In a work of the province
assigned to the one at hand, having
to do with the representative citizens of Tippecanoe County, JAMES M.
a well-known banker of Lafayette, is most consistently accorded
for as the worthy son of a worthy sire he has played well his part in
development of the interests of this locality. He was born in
city October 7, 1844, the only son of MOSES and ELIZA (HAWKINS) FOWLER,
who for many decades were among the best known people of this locality
and whose praiseworthy lives are given proper notice on other pages of
JAMES M. FOWLER had the
advantages of a common-school education and
one year at Wabash College, receiving a very serviceable textbook
which has subsequently been augmented by extensive miscellaneous
and travel and by contact with the business world. When the Civil
War began he proved his loyalty to the Union by offering his services
the government, going to the front in an Indiana regiment.
When eighteen years of age MR.
FOWLER began his eminently successful
business career by working for the wholesale grocery house of EARL
HATCHER, but not finding this line of merchandising exactly to this
he became a partner in the wholesale dry goods business of DODGE,
& COMPANY in 1867, from which he retired in 1884 to enter the
State Bank of Lafayette, of which his father was president. He at
once showed his adaptability for the banking
In 1885, the charter having expired, the bank was reorganized under the
name of the National Fowler Bank. In 1889, when his father died,
MR. FOWLER was made president of the institution, which position he has
continued to occupy, fulfilling the duties of the same with a fidelity
of purpose that has stamped him as a financier of more than ordinary
capacity and business acumen, MR. FOWLER having followed in the
of his father as a safe, conservative and successful banker. He
many other business interests which claim his attention, but he manages
large affairs with perfect ease and success, owing to the splendid
of his methods. He has large land interests in Benton County,
near Fowler. He is also largely interested in business matters in
Chicago, and he easily takes front rank among those men of large
in northern Indiana.
Never active in politics, MR.
FOWLER is, nevertheless, a stanch Republican
and he takes an abiding interest in political and other questions of
and local import which are occupying the attention of the thoughtful
public-spirited citizens throughout the land; in fact, any movement or
enterprise which has for its object the betterment of the community at
large. He takes just pride in the fact that he never
never borrows, or gives mortgages on his property. He has served
as a trustee of the Lafayette Savings Bank for several years. He
has served for many years as a trustee of the Second Presbyterian
of which his family are members. He has always been a good friend
to Purdue University in West Lafayette, and has been treasurer of that
institution for the past twenty years. When his mother gave
$70,000 to erect ELIZA FOWLER HALL he completed the building by adding
a fine pipe organ and later had the hall handsomely decorated.
MR. FOWLER was married at
Tiffin, Ohio, June 3, 1875, to EVA HEDGES
GROSS, daughter of JOHN and ELIZABETH (HEDGES) GROSS. She is a
and cultured lady, the representative of a prominent family. MR.
and MRS. FOWLER's pleasant home has been blessed by the birth of four
three sons and a daughter, the oldest son dying in infancy. The
living son, CECIL G. FOWLER, was married in 1902 at Watseka, Illinois,
to LOUISE CAMPBELL, and they are the parents of one child, JAMES M.
the third, who was born April 14, 1909. MR. FOWLER's second son
JAMES M. FOWLER, JR., and his daughter is ELIZABETH FOWLER, both
These children have received every advantage from an educational
and they all give promise of successful and happy futures.
Personally MR. FOWLER is plain
and unassuming, a man of genial address
and courteous demeanor, making and holding friends readily. He
a wide influence among those with whom his lot has been cast, ever
the affairs of his county at heart and doing what he could to aid in
development, whether in material, educational, civic or religious
A high purpose, vigorous prosecution of business, fidelity to duty and
a just regard for the rights of others are some of the means by which
has made himself useful, and he has kept untarnished the bright
of an honored family name.
Past and Present of
Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Illustrated, Volume
II, pp. 1171-1173
B. F. Bowen and Company, Publishers, Indianapolis, Indiana - 1909