Biography - JOHN BOWEN
John Bowen, a son of the pioneer, Hiram Bowen, will form the subject pftliis memoir. He was born in Kane county, Illinois, February 8, 1839, reared and educated a farmer boy and now owns and manages the old family homestead. In his youth he attended school and improved his every opportunity to acquire knowledge. His first impressions were that school was a good place for a boy and that study was one process of mind development and culture. His favorite study was mathematics, and he was not only a master of this branch himself while in school, but he also had time to aid the larger pupils and frequently the teacher, as well. At twenty years of age Mr. Bowen was obliged to quit school and take a permanent and continuous interest in farming. As time went on and his financial position became more independent he turned his attention to cattle-feeding and still later to toying and shipping live stock, and he remained in this lucrative business for many years.
Mr. Bowen remained a single man until December. 1898, when he married Susan Edwinson, the daughter of a Norwegian school teacher. Mrs. Bowen is forty-two years of age and is a native of the United States.
Our subject's identity with political matters has been confined to voting. He has" never cared to hold public office, - in fact is not constructed in the lines necessary for a public servant. He is one of the well posted men, historically, of the town, and while he may have no particular pride on that account it is certainly a source of great satisfaction to him to be able to recall, with accuracy, the important events that have entered into the history of our country and speak of them as if they were of the living present. He has strong convictions on political questions, which his own experience and study warrant him in defending. His first presidential vote was cast for the martyred Lincoln, and his last for William McKinley, who he believes ranks with the first president of the Republican party in statesmanship and patriotism. He believes in the policy of expansion practiced by the present administration and forced upon it by existing circumstances connected with the late Spanish war. Defensive expansion, in the interests of humanity, is a national virtue that is entirely novel, and one in which the United States has the distinction of being the pioneer, thinks Mr. Bowen. These conclusions are not arrived at by mere speculation and fanciful theories, but by a good knowledge of the history of all nations and the light of an advanced Christian civilization.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 370-371.