Mary M. Wilson applied to homestead in section 18 of Ayr Township, in January of 1873. She was able to use the Soldiers and Sailors Homestead Act because her first husband, James H. Wilson, was killed during the Civil War.
In 1871, Mary’s future second husband, Oliver C. Rogers, filed a homestead claim near her. In 1873, Mary and Oliver were married in Juniata, making them the eighth couple married in Adams County. Oliver proved up his claim two days before the wedding so they lived on Mary’s homestead. According to her 1879 Homestead Proof, they built a 16 x 24 foot, 14-foot-high frame house. It had 11 windows, seven doors, and an attached kitchen. It was large by homesteading standards. They also built a stable and granary, dug a well, grew 200 fruit and 7,000 forest trees, and planted 335 rods of hedge. In 1897, Oliver died and a year later Mary moved to Hastings. She sold her homestead in 1906 for $8,000.