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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


Austin Bowman






    AUSTIN BOWMAN 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.


~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 233; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson