Monday, May 15, 2017

Notes From My Grandmother | Rowley Lineage and Genealogy, Part 4

Somehow, much of my grandmother's hand written and (badly) typed notes and research wound up in my possession. Traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles and back to Chicago again. It sat, in the dark of my mother's closet, until my dad passed and my mom decided to begin her great purge. Knowing I had picked up the torch, the next generation to pursue the Greatest Hobby on Earth, the papers came to live with me. Unsure for many years on just what to do with them, I have decided to bring them out and share them with you - transcribed, of course - no one can read my grandmother's handwriting! But in her own words; mistakes, rambling sentences, and all. I think she will be pleased her work and her writing are once again out in the light.

Rowley Family Story con't ....
More on Rev. R C Rowley ~ writings, meditations, observations 

Rev. R. C. Rowley a minister for 70 years 
(newspaper article - unsourced - St Louis MO area)

To have lived 90 years and to have spent as many of them in ministerial service as are allotted to man Biblically for a lifetime is the record of Rev. R C Rowley, who is here on a visit to his daughter, Mrs Wilcox, 406 North Tenth St. Rev. Mr. Rowley preached the morning sermon at the Second Presbyterian Church Sunday, and interested his audience greatly.

His 90 years have given him snow white hair, but have not robbed him of interest and vigor. He can talk very entertainingly of his early days in the Indiana wilderness, preaching for the hardy emigrants who were pushing the limits of the New World civilization westward. He is a pronounced optimist, and finds the world a better and more pleasant place these latter days of his life than in the early days, better in every sense - physically, morally and spiritually. There is no desire on Rev. Rowley's part to go back to the 'good old days', and no uncertain note in his commendation of present days.

Sitting erectly in his arm chair as a military man, the Rev. Rowley, of whom one scarcely feels it appropriate to speak as aged, chatted genially, giving his reasons for thinking the world better.

"I've gone thru life with my eyes and ears open," he said smiling, "and I've seen these things. The world had improved almost beyond words in the matter of temperance. Every man, in my young days, kept whiskey, and no raising or harvesting could be had without it. Why, even the children were lined up on cold mornings to get their portions of whiskey. Then, too, profanity was more common. And neighbors have better feelings nowadays. We don't have so many neighborhood feuds and so many family quarrels that involve whole neighborhoods. But the greatest advance of all is in common humanity - the feeling people have for unfortunates, and the feeling among nations that is leading to such things, that is leading to peace conferences and their work. This will be the big work of the coming era." said Rev. Rowley, concluding a chat on current events on which he keeps thoroughly posted, and in which he takes a keen interest.

"World peace will shortly be an accomplished thing", and a hopeful smile lighted the face, browned so thoroughly in early years of exposure that it could never lose it's tan. "We are on the road toward ending wars."

 ~ 9/29/1808


Rev R C Rowley is one of the most interesting characters we have ever met. He is interesting largely from the fact that he has lived 92 years and has a mind as clear as many a man's who is only 50. He has always taken a great interest in current events. Think if it. Born the year Illinois, then a wild country and inhabited largely by Indians, was admitted in the Union. There were no railroads, anf the steamboat was in it's infancy. He saw the first steamboat the plied on Lake Erie. He attended the first temperance meeting ever held where people were asked to sign the pledge. In those days when the minister mad a ministerial call the demijohn was set out and the preacher had to take a drink to be social. Mr Rowley knew Lincoln and Douglas well and has been in court when they practiced. He was through the abolition days and knows all about the underground railroad. He says the many changes that have come in his time make him feel almost as if he was living in another world. If times were reversed and the railroad, the telegraph, the telephone, the binder, the mower, threshing machine and all modern machinery were taken away from the present generation and we were set back to the conditions under which Rev Rowley started life we would certainly conclude that this is another world.

~Aledo, Illinois Record



Corning has a resident who saw the famous Haley's comet on the occasion of that heavenly wanderers visit to the earth in 1835, and also has viewed it at the present time. (1909) That person is Rev R C Rowley. He is now nearly 92 years of age. He tells us that it does not appear to be as bright now as it was 75 years ago. Mr Rowley also told us of a famous German astronomer who became so excited while making his observations of the comet that he fainted, and the work had to be completed by an assistant. Mr Rowley said that the astronomer had figured that the comet and the earth would have a collision and that calculation came very near being correct, as the two bodies passed the point in space within two minutes of each other.


Religious Meditation by Rev R C Rowley
(New Year's Eve?)

1st) There are times when we should drop the activities of life for a season, and think seriously, meditate carefully, especially in the evening twilight of the dying year. Tonight we stand upon the point that divides ninety-three from ninety-four, a favorable time to pause and review the past; to meditate upon the scenes through which we have been brought during the year now closing, the trials, disappointments, sorrows, opportunities, joys and mercies. They are all gone, gone forever never to return.
2nd) Meditate upon the responsibilities, obligations and opportunities of the present. Now is the time to form real resolutions, repent of former errors and commence the new life.
3rd) Meditate upon the future. It may be out last year in this world. What are our hopes and prospects for the life that now is and that to come.

........ to be continued ........

©2017 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved
©1980-82 Elizabeth Twining Potwin Thomas - private collection

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