Thursday, August 6, 2015

Flora Dell Rowley Twining: A Settled Life (52 Ancestors #19)

Flora Dell Rowley was born 12 Nov 1857 in Peoria IL. She was the youngest of five (some say that number was six) children born to the Rev. Rossiter C. Rowley and Rhoda Ann Vredenburg.

Flora spent her youth mostly in Illinois, her father had been assigned a post in that young state as a Methodist church circuit rider. First residing in Peoria then later in Galesburg where in 1860, the family was moved when her father left the Methodist Church to join the Presbyterians. It was here that Flora recalled accompanying her father to church and sitting in a big chair in the pulpit beside him.  As she grew, Flora took an active part in church music as she was blessed with a beautiful voice and musical talent.

In 1876 Rev. Rowley was called to plant new churches in Adams Co, IA, assigned to the towns of Brooks and Nodaway. Shortly after the family's arrival in Iowa Flora met, and quickly married, her husband Jesse Louis Twining. Jesse was the son of the Rev. E. W. Twining and Priscilla Bickford Ashby. Flora had met her future husband while on a shopping trip with her father to purchase draperies for their new home.

The marriage took place 25 Oct 1876 in Corning IA, where the couple made their home for 50 years. It was officiated by both the bride and groom's fathers, as both were men of the cloth. Jesse was a druggist by profession at the time of their marriage, later he became a travelling salesman for the Arbukle Coffee Company. To them were born four children, three daughters and one son.



Not much was written on women then and Flora, "Dell" as she was fondly know to her husband, was no exception.  Painting a picture of her life with only a handful of public records is a challenge. I can imagine that life was pretty good in Corning the later part of the 19th century. Accounts of the time portray her as well liked, being active in both church and club work. The daughter of the town's preacher would surely have brought her favor. "She being one with a happy bright disposition endeared herself to all who knew her."

Main Street Corning, IA c.1900
Flora looked after her invalid mother until her death in 1890. Later she cared for her father and mother-in-law during the last years of their lives, as well as her own father until his death in 1912.


In  1918, Flora faced what every parent fears, the death of a child. Her second daughter, Anna Jeanette "Nettie" died at the age of 35.


Flora Dell Rowley Twining
Sometime between 1925 and 1930 Flora and Jesse moved to Des Moines, to spend their golden years with their oldest daughter Carrie Elizabeth "Bessie" Potwin and her husband Irv. Carrie and Irv had recently become empty nesters and were enjoying the first of their grandchildren,  It was there that Flora passed away after a short bout of pneumonia, two weeks before Christmas, 13 Dec 1932.

Her husband passed the following April.

Flora is buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Corning IA. She rests with her parents, her daughter and her husband


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