family Sketch of Abram Bower
The grandfather and grandmother of the subject of this sketch (viz., Abram Bower) emigrated from Germany about the middle of the last century, and settled in Northampton Co., Pa. The father was born to them about 1766, whose name was Houteter Bower; he lived until 1843, and died at the age of seventy-seven.
Houteter Bower married Susan Teeter; she was born in 1766, and died in 1812, aged forty-six. They imigrated to the town of Milton (now Lansing), in Tompkins County. He came first and alone to prospect in 1791; he went back and was married. In 1791 they moved their goods in wagons, and they rode on horseback, and drove three cows, one of which was drowned in crossing the Susquehanna. After arriving at their destination, they found it necessary to go on horseback to Binghamton to get meal enough to last them until after harvest for the sustenance of the family. Three brothers and three sisters also emigrated with them to Milton (now Lansing), viz; John Adam, George, Susan, Elizabeth, and Catharine.
Houteter Bower had eleven children by this wife, who died, and he then married the widow Brock, and they had three children more, making fourteen in all. Their names were, according to birth, Henry, John, Joseph W., Jesse, David, Abram, Isaac (1st), who died young, then next one named Isaac (2nd), Elizabeth, then there were twins, named Tillman and Eve; and by the second wife there were Susan, Mary and Sarah Bower; the last died when nine years old. They are all now dead except three brothers and one sister, viz; Abram, Henry, Isaac, and Elizabeth, who are still living and well.
Abram was the sixth son and eighth child. All the brothers and sister that are dead died in this town, but one; that was Samuel, who died at Summer Hill, Cayuga Co., NY.
An incident occurred when Henry was about nine months old. He was left sitting on the floor alone. When the mother came in there was a large rattlesnake playing around him, and the child knew no fear, and was enjoying the company of his snakeship hugely, - its rattles, etc. Not so the mother: she called in the father, and he dispatched it with a stick, suddenly.
Abram commenced business working for his father, at twenty-one on his own account, and after laboring six years he recieved one thousand dollars. He was always at home. He was born Nov. 10, 1805, consequently now seventy-three years of age. He spent his boyhood not in going to school, until he was twelve years old, and then but a very little. At nine years he began to work hard, and at eleven he thought he could do as much work as a man. Was always very steady and of good habits. When he was bout twenty years old he bought his first broadcloth coat, by saving up all his small change. He was married in 1831 to Miss Francian Demorest Baker, and they had a family of five children, who are settled near them. They lost two children when they were young; making seven in all. Their names are as follows:
No. 1. Henry Louis Bower, born Sept. 20, 1832; died April 1, 1835.
No. 2. Charles F. Bower, born July 5, 1834 and was married June 7, 1862, to Miss Sarah Brown, of this town; the four children's names, Libbie Elgene Bower, born July 2, 1865; Annie Eveline Bower, born May 30, 1868; Warren Dean Bower, born March 28, 1871; and Charles Leroy Brown, born April 26, 1874.
No. 3. William Henry Harrison Bower, born Sept. 15, 1839 married Miss Helen Bishop, Oct. 25, 1866 and they have three children as follows: Ella Bower, born Nov. 9, 1868; Lena Bower born March 20, 1872; and Harry Bower, born August 30, 1871
No. 4. Warren Dean Bower, born Nov. 19, 1843; died April 7, 1855.
No. 5. Ella Bower, born Oct. 16, 1847; married to Mr. Milo Howell, in January, 1873.
No. 6. Mary Bower, born May 1, 1851
No. 7. Jay Bower, born Nov. 5, 1853; married Miss Anna Mallory, Jan. 7, 1876.
Abram, by dint of persevering industry and hard work, and by close application to his business, has added farm to farm until he now owns five hundred and eight acres of as good land as New York State affords, which is divided up into four farms, with a set of fine buildings to each one, which occupied by the four married children, - and they are all nicley siturated, - which farms they will inherit.
Abram owes nothing; was always afraid of indebtedness. His five hundred and eight acres was worth, and he was offered , one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre, but did not wish to sell; this was when land was highest, but in average years would sell at one hundred dollars per acre; it is all in one body, - part from two military tracts.
