THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


  WILLIAM R. ROWLANDS, M.A., Treasurer of Colgate University, an efficient worker in the cause of education, was born near Hamilton in the town of Madison, January 23, 1853. William O. Rowlands, father of William R., was born in Wales in 1805, and in 1840 came to the United States, bringing with him his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Parker. He and his family settled in the town of Eaton, where they lived some eight years, and then moved to the town of Madison, purchasing a farm upon which they lived nearly forty years. In 1885 they moved to the village of Hamilton, purchasing a home, in which Mr. Rowlands died August 27, 1891, aged eighty-six, having remained a strong, healthy man up to the beginning of his last illness of eight weeks. His widow, who was born in Montgomery-shire, Wales, survives at the age of eighty-four years, and still resides at Hamilton.
  William R. Rowlands spent his boyhood and youth on the home farm just outside the village of Hamilton, and was educated in the schools of that place, graduating from the commercial department of the seminary in 1868, from the high school in 1870, and finally from the university in 1874, from which he received the degree of Master of Arts in 1879. After his graduation in 1874 he was engaged one year as an accountant for a firm in New York City, and in the fall of 1875 became Assistant Principal of Medina Academy and Professor of Mathematics, which position he filled one year. Being chosen Principal of the high school of Hamilton in 1876, he filled the position for four years, during which period the average attendance was higher than it had ever been before; and his last graduating class, that of 188o, of thirty-one members, was larger than any previous graduating class during the history of the school.
  During 1881-82 Professor Rowlands took a post-graduate course at Yale University, and was for some time assistant to Professor Benjamin Silliman of that university. Mrs. Rowlands accompanied him, and pursued a course at the Yale Art School. From 1882 to 1889 he was engaged in business in Utica, erecting during that time the Rowlands Office Building, which has elevator service, and is one of the best buildings in Utica. During four of those years he was President of the Young Men's Christian Association, a member of the Board of Trustees, and was Chairman of the Building Committee that erected the Association's building, at a cost of one hundred and ten thousand dollars. He was also Chairman of the committees which built the Park Baptist Church, and later of the committee which built the Immanuel Baptist Church, Utica, N.Y. He likewise served as Chairman of the Citizens' Committee, whose work resulted in the paving of Rutger Street with asphaltum, and led to the general introduction of that kind of pavement in the city of Utica--a highly appreciated improvement. In 1889 Mr. Rowlands removed to Hamilton, his native place, being elected Treasurer of Colgate University, which position he has filled since in a most capable and acceptable manner. He is the resident member of the Building Committee for the new Colgate Gymnasium now being erected. This university is one of the best of the many excellent institutions of learning in the State of New York, having an endowment of nearly two million dollars and holding property to the amount of two million two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars.
  On August 15, 1877, Mr. Rowlands married Miss Helen A. Underhill, of Medina, N.Y., who was the first graduate of Cook Academy, Havana, N.Y., being the only member of her class, that of 1874. She died January 21, 1878, aged twenty-two. Mr. Rowlands married the second time March 25, 1880, Miss Agnes Grant, of Greene, N.Y., by whom he has had five children, namely: Agnes Augusta, who died March 12, 1892, aged ten and a half years; Mary Jane, seven years old; William Harrison, five; and Agnes Genevieve and Florence Augusta, twins, three years old. Mr. and Mrs. Rowlands are domiciled in a beautiful and sightly house recently erected adjacent to the university campus. In 1887 he was active President of the National Fraternity of the Delta Upsilon College Societies. For the past six years he has been a member of the State Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association. From this brief relation of a few of the prominent events of the life of Mr. Rowlands it is clear that in him the university has a most valuable officer, the general community a very worthy member, and the State of New York a good and useful citizen.

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