Biography of Richard J. Bowers
St. Lawrence County, NY Biographies

Richard J. Bowers has been established in business at Ogdensburg for more than a quarter of a century, and is identified with the firm of R. J. Bowers and McRae, monumental works, 800 State Street. Mr. Bowers was born at Brockville, Ont., March 9, 1873, the son of Allen and Chloe (Sherman) Bowers.

Allen Bowers, who died in 1902, was born at Brockville. He spent his entire life there as a stone mason and carpenter. He died in 1902 and his wife, also born at Brockville, died in 1917. The father of Allen Bowers was William Bowers. He was born on an English ship enroute to America, and he became one of the well known citizens of Oswego County. He served as a drummer in the English army during the War of 1812.

To Allen and Chloe (Sherman) Bowers were born the following children: 1. Hiram James, who died in 1885. 2. Mrs. Rachel Henderson, lives at Brockville. 3. Mrs. Henry Hayes, lives at Ottawa. 4. W. A., who died in 1931. He was a partner in the Bowers Monumental Works in Ogdensburg for 25 years. He had retired in 1919. He served as a member of the city council and as alderman, and was prominent in Masonic circles. 5. Sidney, lives at Omar, N. Y. 6. S. A., who died in March, 1931. 7. Mrs. Margaret Yetts, lives at Ottawa. 8. Richard J., the subject of this sketch. 9. Mrs. Ida Trumbull, lives at Palmyra, N. Y. 10. Mrs. Sidney McKeever, lives at Brockville. 11. Fred M., lives at Springfield, Ohio. He has been in the employ of the International Harvester Company for 30 years.

The boyhood of Richard J. Bowers was spent at Brockville where he received his early schooling. He also studied at the International Correspondence School. At the age of 21 years he entered the offices of the Ottawa Gas Company, and in 1898 was sent to Montreal in charge of an office for the Montreal Gas Company. For a time Mr. Bowers was located in Northern Alberta, Canada, as engineer for a dredging company on the Saskatchewan River. He came to Ogdensburg in 1905 and at that time engaged in business with his brother at Ford and Caroline streets, the present location of the St. Lawrence County Utilities Corporation. In 1919 Mr. Bowers removed to his present location and conducted the business alone until August, 1931. At that time he disposed of a half interest in the busines to H. J. McRae. Mr. Bowers is widely known throughout this section of the North County as an artist in his particular line of business, and has been patronized by such leading families as the following: George Hall, Mayor Douglass, Mayor Lynch, Charles McClair, and Senator Maltby. The Barbara Heck Monument, located at Prescott, Ont., is a product of his skill. It weights 36 tons.

Mr. Bowers was married (first) in 1897 to Miss Mary J. Gill, of Ottawa, who died in Alberta, Canada. She was the daughter of John Inkerman and Nell (Cordick) Gill, of Prescott, Ont. Both are deceased. A daughter, Cora M., was born to Mr. and Mrs. Bowers in 1898. She married Edgar Calvert and they have two children, Millicent Sherman and John. They live at Ottawa, Ont. Mr. Bowers was married (second) in 1908 to Miss Cora Belle Cline, of Ogdensburg, the daughter of William and Laura Cline. Both are deceased. To the latter marriage has been born a daughter, Velma Elizabeth, born in 1910. She is a graduate of Ogdensburg Free Academy and Barnard College, class of 1932.

Mr. Bowers is a Republican and in 1930 was a candidate for the office of supervisor, being defeated by Charles Hand by only six votes. He holds membership in the Methodist Church of which he is a trustee, and Sunday School teacher. He is also interested in missionary work. He was identified with the Boy Scout Camp of Ogdensburg, with which he served as master for ten years.


The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932

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