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ROGAN, CHARLES (1858–1932). Charles Rogan, land commissioner, was born to John Netherland and Mary M. (Wood) Rogan on February 3, 1858, near Ripley, Mississippi. In 1862 the family moved to Lexington, Texas, and later to Waco. Rogan attended private schools in Waco and Giddings before entering the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in 1876. He was one of the first six students to attend A&M and was among the first graduating class of 1879. Afterwards he became deputy county clerk of Lee County. From 1881 to 1883 he attended Harvard Law School and was licensed to practice law in Giddings. In 1884 he went to Brownwood and became county attorney and later city attorney. On December 1, 1885, he married Frances Virginia Stewart. They had five children. In 1890 Rogan was elected to represent Brown, Comanche, and Mills counties in the state legislature. During the 1890s he also served as county judge of Brown County. In May 1899 Rogan was appointed by Governor Joseph Sayers to fill the vacant position of land commissioner. He was subsequently elected to the office in the following general election and served until January 10, 1903. His tenure coincided with a major time in history for Texas public lands. The Spindletop oilfield discovery in 1901 marked the beginning of the Texas petroleum industry and represented a major increase in revenues for the state's educational system from oil discovered on public lands. Rogan helped enlarge the Permanent School Fund by eliminating a fixed minimum price for state lands. More than four million acres of school land was put up for sale as a result of the 1900 Scrap Act, and state and public school fund accounts were balanced during his administration. Perhaps Rogan's greatest service was his mineral classifications of school lands. Eventually, the state was able to retain mineral rights, including potential oil revenue, thereby collecting possible revenues from more than 7,400,000 acres of state land. After his state service he practiced law in Austin until 1931. During this time he was active in Texas A&M alumni affairs. He was a Methodist, a Mason, and a Democrat. He died on January 12, 1932. See also LAND APPROPRIATIONS FOR EDUCATION, GENERAL LAND OFFICE.


Garry Mauro, Land Commissioners of Texas (Austin: Texas General Land Office, 1986). Octavia Rogan, Land Commissioner Charles Rogan and the Mineral Classification of Texas Public School Lands (Austin: San Felipe Press, 1968).

William N. Todd IV and Gerald Knape


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

William N. Todd IV and Gerald Knape, "ROGAN, CHARLES," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.