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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Leopold Hower

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[This information is from Vol. III, p. 390 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of Leopold Hower

Portrait: Leopold Hower

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Conspicuous in the commercial activities of the Mohawk Valley section of New York state is the wholesale grocery house of L. Hower & Sons at Rome, Oneida county, which was established in 1883 by Leopold Hower. A native of Austria, he was but three years of age when brought to the United States by his parents, who after spending a short time in the city of New York came to Oneida county, locating first at Ava and several years later in Rome. It was at the latter place that Leopold Hower engaged in the retail grocery business, which prospered and developed into a wholesale grocery, first as Jones & Hower, then in succession L. Hower & Company, L. Hower, and lastly L. Hower & Sons, of which Leo A. and Harold W. Hower are now the directing heads. The business is widespread, while its annual transactions amount to vast figures when reduced to dollars and cents. The fame and high reputation of the house places it among the leaders in its line. Leopold Hower erected the Glesmann & Hower block, one of the first large business blocks of Rome.

In early manhood Mr. Hower was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Hahn, a native of Utica, New York, who departed this life on the 21st of March, 1923. They became the parents of three children: Leo A., Harold W. and Mrs. Millie (Hower) MacFarland. The husband and father passed away on the 25th of January, 1921.

Leo A. Hower, the eldest child of Leopold and Sarah (Hahn) Hower, was born in Rome, New York, November 11, 1882. His education was obtained in the public schools of his native city and at the Rome Free Academy, after which he started with his father in the wholesale grocery. In 1912 he and his brother, Harold W., were taken into partnership, the title of the firm then becoming L. Hower & Sons. After the demise of Leopold Hower the firm name of L. Hower & Sons was continued by his two sons and his daughter.

At Taberg, New York, in 1906, Leo A. Hower wedded Miss Mabel Silvernail. To them have been born two children, Leo S. and Donald E. A republican who is active in civic affairs, Leo A. Hower served on the Rome fire and police board for four years and is a member of the Rome Chamber of Commerce. He is widely recognized as one of the prosperous and representative business men and highly esteemed residents of the city which has always been his home.

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