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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Charles Fowler

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[This information is from pp. 237-238 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Charles Fowler, proprietor of the Fowler House, Prattsville, was born in Lexington, Greene County, N. Y., September 15, 1845, son of David S. and Agnes (Muir) Fowler.

The Fowler family is of English origin. There were several immigrants of this name in New England in early Colonial times. It is said that William Fowler, who arrived in Boston in June, 1637, and the next year went to New Haven, was the ancestor of most, if not all, of the Fowlers, of Connecticut.

Silas Fowler, great-grandfather of Charles Fowler, was a native of Connecticut. After his marriage he came to New York State, and settling in Lexington, now Jewett, resided there until his death, which occurred at the age of eighty-four years. He was a Revolutionary soldier from this State, and a memento of his services in the shape of a flint-lock gun taken by him at the battle of Bunker Hill is now owned by his grandson, Addison Fowler, of Lexington, N. Y. He reared a family of eight children.

Silas Fowler, second, Charles Fowler's grandfather, was three years old when his parents moved to Lexington. He remained at the homestead until after his marriage, when he purchased a farm near by, and tilled the soil industriously for the rest of his life. His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah McLane, is a native of Livingston, N. Y., a daughter of George McLane. Her father followed the shoemaker's trade in connection with farming. She became the mother of nine children; namely, Charles, Rachel, David S., Louise, Elizabeth, Minerva, Silas, Addison, and Julia. Charles, Rachel, and Silas are no longer living. Elizabeth married Addison De Yoe. Minerva married Henry Moore, of Milford, Michigan. Silas Fowler, second, died at the age of seventy-four years, and his wife lived to be ninety-six years old. They were both members of the Dutch Reformed church.

David S. Fowler, Charles Fowler's father, was born in Lexington, February 24, 1818. Beginning life for himself upon a leased farm, which he afterward purchased, he resided in his native town until 1875. He then removed to Prattsville, where he bought a farm and carried it on for two years, at the end of which time he retired and purchased a residence in the village where he is still living. Mr. Fowler, who is unusually active, both physically and mentally, for one of his years, remembers when deer roamed fearlessly over the town of Lexington. He has witnessed the growth of Prattsville from a struggling little settlement, and saw its founder, Colonel Pratt, set out many of the shade trees that now adorn its main thoroughfare. He was in his younger days interested in military affairs, serving as an officer in a local artillery company. He has a distinct recollection of the days when slavery was permitted in this section. Later he belonged to the famous Know-Nothing party. He has voted the straight Democratic ticket for sixty years. David S. Fowler contracted the first of his two marriages in 1841 with Agnes Muir, a native of Scotland, who died in 1873; and for his second wife he married Laura Goodsell, whose ancestors came from Connecticut. He is the father of three children, all by his first union; namely, Mary, Charles, and Agnes. Mary married A. Beckwith, a prosperous farmer of Lexington. They have one daughter, Ada, who is the wife of George Raeder, and has one son, Charles. Agnes married Alonzo Johnson, of Lexington, and her children are: Charles, May, and Willie.

Charles Fowler acquired a common-school education in his native town. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, and assisted his father in carrying on the homestead farm until the latter's removal to Prattsville, when he took charge of the property which he managed for five years, or until it was sold. Coming to Prattsville in 1880, he in March of that year bought a half-interest in the Prattsville House, in the management of which he was associated until July, 1882, when he sold out. He immediately purchased his present property, which, after repairing and refurnishing, he opened as the Fowler House. Here he has ever since entertained the travelling public in a most hospitable manner. The Fowler House provides ample accommodations for fifty guests. It occupies a sightly location on the banks of Schoharie Creek, in a region noted for its beautiful and varied scenery. Its sanitary and other conveniences for the health and comfort of its patrons are unsurpassed, and a first-class livery stable connected with the house affords excellent facilities for driving over the surrounding country.

In 1871 Mr. Fowler was joined in marriage with Mary Coggshall, of this town. She was born in Rensselaerville, daughter of Asa and Mary (Joyce) Coggshall, the former of whom was a native of Gilderland [i.e., Guilderland] and a schoolmaster by occupation. Asa and Mary Coggshall had a family of ten children, nine of whom are living; namely, Harvey, George, Origen, Sarah, Samuel, Asa, Mary, Julia, and Aletta. Sarah married E. P. Churchill, of Prattsville, and Aletta married Dwight Miller. Mr. and Mrs. Fowler have one daughter, Edith, who completed her education at the Stamford Seminary.

In politics Mr. Fowler is a Democrat. Though frequently solicited to become a candidate for public office, he invariably declines. Mrs. Fowler and her daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

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