner left again for San Miguel Island this morning.”


June 9, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “H. A. Rogers of this city has received a number of seals from the Channel Islands for shipment to eastern markets.”


November 17, 1899 [SBDI]: “Herbert Rogers returned last night from a business trip to Los Angeles.”


February 9, 1900 [SBDI]: “Mr. H. A. Rogers left yesterday for the islands in search of seals. He will remain there several days.”


February 12, 1900 [SBDI]: “Mr. H. A. Rogers returned yesterday from a few days trip to the islands.”


February 13, 1900 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers arrived Sunday from the islands, bringing back two seals to be shipped east.


June 20, 1900 [SBDI]: “Five seals were brought in today from Santa Rosa Island for Herbert Rogers, which will be sent to eastern points. One of the seals had the misfortune to die on the way over and will be boiled and the oil extracted.”


July 14, 1900 [SBDI]: “Mr. H. A. Rogers has returned from a week’s trip to the islands.”


July 31, 1900 [SBDI]: “Six seals were brought from the islands today for H. A. Rogers.”


March 20, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain Colice Vasquez started for the islands yesterday after six seals for Mr. Rogers, who has eastern orders to fill.”


June 6, 1901 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers is shipping six seals from the islands to the Pan-American Exposition. Captain Vasquez brought them over in the Kingfisher.”


June 6, 1901 [SBDI]: “H. A. Rogers today shipped six live seals recently captured at Santa Cruz Island, to the Pan-American Exposition.”


June 10, 1901 [SBDI]: “Herbert A. Rogers is now negotiating with the directors of the Pan-American Exposition for space at the exposition for a small amphibia, to which he will take several seals from the Channel Islands and train them for exhibition. Mr. Rogers has had much experience in catching and training seals, having been in the business with E. F. Rogers for over 20 years. During the last year his men have captured 45 animals about the islands, which have been shipped to various cities of the east and abroad. New York, New Orleans, Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Hamburg, Germany, have seals from the channel waters. Mr. Rogers is now preparing an expedition that will go to the islands soon after 15 large seals for the exposition, if his request for space is granted. The art of capturing the queer amphibious animals is known only to a few. One must be unusually quick and must be very handy with the lasso. Ramon Vasquez, Colice Vasquez, José Espinosa, José Olivos and Hiram Pierce are all experts. It is dangerous as well as difficult work to get them, as they are very vicious and only haunt the roughest shores, where the deep caves are.”


July 6, 1901 [SBDI]: “The schooner American Eagle, Captain Dalley, came over from the island yesterday with four seals for H. C. Rogers. They were shipped this morning to a New York museum.”


August 20, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned yesterday from an extended northern trip. He visited San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Victoria, B. C. and Index, Washington at which latter place he spent three days with E. F. Rogers, formerly of this city.”


October 9, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Six young seals were brought over from the islands this morning, and will be shipped to Hamburg, Germany by H. A. Rogers of this city. They are about a year old, and will be packed in three crates for their long journey.”


May 17, 1902 [SBMP]: “The schooner Restless returned from the islands yesterday with 20 seals for H. A. Rogers.”


May 18, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Herbert Rogers, who has an order for 100 seals for museums and zoological gardens in the East and in Europe, has invented a new method of catching them that has proved very successful. Heretofore seals have been caught with the lasso, but Mr. Rogers now uses a strong net. As the result of his effort, the schooner Restless returned form the islands yesterday with twenty seals, and will immediately return for the remainder of sixty that have been captured.”


August 6, 1902 [SBMP]: “The Kingfisher, Captain Vasquez, has sailed for the islands to catch twelve seals for Herbert Rogers.”


August 12, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “The Kingfisher, Captain Vasquez, arrived from Santa Cruz Island today with a number of seals consigned to Herbert Rogers of this city.”


February 20, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez brought over from the islands yesterday six live seals that are to be shipped east by H. A. Rogers. Two of them are pups that are to go to Lonawanda, N. Y. to take a circus kindergarten course, and the others, full grown specimens, are for zoological gardens in New York City.”


April 4, 1903 [SBI]: “H. A. Rogers today shipped ten seals to St. Louis, where they will be kept for exhibition purposes at the coming exposition. The seals were brought to this city yesterday from Santa Cruz Island where they were captured in nets a few days ago. All are in good condition.”


May 13, 1903 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers received a cargo of seals from the islands yesterday for a shipment east.”


August 21, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Frances returned yesterday from Santa Cruz Island where it unloaded a party of seal hunters and their supplies. The party was headed by Herbert Rogers who has an order for 20 seals, which he expects to capture at Santa Cruz Island within a few days.”


