William E. Powles, who passed away at Rowley on the 30th of May, 1907, was long and actively identified with
agricultural pursuits as a farmer of Sumner township and spent the last seven years of his life in honorable retirement.
His birth occurred in Steuben county, Indiana, on the 28th of November, 1847, his parents being John and Elmira
(Perkins) Powles, the former a native of England and the latter of Ohio. John Bowles, a shoemaker by trade, located
in Illinois on coming to America and followed farming in that state for some years. Subsequently he came to Buchanan
county, Iowa, purchasing a tract of land in Cono township which he cultivated throughout the remainder of his life.
He passed away when but forty years of age, and his wife is also deceased.
William E. Powles was reared and educated in Illinois and when a youth of eighteen came with his parents to Buchanan
county, this state. He purchased and improved eighty acres of land in Sumner township and throughout the remainder
of his active business career devoted his attention to the operation of that farm, annually gathering good crops
which found a ready sale on the market. In 1900 he put aside the work of the fields and took up his abode at Rowley,
where he lived in honorable retirement until called to his final rest, passing away May 30, 1907, after a short
illness. For one year he served as deputy postmaster at Rowley and made a creditable record in that connection.
His widow is still in possession of the home farm and also owns a handsome residence at Rowley.
On the 18th of October, 1871, Mr. Powles was united in marriage to Miss Effie Spencer, her parents being Carlonas
and Charity (Goodman) Spencer, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Delaware county, New York.
Mr. Spencer, who was an agriculturist by occupation, came to Buchanan county, Iowa, from Wisconsin in 1864, purchasing
and improving a tract of land in Sumner township which he cultivated for a number of years or until the time of
his retirement. He died while on a visit to Pennsylvania, in December, 1895, having survived his wife, who passed
away in April, 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Powles had no children of their own but reared eleven whom they fitted for an
honorable place in life.
Mr. Powles gave his political allegiance to the prohibition party, believing that the liquor traffic is one of
the worst evils with which this country has to contend. He belonged to the Grange and to the Good Templars and
in religious faith was a Baptist, while his widow is a devoted member of the Methodist church. His demise was the
occasion of deep and widespread regret, for he had resided in the community for more than four decades and had
gained an extensive circle of warm friends here.
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Bachanan County, IA
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