This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on Bower. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
No book in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deals with the Bower family. But, there is one that deals in part with the Bowers name. It is: Ralph Strassburger's The Strassburger Family and Allied Families of Pennsylvania; Being the Ancestry of Jacob Andrew Strassburger, Esquire, of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Gwynedd Valley, Pa., 1922).
There are 29 different first-name entries for Bower in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are many references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' BOWER neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
C. M., attorney--219 E. Linn Ellen E. John G. 15
In HAINES Township:Adam, 50, farmer--Aaronsburg Susan Andrew F. 26 Michael 20 Charles, 45, carpenter--Aaronsburg Julia A. Allen 20 John O. 17 Philip D. 15 Christina--Aaronsburg Mary A. Cornelius B., 52, farmer--Fiedler Thomas C. 26 Xeranna F. Nora A. Edward A. 27, laborer--Aaronsburg Mary Emanuel, 40, laborer--Fiedler Harriet Annie B. William J. 12 Mazie A. Henry O., 37, farmer--Fiedler Anna S. Bertha R. Nora J. John, 72, retired--Poe Mills Emma E. John, 17--Aaronsburg Philip D. 15 Julia--Aaronsburg William W., 60, laborer--Aaronsburg Selinda John W. 22
In HOWARD Towsnhip:Frederick S., 40, farmer--Mt. Eagle Martha S. Christian J. 9 Henry R. 6 Annie E. William L. 1 mo. S. C., 37, farmer--Mt. Eagle Ella B. Charles G. 6
In MILES Township:Jacob--Rebersburg Christiana Sadie C. Serrie M. Zwingle 25
In PENN Township:George M., 33, farmer--Coburn Martha J. Sadie V. Artie C. 9 Calvin 7 Maud M. Wilbur E. 3 Snowden 3 mos.
In POTTER Township:William, 34, teacher--Potters Mills Dora Grace A.
In RUSH Township:Isaac, 32, laborer--Philipsburg Eliza Minnie