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Rogler Ranch Records (1874-1988) | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Rogler Ranch Records (1874-1988)
Variant Name: Pioneer Bluffs Ranch


Historical Note:

In 1853, Charles W. Rogler, age 17, left family in Asch, Austria, for the United States.  At age 23, he settled his first 160 acres in Matfield Green, Chase County, Kansas.  By 1883, Charles had increased his holdings to 720 acres and by the time of his death in 1888, he had acquired 1,800 acres.

By 1900, under the management of long-time friend, Henry Brandley, the estate encompassed 4,020 acres when it was divided among Charles’ five children.  In 1902, Henry Rogler, an 1898 graduate of Kansas State Agricultural College, purchased one of his sisters’ sections of the ranch that included the original 1872 homestead and old barn.

In 1901, Henry Rogler married Maud Sauble, a 1901 graduate of Kansas State Agricultural College.  They designed and built a large home on the property in 1908. They named the ranch Pioneer Bluffs Ranch.

Between 1905 and 1925, Henry made the transition from farming to ranching.  He was a farmer-stockman and pastureman.  Pasturemen were local agents who brought together cattle owned by capitalists from outside the Flint Hills.  Therefore, Henry was key to the development of the transient grazing industry that dominated twentieth century land use in the uplands of Chase Country.  Transient grazing provided stable and conservative income for ranchers.  The size of the Pioneer Bluffs ranch fluctuated dependent on the acreage rented or held as payment/security.  As Henry managed more cattle for others, the more his own herd grew.  By 1931, Henry’s son, Wayne, a 1926 graduate of Kansas State Agricultural College, grazed 2,000 head of cattle during the summer.

In the 1930s, the ranch became a leader in modernized production of feed crops, cooperating with Kansas State Agricultural College in pioneering alfalfa production, some sorghum and soybean crops.  In addition to the livestock and crops aspect of the ranch, the Rogler’s also sold poultry and dairy products.  Maud Rogler was a founder of women’s farm bureau work in Chase County and carried out model projects in poultry raising to exemplify self-sufficiency and diversification.  She bragged that she put their four children through college with her “egg money.”

Henry Rogler served the state by serving two years in the Kansas House of Representatives (1914-1916) and four years in the Senate (1928-1932). Henry served eight years as Vice President for the Chase County Farm Bureau and his involvement in agriculture was noted when he received the first Kansas Master Farmer Award in 1927.  He operated the ranch until the late 1950s when he sold a large part of it to his son, Wayne.  After Henry died in 1972, Wayne purchased the remainder of the farm and ranch land.

The younger Rogler followed in his father’s footsteps as a prominent farmer-stockman, serving four consecutive terms (1929-1946) in the Kansas House of Representatives and was appointed one term in the Kansas Senate.  Wayne served as president of the Chase County Farm Bureau, the director of the National Farm Loan Association and as chairman of the state Chamber of Commerce.  He was a member of various other organizations and a charter member of the National Cattlemen’s Association.  Wayne owned and managed Pioneer Bluffs Ranch until his death on April 8, 1993.  His wife, Elizabeth died on January 24, 2004.

The Rogler Ranch or Pioneer Bluffs Ranch was one of the best known in the region.  Under Wayne’s management the ranch grew to some 60,000 acres, including leased pastureland and managed 15,000 head of cattle a year.  After Wayne’s and Elizabeth’s death no other family member was interested in the ranch and it was placed in trust.  In 2006, Pioneer Bluffs Ranch was sold at auction for $6.92 million.  A group of local Chase County members knew the value and importance of the ranch and were able to purchase 12-acres that included the house and outbuildings.  Today, the Pioneer Bluffs Ranch is a historical tourist site (http://pioneerbluffs.org/).

Charles W. Rogler (1836-1888) married Mary Mariah Satchell in 1869.  They had five children: Albert (1870-1953), Katherine (1872-1915), Emma (1875-1961), Henry (1877-1972) and Mary Jane (1879-1854).

Henry Rogler married Maud Sauble (1880-1972) on July 21, 1901. They had four children: Helen (1902-1999), Wayne (1905-1993), Irene (1908-2000) and George (1913-2003).

Sources: Sources within the collection were used to prepare the Biographical/Historical Note.
Note Author: Cynthia A. Harris



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