Palestine in Anderson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Christopher Columbus Rogers
Born in Palestine in June 1850, Christopher Columbus Rogers was a noted and controversial lawman. Although his family moved to a rural area, Rogers returned to Palestine and lived with his sister, Eliza, and her husband, James Ewing. Rogers was 13 when he enlisted to serve as a guard at Camp Ford, a prisoner of war camp in Tyler, during the Civil War; while there, Rogers killed his first man, a union prisoner. After the Civil War, he returned home to work at Ewing’s newspaper, as a clerk and in various town stores.
Chris Rogers became a Palestine policeman in 1872. He killed the town’s first Marshal, Dan Carey, in a gunfight; the City Alderman then appointed him as Marshal. His reputation grew when he quickly cracked the case of a July 20, 1872 train robbery. He also solved the infamous murder of Dr. and Mrs. Grayson, who were killed because of Dr. Grayson’s service to African Americans. However, Rogers would be suspended from his position several times after shootings. Particularly because of his desire to hire an African-American police officer, his relationship with city officials was often tumultuous, but he enjoyed support
Rogers’ 1887 shooting of an assailant led to his impeachment, resignation and a murder trial, which ended in a hung jury. Rogers also lost the use of his right arm after being shot during the incident. Although he was reelected the next year, Rogers again left office. He was stabbed to death on July 27, 1888, after an altercation with railroad engineer W.D. Young in the Robertson Saloon. Although Chris Rogers avoided bloodshed when possible, his life and death was marked by it. Today, he is remembered as a lawman that helped keep order in a town notorious for violence.
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Erected 2010 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 8804.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Law Enforcement.
Location. 31° 45.714′ N, 95° 38.419′ W. Marker is in Palestine, Texas, in Anderson County. Marker is at the intersection of West Spring Street and West Oak Street, on the right when traveling west on West Spring Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 West Spring Street, Palestine TX 75801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The I&GN Railroad in Palestine (a few steps from this marker); Palestine High School (approx. 0.8 miles away); Robert (Bob) Knight (approx. 0.8 miles away); Dr. Bonner Frizzell (approx. 0.8 miles away); Roy B. Wallace (approx. 0.8 miles away); Col. Homer Garrison, Jr. (approx. 0.8 miles away); Anderson County (approx. 0.8 miles away); Palestine Salt Works C.S.A. (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palestine.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 58 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 30, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.