WILLIAM F. MOWERY, M. D. While the years since Doctor Mowery located in Scott County in 1901 have been characterized by a steadfast devotion to his medical profession and to his growing reputation and success in that line, he has also during the quarter century he has been a resident of Kansas been actively identified with its material and political interests. He is one of the widely known men of the western section of the state.
He spent his early life on an Iowa farm. He was born near Ottumwa November 9, 1855, and received the bulk of his literary education at Ottumwa. He attended the Ottumwa Seminary and the Business College, and for five years was a teacher in Wapello County. He took his medical courses in the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was graduated in 1887. In the same year he began practice at Agency City, Iowa, and from there about 1891 he came to Kansas.
His first location in this state was at Hill City in Graham County. He practiced at Hill City about ten years. Graham County was then on the frontier. Its lands were unsettled and could be bought as low as a dollar an acre. While living there Doctor Mowery served as county health officer, and he became actively identified with the populist movement of the '90s. He assisted in nominating John W. Leedy at Abilene for governor and took an active part in the subsequent campaign which made Mr. Leedy the Kansas executive. Besides practicing medicine Doctor Mowery also had a farm, and his experiences as a farmer led him to an active advocacy of irrigation as a means to supplement the uncertain rainfall. He put in the first irrigation plant in the county and after it was put in operation it demonstrated the soundness of his ideas and was frequently used as an example for similar enterprises in that part of the state.
Since coming to Scott County in 1901 Doctor Mowery has allowed few interests to interfere with his steady practice of medicine. A number of years ago he homesteaded a claim in Colorado and has a section of land near Ordway, which he uses as a stock farm. Politically he has generally, supported the various measures of the present Wilson administration, and though in earlier years he did some effective campaigning in behalf of his friends, he is now content to be chiefly a spectator of events.
Doctor Mowery is descended from some of those early German colonists who settled in Pennsylvania during the century preceding the Revolutionary war. His grandfather was John Mowery, who was described as a Pennsylvania Dutchman. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and became an early settler in Knox County, Ohio, where he followed the life of a farmer until his death. He had the following children: Dave, George and Joseph, who lived in Iowa; John, who died in Illinois; Charity, Amanda and Maria, all of whom married and spent their lives in Knox County, Ohio; and John B., who became a successful business man at Ottumwa.
Joseph Mowery, father of Doctor Mowery, was born near Knoxville, Ohio, and from there he went in 1815 to Iowa. Iowa was then a territory and he was in the advance guard of settlers on that side of the Mississippi. He entered government land in Wapello County, and lived there, pursuing with modest success the business of farming until his death in 1891, at the age of seventy-two. Though he had limited advantages in the country schools of his time he was a man of active intelligence and kept in touch with affairs, though he had no ambition for public position. During the Civil war he was incapacitated for military service on account of blindness. Politically he was a democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. He married Phebe Ann Kerns, who was born in Knox County, Ohio, a daughter of James Kerns, who was of Scotch-Irish stock. Mrs. Joseph Mowery died in 1894, at the age of seventy. She and her husband had thirteen children, of whom the following reached maturity: Emeline, who died in Hedrick, Iowa, as Mrs. J. W. Bottorff; Julia, who married Charles Mick and died in Wapello County, Iowa; Alpheus A., of Council Grove, Kansas; George, of What Cheer, Iowa; David C., of Salt Lake City, Utah, a railway conductor; Edward J., of Goodland, Kansas; Charity A., wife of Dallas France, of Walla Walla, Washington; and Doctor Mowery.
Doctor Mowery was married in Wapello County, Iowa, October 4, 1884, to Miss Rella Z. Moore. Her parents, Emanuel W. and Clarinda (Wells) Moore, come from Clark County, Indiana, to Iowa, and were farmers. Mrs. Mowery was next to the youngest of the family, and her brothers and sisters were: James E., of Hedrick, Iowa; Eliza M., who died in Wapello County as Mrs. Peter Bottorff; George E., of Graham County, Kansas; John M., a civil engineer living at Evanston, Illinois; and Charles, of Kirksville, Missouri. Doctor and Mrs. Mowery have reared a family of children in their home and have given them the best advantages for a liberal education. The oldest is William E., who graduated from the University Medical College at Kansas City, Missouri, is now practicing his profession at Salina, Kansas, and by his marriage to Miss Kate Crawford has two daughters, Mildred and Vera, aged seven and one years respectively. James E., the second son, is a graduate of Washburn College at Topeka, is as yet unmarried, and was successfully practicing law at Russell, Kansas, until he entered the army and is now in the quartermaster's department at Camp Lee, Virginia. Glen E. is now pursuing his medical studies in the State University of Kansas.
Doctor Mowery is a past master of Millbrook Lodge No. 281, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Scott City, is a past noble grand of the Beaver City, Nebraska, Lodge of Odd Fellows, and also belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Fraternal Aid Union. In the line of his profession he is examiner for the New York Life Insurance Company and the Guarantee Fund Life Company of Omaha.
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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