James Gowenlock Sr.
For many long and weary months James GOWENLOCK, Sr., had been a great sufferer and
had heroically battled pain and disease until yesterday morning about 9 o'clock when
his spirit was separated from his body and winged its way to the other world.
Mr. GOWENLOCK was possessed of a strong constitution or he would have been claimed
by death long ago. In many respects he was a remarkable man. He was possessed of a
wonderful memory, and in his earlier manhood was a very bright Mason and occupied the
highest positions in the fraternity, being master of a lodge in New York City many
years ago and was frequently complimented on the correctness of his work.
He was a fine mechanic and machinist, and at one time was Master Mechanic and
Superintendent of Motive Power on the Hudson River Railroad and was in high position
also at one time on the Harlem River Road. Richard CROKER, the present Tammany Chieftan,
of New York City, learned the machinists trade under Mr. GOWENLOCK, and when at Chicago
as a delegate to the last National Democratic Convention made inquiries concerning
Mr. GOWENLOCK and conveyed his kindest regards to the old gentleman by neighbors who
were there. In his early days in New York City, Mr. GOWENLOCK was an active and
influential politician in Republican ranks, and never an election of any importance
passed without his influence being sought by interested parties. In his latter days
he was a Democrat and acted with that political organization.
The illness that ended in his death was of long duration. The first seeds of disease
began to germinate two or three years ago and the past twelve months or more he had
rarely been away from his home. During his confinement nothing pleased him more than
to have his Masonic brethren call and chat with him. He fully realized that his troubles
could only end with death and that time alone would bring his release. He frequently
expressed a desire to live, but said he had fears of death, that if his time had come
he was ready and willing to go.
The funeral will occur tomorrow afternoon at 4 o'clock from the family residence on
North Union St., and will be under the direction of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 31 A.F. and A.M.
with interment at Oakwood Cemetery.
James GLOWENLOCK was born in Carlisle, England, September 21, 1822, and was therefore
in his 72nd year at time of death. In 1843 he was married to Miss Sarah RUSSELL, of
Doston, England, and to them nine children have been born; five of whom are living, viz:
Thomas, of Clay Centre, Kas.; James of Princeton, Indiana; David, Mrs. A. L. WARREN, and
Mrs. W. D. GOODRICH both of this city. Five years after their marriage, Mr. GOWENLOCK,
possessed of but enough capital to bring them to his country, emigrated to America. He
being a skilled machinist soon found remunerative employment and worked at his trade.
They lived in New York about 16 years, when they removed to Litchfield, in all of which
cities he worked in railroad and car shops. May 3, 1874, he and his family first came to
Mt. Vernon and he found employment in the Southeastern Railroad shops. He had continuously
resided here ever since, ever known as a hard working, honest and economical man, and at
one time was worth considerable money and a bank stockholder. Business reverses and
misfortunes of various sorts for which he was in no wise responsible himself, scattered
his accumulations of years and he died a poor man.
The late James GOWENLOCK Sr. whose funeral is being conducted this afternoon, was the
first man in this city to propose converting the Louisville and Nashville shops into a
car manufactuory. When the repair shops were removed from this point to Howell, (Indiana)
he agitated the matter, which finally resulted in the organization of the present company,
and subscribed, for $5,000 of stock, and was a member of the first Board of Directors.
Source: Mt. Vernon IL Register
Date: August 2, 1893
Submitted by: Mary Zinzilieta