August 24, 1904 [SBMP]: “The Potter [Hotel] boat Frances, in charge of Captain Hendricks, is expected in from the islands today with the Rogers' seal hunting party and their game. Mr. H. A. Rogers has an order for 20 live seals, and has been at the islands for several days with some experienced trappers to catch them. It is understood that the required number has been produced.”


September 4, 1904 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with seven live seals which will be shipped to New York in a few days. They will ultimately go to eastern parks and menageries.”


March 8, 1906 [SBMP]: “Herbert Rogers has secured four large sea lions that were captured off Santa Cruz Island by Captain Ira Eaton, and is preparing to ship them to eastern zoological gardens.”


August 9, 1906 [SBI]: “Ira Eaton returned from Santa Cruz Island in the launch Irene, this morning, with five seals captured for H. A. Rogers. Eaton says they were obliged to lasso the animals on the rocks, and that he had an exciting time in landing them.”


August 12, 1906 [LAT]: “The Irene, Captain Frank Nidever, reached port yesterday with five seals, four of them being intended for shipment to the East, by H. A. Rogers, and the other being purchased by the Potter for the hotel zoo.”


May 19, 1913 [SBDN]: “Captain Vasquez went to Santa Cruz Island in the new power boat, Otter, yesterday with an order for fifteen seals for Herbert Rogers.”


May 20, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez will leave today in his new power yacht Otter for Santa Cruz Island to establish the summer camp which he will maintain at Fry’s Harbor. The equipment has just been received. Sunday he brought over eight seals for H. A. Rogers.”


September 26, 1913 [SBMP]: “Julius Frankenburg, as director, and J. W. Brown cameraman, will go to Santa Cruz Island today to make an entire film for the Santa Barbara county World’s Fair exhibit. They will be accompanied by Herbert Rogers, as the representative of the supervisors. The party will probably return next Sunday evening. It is planned to take all that is of interest during this trip, including the seals. While a number of pictures have already been taken by the American Camera for the exhibit, Santa Cruz Island will probably be the first one completed.”


September 30, 1913 [SHR/75]: “After a few days of hard work, but with the satisfaction of having secured some unusual moving pictures, Julius Frankenberg and J. W. Brown, in company with Herbert A. Rogers, returned last evening from Santa Cruz Island. They took many pictures of the seals and their rookeries. They took unusual pictures at Painted Cave. In a small rowboat the cave was entered, and a panoramic view was taken from the outside and inside. A new was set at the mouth of the cave. When a revolver was fired into the cave, it brought forth seals which furnished the necessary material for illustrating how seals were captured.”


September 30, 1913 [SBDN]: “Splendid views of the beauties of Santa Cruz Island, the outside and interior of Painted Cave and a fine photograph showing how seals are captured, were taken at the island the past few days by Julius Frankenburg and crew from the Flying A Company. Herbert Rogers accompanied the party and led them to the seal rookeries where he caught the seal. Mr. Frankenburg said today he believed he had obtained some excellent pictures. They will be used in Santa Barbara’s moving picture display at the Panama-Pacific exposition in 1915. A panoramic view, showing the wine industry on the Caire estate, and pictures of pelicans were also taken. The party left last Friday and returned last evening. The weather conditions were perfect all the time for taking pictures. The seal that was captured was brought back on the launch Gypsy and quite a crowd saw the little fellow in his crate on the wharf.”


March 22, 1914 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez, who returned from Santa Cruz Island last Friday night with eight seals for Herbert Rogers, left at six P.M. yesterday with twenty members of the Flying A Company for Valdez Cave, where the party will spend Sunday, returning this evening.”


February 4, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Vasquez with the launch Otter is at Santa Cruz Island after a consignment of seals for Herbert Rogers.”


June 20, 1914 [SBDNI]: “The sea lion industry at Santa Barbara has developed quite a lively activity… Among the shippers here are Captain George M. McGuire and Herbert Rogers.”


November 11, 1916 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers shipped by express to Chicago yesterday eleven live seals that are destined to compose the star attraction in a winter show running in the big city named. The seals were caught by Captain K. Ira Eaton in the island caves about two weeks ago.”


May 22, 1917 [SBMP]: “H. A. Rogers yesterday shipped to New York, for billing to European points, two seals weighed which were obtained at Santa Cruz Island. One of the seals weighed 225 pounds and is said to be the largest ever taken from Santa Cruz. The other seal is smaller. The animals were sent via Wells Fargo Express.”