Cornwall Borough resident Bruce Chadbourne moved to Cornwall Manor a few years ago after his retirement, drawn by the history of the mine and the Cornwall Iron Furnace. He has taken to writing a few historical articles, which he’s kindly shared with LebTown for our readers to enjoy in a semi-regular series titled, “Who knew?” We hope you enjoy.

This is the fourth and final installment of the series “Anne of Cornwall,” the story of a great woman who has remained in her brother Robert H. Coleman’s shadow far too long. Part 1 of this story established her incredible ancestry; in Part 2, we learned of Anne’s childhood and summers in Cornwall. In Part 3, Anne’s early adult years in Hyde Park, NY, and now her legacy, including a president and king… Read Part 3 here.

With eight children Anne Rogers may have been busy enough, but her home served as a place for playmates, including young Franklin Delano Roosevelt, next-door neighbor and only child who received some schooling within Crumwold Hall. One can imagine how her generous spirit influenced this young boy who would become a popular president, the only one to serve more than two terms.

According to a letter from the FDR Library, the Rogers’ sons were “inseparable companions” of young FDR. In Geoffrey C. Ward’s book “Before the Trumpet,” a chronicle of FDR’s early life, Archie Rogers Jr. was his closest companion, followed by Edmund, a close second. They would ride ponies along the forest path between the two estates and dig tunnels in the snow. Together they learned their ABC’s from a governess in the Crumwold Hall tower schoolroom. Young Franklin experienced the sadness of losing a friend when Archie died at age 9 of diptheria.

Franklin was a more formal guest on occasion at the Rogers’ home, as well as on vacations such as to Loon Lake. Anne would compare notes from time to time with his mother Sara Ann Roosevelt, as their respective sons grew up together.

Col. Archibald Rogers (left) skiing at Loon Lake in the New York Adirondacks, shown with family friend Edith Morton (daughter of Governor Morton) and young Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Cornwall Iron Furnace)

Years later, Anne remained close to the Roosevelt family, and Edmund remained close friends with Franklin. In 1929 while FDR served as governor of New York State, Edmund writes to mother Anne of difficulty they have been having raising money for their church (presumably St. James Episcopal Church of Hyde Park). Apparently the Vanderbilts had pledged $1,500 and challenged others to match the contribution. He laments that the Roosevelts had yet to “fork up” their share amounting to several hundred dollars. Being unsuccessful at getting Franklin to come through, Edmund asks mother Anne to persuade both Eleanor and Franklin’s mother to “come across” with the promised funds.

One remaining and incredible story can be told, that of Anne’s youngest son Herman Livingston Rogers (b. 1891). After graduating from Yale and MIT, by 1917 he served as an officer in WWI and then a short career in engineering. Within seven years he chose instead to enjoy the fruits of his parents’ wealth, leading a life of travel and luxury.

He and his wife Katherine were living in Peking in the 1920s when they offered Katherine’s friend Wallis Simpson (famed for her marriage to the Duke of Windsor) a year-long refuge after her failed first marriage in 1924. Though Wallis was smitten with and preferred Herman, she apparently settled instead for a long-lasting friendship with them both. After returning from China, the Rogers spent the next ten years living in residences at Hyde Park, London, and their Cannes villa, Lou Viei, on France’s Cote-d’Azur. Two years after mother Anne’s death, as news of King Edward VIII’s abdication erupted in the public domain, Wallis went into hiding at Lou Viei, where the Windsors would later spend part of their honeymoon. 

According to some reports, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor remained in love with Herman (who died in 1957) though remaining married to Edward until his death in 1972.

Anne’s son Herman Livingston Rogers.
Families of Coleman and Rogers c.1920s; inset: Anne with brother Robert and her daughter Anne Pendleton Rogers.


Anne Rogers reigned as a woman of grace into her seventies, outliving Archie, who had died in 1928, and arguably surpassing her brother Robert Habersham Coleman, who had suffered financial ruin in 1893. Described in a first-hand account by her brother’s grandson, Robert Coleman Jr. she was gracious, kind, thoughtful, well-mannered. He had come to live for a time at Crumwold Hall at age 8 in 1932. Referring to her as Aunt Annie, he tells how she had arranged a governess for him to teach him certain things “to straighten him out.” He had to be dressed in a tie and coat for dinner; he remembers her having 32 servants at that time. He also had two large cases filled with his father’s or grandfather’s stuffed birds, which his mother was not fond of, so he learned to shoot a gun by using the birds as target practice, reducing them to dust. With antics such as these and of her adult son Herman, Anne must have had a sturdy sense of humor. Perhaps it reminded her of her earliest days, a young girl in admiration of her big brother.

Within a few years following her death the Crumwold property passed from her children, serving several purposes including as a school for boys and girls. Further details of Crumwold Hall history may be found here.

Whereas her brother Robert H. Coleman receives most of the attention in Cornwall’s iron history, certainly more than is recorded in this story could be written of Anne’s life, one that has integrated many facets of the mosaic of American history, from the colonial era, northern and southern development, civil war, the wild west, gay nineties and roaring twenties, presidents and the prosperity of the 20th century. How remarkable, the life of Anne Coleman Rogers.

In memoriam: Dorothy E. Chadbourne (1927-2023)

Acknowledgment: Cornwall Iron Furnace and its “John and Margery Feitig Collection.” Photographs are from the Cornwall Iron Furnace, unless credited otherwise.

Read Part 4 of Anne of Cornwall here.

Read Part 3 of Anne of Cornwall here.

Read Part 2 of Anne of Cornwall here.

Read Part 1 of Anne of Cornwall here.

Ideas for future history stories? Let us know here.

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Though he has been traveling through Pennsylvania for over 20 years, Bruce is a relatively new resident of Lebanon County. In part he was drawn here by the fascinating history of the Cornwall Iron Furnace and surrounds. He enjoys a wide variety of hobbies and activities, and in particular has enjoyed...