Motorists along the Kansas Flint Hills Scenic Byway have long admired the Rogler Ranch north of Matfield Green. With its rock wall adjacent to the highway bordering the beautiful ranch, historic buildings dating from the early 1900s and the subtle beauty of Flint Hills pasture on the horizon, many a Kansan has called that stretch of U.S. Highway 177 Kansas' prettiest venue.
The 4,000-plus acre Rogler Ranch had been operated as a trust since Wayne's death in 1993. The Ranch sold last week at auction in Council Grove. Hundreds of folks attended the auction, which was conducted by Rick Griffin, Council Grove. The event was preceded by a historical perspective of the Rogler Ranch and a complimentary barbecue luncheon; caterers served more than 300 free meals.
The Charles Rogler family settled in Chase County in 1859, on 160 acres that he called as Pioneer Bluffs. Rogler eventually grew the operation to 1,800 acres, which he left to five children. Henry Rogler, the youngest son, continued development of the ranch, which totaled 2,720 acres at his death in 1972.
Henry Rogler was a community leader in his own right. He served six years as a state senator and representative. He was a recipient of one of the first Kansas Master Farmer awards (sponsored by Kansas Farmer magazine) in 1927. And he reared his son, Wayne, who himself was a Master Farmer in 1959.
Wayne also served three terms as a Kansas representative and a term in the Senate. He was urged by many to run for governor, but he declined. He did serve as the Kansas Livestock Association president, however.
The Rogler Ranch included 4,081 acres, two homesteads and an office building in Matfield Green. It sold in seven tracts. Tract information includes:
Tract 1: 1,609.20 acres, including 1,236 of grass, 94.20 acres brome and 279 acres of tillable land. The grassland was divided into three pastures, featured excellent cattle pens, a trench silo, several ponds and two older homes, which had not been lived in for years. Twenty-eight acres of tract one and a home were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tract sold for $2,735,640 ($1,700 per acre).
Tract 2: 960.5 acres of native grass. The tract was divided into two pastures, featured steel and hedge fence, and excellent natural water sources that hadn't even gone dry this year. The tract sold for $1.556 million ($1,620 per acre).
Tract 3: 710.8 acres of native grass, divided into four pastures. This tract featured open range to the west; the Roglers leased grass from the neighbor to the west to supplement this grassland. The railroad dissects the northeast corner of this tract, leaving a few acres of ground inaccessible to cattle. The tract sold for $895, 608 ($1,260 per acre).
Tract 4: 495 acres of native bluestem pasture, divided into two pastures, each with multiple ponds that continue to hold water. The tract has an excellent set of pipe gathering pens and good fences. It sold for $752,400 ($1,520 per acre).
Tract 5 was sold in total dollars (versus a per acre bid). It featured the Rogler's ranch home and ranch headquarters on nearly 13 acres, with the balance in native grass and alfalfa. The home featured 3130 square feet and had new siding, roof and windows. The headquarters featured covered cattle working facilities, scales and outbuildings. Bluestem pasture covered 213.79 acres, in three pastures; the tract also had 65.29 acres alfalfa. It sold for $610,000.
Tract 6 also was sold in total dollars. It was 12 acres of homestead known as Pioneer Bluffs, the place where Charles Rogler settled in 1859. The place has a two-story farmhome, built in 1908. The home hadn't been occupied for some time, but had recent work done, including new windows, siding and heat. The homestead has a huge horse barn, a log cabin, several outbuildings and was bordered on the west by the famous stone wall. It sold for $360,000.
Tract 7 was a 36X24-foot block cement block building in Matfield Green. It was rented to the railroad for $100 per month. It had new paint, metal roof and a bathroom. It sold for $22,000.