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John D. Rowland. a member of the real estate and insurance firm of Carpenter & Rowland, was born in Racine, March 8, 1863, a son of David and Elizabeth (Davis) Rowland. The father, who was born in north of Wales, was a son of David Rowland, Sr., who brought his family to the United States in 1842, settling in New York where he died. His widow afterward became the wife of David Morgan and about 1853 they removed to Racine, Mr. Morgan establishing a carpenter shop at the corner of Columbus avenue and Twelfth Street. David Rowland. Jr., when a youth of seventeen years, went to sea on a sailing vessel and spent several years in that way, visiting all parts of the world. He afterward served as a member of Company F, Twenty-second Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers, through the period of the Civil War, having enlisted in 1862, while in 1865 he was mustered out. Following the close of hostilities he learned the carpenters’ trade and spent the greater part, of his business life in connection with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, being first employed as a workman and later as a contractor. He married Elizabeth Davis, who was born in South Wales and both are now residents of Racine. Mr. Rowland living retired at the advanced age of seventy-nine years.
J. D. Rowland was one of a family of five children, but three of the number have passed away, his surviving sister being Mrs. E. E. Cahood of Racine. He obtained a public school education and afterward attended McMynn Academy. For a few years he was employed in the First National Bank of Racine and subsequently entered the University of Wisconsin, from which he was graduated on the completion of a law course with the class of 1886. He then entered upon the practice of law in Kenosha, where he remained until 1889, when he removed to Phillips, Wisconsin, where he spent seven years. Later he was in the employ of the Wisconsin Central Railroad and in 1903 he entered into partnership with W. H. Carpenter of Racine in the insurance and real estate business, handling all kinds of insurance except life insurance. They have a large clientage and their business has reached very substantial proportions.
In 1890 Mr. Rowland was married to Miss Mary Lizzie Hand of Racine, a daughter of Judge Hand, and they became the parents of three children: Margaret, David and John. The wife and mother have passed away. Mr. Rowland gives his political allegiance to the Republican Party and that he is interested in the welfare and progress of the city is indicated by his active support of the Commercial Club. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church and to several fraternal organizations. He has become a chapter Mason and is also identified with the Elks and the Knights of Pythias.