ROBERT T. FOWLER. Every old habitue of the ranch and range in Western Kansas has some associations that will be revived by mention of the name Robert T. Fowler. He was long known as one of the cattle kings of Western Kansas, and still owns a magnificent ranch of 3,000 acres in Russell County, though this is only a tithe of the territory over which his herds grazed in former years. He is president of the First National Bank of Lucas.
A resident of Kansas since early childhood, Robert Taswell Fowler was born in Schuyler County, Illinois, November 25, 1851. His father, Josiah Fowler, was born in Kentucky in 1823, grew up and married there, and about 1846 located on a new farm in Schuyler County, Illinois. In 1860 he came to Kansas, locating in Jefferson County. Kansas then was still a territory, and while he was busied with the task of clearing up his land he was naturally drawn into many historic events of the time. He became a member of the Kansas Militia and during the war helped repel Quantrell's raid. Many years after the war he went to Missouri and died at Rushville in that state in 1888. He was a democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. Josiah Fowler married Missaniah Dunning, born in Kentucky in 1815 and died in Jefferson County, Kansas, in 1865. The oldest child of the family was Martha, who died at Lucas, Kansas, in 1916. She first married John Sturgeon, a farmer, and after his death became the wife of W. T. Thomas, a farmer and capitalist still living at Lucas. Sidney, the second in the family, is a railroad man living at Leavenworth; Robert T. is the third in age; Lofton was a cowboy and general workman and died at Lucas; Isaiah is a railroad man; Ed was a capitalist and died at LeGrande, Oregon.
Robert Taswell Fowler acquired his early education in Jefferson County, attending high school at Pardee. When eighteen years of age he undertook the support of himself and thenceforward was dependent upon his own industry and enterprise. He had expert experience as a cowboy, and for seven years helped drive cattle over the trail from Texas to the Platte River. He finally located on a ranch in Russell County, and for twenty years continued his operations as a cattleman and bought, sold and fed cattle on a large scale. He was a well known figure in all the leading cattle markets and his title as a cattle king was justified by his works. His present estate of 2,000 acres comprised some of the finest land in the Wolf Creek Valley.
In 1898 he bought the Bank of Lucas, which had been established in 1887. In 1908 the institution was given a national charter as the First National Bank, and Mr. Fowler is a majority stockholder and its president. The vice president is his son, Roy Fowler, and the cashier is H. W. Wilcox. The financial status of the bank is well indicated by its capital of $50,000, surplus $10,000, and undivided profits of $6,000. Mr. Fowler is also president of the Delhi Oil Company of Kansas.
He has always been willing to devote time and means to the welfare of his locality and state. He served as county commissioner from 1894 to 1898, for two terms was mayor of Lucas, and in 1908 was elected to the State Senate for four years. In the upper branch of the Legislature Mr. Fowler was a member of the railroad and banking committees, and had much to do with framing the Bank Guarantee and General Banking Law of Kansas. He has always been proud of the fact that he helped along the appropriation for the Memorial Building at Topeka, the home of the Kansas State Historical Society. In 1918 he was elected representative from Russell County with a majority of 305 votes over the democratic candidate, George W. Howland. He is a republican and a member of the United Brethren Church. He is past master of Lucas Lodge No. 198, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, a member of Russell Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Saliaa Consistory No. 3 of the Scottish Rite, and Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salina. He also belongs to Lucas Lodge of Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is a member of the Kansas and American Bankers Associations.
in 1876, at Bunker Hill, Kansas, Mr. Fowler married Miss Maggie Hurst, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Hurst, both deceased. Mrs. Fowler died at Lucas in May, 1896. She was the mother of three sons. Roy C., a graduate of the High School and the Salina Business College, is vice president of the First National Bank of Lucas; Ralph R., a graduate of the Salina Business College, is in the confectionery business at Pendleton, Oregon; Robert, the youngest, is a stockman on his father's ranch.
December 18, 1897, Mr. Fowler married Mrs. Lula (Frans) Jay, daughter of F. F. and Mrs. Lottie I. (Taylor) Frans. Her parents are retired farmers living at Lucas. Mr. Fowler has three children by his second marriage: Lula May, a graduate of the Lucas High School and the Salina Business College, assists her father in the bank; Clinton A., a member of the Students Army Training Corps in the Kansas Wesleyan University at Salina; and Lottie Maude, a student in the Lucas High School.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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