Arthur J. Bowser, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Arthur J. Bowser

ARTHUR J. BOWSER - Founder of three successful newspapers, for forty-three years actively identified in that field of activities as publisher and editor, and latterly well-known in the development of his realty holdings in Chesterton, the subject of this sketch was born in Valparaiso, Indiana, October 28, 1862, the son of Louis and Elizabeth (Noel) Bowser. The maternal ancestry was of French descent. Elizabeth Noel Bowser was a direct descendant of Capt. Antoine Paulin (1737-1816) who was in command of an independent regiment in the second Canadian regiment under Col. Moses Hazen. He was born in Grenoble, France, and during the American Revolution raised a company and commanded it in action in behalf of the colonies against Great Britain. Elizabeth Noel Bowser was the daughter of Edward and Emily (Dumas) Noel, the latter of whom was the granddaughter of Stephen and Mary (Paulin) Dumas, and the great-granddaughter of Anton and Theotiste (Cottard) Paulin. Louis Bowser, father of our subject, was born in South Bend on March 12, 1838. His father, Henry Bowser, was born in Kittaning, Pennsylvania, in 1780, and his father, John Bowser, was born in 1750 in Washington County, Maryland. Henry Bowser, the first of the family to come to this country with two brothers Matthias and John, was the father of the aforesaid John Bowser, who came from the Palintinate in 1733 and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. Fifteen members of the family served in the Revolutionary war, forty-two members dedicated their service to the Union cause during the Civil war, and in the World war there were fifty-six members accounted for in American service. Henry Bowser, grandfather of our subject, was twice married. By his first marriage there was John, who became the father of S. F. Bowser, well known Ft. Wayne manufacturer. Henry Bowser's second marriage took place when he was fifty-seven years of age, and it was to this marriage that the father of our subject was born. A. J. Bowser attended St. Paul's Academy, Valparaiso High School, and the Northern Indiana Normal School. On November 8, 1914, he was admitted to the practice of law. He founded the Valparaiso Daily Advertiser in September, 1882, the Valparaiso Daily Vidette in February, 1883, and the Chesterton Tribune on April 2, 1884. He has been active in the real estate business for more than forty years, and is now serving as president of the Chesterton Realty Company. During the war service he was especially active in the various financial drives and of course the columns of his newspaper were an uncompromising advocate of our country's interests. Mr. Bowser was married to Annette Drago on March 24, 1883, and to this union were born Arthur J., Jr., Thura (Sills), and Frances (Fletcher). The daughters were educated in a convent in Lachine, Canada, and the son attended the local schools and those of New York City. He served in the World war on the transport "Manchuria." A. J. Bowser found public service as a member of the Porter County Council from 1902-1906, as Senator from Lake and Porter counties from 1907-1911, and as reading clerk of the Indiana Senate in 1899. As a member of the Senate he fathered the Reclamation bill which enabled the U. S. Steel Company to build Gary. Before that bill was passed this company was harassed by Illinois, and sought refuge in Indiana where it could be free from this persecution. The reclamation law, which permitted them to fill in the lake, solved the problem. Mr. Bowser was also instrumental in obtaining a number of needed laws for the then village of Gary which were vital for its growth. He was also chairman of the Senate organization of courts committee, and fathered the Gary Court Bill. It was passed in the Senate and House, but Governor Marshall vetoed it. The Senate, however, subsequently passed it over his veto, but Governor Marshall resorted to extreme measures by calling a caucus of the democrats and ordering that body to kill the measure. Another of Mr. Bowser's attainments was his advocacy of gravel roads; he lobbied for the measure which resulted in much gravel road building, among which was the first gravel road in Porter County twenty miles long. Mr. Bowser is a member of the Valparaiso Elks, No. 500, and needless to say he has always been regarded as one of the most influential factors in the community.

Source: Cannon, Thomas H., H. H. Loring, and Charles J. Robb. 1927. History of the Lake and Calumet Region of Indiana Embracing the Counties of Lake, Porter and Laporte. Volume II. Indianapolis, Indiana: Historians' Association. 827 p.
Page(s) in Source: 688-689

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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