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James A. Fowler


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 10:41:59

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
James A. Fowler, a self-made man and highly respected citizen of Van Buren County, owns two hundred and seventeen and one-half acres of the fine farming land of southeastern Iowa. His home farm comprises one hundred and fifty seven and one-half acres on Section 9, Vernon Township, while a quarter section of land in Henry Township also pays to him a golden tribute. His parents Henry and Mary Moore Fowler are numbered among the pioneers of Van Buren County. In 1843 they made a settlement near Bonaparte, but shortly afterwards the father was drowned in the Des Moines River during a flood, being carried over the dam near Bonaparte. His wife survived him about ten years, when she too was called to her final rest. In their family were five children, but only three of the number grew to mature years: Catherine, wife of Thomas Minshall, of Huston County, Minn.; Lucretia, deceased wife of Joseph Doffelenge; and James A., of this sketch.
Our subject was born in Indiana in 1842, and at the age of twelve years was left an orphan. Two years later he began life for himself as a farm hand, working in that capacity for about seven years or until the fall of 1862, when he responded to his country’s call for troops, enlisting on September 15, as a member of Company D. Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, under Capt. Charles J. McGinnis. He was mustered into service at Keokuk and the regiment was assigned to the First Division, Fifteenth Corps of the Army of the Tennessee. After spending a few weeks at Benton Barracks Missouri, the troops were sent down the Mississippi River to Helena Arkansas. Where for the first time Mr. Fowler was surrounded by the leaden hail and became acquainted with the horrors of war. Afterwards he participated in the Black River expedition and with his regiment took part in many of the famous and hard fought battles of the war, including the engagements at Vicksburg, Jackson Mississippi, Arkansas post, Big Black River and the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Port Hudson, Little Rock Arkansas, Brownville Mississippi, Dalton Georgia, Chattanooga Tennessee, Cane Creek Alabama, Lookout Mountain, Lone Mountain, Buzzard’s Roost, Taylor Ridge Georgia, Decatur Alabama, Resaca and Dallas Georgia, the battle of New Hop Church, Marietta, Big Shanty, the two battles of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Griswoldville and the siege of Savannah. He accompanied Gen. Sherman on the celebrated march to the Sea, and then returned participating in the Carolina campaign to Richmond Virginia. At Resaca he received a gunshot wound in the left leg just above the ankle joint, but as he was color-bearer of his regiment he remained at his post and carried the banner forward to victory. His service was an arduous one, in which he encountered great risks but he was ever found at his post of duty, valiantly defending the old flag but at the close of the war he was honorable discharged and was mustered out in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 1865.
When his country no longer needed his services, Mr. Fowler returned to his home and once more engaged in work as a farm hand. In 1867, he was united in marriage with Miss Amanda Perkins daughter of William and Mary Myers Perkins. They have two children, a son and a daughter: William, who is married and operates his father’s farm in Vernon Township; and Anna M. at home and Bertha who died when about five years old. Mr. Fowler purchased and moved to his farm in Vernon Township in the spring of 1874. It comprises one hundred and fifty-seven and one-half acres under a high state of cultivation but in a short time he expects to move to his farm in Henry Township. He is a representative farmer of the community who thoroughly understands his business in all its details and as a result of good management, industry and perseverance he has now a comfortable competence. He certainly deserves great credit for his success and may truly be called a self-made man. Beginning life for himself at a tender age he steadily worked his way upward, overcoming the difficulties and obstacles, which lay in his path. In political sentiment Mr. Fowler is a Republican and takes an active interest in the growth and success of his party. He has been honored with a number of local offices, held the position of Assessor for five consecutive years, served as Township Trustee and for the past five years has been a member of the County Board of Supervisors. He always attends the county conventions of his county as a delegate and his opinions carry weight with them in those assemblies. He is a member of Shriver Post, G.A.R. of Keosauqua, and is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows societies. He contributes liberally to the support of churches and charitable and benevolent institutions, and has always taken an active part in everything pertaining to the community and its best interests. Both he and his wife and daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Mt Sterling and have lived consistent Christian lives.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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