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William Rowen, Jr. PhD. (Hon. )[1, 2]

Male 1851 - 1933  (81 years)


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  • Name William Rowen  [3, 4, 5
    Suffix Jr. PhD. (Hon. ) 
    Born 24 Sep 1851  Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Undertaker, Ship joiner. 
    Resided 1880  Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Resided 1900  Philadelphia city Ward 18, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Resided 1910  Philadelphia Ward 18, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Resided 1920  Philadelphia Ward 18, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Resided 1930  Philadelphia (Districts 0751-1000), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Occupation 1921-1933  [7
    President, Philadelphia Board of Education 
    FindAGrave URL https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/91228848 
    FindAGrave ID 91228848 
    FamilySearch ID L83D-TDX 
    FamilySearch URL https://familysearch.org/tree/#view=ancestor&person=L83D-TDX 
    Died 21 Aug 1933  Ocean City, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Buried West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennslyvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1575  Main
    Last Modified 5 Sep 2018 

    Father William Rowen, Sr.,   b. Abt 1817-1818, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jun 1886, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Mother Katherine Schillingsford,   b. 24 Mar 1821, Germany Or PA? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Mar 1880  (Age 59 years) 
    Family ID F681  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Katherine Carlin, "Kate",   b. 27 Dec 1851, St. Louis, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jan 1927, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Married 24 Sep 1873  Philadelphia (Districts 0001-0250), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Children 
     1. Laura Rowen,   b. Nov 1874, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Feb 1954, Hanneman Hospital, Philadelphia, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 79 years)
    +2. Ella "Ellie" Rowen,   b. Feb 1876, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1910  (Age ~ 34 years)
     3. Florence "Flory" Rowen,   b. 26 Feb 1878, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1910  (Age 32 years)
     4. Willard Rowen,   b. 1881, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1887, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 6 years)
     5. Kathryn Rowen,   b. 24 Apr 1886, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1964  (Age 77 years)
    Last Modified 5 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F680  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 24 Sep 1851 - Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 21 Aug 1933 - Ocean City, NJ Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • The following provided by Dorothy "Dottie" Olson on 14 Jan 2004.  She notes that the obituary mentions of the Rowens coming over on the Welcome with William Penn are unproven, and the speculation about the Rowen's being Swedish has also not been proven -- to the best of her knowledge, the Rowen's are actually German. 

      The following is taken from an obituary, printed in the Evening Bulletin, on August 24th, 1933. William Rowen, president of the Board of Education for the past 12 years and a member of that body for 26 years, died in his summer cottage at 816 Pennlyn place, Ocean City, N.j..

      In 1907 Mr. Rowen was appointed by the Board of Judges to the central Board of Education and when the new school code was adopted in 1913 and the board reduced to 15 members, he was reappointed.  During the past summer and spring he attended all school board meetings, commuting from Ocean City.  His Philadelphia home was  at 305 E. Girard Ave, where he maintained an undertaking establishment.

      He was a life-long resident of Kensington.  His ancestors came to this country with William Penn.  His great-great-grandfather was a soldier in the American Revolution, a resident of Kensington and lived to be103.

      He attended the old Yellow public school and served his apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

      In 1891 he was elected a member of the old Common Council as a representative of the 18th Ward, and was re-elected in1893 and 1895.

      He resigned in 1896 to take his seat in Select Council.

      Largely through his influence as a member of Council, Penn Treaty Park was established.

      He served as a delegate to several conventions to nominate Governors for Pa, and also was a delegate to the national Republican convention that nominated Warren G. Harding for President.

      Mr. Rowen was instrumental in the building of the Kensington High School; the Chandler School, Montgomery Av. and Wilder Sts; the William Penn Junior High School, and the Mastbaum Vocational School.

      He served as a director of the Commercial Museum and the Philadelphia Free Library System; treasurer of the Soldiers and Sailors Welfare Committee during the World War; honorary president of the Community League, a civic and philanthropic organization of Kensington, and a post commander of Kensington Commandery, No. 54 Knights Templar.

      He is survived by four daughters, Mrs. William Tetlow, Mrs, Ella R. Grant, Miss Laura Rowen, and Miss Catharine Rowen all of the city.

      Under-privileged and mentally handicapped children lose a staunch friend through Mr. Rowen's death.  His effort on their behalf, however during the past quarter century, are inherent in the public school system.

