Maurice P. Rogers (1892-1983) was a physician in Rockford with a distinguished 67-year career. Dr. Rogers became highly regarded as a renowned pioneer in the fledgling field of brain surgery. Professionally, Rogers practiced at one time from offices in downtown’s William Brown Building on S. Main Street. In their personal life, he and his wife, Jeanette (1890-1976), eventually resided on Spring Creek Road in a home designed by architect Jesse A. Barloga in the late 1920s. In its February 27, 1949 edition, the Rockford Morning Star published an article about the Rogers and their English-style home, complete with photographs, titled “Manor-Type Architecture Represented in Spring Creek Road Home.” The newspaper ran another article with pictures about the home’s English heritage and its subsequent owners on May 22, 1966. The Rogers later lived on land where Rock Valley College currently stands.
In the materials at Midway Village Museum (MVM) that houses Rogers’ collection are two small loose-leaf, three-ring binders with cracked black leather covers. Each contains an alphabetical listing of medical procedures and protocol, carefully and meticulously detailed and neatly handwritten by Dr. Rogers himself. The instructions contained in the binders run the gamut from office policy to directions dictating exactly when and how to properly administer appropriate medication. These books, acting at the time as quick and handy reference guides, now serve as historical reminders of the state of early 20th century medical, health, and hygiene practices.
A Morning Star article from November 30, 1952 noted Dr. Rogers’ rise to the position of President of the Winnebago County Medical Society.
Other notable items in the Rogers’ collection at MVM include a commemorative carafe inscribed “Medical Society Stag, Rockford ILL, 1934,” an ornate guestbook with wooden covers containing penciled entries and signatures from guests at dinner parties, holiday gatherings, and other special occasions spanning several decades, and receipts and blueprints pertaining to the Rogers’ Spring Creek home and its rather elaborate accoutrements and elegant fixtures.
On October 18, 1983, the Register Star reported that Dr. Rogers had died at age 90 on September 7th in River Bluff Nursing Home.
~Written by Doug Janicke, intern in Collections Department at Midway Village Museum & MLIS Graduate Student