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James D. Rowley is one of the oldest residents of Butler Township, DeKalb County, and for nearly half a century has been identified with its farming interests. His home place is in section 36 of that township.

Mr. Rowley was born in Henry County, Ohio, March 23, 1845, a son of Thomas and Ellen (Davis) Rowley. His father and mother were born in County Antrim, Ireland, and after their marriage came to the United States. They made their first home in Henry County, Ohio, where the father worked in the construction of the canal between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, and his wife boarded other workmen. Later he followed different lines of emplojment in Illinois and Southwestern Indiana, and eventually settled in Jackson Township of DeKalb County, where he and his wife spent the rest of their years. As a farmer he cleared up eighty acres of land. He was a democrat, and he and his wife were faithful Catholics. Of their eight children three are still living : James D., Catherine, wife of Samuel Surface, and John, of Fort Wayne.
James D. Rowley grew up from early boyhood in Jackson Township, attended public schools, and has made industry the keynote of his life and by that means has found prosperity sufficient for all his requirements. He is still engaged in general farming and stock raising and owns 215 acres in Jackson and Butler townships. He and his family are members of the Catholic Church.

Mr. Rowley married Ella Surface on February 23, 1871. They have nine living children, named, Thomas, Charles, Carl, Elizabeth, Catherine, Mabel, Grace, Walter and Ralph. The son, Carl, is a physician at Boston. Massachusetts ; Elizabeth is the wife of Martin Schaaf, of Fort Wayne; Catherine is the wife of Thomas Kavanaugh, and Mabel is the wife of Forest Sheets.

("History of Northeast Indiana: LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties," Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1920)

This website created October 17, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
Indiana American History and Genealogy Project