John A. Rowland
JThe family of
this name were early identified with Fayette county, their connection with
this section going back as far as 1850 or before and the first of the name
was among the very earliest of the settlers. In or about the year
mentioned P. L. Rowland made his appearance in the precincts of Fayette
county, which at that time was wild and uncultivated. Shortly afterward,
his brother, John M., assisted in building a mill at Auburn. P. L. Rowland
also worked on the Clermont mill. Besides this he turned his hand to
various jobs, including farming. He was also an evangelical minister off
and on, until the last years of his life, but most of his time was given
to farming. He started a creamery on the farm now occupied by his son,
conducted it for four or five years, then rented and finally sold it. He
married Alvina Wheeler, of Canada, and from this union was born the
subject of this sketch.
John A. Rowland was born in Dover township, Fayette county,
Iowa, in 1871, on the homestead that bears his family name. He remained on
the farm with his father until about 1892, when he embarked in business
for himself. John A. and Albert R. operated the two-hundred-ten-acre farm
where the former now resides, keeping up their partnership for about four
years. John A. then purchased his brother's interest and has since farmed
with success on his own account. Mr. Rowland is one of the progressive
young farmers whose combined work has made Iowa one of the finest
agricultural states in the world. Besides the usual crops, which he has
raised with success, he has achieved distinction as a livestock breeder.
Many specimens of the fine thoroughbreds of different varieties and breeds
which have made Iowa noted may be seen on Mr. Rowland's place. The
celebrated Shorthorn family has no finer specimens than those found here.
The peerless Norman horses, with their graceful limbs and sleek, black
coats, enliven the meadows and glades of the Rowland homestead.
Duroc-Jersey and Poland-China hogs in the best of condition and of mammoth
sizes give promise of rich revenues when they reach the swine market. In
addition to his other interests, Mr. Rowland has followed dairying
extensively and figured creditably in an industry for which Iowa is
famous. Mr. Rowland inherited his love of fine stock, as his father
believed in it and always kept a good stallion. He was a man of notable
qualities and far above the average. He was founder of the Evangelical
church in Fayette and for many years practically stood the expenses of the
same. He donated the land for the buildings which were erected in 1895 or
1896. One of the achievements of which he was justly proud was the passage
of what was called the "herd law," for which he worked indefatigably.
In 1898 Mr. Rowland married Clara E., daughter of Henry Smith, and has
three children: Merritt, Gladys and Myrtle. The family are members of the
Evangelical church. Mr. Rowland is a Republican, but never sought office,
though he has consented to act as president of the school board for some
years. Like his honored father, he has always been a supporter of all
moral causes and active in church work.
Peter Rowland, paternal grandfather of John A., was born
December 31, 1791, at Hagerstown, Maryland, and died at the age of
eighty-five years. He married a Miss Hoffner, who died in Ohio, and by her
had six children, five sons and one daughter. They first moved to
Pennsylvania, from there to Ohio, and in the early fifties came to Iowa
and settled in Fayette county on land located in Clermont township. He was
a pioneer of that section and ended his days peacefully after a strenuous
life chiefly devoted to agricultural labor.