IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK:
The Families of the Rogers Mansion
Rogers, Nugent & Parrish
— EXHIBIT CLOSED 2015 —
Dr. John Nugent & Family Lived in the Rogers Mansion From 1889 – 1899
Dr. John Nugent was born in 1858 in Riverhead to Robert Nugent and his wife, Ellen Ducy, both immigrants from Ireland. After attending high school in Riverhead he attended the University of Michigan where he received his medical degree in 1881. After graduating he returned to Long Island where he opened an office in Southampton for the general practice of medicine, in which he continued for the rest of his active life. In 1886, he married Helen Howell Fordham, a descendant of Robert Fordham, Southampton’s second minister, and their first son John Jr. was born in 1888.
In 1889, the young Nugent family purchased the Rogers Mansion before it was enlarged and moved back from Main Street. Once in their new home they had two more sons, William born in 1893 and Paul who was born in 1897. Dr. John Nugent was an “ardent card player” and announced the birth of his youngest son by saying “now we have three of a kind.” (Nugent Family History). He smoked cigars, pipes, and was never seen without his round spectacles.
For Dr. John Nugent being a doctor was not only a profession but a way of life. At any hour of the day or night his neighbors could call on him and he would treat them in his home office at the Rogers Mansion. The family’s time in the Rogers Mansion was short, a mere 10 years, but they built the Nugent Carriage House on the Northwest corner of the property, which still stands in its original location.
Dr. John Nugent, Sr. and Helen Fordham Nugent
Nugent Carriage House, 1890s.
Dr. John Nugent was a member of Southampton Hospital’s first medical board and took an active role in planning community health care. He was also Southampton Town’s health officer for 40 years and the Suffolk County coroner for 20 years. His sons inherited his passion for helping and caring for others and it became a family commitment. His oldest son, John Jr., was his father’s first assistant before joining his father in practicing at Southampton Hospital. He served on the hospital’s medical staff for fifty years, including as Chief of Medicine. William or “Bill”, the middle son, attended Cornell University in Ithaca and took courses in mechanical engineering. After serving overseas in the First World War, Bill married Hazel Jagger and settled in Southampton. The Nugents’ youngest son, Paul, attended Cornell Medical College in New York City and married, Margaret White, a former schoolmate and longtime friend. He established his medical practice in East Hampton where his father had advised him that another doctor was needed. Eventually, the three family doctors practiced locally at Southampton Hospital and the trio allegedly earned the moniker, “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Southampton Hospital, 1911. T. Markoe Robertson, Architect
In 1899, the Nugent Family sold the Rogers Mansion to Samuel Parrish but continued to live and work in Southampton for the rest of their lives.
ROGERS MANSION TIMELINE
1621 – Thomas Rogers leaves England and ventures forth to America on the Mayflower bringing along his three sons William, Joseph and John.
1645 – William Rogers is allotted three acres on Main Street where the Rogers Mansion stands today. William is the 1st generation to live on the Rogers Property. He and his wife Ann Hall Rogers, whom he married in 1642, raise their 6 children there.
1655 – William Rogers gives the Rogers Southampton property to his oldest son, Obadiah Rogers
(2nd generation). He marries Mary Russell and has 7 children.
1686 – Obadiah Rogers (3rdgeneration) marries Sarah Howell. After her death he marries Mary Clark and they have 6 children together.
1720 – Captain Obadiah Rogers (4th generation) marries Abigail Herrick. They have 8 children together, the youngest a boy Zephaniah.
1742 – Captain Zephaniah Rogers (5th generation) marries Elizabeth Sayre and they have 7 children together. The oldest boy is named Herrick. Captain Zephaniah Rogers is not only a whaling captain but also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Zephaniah Rogers and William Herrick partner as merchants and open Rogers & Herrick.
1778 – Captain Herrick Rogers (6th generation) at the age of 21 marries Hannah Rose and they have 3 children. After Hannah’s death in 1803, he marries Phebe Sayre in 1805 and they have 3 children together. The
oldest boy is named Albert. Captain Herrick Rogers becomes a very successful merchant by continuing his father’s business.
1827 –Whaling Captain Albert Rogers (7th generation) inherits the Rogers home at the age of 20. Albert first
marries Mary Halsey whose death 5 years later leaves him a widower with no children. His second
marriage is to Mary’s older sister Cordelia and they have 3 children.
1843 – Captain Albert Rogers builds onto the original Rogers home and creates the Greek Revival Mansion that stands here today, though at that time it was located much closer to Main St.
1854 – Captain Jetur Rogers becomes the 8th and final generation of the Rogers family to inherit the Rogers
Southampton property. He marries Harriet Pierson and they have 3 children.
1881 – Dr. John Nugent opens an office in Southampton for the general practice of medicine, his lifelong
profession. He is the first in a line of prominent local physicians in Southampton. In 1886 he marries
Helen H. Fordham and they have 3 sons.
DR. JOHN NUGENT
1889 – Dr. John Nugent buys the Rogers Mansion from the Rogers estate and becomes the first non-Rogers to live on and own this property. He moves his wife and one-year- old son John Jr. into the house and his younger sons, William and Paul, are both born in the house.
1890 – Dr. John Nugent builds the carriage house on the Rogers Mansion property.
1899 –Samuel Parrish purchases the Rogers Mansion as a summer home from the Nugent family after they have lived there for 10 years. Samuel is a retired lawyer from NYC. In 1897 he built the Parrish Art Museum on Jobs Lane.
1927 – After substantially enlarging the Rogers Mansion, Parrish moves it back from Main Street and commissions Grosvenor Atterbury to design the commercial buildings in its place.
1928 – In 1928, at the age of 79, Parrish is married for the first time. His bride is Clara Bloxsom, a British-born widow.
1932 – Parrish dies at his New York residence at the age of 82 after being struck by a car.
1943 – The Trustees of Southampton Village buy the property from the Rogers estate and use it as a community center. The YMCA and the Red Cross occupy space in the Mansion.
1952 — The house becomes The Southampton Historical Museum.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK: THE FAMILIES OF THE ROGERS MANSION
Exhibit at the Rogers Mansion — thru December 31, 2015
— Exhibit Closed in 2015 —
Southampton Historical Museum
Emma Ballou, Curator & Registrar at the Southampton Historical Museum
Copy, Archival Photographs & Illustration courtesy of the Southampton Historical Museum.
Visit these related Art & Architecture Quarterly / East End Portfolios:
Photo Essay — Nugent Family / Copyright Jeff Heatley, 2016.