Welcome to the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch! At the time of Will Rogers’ birth in 1879, this was known simply as the Rogers Ranch. Will Rogers’ father, Clem Rogers, first established a ranch in the Cooweescoowee district of the Cherokee Nation in 1856 before the outbreak of the Civil War, and through the latter half of the nineteenth century, it was one of the most successful cattle ranches in Indian Territory.
Originally, when Clem Rogers first settled in this area, he established his ranch and trading post several miles west of this location along what is now Rabb’s Creek. After a few short years, the Civil War broke out in 1861, and would soon spread into Indian Territory. Clem Rogers served as a cavalry officer for the Confederacy, and by the time the war was over, his ranch and trading post were gone.
By 1868, Clem had reestablished his ranch in the Cooweescoowee District, and by 1875 had completed construction on his white, two-story ranch house that was located at the base of the neighboring hill one mile east of its current location. For the next two decades, this would be the home of Rogers family, and the headquarters of the sprawling Rogers ranch.
The ranch would encompass all the land in between the Verdigris River to the east and the Caney River to the south and west, and as far north as the modern day town of Talala. From the southernmost to northernmost points of the ranch, there spanned a distance of approximately 15 miles, with more than 60,000 acres in between.