Biography of Samuel Bowles

Coming from historic old Loudoun county, Virginia, which has given to the service of the United States the wisdom, valor and progressive statesmanship of many distinguished men, and to the social life of the nation the personal charms and intellectual culture of many noble ladies, Samuel Bowles, of Garfield county, this state, who is comfortably settled on a fine ranch in the neighborhood of Carbondale, has in addition to his own force of character and native abilities the incentive to enterprise and breadth of view furnished by a long line of prominent and productive ancestors. His life began on May 19, 1844, and he is the son of Samuel and Amelia Bowles, natives of that state who settled in Buchanan county, Missouri, when it was on the far frontier and all the conditions of life were yet wild and uncomely. There they followed farming and won from the generous soil a good estate. The father was a Democrat in political belief and became a leading man in his new home. He died in 1855 and his wife in 1859. They had a family of six children, three of whom are living: Rachel, wife of Howard Story, of St. Louis, Missouri; Alcinda, wife of William Payne, of Idaho; and Samuel. The last named attended the public schools when he had opportunity, which was not often for long periods, and assisted his parents on the farm, remaining with them until they died. Afterward, in partnership with relatives, he engaged in farming in Missouri with profit until 1880, when he came to this state and located at Leadville. Here he drove freight teams and did other work that he found to do until Christmas of that year, then made a visit to his old Missouri home. On his return to Colorado he settled at Aspen and engaged in teaming for wages, his compensation being fifty dollars a month and his board. He continued this occupation until March, 1882, then came to his present locality, where he worked two years for wages on a ranch. At the end of that time he bought a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he afterward proved up and which is the ranch he now owns. This he has greatly improved and brought to productiveness in the usual crops of the section, hay, potatoes and cattle being his chief reliance. It must not be supposed that his life has been all sunshine and free from danger and disaster. He was in all the troubles at Julesburg and along the Platte river in the early sixties; and while in partnership with Jesse Moore in keeping up the roads, had numerous encounters with the Indians, in which one of his men was killed and several were wounded. He was married on February 28, 1867, to Miss Sarah Jane Jones, a native of Buchanan county, Missouri, and the daughter of John and Annie Jones, both born and reared in Tennessee. They were among the earliest settlers in that part of Missouri in which they lived, and there, redeeming a good farm from the wilderness and defending it from savage fury, they grew to prosperity and prominence. The father supported the Democratic party on all questions of public policy, and was a member of the Masonic order and the Methodist church. Seven children were born to them, one dying in infancy. The six living are William, James, Mary K. (Mrs. Robert Dietz), John and Nathaniel, all residing in Buchanan county, Missouri; and Mrs. Bowles, who is the second in numerical order of the six. The father died on September 29, 1901. Mr. and Mrs. Bowles have had eight children, of whom a son named John W. is deceased. The seven living are: Robert F., of Canon Creek, Colorado; Alcinda wife of Denver R. Van de Venter, of near Carbondale; James, of the Elk Creek region; Mary, wife of Olaf Johnson, of near Glenwood Springs; Samuel, Grafton and Effie Jane. Mr. Bowles has found Colorado much to his taste as a place of residence, a fruitful country in good opportunities, and settled by a people appreciative of ability and force of character; and is well pleased to be numbered among the productive energies which are making it one of the greatest states of the great West. He is highly esteemed as a business man and good citizen.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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