GEORGE W. ROWLEY
GEORGE W. ROWLEY has been engaged in the insurance business in the city of Charlotte for more than a score of years and is one of the well known and representative citizens of the county, which has been his home from the time of his birth and which he loyally represented as a soldier in the Union ranks during the war of the Rebellion. Mr. Rowley was born on the homestead farm, in section 13, Chester Township, this county, October 25, 1845, and is a son of the late Marcus and Jerusha (Tiffany) Rowley, who had taken up their residence in Eaton County the preceding year. The father secured eighty acres of wild land, and by hard work and good management he developed the same into a good farm, continuing to reside on the homestead until the 4th of March, 1861, a day memorable as marking the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, and Mr. and Mrs. Rowley then removed to Charlotte, where they passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the esteem of all who knew them. The father was born in the state of New York and the mother in Pennsylvania. They became the parents of two sons and two daughters, namely: George W., who figures as the immediate subject of this sketch; Lafayette, who was a soldier in the Ninth Michigan volunteer Cavalry in the civil war, having been a member of Company A, and who died in Charlotte, in 1901; Ursula, who is now the wife of Herbert L. Rote and a resident of Oklahoma; and Phylura, who was the wife of David Numbers, deceased, and lives in Fulton County, Ohio. George W. Rowley passed his boyhood and early youth on the home farm, assisting in the work and management thereof until he had attained the age of eighteen years. In the meanwhile the war of the Rebellion had been in progress, and shortly before his nineteenth birthday anniversary, on September 17, 1864, Mr. Rowley went forth to do what he could to uphold the Union cause on the battlefields of the south. On the date noted he enlisted in an independent cavalry regiment known as Merrill’s Horse, becoming a member of Company L and continuing in service with this command until the close of the war, having received his honorable discharge, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 15, 1865. He then returned to Eaton County, where he continued to be identified with agricultural pursuits for a number of years. Since 1884 he has been established in the insurance business in Charlotte, his agency being one of the most important in the county and controlling a large support. He represents a number of the leading fire, life and accident insurance companies of the Union and has written a very large amount of insurance within the more than twenty years of his identification with the business here. Mr. Rowley is aligned as a supporter of the Republican Party, and served nine years as deputy county clerk, while for eighteen months he represented his ward on the board of aldermen of the city of Charlotte. He perpetuates the more gracious memories of the days of the civil war by retaining membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, while he is one of the representative members of the Masonic fraternity in Eaton County, having attained the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and is also a member of Saladin Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Grand Rapids. He is a charter member of Charlotte Temple, K. T., and was for a time Recorder of the Commandery; also charter member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He is also affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a charter member of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Rowley has been identified with the volunteer fire department and about twenty years ago he served for five years as engineer of a steamer – from 1876 to 1878 – and from 1880 to 1885. December 20, 1889, witnessed the marriage of Mr. Rowley to Miss Catherine A. Collins, the nuptial ceremony was performed by Rev. Wolcott B. Williams. She is a daughter of Philo Collins, who was a mechanic and engineer by vocation and who was a son of Sylvester Collins, one of the very early settlers in Eaton County. Mr. and Mrs. Rowland have two children: Mark L. and Agnes M., both of whom remain at the parental home.