Monday, May 8, 2017

Notes From My Grandmother | Rowley Lineage and Genealogy, Part 3

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 ....

Joseph Rowley Jr. married Annie Beach in 1814 or 1815. Joseph Rowley was a personal friend of the French General Lafayette.

Joseph Rowley Jr b. 25 December 1788 in Victor, Ontario Co, NY
                             d. 7 July 1853 in Portage Co, OH
                             m. 1814/15 Annie Beach
                                                b. 20 March 1790 in Victor Ontario Co, NY
                                                d. 11 November 1867 in Mt Pleasant, IA

children include:

  • Rossiter Clark Rowley b. 18 July 1818 d. 10 July 1912  m. Rhoda Ann Vredenburgh
  • Loveland Thomas Rowley b. 1822 d. 1899 m. Rebecca Tullis

In 1828 Rossiter moved with his family (parents) to Portage Co, Ohio. At the early age of 17 years he decided upon his life's calling and was licensed to preach in 1838, and ordained a minister of the gospel in 1839. He moved to Putnam County, Indiana in 1838 and in November 1840 was married to Rhoda Ann Vredenburgh. Rossiter and Rhoda were married in Greencastle, Indiana by Bishop Amos. Five children were born to them.

Rossiter was a 'circuit' rider in the early days of residency in New York state. At twenty years he was ordained as minister in the Methodist church. When the families moved west and located in Iowa he transferred his membership to the Presbyterian church and as one of it's learned and consecrated ministers he did a wonderful work for the Master in several Iowa churches for 'nigh on forty years.

After ministering for a season in Indiana he moved to Illinois where he performed missionary work until 1876. The spring of that year he moved to Adams county. He organized the Presbyterian churches in Brooks and Nodaway and officiated as their pastor for twenty five years. In 1892 he was honorably retired from the ministry by the Presbytery of Corning and since that time has made his home with his daughter in this city.

Rev. Rowley, at the close of his first pastorate, acquired a tract of land a mile north of the courthouse where the Cuba road branches off from Main. It was timber and unbroken tract. Here Dr Rowley built for himself a neat little cottage. In 1852 and 1853 he had the land cleared and plowed. (the editor of the paper which carried this article - 'a mere little stinker of 15 then, drove the oxen that did the first plowing and helped to put out a considerable orchard' - one of our noblest pioneer ministers whom this editor numbers among his dearest childhood friends) [The Rowley family resided in Peoria, IL at this time]

Rev. Rowley was a remarkable old gentleman (he lived into his 95th year) retaining his facilities to a wonderful degree and kept posted in all the issues of the day and possibilities of the future. Dr Rowley was a scholarly brilliant man and many years ahead of his time in the interpretation of the scripture. He was a gentle and kindly person (undemonstrative for a Methodist minister). However his service to the Presbytery covered many years during which he organized churches throughout the state of Iowa; his last charges being at Brooks and Nodaway after which he was honorably retired by the Presbytery. He was a splendid citizen and a cherished friend of all people of the various churches and outside of them. He was one of the noblest pioneer ministers with a brilliant mind which he retained to the last. He was erect of stature and took daily walks to the post office in company of his big hunting dog; returning by way of the butcher's where there'd be a treat wrapped and carried home by "DON" before opening it.

Father Rowley was clear of speech and optimistic in his views. He attended the General Assembly as late as his 88th year. He viewed the famous Haley's comet for the second time in his 92nd year. Many remarkable and historical events occurred during Rossiter C Rowley's lifetime: he saw the railroads come into being (monstrous change from the covered wagon), witnessed the steamboat in its infancy, experienced the 'temperance movement' and often commented that 'it was like living, almost in another world'. And so it must have been; the railroads, telegraph, telephone 'all modern machinery' such as binding machine, binder mower, and thrashing machine came into being in his lifetime. Dr Rowley knew Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas; he often saw them practice. Mr Rowley lived through the 'abolition days' and knew all about the 'underground railroad'. As a lad Rossiter sat upon the knee of Lafayette (French statesman and general, known as the "Hero of the Worlds") and toyed with the brass buttons on his uniform (Lafayette served as major general in general George Washington's army during the American Revolution)

There are many interesting stories and happenings of this remarkable, loving, gentle ancestor's life. (I was privileged and fortunate to have known my great grandfather Rowley - ETPT) Father Rowley, a devout Christian forever in the service of his fellow man was called to the bedside of a dying parishioner. While driving along the dark road in his horse and buggy, the horse shied; Father Rowley controlled him and at the same time witnessed an apparition by the roadside. Continuing on the journey, he was met at the home and informed that his friend was dead. His death had occurred at the time that Father Rowley had witnessed the apparition while traveling to his home.

Rossiter died in Biggsville, Illinois while visiting his son ans daughter-in-law, being overcome by intense heat. He was met in Albia by his grandson Frank M Rowley and journeyed to Biggsville.


Rossiter Clark Rowley b. 7 July 1818 in Victor, NY
                                      d. 10 July 1912 in Biggsville, IL
                                      m. 29 September 1840 to Rhoda Ann Vredenburgh
                                                                              b. 4 March 1818 in Terre Haute, IN
                                                                              d. 10 December 1890 in Brooks, IA

children include:

  • Marcellus Mellville Rowley b. 1842 d. 1911 m. Drucilla Criss
  • Anne Elizabeth Rowley b. 1845 d. 1941 m. Wilcox
  • Flora Dell Rowley b. 11/12/1857 d. 12/13/1932 m. Jesse Louis Twining
  • Child FNU
  • Child FNU

Flora Dell Rowley b. 12 November 1857 in Peoria, IL
                                d. 13 December 1832 in Des Moines, IA
                                m. 25 October 1876 to Jesse Louis Twining
                                                                    b. 5 August 1850 in Washington, IA
                                                                    d. 8 April 1933 in Des Moines, IA

children include:

  • Carrie Elizabeth Twining b. 29 March 1881 d. 19 October 1969 m. Irving A Potwin
  • Anna Jeanette Twining b. 1883 d. 1918 m. E Earl Williams
  • Jessie Lois Twining b. 1885 d. 1977 m. Jacob Earl Hydeman
  • Merrick Carlyle Twining b. 1888 d. 1970 m. Edna Mae Peterson

 ***editor's note: this is a transcript of research completed in 1982 based on information available at that time. I have not yet researched this family further, but suspect there is more information/clarification available to us today. I will follow up at a future date with fresh data. ***

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

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

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