HORACE STOWELL, one of the oldest native citizens of Madison County,
an octogenarian worthy and respected, was born in the town of Lebanon,
where he now resides, November 29, 1811. His father, Enoch Stowell, a native of Winchester, N. H., was a son of Captain Enoch Stowell, also of New England, whose birth occurred in 1737, and who commanded a company in the Revolutionary War. Captain Stowell spent the last years of his life with his son in Woodstock, Madison County, N. Y. He was an influential member of the Baptist church, and lived to the advanced age of ninety-two years. The maiden name of his
wife was Field.
Enoch Stowell, Jr., father of Horace, came to this State when about twenty-one years of age, accompanying the family of Jonathan Bates. They were the first settlers in what is now the town of Lebanon, the territory at that time being included in Herkimer County. Their nearest neighbors on the east were at
Whitesboro. Buying a tract of forest land in the almost unbroken wilderness--the haunt of deer, bears, and other game--he put up a log cabin, and began to clear the land for cultivation. Later the log structure gave place to a frame building, and that, in its turn, to a house of stone, which continued to
be his home until his death, June 3, 1859, at the age of ninety-two years. He had lived to see Madison County developed from its primeval wildness to the home of a numerous and wealthy population. Enoch Stowell, Jr., served a short time in the War of 1812. He married Cynthia Church, who was born in Pelham, N. H., and who died September 5, 1827.
Of the six children of Enoch and Cynthia (Church) Stowell, the subject of this sketch is the only one now living. May 16, 1833, Horace Stowell married Annie Andrus, daughter of Levi and Elizabeth Andrus, and a native of this county. She died May 13, 1883. Mr. Stowell lived in Lebanon until 1836, then emigrated to the Territory of Michigan, going by way of the canal to Buffalo, thence by lake to Detroit, and from that place by team to Oakland County, where he was one of the first settlers. Selecting a tract of government land, then selling at one
dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, he built a log house, in which he lived for five years. At the end of that period, selling his house and land in Michigan, he again started forth with his team, and went to Illinois, where
he bought land now included in the city of Bloomington. In 1844 he sold this place, and returned East, coming with his team as far as Detroit, thence across the lake to Buffalo, and from there, also by team, to his father's homestead in Lebanon, which he continues to own and occupy. This farm is one of the choicest in the Chenango Valley. Its improvements rank with the best in the country
--sure evidence of industry and skilful management on the part of the owner. Three children of Horace and Annie (Andrus) Stowell are now living: Kate, wife of Colonel Harlow Shapley; Sarah, wife of Willis Shapley--residents of South-western Missouri; and Andrew, who served in a New York regiment during the late war, and who now lives upon the home farm. He married Rilla Millard.
It is a noteworthy fact, in connection with the longevity of this family, that Mr. Stowell's grandfather, having been born in 1737, as above stated, and having lived until 1829, the lives of himself and grandson, our subject, have covered a period of nearly one hundred and sixty years. Horace Stowell himself has a record upon which he can look back with pardonable pride. In early manhood, being impressed with a deep sense of the sin of human slavery, he became an ardent Abolitiunist, and was a coworker with Gerrit Smith and other noted leaders of the Abolition movement. While in Bloomington, Ill., he assisted in the organization of an Abolition Club, and was there associated in the good
work with Lovejoy and other prominent workers in that section. His home was one
of the stations on the "underground railroad"; and many a fugitive slave passed through on his way from chains and cruel taskmasters to a new life of liberty and freedom, the God-given heritage of every human soul. The activity which Mr. Stowell manifested in his younger days in behalf of a down-trodden race, and in many other ways, he has never ceased to exhibit whenever a voice has been
needed to proclaim the right or a willing arm to advance its triumph. Though now well along in years, he is still young in heart and spirit, and is one in whose society the young can take pleasure as well as the old. Possessing a large fund of information, the result of his extended reading, he takes a great interest
in current events, having been particularly interested in the recent World's Fair at Chicago, the success of which, being acquainted with the energy and enterprise of Western character, he foresaw and prophesied.
In political matters Mr. Stowell is a stanch Republican, having been a member of that party ever since its formation, and believing its principles to be the best adapted to the continued prosperity of this country. Believing also that true religion is the source of pure morality and the basis of good government, he has for many years been identified with those who publicly profess the name of
their Divine Master, and is connected by membership with the Baptist church of his village, as was also his wife.
Such has been the useful and active life of this veteran in the cause of human freedom; and, with such a record before us, the presentation to our readers of the accompanying portrait of Mr. Stowell may almost be viewed as an act of public duty. For, while succeeding generations read of the lives of those who
took an active part in the great emancipation movement, their interest will be quickened and their sympathies more deeply aroused if, in such connection, they are privileged to view the features and study the lineaments of those grand old heroes in the cause of liberty, freedom, and human progress.
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