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The Rogers family, originally active in the wholesale grocery business in Philadelphia, entered the sugar industry in 1867 or 1868 when Samuel Blythe Rogers purchased interests in a number of sugar refineries in the United States. In 1869 he purchased a half interest in Oakley Plantation, Louisiana, with the other half being held by his brother-in-law Henry S. Sanford. In 1876 this partnership dissolved, but in 1881 he became superintendent and then president of the Planter's Sugar Refinery in New Orleans. Samuel died in 1883. In 1890 his son, Benjamin Tingley Rogers [B.T.R.], formed the BC Sugar Refining Co. Ltd., also known as Rogers Sugar Ltd. now owed by Lantic Inc. which still uses the Rogers brand in Western Canada.
Benjamin Tingley Rogers [B.T. Rogers or B.T.R.] [1865-1918] followed his father into the sugar refining industry. His father, Samuel Blythe Rogers, was plant superintendent and then president at E.J. Gay’s Sugar Refinery in New Orleans. B.T. Rogers began working at the refinery at the age of fifteen. In 1883, after an injury sustained at the plant, Samuel Blythe Rogers died. The untimely death of his father forced B.T.Rogers to forgo university and instead start his career at the age of eighteen. To do this he left his family in New Orleans and went to work in a refinery in New York City.
After gaining experience managing a sugar refinery and selling sugar refining equipment. And a mere six years after striking out on his own he started a sugar refining operation in Vancouver B.C.
The West coast of North America was an obvious choice for a cane sugar refinery as there was a large market there, shipping was expensive, and a major source of raw cane was directly across the Pacific Ocean. California and Oregon were not viable options in the late nineteenth century as there was yet no extensive transportation system. Vancouver was chosen because of the newly completed Canadian Pacific Railway. This is how the Rogers family came to be Canadians and settle in Vancouver.
After moving to Vancouver and establishing BC Sugar at Port Metro Vancouver B.T. Rogers married Mary Isabella Angus [Bella] [1869-1965] (born in Manchester UK) June 1, 1892 and brought his widowed mother and other family members to Canada not long after. Mary was a British citizen and the daughter of Angus who was a major investor in the C.P.R and BC Sugar. B.T.Rogers received his British citizenship April 4, 1906. They had seven children together. Their sons were educated at the Royal Military College in Kingston, ON.
The children children of Mary Isabella and Benjamin Tingley Rogers:
Blythe (Du[puy?) [B.D. Rogers] Rogers [July 10, 1893 - May 1920]
Ernest Theodore Rogers [E.T. Rogers] [Oct. 15, 1897-July 25,1939]
Elspeth Rogers [1900-?]
Philip [Pip or Phip or P.T. Rogers] Tingley Rogers [? - June 9, 1961]
Scope and content
Fonds includes records documenting the business and family life of B.T. Rogers, his descendents and ancestor families.
Records contained in the fonds include: genealogical research done by descendants of B.T. Rogers; personal correspondence, diary excerpts and notebooks of members of the Rogers and related families; log books of the family yachts; photographs of family members, relatives and friends, company businesses; business records; family financial records; and correspondence and drawings pertaining to construction of the family's private residences.
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- Rogers family (Creator)