Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Bessie W. King Rogers, 1876-1954

By Katherine Pettine, Rosemont College, Rosemont, Penn.

Bessie W. King was born in March of 1876 in Arapahoe, Colorado, to Francis G. King and Caroline M. Westgate. Bessie King married James P. Rogers on June 8, 1898, and they moved to Warren, Pennsylvania. The couple had one son, Francis King Rogers, in 1904 and one daughter, Catherine King Rogers, in 1911. Bessie Rogers died in 1954 in Warren, Pennsylvania.

Bessie Rogers was the president of the Warren YWCA. As president, she was a visible member of Warren's "Votes for Women" movement. This group welcomed the Justice Bell to Warren, Pennsylvania, when it toured the country to promote woman suffrage. Rogers was also the chairman of the county suffrage organization. She presided at a productive meeting of the organization, which led to the formation of the Community Civic Club.

In addition to local clubs and organizations, Rogers was also a vice president of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association. She attended the forty-ninth annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1917. Among the convention's resolutions was an effort to elect legislators favorable to a woman suffrage amendment. In 1921 she was a delegate to the second annual convention of the League of Women Voters. Later that decade she served on the board of the Warren State Hospital.


Information about Rogers can be found on; in National American Woman Suffrage Association, The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Proceedings of the Forty-Eighth Annual Convention Held at Atlantic City, N.J. September 4–10 (Inclusive) 1916 (New York: National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company Inc., 1916); and in newspapers including the Monongahela (PA) Daily Republican, Canonsburg (PA) Daily Notes, Allentown (PA) Leader, and Warren (PA) Times Mirror. See also, Ida Husted Harper, ed., "Pennsylvania," chapter XXXVII in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920 (New York, NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), pp. 550-64. [LINK]

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