John Henry FOWLER

14 Sep 1839 - 31 Aug 1909

Father: Stephen Cornel FOWLER
Mother: Rebecca LAWRENCE

Family 1 : Sarah Ann FRISBIE

  1.  Irene Frisbie FOWLER
  2.  Cornelia Willoughby FOWLER
  3.  Rebecca Lawrence FOWLER
  4.  Stephen Cornell FOWLER

                         |                     |__
 _Stephen Cornel FOWLER _|
|                        |                      __
|                        |_____________________|
|                                              |__
|--John Henry FOWLER 
|                                               __
|                         _Whitehead LAWRENCE _|
|                        |                     |__
|_Rebecca LAWRENCE ______|
                         |                      __


Listed in the 1860 Census for Sonoma County, Bodega Township, Smith's Ranch Post office, as J H Fowler, age 20, bp. New York, "labourer", with $1500 in real estate, and $500 in personal property. Listed living alone in dwelling #291. His parents are listed in the same census as living in dwelling #286, his brother, James, in dwelling #289 and his brother, Stephen, in dwelling #287.
From a History of Sonoma County, by J. P. Munro-Frasier (Washington D.C.: Alley, Bowen & Co., 1880), pp. 491:
  Fowler, John Henry. The seventh child of Stephen Cornell Fowler and Rebecca Lawrence Fowler; was born at Little Neck, Long Island, on the 14th day of September, 1839. He came to California when was fourteen years old, in company with his parents, who sailed from New York in the clipper ship "Lookout" on the 28th day of December, 1853, for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Arrived in San Francisco May 6, 1854, and immediately joined his brothers in Sonoma county, and has ever since resided in the locality where he first settled, now known as Valley Ford. He opened the first general merchandise business in said town. Married Sarah Ann Frisbie, the daughter of Zadoc and Chloe Frisbie, of Rutland county, Vermont, on the 1st day of June, 1864. His wife was born in the town of Pawlet, Rutland county, Vermont, on the 25th day of July, 1843, and came to California via Panama, arriving in San Francisco in September, 1863. Four children have been born to them... all of whom were born at Valley Ford.  

From a History of Sonoma County California with Biographical Sketches of the leading men and women of the County, by Tom Gregory (Historic Record Company, Los Angeles: 1911), p. 530-533:
  In the death of John H. Fowler, August 31, 1909, Santa Rosa lost an honored citizen and early settler, and one who, by his upright and blameless life, added much to the moral tone of the community in which he had made his home for so many years. He was born in Long Island, N. Y., September 14, 1839, the son of parents who had endowed him with a fine mentality. It is related that he began to attend school at the age of three years; at all events, he had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and it goes without saying that every opportunity that came his way for the gratification of this desire was eagerly grasped and turned to good account. All through his life he was an inveterate student and reader, to the end that he was well informed on all subjects and a brilliant conversationalist to whom it was a delight to listen.
Among the quiet homes whose routine was broken in upon the news of the finding of gold in California in 1849 was that of which John H. Fowler was a member of Long Island, New York. That year two of his brothers, Stephen and James E. Fowler, set out the eldorado by way of the Horn in the ship Brooklyn. Three years later, in 1852, they were joined by the rest of the family, the father and mother and their remaining children, three sons and one daughter (John H. Benjamin, Nathaniel and Sarah A. making the voyage by way of the Horn also.
John H. Fowler settled in Valley Ford. Sonoma county where with his brother, James F., he engaged in the mercantile business under the firm name of Fowler Brothers. As pioneer settlers in the town they erected the first church edifice. The mercantile business thus established was carried on by the brothers for many years, but it was finally sold to Captain Loper, after which John H. Fowler became interested in Crecent City, through the purchase of land and the maintenance of a dairy business in which he was very successful. From there he went to Guerneville, where in 1875 he purchased two hundred acres of land at a low figure and after making his home upon it for ten years, sold it in 1885 for $15,000 making a large profit in so doing. He also had large interests in timber lands, owning thirteen hundred acres in Mendocino county which he purchased in 1886. After disposing of his ranch property he came to Santa Rosa and engaged in the real-estate business in partnership with T. J. Ludwig, an association that lasted as long as Mr. Fowler remained in business. Ten years before his death he had lived retired from business, having accumulated sufficient means in former years to make this deserved rest possible.
In 1864 Mr. Fowler had formed domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Sarah Ann Frisbie, a native of Vermont, who came to California by way of the Isthmus in 1863 and has made this state her home ever since. Five children came to bless the home life of Mr. and Mrs. Fowler, as follows: Irene, the wife of C. W. Bradford, of Utah, California; Cornelia, the wife of A. S. Gibbens, of Mark West; Rebecca L. Stephen C., who died in 1903; and Ruth, the wife of J. H. Moore of Chicago. Wherever circumstances placed him Mr. Fowler entered heartily into the activities of his community, doing whatever lay in his power to upbuild and improve conditions. While a resident of Valley Ford and Guerneville he served efficiently in the capacity of justice of the peace. He was a member of and active worker in the Presbyterian church, having been identified with the membership in Santa Rosa for many years.

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This page created on 02/05/01 16:08. Updated 05/14/03 19:12.