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Biography - DAN W. BOWEN

Dan W. Bowen, one of the leading farmers of Freedom township, LaSalle county, is a native of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, his birth having occurred July 22, 1842. The family was established in New England at a very early period, but the record has been lost, and all that is certainly known of its history refers no further back than to the grandfather of our subject. David Bowen, as was his name, was a native of the state of Massachusetts, where he pursued the quiet, industrious life of a tiller of the soil. His son William, the father of Dan W., was likewise born in the old Bay state, and was reared to the calling of his ancestors. For a companion and helpmate along the highway of life he chose Emeline Burt, and in 1854 they removed to Illinois. At first the home of the family was in Earl township, whence they later removed to Meriden township. There the father, whose birth had occurred in 1817, died in 1895, after a residence of two-score years in this state. The wife and mother departed this life in 1891. Their children comprised the following named: Julia, wife of Wellman Tisdale, of State Center, Iowa; Marian, deceased, formerly the wife of George W. Dumond; Dan W. ; Harriet and Gertrude, both of Earlville; Louise, wife of Jesse Reynolds, of Newton, Kansas; and Cora, wife of Duncan Dunn, of Freedom. Two children died in infancy, — Frank and Francis.

Dan W. Bowen obtained a fair education in the district schools of his native state and Illinois, and was early initiated into the duties of farming. For several years after reaching man's estate he continued to live on the old homestead and shared the profits and losses of running the same, with his father. Then for two years he rented a farm in Freedom township, at the end of which period he returned to the old home, and for a dozen years or more was engaged in the cultivation of the farm. At length he purchased a homestead in Earl township, but, after operating it for a short time only, he rented the place, and in turn leased what is known as the David Davis farm, in Freedom township, where he has the advantage of a greater acreage, situated in one body. He has been quite successful in his undertakings, and enjoys the respect of all of his neighbors and acquaintances.

During the war of the Rebellion, Mr. Bowen, then a young man, was very anxious to offer his services in the defense of the Union, but deferred to the wishes of his father, who needed him on the farm, for he was an only son. At last, however, the elder man yielded to the wishes of the younger, and in September, 1864, our subject was duly enlisted in the ranks of the Federal army to serve for one year. He became a private of Company E, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, which was mustered out of the service in September, 1865. During this last year of the great conflict the old and seasoned troops were the ones placed at the front, where their experience was needed, and the later-enlisted regiments were assigned to guard duty, and were posted on the outskirts of the main branches of the army. Thus Mr. Bowen did not take part in any of the great battles of the war, though he participated in some pretty sharp skirmishes with the enemy while he was stationed at or near Memphis, Vicksburg, Yazoo City, Natchez, and other points in the Mississippi valley. Returning home in the autumn of 1865, he resumed the peaceful vocations of life, and has striven to perform his entire duty as a citizen.

In January, 1866, Mr. Bowen and Eliza, daughter of Samuel Smith, of Kendall county, Illinois, were united in marriage. She died in April, 1876, leaving three children, namely: Fred, who married Lydia Haslett and resides in Earlville; Elsie; and Josephine, wife of D. Franks, of Earlville. In January, 1879, Mr. Bowen married Gertrude L. Cook, and their five children are Gladys, Fay, Scott, Inez and Helen. Mrs. Bowen is a daughter of Lyman and Sarah Cook, who came from Meriden, Connecticut, to Earl township many years ago.

Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 419-421.

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