Franklin County Ohio Early Settlers, Henry G. Bower Franklin County Ohio Early Settlers

Submitted by George Kuntz
Email: [email protected], August 9, 2004

Henry G. Bower
(From "Encyclopedia of Biography," Pagers 199-200)

BOWER, HENRY G., Business Leader -- One of the leading businessmen of the north side of Columbus, Ohio, Henry G. Bower was vice president of Northern Savings Bank, of which he was one of the founders and for many years a director. His participation in the life of his city was a significant one, rich in its values for the people and more than ordinarily contributive to the enhancement of the usefulness of its institutions. His business activity brought him especially into contact with the agricultural interests of the region, and he was personally acquainted with most of the farmers of the district. They admired and trusted him, frequently coming to him for advice and help in the solution of their problems. Indeed, all who knew him were pleased by his genial personality and his thorough devotion to worthwhile principles of living and thinking and his kindness and generosity were qualities inherent in the man, radiating from his inmost self.

Mr. Bower was born on his father's farm in Sharon township, Franklin County, Ohio in 1856, son of Charles G. and Anna (Magley) Bower, residents of that district at an early period. His father Charles Gustavus Bower (Karl Gustav Bauer) was a native German and the mother Anna (Marie) Magley was born in Switzerland. There were six children in the family, five sons and two daughters: Selma Bower born 17 Oct. 1852, died 1853; Charles A. Bower born 14 Dec. 1854, died 17 Jun. 1925; Henry G. Bower born 10 Oct. 1856, died 30 Oct. 1935; Alice Elizabeth Bower born 16 Jun. 1858, died 24 May 1904; William Bower born 21 Sep. 1860; Louis F. Bower born 17 May 1862, died 22 May 18, 1898; Ernest E. Bower born 7 Oct. 1864, died 26 Sep. 1924.

The district school provided Henry G. Bower his early education which he afterward greatly augmented by his practical business contacts and many years of activity. Particularly was the banking trade a school for him. His advise on financial problems and on business was often sought and was almost always considered sound and valuable. As a young man he went to Kansas, joining some of his neighbors who had gone there to operate large ranches in the "Sunflower State." Three years later Mr. Bower returned to Columbus, Ohio becoming a clerk in the general store owned by Mrs. Katherine Ramlow. This enterprise later came to be known as Ramlow and Strait, in whose employee Henry G. Bower continued. In its early days this store was situated at the edge of Columbus and was a favorite trading place for farmers of this region of Franklin County. Then, as the city grew up around the store, its character changed to that of an urban business place, but the farmers were still among its most notable patrons.

After a time, Mr. Strait left the store to become associated with the Franklin Bank. For a time the store was operated under the name of Reible and Sly, but later Henry G. Bower and Mr. Strait bought the business and reestablished it. It next passed into the hands of the two Bower brothers, Henry G. and John, they becoming joint owners. They successfully continued their efforts until John Bower built his own place of business nearby and withdrew to conduct his enterprise.

Another brother, Charles Bower, then went into partnership until the death of Charles Bower. At that juncture Henry G. Bower carried on the work independently until 1934 when failing health forced him to sell his holdings and retire from his active endeavors. For 45 years in all, from 1889 to 1934, he continued his business activities at the same site, No. 2643 North High Street, Columbus. Intelligent management and honest and fair treatment of all who dealt with him were the foundation of his success, and it was with keen regret that his many friends and patrons learned of his decision to retire.

Not only as a merchant was Henry G. Bower widely known in this district of the State of Ohio. He was also highly esteemed as one of the organizers of the Northern Savings Bank and continued as a memberr of its board of directors. He was made vice-president of the bank in recognition of his important work in its behalf, and he still held that office at the time of his death. He was also an active member of the North Methodist Episcopal Church and a member of Sioux Tribe No. 128 of the Improved Order of Red Men and was an advocate of the highest of fraternal teachings.

On Jan. 1, 1901, Henry G. Bower married Eda H. Weber who was the daughter of George and Amelia (Herbig) Weber and a granddaighter of Frederick Weber, one of the outstanding citizens of Franklin County in his day. The grandfather (Frederick) was born in Bavaria on March 17, 1806 and as a young man came to America from Rhenish, Bavaria, spending one year in York County, Prnnsylvania and then coming to Ohio. For three years he lived in Stark County, Ohio. On May 30, 1833 he married Caroline Tascher and came to Franklin County a year later, settling on a farm in Clinton Township. Here, a little later, he erected the first distillery in the county. It had at the outset a capacity of two barrels daily but gradually worked the figure up to eight barrels. Also a successful farmer, he bought 40 acres of heavily wooded land, built a log house, added land from time to time, and at length had 324 acres. He belonged to the German Independent Protestant Church. He died May 10, 1885. His first wife died in 1851 and he married (second) Mrs. Ida Emily Homilus. He had ten children.

One of them was George Weber, Mrs. Eda Bower's father, who was born on the home farm in Clinton Township. George Weber's daughter, Mrs. Eda Bower, was born on her father's farm in Clinton Township, Franklin County, Ohio and her long acquaintance with the region enabled her to become a valuable help to her husband. Henry G. Bower and Eda H. (Weber) Bower became the parents to five daughters: Anna Amelia who became the wife of Luther Mylander; Alice Louise who married Frederick Shea Jesson; Georgia who married J. Vick O'Brien; Henrietta who married Edward James Kuntz; and Wilda Marie who married Paul Drake.

As of 2004, all of the above individuals have passed on. Photos of the above individuals will be forwarded by separate emails.


George Kuntz

Photos That Were Forwarded
Click on the photos to view larger version.

1902 Wedding Photo of Henry G. Bower
and Eda (Weber) Bower

The children of Henry Bower and
Eda Helena Weber Bower (left to right):
Anna Mylander, Alice Jesson, Georgia O'Brien,
Henrietta Kuntz, and Wilda Drake.

Sons of Charles Gustavus Bower
Left to right: Ernest E. Bower,
Henry Gustavus Bower,
Owen Bower (son of Ernest),
John Julius Hamilton Bower,
Everett Bower (son of Ernest),
and Charles A. Bower.

Frederick Weber and second wife
Ida Emily Homilus

George Weber, father of
Eda Helena (Weber) Bower

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