He says the first crop he ever raised was eight hundred bushels of wheat, and sold it to a man in this town - who failed - at one dollar per bushel, and received but one-half of it. Corn was then worth four shillings, oats, two shillings; and from 1812 to 1824 wheat ranged from two shillings and sixpence to four shillings, otas, eighteen cents, and corn twenty cents; and on the opening of the canal, in 1824, prices of grian and other produce began to advance. Abram says that before the canal was opened his father raised eight hundred bushels of wheat, had it floured, sent it to Albany, and realized one hundred and five dollars, and that the next year would do better; tried eight hundred bushels of wheat; had it floured , sent to Albany, and realized the same again, i.e., one hundred and five dollars. The above is to illustrate what hard times meant in those early days, which the pioneers had to suffer in the pinching inevitables of a new country, and not as now, with billions of broad acres under cultivation, and millions upon millions of people to consume the products. Abram has acquired a large property, and not a dollar by speculation, but by the fulfilling the Scripture requirement of getting it by the sweat of his brow, and by good judgment and management; so much so that he is quoted as teh "model farmer" of al of this section of country, and by his councel, advice, and pecunniary assitance has helped many a young man to enter and pursue the road of prosperity. He was always a man of strict integrity, whose word was as good as his note. In politics has always been progessive; was a Republican until of late; thinks they and the Democrats are about alike corrupt, and thinks the "Greenback theory" the nearest right and most hopeful for our country.
His religious belief is, in few words, as follows: believes in Chirstianity (but is not a member of any demonination or sect), but more in its primitive character; that there was but one Church instituted by Christ and the Apostles for the whole world and for all time, which consists of all believers who have the love of God and humanity in thier hearts; and that parties and creeds make them no better, but the contrary. Their theological views are of no account if they possess that love.
Mr. Bower says he never sued any one, and never was sued in his life, but always took peaceable means to settle any and all difficulties, a good example for most church members to follow.
Mr. Bower wishes me to say that he can stand at his front-door and look int every town in Tompkins County, and can look up the ravine to Taghanic Falls, which is opposite on the other side of Cayuga Lake, and nearly three miles distant.
Mrs. Abram Bower's maiden name was Miss Francina Demorest Baker, daughter of Samuel Baker of this town. She was born in 1810, and is now sixty-eight years old (written in 1878)
Mrs. Abram Bower
She was married in 1831. Her family history, in brief, was as follows;
Her grandfather Baker was of Quaker belief, a crockery merchant int he city of New York in the time of the Revolutionary war. he imigrated from England; he failed and lost all he had in New York. Her father emigrated from the city of New York in about the year 1789. He first visited Canada, in viewing, and then came to what is now called Lansingville, of the town of Lansing (formerly called town of Milton). He thought, on his arrival, that there was not another white man in that section, except the man who came with him, but in the course of a month he heard the sound of an axe, and went to it, and found Captain Simeon Strong, who proved to be the only neighbor he had. Samuel Baker was , consequently , one of the first settlers in the town of Milton (now Lansing). He bought a "military tract" (of a man who came to see him) of six hundred and forty acres, in the town, at two shillings and sixpence per acre, and said the title was good; afterwards proved worthless. He then footed it to Albany twice, and again paid two shillings and sixpence per acre, - five shillings in all, -and at Albany got a good title to it. He suffered all the deprivations common to pioneer life.
Mrs. Bower's father was a blacksmith, and worked at his trade about thirty years. He had never been in school but about six weeks in his life, and yet was a magistrate in this town for twenty years, and was very efficient in filling up "land conveyances" and other "writings" for the people, and was looked up to with esteem at that early day (he died in abouit 1853), and considered one of the first men in town. The names of "Baker, " " Stron," and "Bower" became very numerous in the town at a later date.
Mrs. A. Bower says when she was young farmers all saved their wool, and took it to a "carding-machine" and had it carded, woven, and fulled for their own wear in pressed flannel; for girls and men and boy wore full cloth, and was the best they could do them.
