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Benjamin Fowler of Portage County, Ohio

Benjamin Fowler

Author: Betty Ralph Date: 21 Oct 2000 12:00 PM GMT
Surnames: Fowler, Craft, McClow, Shaffer, De Lon, Bristol, Towsley, Hoskins, Craig, Missner, Doty

"History of Portage County, Ohio" published by Warner, Beers & Co., Chicago, 1885

BENJAMIN FOWLER, retired farmer, Garrettsville, was born July 25, 1807, in Northumberland County, Penn., and removed when nine years old to Lycoming County, same State, with his parents, James Fowler, born in Northumberland County, Penn., and Ann (Craft) Fowler, born in England, and who came to America at the age of sixteen years. The father was a distiller during early manhood, and later a farmer. He died at the age of seventy-five years, of palsy. He and his wife, who died in 1824, were members of the Presbyterian Church. Their children were eight in number, five of whom are now living: Benjamin, Daniel, Deborah, Nancy and Kate. Our subject was educated in the log-cabin schoolhouse, and during his short terms in the winters he progressed rapidly. It is a remarkable fact that he mastered every problem in what is now known as "Pike’s Arithmetic" in twenty-one days and nights. At seventeen years of age he began labor on a vessel which plied on Baltimore Bay, and there remained five years. In 1829 he rented a large farm along the Susquehanna River, and five years later left there for Trumbull County, Ohio, where he settled among the wolves and other ferocious animals. Here he improved about 114 acres, besides clearing other farms. In 1853 he moved to this county, and settled where he now resides. He owns 175 acres, known as the old "Spencer farm," for which he paid $8,000. Since locating here he has made a specialty of stock-raising and dairying; he also continued the cheese-making business, which he had commenced in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1848, but this industry he withdrew from in 1881. While in Trumbull County there were added to his various other duties the operating of a sawmill , and the first threshing machine ever used in that county. At one time he was interested in a banking business at Garrettsville, this county, which proved to be a loss to him. Our subject married, in 1829, Elizabeth, daughter of John and Abbie (McClow) Shaffer, natives, former of Pennsylvania, latter of New Jersey. To this union were born eleven children, eight of whom are now living: J. Wilson, married to Flora De Lon; Henry M.C., married to Caroline Bristol, born October 5, 1833, daughter of Lot and Lucy (Towsley) Bristol, natives of Connecticut and early settlers of Portage County (her father died in 1866, leaving two children: Fred and Caroline); they have two children: Ransom and Virginia; Harriet, married, for her second husband, to Oscar Hoskins; Sarah J., married to Fred Bristol; Lorenda, married to Samuel Craig; Cornelius, married to Hannah Missner; John, married to Rosa Doty; Watson, married to George Collins. Mrs. Fowler died in 1874. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which our subject has been closely attached for over forty years. Mr. Fowler cast his first Presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, and has since adhered faithfully to the principles of the Democratic party. The Fowler family are descended from three brothers who emigrated from England at an early period, and soon after separated. One, Nathan, was married and lived in New York, and his son Benjamin was on board a vessel which remained out of sight of land for three years and six months. He was with George Washington during the Revolutionary struggle. His father was killed in the French and Indian war. Another of the three brothers, Elithan, married and resided in Connecticut; and the third brother, David, married a French woman and settled in Pennsylvania, and from him the race, of which our subject is a member, sprang. The Fowler family as a rule are long lived. Benjamin, the grandfather of our subject, died at the age of one hundred and six years.