Monument and Tombstones
Springvale Cemetery
Tippecanoe County, Indiana

Eliza Hawkins Fowler, wife of Moses Fowler

Eliza Hawkins Fowler
Emma Jane Fowler
Eva Gross Fowler
Infant Son Fowler
James M. Fowler
James M. Fowler, Jr.
James Stuart Fowler

Biography of James M. Fowler

In a work of the province assigned to the one at hand, having to do with the representative citizens of Tippecanoe County, JAMES M. FOWLER, a well-known banker of Lafayette, is most consistently accorded recognition, for as the worthy son of a worthy sire he has played well his part in the development of the interests of this locality.  He was born in this 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 this work.

JAMES M. FOWLER had the advantages of a common-school education and one year at Wabash College, receiving a very serviceable textbook training which has subsequently been augmented by extensive miscellaneous reading 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 to 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 tastes, he became a partner in the wholesale dry goods business of DODGE, CURTIS & COMPANY in 1867, from which he retired in 1884 to enter the National State Bank of Lafayette, of which his father was president.  He at once showed his adaptability for the banking business.    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 executive capacity and business acumen, MR. FOWLER having followed in the footsteps of his father as a safe, conservative and successful banker.  He has many other business interests which claim his attention, but he manages large affairs with perfect ease and success, owing to the splendid system of his methods.  He has large land interests in Benton County, Indiana, near Fowler.  He is also largely interested in business matters in Chicago, and he easily takes front rank among those men of large affairs 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 national and local import which are occupying the attention of the thoughtful and 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 "speculates," 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 church, 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 talented and cultured lady, the representative of a prominent family.  MR. and MRS. FOWLER's pleasant home has been blessed by the birth of four children, three sons and a daughter, the oldest son dying in infancy.  The oldest 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. FOWLER, the third, who was born April 14, 1909.  MR. FOWLER's second son is JAMES M. FOWLER, JR., and his daughter is ELIZABETH FOWLER, both unmarried.  These children have received every advantage from an educational standpoint 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 wields a wide influence among those with whom his lot has been cast, ever having the affairs of his county at heart and doing what he could to aid in its development, whether in material, educational, civic or religious matters.  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 he has made himself useful, and he has kept untarnished the bright escutcheon 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

Springvale Cemetery  |  Cemeteries  |   Tippecanoe County INGenWeb Project

© 2001-2009 Adina Dyer