Ranching heritage programs set for Rogler family’s historic Pioneer Bluffs

110113-1950-June-3-generatiThree generations of the Rogler ranching family, Mary Ann, Henry, and Wayne, are shown in this 1950 photo from the Pioneer Bluffs archive.

A life dependent on weather and hard work, sustained by spectacular landscapes, is the culture of agriculture.

“Flint Hills families who have been ranching for generations have stories to tell of their unique heritage, and will share these stories in an upcoming series of community discussions at Pioneer Bluffs near Matfield Green,” according to Lynn Smith, executive director of the nonprofit National Register Historic District “respecting the land, preserving history and engaging community with today’s pioneers.”

At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, ranching heritage of the Rogler family will be featured in the first Prairie Talk of the series at Pioneer Bluffs, located one mile north of Matfield Green, and now operated as a nonprofit organization, Smith said.

“Everybody is invited to join the conversation as Tom Burton and Jim Hoy share stories, legends, and anecdotes of the Rogler family,” she added.

Pioneer Bluffs is the original homestead of the Rogler Ranch. In 1859, Austrian immigrant Charles Rogler staked his claim in the valley of the South Fork of the Cottonwood River, and began stewardship of his land in an era of agriculture that depended on human labor and horse power.

Charles’ son, Henry, and in turn a grandson, Wayne, later took the reins of Pioneer Bluffs and made the farming/ranching operation one of the most prominent in the region.

“When Pioneer Bluffs sold at auction in 2006, the Roglers left more than a place for future generations to enjoy. They left a legacy of conservation, education, and community commitment,” Smith insisted.

Tom Burton of Matfield Green is a lifelong cowboy-rancher who began working for Wayne Rogler in 1962, eventually becoming the Rogler Ranch manager. “Tom bears a large responsibility for success of the ranch in the second half of the 20th century,” Smith credited.

Jim Hoy, of Emporia, grew up on a ranch near Cassoday and worked on the Rogler Ranch before going into academe. He is director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University and author of books relating to cowboy heritage in the Flint Hills.

“Lunch will be available at noon on Nov. 2, for visitors who would like to come early and tour the historic site, including The Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs,” Smith invited.

There is no charge for the Prairie Talk, or for lunch, but donations are accepted for upkeep of Pioneer Bluff. Lunch reservations are requested and can be made by contacting, at 620-753-3484 or [email protected].

Additional Pioneer Bluffs Ranching Heritage Prairie Talk series talks will include the Sauble family on Jan. 4; Mercer family on Feb. 1; and Moxley family on March 1.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas