Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Amos B. Bowman

Amos B. Bowman

Male 1839 - 1894  (54 years)

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  • Name Amos B. Bowman 
    Born 15 Sep 1839  Blair (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 1890  Anacortes, Skagit, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    BowmanStoreOxWagonCa1890-PDo.jpg
    BowmanStoreOxWagonCa1890-PDo.jpg
    first general store and post office that was built by Amos Bowman, civil engineer and town founder. The Anacortes Story, a book compiled by Dan Wollam and published by the Anacortes Museum of History and Art in 1965, explains: "Bowman was the community's first postmaster. City was established on 160-acre tract on the northeast shore of Fidalgo island and expanded to its present limits as rival factions pressed its development in the turbulent months of 1890. Bowman's early dream was to see Anacortes, with railroads leading the way, emerge as the foremost Pacific Coast link with the orient. He died in 1894 believing that his intense efforts had met with failure. The store was east of Commercial in the vicinity of Q. Among those pictured is pioneer settler William Allard in the wagon."
    Died 18 Jun 1894  Fairhaven, Whatcom, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Hall of Fame - Waterloo Region Bef 2012  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Rsrch. Note
    • AMOS B. BOWMAN 1838-1894

      Amos B. Bowman was born at Blair, but soon after, his parents moved to Ohio. Later he had a very distinguished career as a renowned scientist in Canada and the United States.

      Following university studies in Germany, he graduated as a civil and mining engineer, and traveled in Europe writing articles for the New York Tribune.

      An outstanding authority on geology, he had charge of a five-year California geological survey. He then joined an official Canadian geological survey, surveying the Cariboo mining region, and prepared reports on many sections of British Columbia.

      Mr. Bowman promoted the interests of Fidalgo Island in British Columbia, whose possibilities impressed him. In recognition of his services, the town of Anacortes was named after his wife, Anna Curtis Bowman. He published a newspaper, and gave liberally in land to induce the building of a railroad up the Skagit Valley.

      It was said of this outstanding scientist that "he often impoverished himself to enrich others."
    Eby ID Number 00002-296 
    Buried Anacortes, Skagit, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I7642  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2019 

    Father Benjamin Baer Bowman,   b. 15 Feb 1811, , Berks Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Feb 1872, , Kent Co., Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Mother Mary Clemens,   b. 6 Mar 1815, , Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F2034  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anna Bondfield Curtis,   b. 28 Jan 1846, Belleville, Essex, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Apr 1906, Berkeley, Alameda, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Married Apr 1871  Smartsville, Yuba Co. , California Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Menno Bowman
     2. Wendel Cortez Bowman,   b. 1873, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Lucretia Cydie Bowman,   b. 1874, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Benjamin Bowman,   b. 4 Dec 1876, Seattle, King, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F2304  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 15 Sep 1839 - Blair (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - 1890 - Anacortes, Skagit, Washington, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Jun 1894 - Fairhaven, Whatcom, Washington, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHall of Fame - Waterloo Region - Bef 2012 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Anacortes, Skagit, Washington, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Bowman, Amos B.  1838-1894.jpg
    Bowman, Amos B. 1838-1894.jpg
    Bowman, Amos1876.jpg
    Bowman, Amos1876.jpg
    Bowman, Amos 1838 mural.jpg
    Bowman, Amos 1838 mural.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Amos B. Bowman, "the second son of Benjamin B. and Mary (Clemens) Bowman, was born at Blair, Waterloo County, Ontario, 1838, and died at Fairhaven, Washington, in June 1894.

      The following article giving a sketch of the deceased's life, appeared in the World-Herald of Fairhaven, Washington, June 28th, 1894: "With the passing away of Amos Bowman, the founder of Anacortes, whose death occurred last week, the Puget sound country loses one of its best known and most historic figures. Before and during the boom of 1890 there was perhaps no more conspicuous character in this part of the country than Amos Bowman, and none who knew better its great possibilities and who labored more zealously for its development and progress.

      Mr. Bowman was comparatively a young man, having been born in Blair, Waterloo County, Ontario, in 1839. While quite young his family moved to Ohio, where young Bowman attended college, and at the age of seventeen he went to New York to further prosecute his studies. He took up short hand and acquired such proficiency in it as to soon secure a position on the New York Tribune under Horace Greely, who became his friend.

      During the early days of California he came to the Pacific coast and identified himself with the Sacramento Union, at that time the principal journal of the West. He then went to Germany and studied three years at the universities of Freiberg and Munich, graduating as a civil and mining engineer, afterwards traveling all over Europe, as the correspondent of the New York Tribune. Upon his return to America he again went to California and again took up journalism, for several years editing, in San Francisco, the Mining and Scientific Press. In this capacity he soon began to be looked upon as an authority on all matters relating to geology, and later assumed charge of the California geological survey. He served in that capacity five years, meantime running the line between California and Nevada, and acquiring an extended reputation as a scientist.

      He was then invited to join the Canadian geological survey, which brought him north and with which he was connected up to the time of his death. In early days he surveyed the great Cariboo mining region, and prepared a great many reports about different sections of British Columbia. Early in his travels in the Northwest he became impressed with the location of Fidalgo island and took his family there in 1877. Anacortes were named after his wife, Anna Curtis, and to the building up of the town he devoted his best energies.

      In 1882 he began the publication of the Northwest Enterprise which was later merged into the Daily Progress. Owning much of the most valuable property on the island, he gave liberally in land to induce the building of a railroad up the Skagit valley, and during the boom he was considered a very wealthy man. Mr. Bowman's faith in Fidalgo island was something more than that of an enthusiast, it became a part of him, and so firm was his conviction that a great destiny was in store for the town he had founded that subsequent depression did not even dim his cheerfulness.

      Mr Bowman was no ordinary man; as a scientist he attained high rank, and in Ottawa, Washington City, and throughout the Pacific coast he was recognized as an authority on scientific matters. He was a member of the California geological survey, of the geological survey of the Dominion of Canada, and of the American institute of mining engineers, and had been a personal friend of the great Agassiz. His tastes were simple and his manner unaffected, but he possessed those manly qualities of mind and heart that gained for him a wide circle of friends. Of gentle and charitable disposition, he often impoverished himself to enrich others, and the sad news of his demise will occasion in many hearts a feeling of personal loss which only a knowledge and appreciation of his manly virtues could induce." He was married to Anna Curtis. His family consisted of four children".


      Eby, Ezra E. (1895). A biographical history of Waterloo township and other townships of the county: being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin: as also much other unpublished historical information chiefly of a local character. Berlin [Kitchener, Ont.]: [s.n.].

      _________________________

      Bowman Hall By W.V. Wells,

      In some respects buildings are like people. some figure more or less prominently in their respective communities; while others are less conspicuous. Some get into the habit of moving about while others remain in the same place as long as they live. To some the elements are kind and they live a long time; to others fate is not so kind and they are soon gone.

      The one building that has more of a touch of romance and around which cluster more events of historic interest than any other building in Anacortes is a little dwelling house situated on the north side of Fourth street and about midway in the block between T and U avenues. This house faced to the west and nestled with a group of cedars and maples a rod or two to the south of it s present location, and was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Amos Bowman.

      The Bowmans came to Fidalgo island in 1875, and in 1877, when practically all of Fidalgo island was a wilderness, they purchase the land which now comprises Cap Sante and that portion of the original town-site north of Eleventh street and east of O avenue. The Cap Sante home of the Bowmans from the time of its construction in 1877 to the time of the platting of the city of Anacortes in January 1880, was known as the "Hall." Be-cause of the convenience of the home and the hospitality of its owners, the early settlers of Fidalgo and Guemes islands made the Bowman residence their meeting place for religious and other public gathering


      Anacortes American newspaper, Dec. 15, 1927


      _____________________________________

      Amos Bowman, Dec. 15, 1839-June 18, 1894
      By John Conrad


      When Amos Bowman came in Anacortes in 1875 the north side of Fidalgo island was practically a dense forest. He came to Anacortes directly [following] the results of the Canadian Pacific [railroad] explora-tions when it was [planned] that the road would take the course of the Fraser valley and Anacortes was the direct out-let and commercial terminus. Mr. Bowman bought 168 acres and [Bowman] at once started building a town. He built a wharf and a store, established a post office, newspaper and was instrumental in having, inside and outside, steam-boat routes established from Port Townsend via Anacortes and the islands to Whatcom. He built warehouses for Swinomish grain and arranged for ocean steamers to stop at Anacortes docks. At this time he published a railroad map showing the future of Anacortes and western Washington. By 1882 he realized he would have to wait the coming of more people, and reentered the service of the Canadian government.

      In 1888 he sensed it was time for progress to move forward again, returned to Anacortes, helped raise a subsidy for the building of a road from Anacortes 30 miles to the coal mines [near Woolley and Hamilton] and deeded 50 acres of land to the Oregon Improvement Company to aid the development of the city. In the winter of 1889-90 the railroad excitement became intense and population began to flock to the town, streets were laid out, wharves built, the land cleared, a station erected, and in a year and a half from the time the best restaurant was under a tent, there were - a number of good hotels (two of them were brick), one state bank and one national bank, several churches, a public grammar school and a high school in a $40,000 building, iron works, two saw mills, a sash and door factory, a brewery, six large ocean docks with terminal tracks, and electric lights, an electric motor line running the full length of the island, a fine opera house, a daily newspaper and a connection with the Northern Pacific, Union and Canadian Pacific Railroads. The people thought so much of Mr. Bowman's efforts (and those of his wife) that they named the city after his wife, Anne Curtis Bowman.3a

      3aPuget Sound Mail newspaper, LaConner, Aug. 4, 1966

      _________________________________


      Amos B. Bowman was born at Blair, but soon after, his parents moved to Ohio. Later he had a very distinguished career as a renowned scientist in Canada and the United States.

      Following university studies in Germany, he graduated as a civil and mining engineer, and travelled in Europe writing articles for the New York Tribune.

      An outstanding authority on geology, he had charge of a five-year California geological survey. He then joined an official Canadian geological survey, surveying the Cariboo mining region, and prepared reports on many sections of British Columbia.

      Mr. Bowman promoted the interests of Fidalgo Island in British Columbia, whose possibilities impressed him. In recognition of his services, the town of Anacortes was named after his wife, Anna Curtis Bowman. He published a newspaper, and gave liberally in land to induce the building of a railroad up the Skagit Valley.

      It was said of this outstanding scientist that "he often impoverished himself to enrich others."4a

      4aWaterloo Region Hall of Fame

  • Sources 
    1. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 118.

    2. [S131] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1851, Div 5 Pg 9.

    3. [S220] Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.