6 May 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
Alanson Stowell, farmer, residing on section 4, Prophetstown Township, and the owner of 320 acres thereon, is a son of Aaron and Elizabeth (Pratt) Stowell, and was born in Broome Co., N.Y., April 30, 1812. His father and mother were both natives of the same State, and the former was a farmer by occupation, and both were of Scotch, English and Welsh extraction.
Alanson Stowell, subject of this notice, was reared on a farm, assisted in the maintenance of the family, and attended the common schools of his native county until he was 21. He then left the parental roof-tree, and went to Canisteo, Steuben Co., N.Y., where he learned the trade of millwright. He served three years in the latter county, and in May, 1836, came to Quincy, this State, and worked at his trade for about three months. He then went to Iowa in the vicinity of Davenport, where he worked one season on several mills in that neighborhood. He then returned to Quincy, where his parents resided, and in the spring again returned to Iowa, where he was engaged at his trade for another three months. In July, 1837, Mr. Stowell came to Prophetstown, which was then a part of Jo Daviess County, and in company with three others made a claim of 360 acres of land. They erected a saw-mill on the same, one-half mile from the mouth of Coon Creek, and cut a race one and a half miles in length, which cost them $2,000, and which proved a failure, and Mr. Stowell was the loser thereby to the extent of one-fourth of the amount invested. They then moved the mill and ran it something over two years, and finally abandoned it, as it had a poor foundation and had fallen down; but Mr. Stowell was lucky in having sold out his interest some time before the destruction of the property, although he was a loser by the investment.
Mr. Stowell purchased 80 acres of his present farm on section 4 from the Government after the land had come into market, and has increased his acreage by subsequent purchases, until he is now the proprietor of 320 acres on the section named, 120 acres of the same being inside the corporate limits of the village of Prophetstown. He has also six acres of timber land in Portland Township.
Mr. Stowell was united in marriage in Prophetstown, May 12, 1842, to Miss Annette E. Nichols. She is the daughter of Erastus G. and Elizabeth G. Nichols, and was born in Hardwick, Caledonia Co., Vt., Sept 21, 1824. They have eight children, seven of whom are living: Sarah E., wife of Henry S. Davidson, farmer in Prophetstown Township; Erastus C., a farmer residing on the farm of the subject of this notice; Mary A., wife of R.J. Pense, a farmer in Nebraska; Marion, wife of Frank McGrady, section foreman on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad branch; Bradford M., a farmer; Addie A., wife of John Blackmore, a carpenter in Prophetstown; Mark A. resides at home; Erastus C. married Lucy Blackmore; Bradford married Maud Daratt.
Mr. Stowell was one of the early pioneers of Whiteside County and has been ever active in developing its resources and laboring to promote the welfare and prosperity of the community. He is, and long has been, one of the leading and representative men of his section of the county, and being a man of this standing, we take pleasure in presenting his portrait in this ALBUM.