      He also organized Americanization classes, serving today as models for other communities.

      Headstones at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, on Belmont and City Line Ave, show a death Date of August. 23, 1933.

      **The following provided by Dorothy "Dottie" Olson on 14 Jan 2004.

      The following information came from papers sent to Dottie Olson by Olive Keen. They were given to her by Laura Rowen.

      Philadelphia Inquirer- June 16th, 1933

      A reception in honor of William Rowen, president of the Board of Education, was given yesterday afternoon in the board room of the Public School Administration Building, 21st St. and the Parkway.

      Close friends, members of the Board of Judges, fellow members of the Board of Education and public school officials attended the affair. Mayor Moore also attended the reception and congratulated Mr. Rowen on
      his 30 years of service on the board.  The reception followed the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters earlier in the day at Temple University.  Mr. Rowen has been president of the Board of Education since July 12, 1921.  He has been a member of the board since 1903

      It is noted in other information sent with this that  In recognition of Mr. Rowen's long and faithful service in the field of education, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY conferred on him the HONORARY DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS, on June 15th, 1933.

      The following is from the Philadelphia Inquirer, dated December 6, 1933

      William Rowen Leaves $150,000 to daughters

      William Rowen, late president and oldest member of the Philadelphia Board of Education. both in years and point of service,who died last august at his summer home at 816 Plymouth Pl., Ocean City, N.j.., bequeathed an estate of $150,000 to his four daughters by his will probated soon after his death. The daughters are Mrs. William Tetlow, OakLane; mrs. Ella Grant, and the Misses Laura and Katherine Rowen, who were at his bedside when he succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage.  He was 81 and had been connected with the Board of Education for 30 years, the last 12  of which he had been its president.

      The following paragraphs were taken from information sent to Olive Keen from  Maxwell Kusher , who was principal of the William Rowen Public School on Nineteenth and Haines, on January 11,1978.

      Dr. William Rowen

      William Rowen was a member of the Board of Public Education for over thirty years.  He was appointed to the Board October 13th, 1903, and was elected Vice-president in February, 1920.  He became president of the board in July 1921, continuing in that office until his death on 23 August 1933.

      Mr.  Rowen was born September 24th, 1851 on Wildey Street, Kensington, Philadelphia, where his father, also Kensington born,lived for seventy-five years.  His grandfather was also a resident of Kensington for ninety years. Mr. Rowen was a typical American and very proud of his ancestry particularly of the fact that his great-grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution, and that his great-great grandfather settled in old Shackamaxon after his immigration from Sweden more than two hundred and fifty years ago.  ]Mr. Rowen's mother was of the Shillingsford family, of English stock, with local line running back nearly two centuries. With this background, it was quite natural that he should exemplify throughout his life, his inherited traditions of patriotic service.

      The following paragraph is taken from an article regarding his death taken from The Philadelphia Inquirer dated August 24 1932.
      This article was sent to Dottie Olson by Bill Rowen in October 1997.

      "His birthplace at Wildey and Crease Sts. was a Kensington landmark. Some ancestors on his mother's side came over with Penn on the Welcome." [10]

  • Sources 
    1. [S941] Richard T. Rhoads, Jr.

    2. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (http://www.jhowell.com/ jhowell@jhowell.com).

    3. [S1452] DAR ID number 22408 - Laura Rowen, Daughters of the American Revolution.

    4. [S1735] FamilySearch.org, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ((http://www.familysearch.org)), accessed 5 Sep 2018), entry for William Rowen, person ID L83D-TDX. (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S671] 1880 U.S. Census.

    6. [S1701] FamilySearch Family Tree (http://www.familysearch.org), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ((http://www.familysearch.org)), accessed 26 Aug 2018), entry for William Rowen, person ID L83D-TDX. (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S892] Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, Obituary printed August 24th, 1933 (Reliability: 0).

    8. [S668] Rowen db on RootsWeb, http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:1258451&id=I59626379 (Reliability: 3).

    9. [S1702] Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985, Bridesburg Methodist (Philadelphia, PA, United States ), (http://interactive.ancestry.com/2451/40355_267594-00192?pid=6092081&treeid=&personid=&usePUB=true.).

    10. [S893] Dottie Olson, Dorothy Olson, (dorothy.olson@myactv.net), 14 Jan 2003 email to JSH (Reliability: 0).