BOWEN, Homer L.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 341-342
Homer L. BOWEN, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Flora Township, Boone County [IL], was born in Newport, Herkimer County, NY, 09 Mar 1839. His father, William S. BOWEN, was born in Oneida County, NY, 05 Feb 1814, and the grandfather was an early settler of Deerfield Township, Oneida County. He followed farming and died in 1849, at the age of 67. William BOWEN was reared in the usual manner of farmer's sons, and was joined in wedlock with Maria RIX, a native of Herkimer County and a daughter of Theophilus RIX, who was born in CT. He became a pioneer of the town of Fairfield, Herkimer County, and in the midst of the wilderness cleared a farm, upon which he resided until 1857, when he emigrated to Belvidere [Boone County], IL. His death occurred in that city in his 100th year. After his marriage, William BOWEN purchased [p 342] a tract of land bordering on West Canada Creek, in the town of Newport, Herkimer County, and here resided until his death in 1850. His wife departed this life on the home farm, 12 May 1843, at the age of 27 years.
Our subject was only four years old when his mother died. He was reared by his maternal grandparents and acquired his early education in the district schools, after which he attended Fairfield Academy. With his grandparents he came to IL in 1857, and began working by the month until his marriage, when he settled upon the farm that is yet his home. It is a highly improved tract of 155 acres, and with the exception of 20 acres in timber land, the entire amount is under a high state of cultivation.
On 14 Sep 1859 Mr. BOWEN wedded Laura M. RICE, who was born on the farm which is yet her home, 12 Jul 1841. Her father, Waite RICE, was born in Barkhamsted, Litchfield County, CT, 03 Jun 1814, and for some years was overseer in the Collins Axe Factory. At an early day he came to IL and is numbered among the honored pioneers of Boone County, having located here in 1839. The farm upon which our subject now resides he [Waite RICE] entered from the Government. He was well known in this community as a man of sterling worth, and served as Justice of the Peace in Flora Township. His death occurred 06 Apr 1848. His wife bore the maiden name of Laura CASE. She was born in Litchfield County, CT, 05 Apr 1814, and is still living, a resident of Belvidere. She has been a second time married, her husband being Flavel SMITH.
Mrs. BOWEN spent the days of her maidenhood on the home farm and attended the old pioneer schools built of logs with slab seats, puncheon floors and huge fireplaces. To her husband she has been a faithful companion and helpmate. They have one daughter, Nellie, now the wife of Fred HALL, by whom she has one son, Homer. They live in Belvidere [Boone County, IL].
In politics Mr. BOWEN is a Republican, and socially he is a member of Flora Camp No. 624, Modern Woodmen of America. Himself and wife are members of Royal Neighbor Chapter, Modern Woodmen of America, and of Excelsior Lodge No. 2654, Patrons of Industry. He was one of the original members of the Cremery Company, formed in 1882, and has been Treasurer since its organization. The products of this cremery are of the best repute, and the business has been a paying one since the beginning.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.