John William Nowers, car accountant of the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company, Topeka, Kan., is a native of England, where he was born at Lydd, County of Kent, July 23, 1853. His parents were Edward Alfred and Elizabeth (Blacklocks) Nowers, who were lifelong residents of England, where the mother's death occurred Aug. 2, 1856, and that of the father on Jan. 26, 1879. Edward A. Nowers, who was a chemist and pharmacist, was a scion of the old and prominent Nowers family of Gothurst, Buckinghamshire and Pluckley, County Kent, England, which possesses a coat of arms and whose original ancestors came to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror in the year 1066. John W. Nowers and his older brother, Lawrence Edward Nowers, who now resides at Douglas, Ariz., were the only members of their immediate family who came to the United States.
Mr. Nowers was reared and educated at Hastings in the County of Sussex, England, where he had gone to live with an aunt, a change demanded by the frail health of his mother. In 1872, when nineteen years of age, he came to the United States and first went to the home of his uncle, his father's brother, at Atkinson, Ill., where he was engaged in various kinds of employment until February, 1879, when he came to Kansas. On May 7 of that year he entered the employ of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, and with the exception of the brief period from July 1, 1899, to July 1, 1900, during which he gave his attention to mining pursuits, he has been in the continuous employ of that company, winning successive promotions as follows: From May 7, 1879, to Oct. 1, 1880, he was a clerk in the auditor's office; Oct. 1, 1880, to March 31, 1882, clerk in the superintendent's office, Las Vegas, N. M.; April 1, 1882, to May 31, 1883, clerk in the chief engineer's office, Topeka, Kan.; June 1 to Aug. 31, 1883, clerk in the assistant general superintendent's office; Sept. 1, 1883, to Feb. 29, 1884, clerk in the general superintendent's office; March 1, 1884, to Jan. 31, 1886, clerk in the general manager's office; Feb. 1, 1886, to April 30, 1888, clerk in vice-president's office; May 1, 1888, to Dec. 31, 1898, clerk in the general manager's office; January 1 to June 30, 1899, chief clerk in the store department; July 1, 1899, to June 30, 1900, out of the service; July 1 to Dec. 1, 1900, clerk in the general auditor's office, Chicago; Dec. 1, 1900, to Jan. 9, 1905, in the auditor of disbursements' office, Topeka; and on Jan. 10, 1905, he was promoted to his present position, that of car accountant.
Mr. Nowers was married June 9, 1885, to Miss Marcella Cecelia Ransom, of Aledo, Mercer county, Ill. They have four children, three sons and one daughter, as follows: Phillip Julienne, born May 7, 1887; Joseph Ransom Fay, born Dec. 7, 1888; Paul, born Nov. 16, 1890; and Mary Cecelia, born Sept. 26, 1892. Mr. Nowers is a Republican in his political views, and his church membership is with the Episcopal denomination. He is a member of the Association of Transportation and Car Accountant Officers of the United States and of the Central and Western Association of Car Service Officers of which he served as president two years, in 1908 and in 1909. He is a member of the Masonic order and of the Topeka Commercial Club.
Berry's History of Heraldry says the coat of arms used by the Nowers family was one of those granted by Richard Coeur de Leon to his followerseach knight being distinguished by the design upon his shield. The Nowers design is thus described: "Shield argent; two bars gules in chief; three crescent gules; crest, a lion's paw grasping a crescent. Motto, Tenio, 'I hold.'" In addition to these arms, the family in its different branches had nine several grants of arms between the years 1066 and 1480 A. D.Pages 1403-1404 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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