Francis Sowle, born in Broadalbin, Fulton county, New York, Oct.
21,1808; died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. George D. Orton, near
Angola, Ind., Aug. 31, 1901, aged 92 years 10 months and 10 days.
From a sketch of the life of deceased, furnished by himself
nearly three years ago, it appears that he left home while a lad of
eleven, and that he worked for an uncle fourteen years, his wages at the
onset being $3 a month. Then he went from Montgomery county to Genesee
county, N.Y., where he was employed six years in teaming and coopering,
all the time by the same man. In 1834, he removed to Wayne county, Ohio.
In 1836 he came to Steuben county, Indiana, and bought Government land,
in what is known as the Sowle Settlement some two miles north of Angola.
At the time there was but one shanty on the site of Angola. It was where
the Court House now stands, and was occupied by Cornelius Gilmore and
family. He returned to Ohio, without a dollar, all his money having been
invested in his Indiana land. He raised and harvested a big crop the
following year, and in the spring of 1839 removed his family to his
Indiana land, and began the task of making a home in the wilderness. In
1843 he removed to Angola, and this town was his home till he went to
live with his daughter, Mrs. Orton, only a few years ago. In 1852 he
went overland to California and remained there about fifteen months,
returning home by way of the Isthmus of Panama. In May 1829, Mr. Sowle
and Susan N. Vroman were united in marriage in Castile, Wyoming county,
New York. four children were born to them - Joseph A. J., Mary Ann, Adam
and Helen. Mrs. Sowle died Sept. 19, 1845; and Nov. 30, 1846, Mr. Sowle
and Henrietta Holdridge were married. Sept. 1, 1848, Mrs. Sowle died,
leaving an infant daughter, Henrietta L. July 22, 1849, Mr. Sowle and
Barbara McMahan were united in marriage, and two children - Byron L. and
Josephine C. - were born to them. Of the children named, Joseph A. J.,
Mrs. Mary Ann Orton, Adam [familiarly known as "Cap",] and Byron L. Sowle
Mr. Sowle, like almost all others, had faults, but he had virtues
as well. He was public spirited and generous, and people who knew him
long and well unite in declaring him scurpulously honest in all business
affairs. Hypocrisy had no place in his make-up. A large concourse of
people, partricularly of old residents, attended his funeral in the
Cong'l Church in Angola Monday afternoon, the discourse being by Rev. P.
E. Holp. Burial in the Old Cemetery.
Submitted By: Joey Pedigo