Retaining wall bordering the old original Rogers’ home site gets needed repairs.
A piece of Dayton’s history is receiving some much need attention in the way of repairs. Back in July, a large tree located at the home of Wardell Everett at 711 Market Street fell ripping a portion of the property’s front retaining wall out. The wall surrounding this property dates to the Scopes Trail Era when F.R. Rogers and his family lived in the home.
The original Rogers’ home was a large white two-story home. The Rogers’ family temporarily moved out in order to allow William Jennings Bryan and his family to stay there while in town for the Scopes Trial which occurred in July of 1925. It was here in the Rogers’ original home that Bryan died during his sleep one Sunday afternoon after a large meal.
The City and its’ stores closed to honor of the memory of Bryan. Townspeople gathered around the home to provide whatever aid they could to the stricken widow of Bryan.
The body of William Jennings Bryan lied in state in the parlor of the Rogers’ home prior to being placed on a train for its journey to Arlington National Cemetery for burial.
Some years later, the Rogers’ family replaced the home from 1925 with the current smaller more modern home that sits on the lot today. The wall has remained virtually unchanged throughout the years.
Billy Ray Matthews, an employee of R.B.A. Construction Company of Dayton, is overseeing the task of repairing the damaged section of the wall. “We intend to do everything we can to put the wall back as close as possible to its original condition”, stated Matthews.
A Scopes Trial trail marker can be seen on the wall, marking its place in Dayton’s History.