She made her own first "ingrain carpet" after marriage, about thirty years since, and that it was better to wear than any now, and full as nice. She at the early day made her own table, and all other, linens. She has kept house about forty-six years; always did her own housework, and has been truly a "help-meet" in acquiring the property they have amassed.
Her religious views are very similar to her husband's - of a liberal character, belonging to no "sect" or party," yet believes there are good people in all, and is a believer in Christianity proper, and is a descendant of a Quaker family; thinks it not necessary to belong to a sect to be saved at last.
Record of the following burials are found for the Bower family
From Family Sketches, Landmarks of Tompkins County, NY
BOWER, Charles F., was born on a farm in the town of Lansing, July 5, 1834. The grandfather of our subject, Honteter BOWER, was the first of this family to locate in this county. He settled on a farm north of Lansingville, and it was there he reared a family of fourteen children and spent the balance of his days. Abram was the sixth son, born November 10, 1805. He married in 1831 Francina BAKER, and they were the parents of seven children, of which our subject was the second. Abram BOWER died in May, 1882. Charles F. was educated in the common school and lived on his father's farm until 1861, when he started for himself on a farm of his father's in the northern part of the town. He married in June, 1862, Sarah, daughter of Caleb BROWN of this town, and they moved to their present place, a good grain and hay farm of 100 acres. They have had five children, three now living: Genie L. Anna E., and Le Roy C. Warren A., the oldest son, died April 19. 1892, aged twenty-one years, loved by all who knew him. His death was caused by the kick of a horse.
BOWER, George L., was born December 18, 1838, on the farm which he now owns. He is a son of Joseph W., also a native of this town, who married Mary PECK, and reared seven children: Lucinda, wife of Joseph KRATZER of Genoa; Philinda, wife of Lewis DE CAMP of Lansing; Mary, wife of Rufus J. DRAKE of Genoa; Elizabeth, wife of Ferdinand SPERRY; Fanny, wife of Wesley BLOOM; George, Calvin D. The father died in 1861, and the mother in 1890. The grandfather came to this place from Pennsylvania at an early day. Our subject attended the district school and worked on the farm with his parents, after the death of his father buying the home farm of 101 acres, and has ever since resided thereon. He raises a mixed crop of gratin, and makes a specialty of Shropshiredown sheep.
He has also erected a large and commodious and stables, and now owns a fine premises. In December, 1873, he married Sarah VAN ZANT, daughter of Philip and Susan KIBLER of Michigan, and they have had four children: Clarence G., born in April, 1876; Lewis L., born August 29, 1879; Jacob Bates, born October 16, 1881: and Mary E., born August 9, 1884. He is a member of the order of Free Masons, and is a Republican in politics.
BOWER, Mervin, a native of Lansing was born August 24, 1827, the son of John BOWER, born in 1799, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Tompkins county with his parents John and Rosina (YOUNGS) BOWER. John married Lucretia BUNELL, born in 1800, daughter of Henry BUNELL of Lansing, and they reared four children: Gerusha, Mervin, Hannah R., and Susan. Mr. BOWER died in January, 1887, and his wife June 8, 1878. Our subject attended the common schools in his neighborhood winters and worked on the farm summers. He finally purchased a farm of sixty-two acres, where he has since lived and has erected a commodious house and barns. He married in December 1860, Wealthy, daughter of Porter and Lucinda (SLOCUM) WHITE of Lock. Mr. and Mrs. BOWER have three children: John C., born December 31, 1862; Charles R., born August 28, 1864; Ella M., born July 3, 1869, wife of Clifford TOWNSEND of Lansing. John C. married Ella BOWER, and Charles R. married Emma J. McCARGAR. The family are members of the Lansingville Grange. Mr. BOWER has served as assessor and is a trustee of the M.E. church at Lansingville. In politics he is a Republican.
Lansing Township - Landmarks of Tompkins Co., NY
Tilman BOWER was a settler in 1794 from Pennsylvania, and three years later, his five sons, Honteter, John (who located near their father), Samuel, Adam and George (who settled at or near North Lansing) came into the town.
This page was created on August 1, 2001
November 10th 2004
Copyright by JanMarie
All Rights Reserved.