History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 590
J. W. Fowler, a prosperous agriculturist residing on section 13, Grant township, owns and operates a neat and well improved farm of eighty acres within two miles of Clearfield, while his landed holdings also include an eighty-acre tract in Platte township and another valuable farm situated about three miles from Clearfield.  He was born in Elmira township, Stark county, Illinois, on the 27th of June, 1837, and there grew to manhood on the old home farm.  He remained with his father until he had attained his majority and then started out as an agriculturist on his own account, being actively identified with farming interests in Toulon township for several years.
In 1879 Mr. Fowler made his way westward to Taylor county, Iowa, purchasing a farm four miles west of Clearfield in Grant township.  For twelve years he devoted his attention to the cultivation and further improvement of this property, erecting thereon a commodious and substantial residence and barn, fencing the fields and also setting out an orchard.  On disposing of that farm he took up his abode in Clearfield, where he resided for three years, in the meantime buying a tract of land of thirty-five acres adjoining the corporation limits of the town.  After the place had been in his possession for five years he sold it to good advantage.  Previously he had purchased a farm southwest of Clearfield in Grant township, which he likewise sold after residing thereon for five years.  On the expiration of that period he bought the farm of eighty acres in Platte township which is still in his possession, though he leased the property.  In 1895 he purchased the farm on section 13, Grant township, on which he now resides and where he has since carried on his agricultural interests with excellent success.  He built a modern residence and substantial barn in 1906 and in fact the place is now lacking in none of the equipments and accessories of a model farm of the twentieth century.  Energetic, enterprising and industrious, his (page 591) labors as an agriculturist have been rewarded with a gratifying annual income and he has long been numbered among the most substantial and respected citizens of the community.
In October, 1893, at Winterset, Iowa, Mr. Fowler was united in marriage to Mrs. Mina Van Wye, the widow of George Van Wye.  A native of Pennsylvania, she was reared and married in that state but later took up her abode in Iowa.
Mr. Fowler cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and for several years voted the republican ticket but later became identified with the democracy and has since supported its men and measures.  The honors and emoluments of office have never had any attraction for him, however, and he has always preferred to devote his undivided attention to his private affairs.  His wife is a devoted and faithful member of the United Presbyterian church at Clearfield.  The period of his residence in this county now covers thirty years and he has therefore been a witness of much of its development and growth.  At the time of his arrival here the town of Clearfield was still in its infancy and Lenox was but a crossroads village.  He has not only been an interested witness but also an active participant in the arduous labor which was necessary to bring about this wonderful transformation, having improved and developed four different farms.  He has now passed the seventy-second milestone on life's journey and receives the respect and veneration which should ever be accorded one who has traveled thus far on this earthly pilgrimage and whose career has been at all times upright and honorable.  Throughout life he has been an extensive reader, so that he is today a man well informed on current topics as well as subjects in general, and he is the owner of a good library.
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