was born in Venango county, Pa., January 8, 1833. His father,
Hugh Bowman, was also a native of the Keystone State, having
been born and reared in Venango county and was by occupation a
farmer. He died in 1848, in the forty-ninth year of his age. He
was a quiet, unostentatious man and a zealous Christian, having
been for many years a member of the Presbyterian church.
The paternal grandfather of our subject
was John Bowman, who was a New Englander by birth and of Scotch
extraction. He was among the very earliest settlers of Venango
county, Pa., where he lived and died. He bore arms in the War of
1812 as captain of a company and was a highly respected citizen.
The mother of our subject bore the
maiden name of Hannah Webber. She was born in Pennsylvania, of
German parentage, and is still living at the ripe old age of
four scour years. She is a devout Christian and has been a
member of the Presbyterian church for many years. She is the
mother of eight children, five of whom are now living.
Austin Bowman, the subject of this
brief notice, was born in a log house built by his grandfather
in Venango county, Pa., about the year 1800. He attended the
common district schools, which in that day were conducted on the
subscription plan in log school houses. His father died when he
was quite young and household duties devolved largely upon him,
which prevented him from attending school, except during the
winter months. He chose farming for a life occupation and struck
out on his own account at the age of twenty-two. In the
spring of 1856 he removed to Dubuque county, Iowa, where he
farmed rented land for about nine years. In the meantime he had
made one or two purchases of land in Delhi township, Delaware
county, and in 1865 he removed his family to his new home. The
land he purchased was new and unimproved, being largely covered
by timber. After years of assiduous toil he has cultivated and
improved his farm until it is now one of the best improved and
most productive farms in the county.
Mr. Bowman married
November 16, 1854, the lady of his choice being Eliza C. Mason,
a lady in every respect well worthy to bear his companionship.
She was born in Cooperstown, Venango county, PA., November 2,
1835. She is a daughter of James and Susan A. (Selder) Mason,
both of whom were natives of the Keystone State. Her father was
born March 3, 1799, and died in 1877, aged seventy-eight years.
He was a pioneer settler of Cooperstown and a shoe maker and
tanner by trade. He built and operated the first tannery in
Cooperstown. He was a man of superior intelligence and was
prominent and influential in the community where he lived. He
was a consistent Christian, first a Presbyterian then becoming a
Methodist and a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church
for many years. He was a strong temperance man, but of a
retiring disposition and never courted notoriety.
The paternal grandfather
of Mrs. Bowman was James Mason, a Scot Irishman who immigrated
from Ireland, settling in Pennsylvania at an early day, where he
died about 1830.
Mrs. Bowman received her
primary education in the old fashioned log school house of her
native county, afterwards attending select schools in
Youngstown, Ohio, also attended select schools in Franklin, Pa.,
where she afterwards taught school in her native county.
Mr. and Mrs. Bowman have
had born to them eleven children, as follows: Alice E., born
September 8, 1855; Emma F., born May 31, 1857 (deceased); Fred,
born March 28, 1959; George L., born November 21, 1860; Leonard
J., born November 1, 1862; Ralph H., born January 4, 1865;
Jennie M., born September 8, 1867 (deceased); Marian R., born
October 19, 1869 (deceased); Edith C., born March 14, 1872;
Willis D., born April 13, 1873 (deceased), and Harry E., born
February 16, 1875.
Mr. and Mrs. Bowman have
spared no pains to give their children good educations. Some
have already graduated with honor from Lenox College and others
are quite far advanced. One is now studying medicine. Three of
their children have taught school.
In politics Mr. Bowman
is a stanch republican. He and his estimable wife are members of
the Methodist church, she uniting with the church in 1851, and
he in 1871.