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Biography of Stephen Oliver Bowen
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Stephen and Rebecca Bowen were the grandparents of the subject of this biography. His parents were Oliver and Betsey Bowen, the former having removed to Eastford in 1822, where he resided until his death, in 1879. He was during his active life a successful farmer and produce dealer. His wife survived him and is still a resident of Eastford. Their son, Stephen O. Bowen, was born in Eastford, April 8th, 1840. He received an elementary education, and afterward spent a season at the State Normal school, pursuing his studies with a view to proficiency as a teacher. The succeeding ten or more winters were devoted to teaching, the summer months being given to farming and dealing in live stock. Though most of his life a successful farmer, he was for some time engaged in trade, and has been for several years an extensive dealer in and shipper of horses. By honest dealing and strict integrity he has established an enviable reputation in this department of traffic, and won a large and increasing patronage.
Mr. Bowen has been active in all the public measures affecting his town, and one of its prominent political factors. Reared in the Jeffersonian school of democracy, he has ever been a steadfast exponent of its principles. He was a delegate to the national democratic convention, held at St. Louis in 1888, and for several years the popular candidate of the party for representative in the state legislature, against a heavy majority. To this office he was elected in 1876, during which session he served on the school fund committee. He has filled nearly all the local positions in the gift of his townspeople, and is at present justice of the peace, town treasurer and school visitor. For more than twenty-five years he has been a member of the school board, several times selectman, and repeatedly elected to the office of judge of probate, when he adjudicated upon a number of important estates. His efficiency and wide experience in these matters have caused his services to be in demand as administrator and trustee. Mr. Bowen was for several years a director of the Eastford Savings Bank, and is now president of the Eastford Creamery, of the Eastford Temperance Association, and of the Eastford Library Association. He is much interested in the ” Grange ” as a promoter of successful agriculture, and was for two years master of . the Crystal Lake Grange, as also overseer of the Pomona Grange of Windham county. Mr. Bowen is a member and an officer of the Congregational church of Eastford, and one of its principal supporters. He was married April 8th, 1864, to Miss Abbie Lee Spencer of Pomfret. They have had seven children, of whom two sons and two daughters are living.
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