David Rowland


Carroll County Illinois

REV. DAVID ROWLAND, minister and elder in the Church of the Brethren, for sixty-three years has been an active participant in the development of Carroll county, Ill., in every part of which his name carries with it financial stability and Christian influence. He was born in Freedom township, Carroll county, Ill., September 21, 1849, a son of Isaac and Mary Ann (Stitzel) Rowland. Isaac Rowland was born at Hagerstown, Md., in April 1820, and came first to Illinois in 1841 and remained until the fall of 1843, in the meanwhile working at farming. He then went to Washington county, Md., where he occupied himself until 1846, when he returned to Illinois and settled on a farm he purchased, situated in Freedom township, Carroll county, about three and one-half miles northwest of Lanark, and resided there until the fall of 1877, when he retired to Lanark, where he lived until his death. In 1864 he united with the Brethren Church at Cherry Grove and a few years later was elected deacon in the same and when the Lanark church was organized, he was retained in this office. He was an earnest Christian man, zealous in all good works and through study of the Scriptures, had a good understanding of the same but had not been gifted with the power of expounding the Truth. He was known far and wide for his charity which he looked on differently from many, deeming its exercise not a duty but a privilege and the poor and needy received a welcome equally with those who possessed substance. He was a man of strict temperance principles, and when the opportunity was given him he cast his vote against license. His parents died in Maryland and but one of his brothers or sisters survive. Andrew Rowland settled at Forreston, Ill., and died there. Levi and Christian both died in Maryland, aged respectively eighty-one and eighty-two years. Susan married Samuel Funk, who followed farming for many years near Polo, Ill., and then moved to Florida, where he died, his widow and three sons still residing there. Amos and Elias are both deceased. Mary Ann, the oldest, became the wife of J. Wolf, Sr., and they lived at Lanark.

Isaac Rowland married Mary Ann Stitzel, who was born at Greencastle, Pa., April 1, 1825, and came to Carroll county with her parents, David and Sarah (Strickler) Stitzel, who settled in Arnold Grove, near Mt. Carroll, where he worked at his trade of a shoemaker. He was born in Franklin county, Pa., November 1, 1794, and after coming to Carroll county combined farming with work as a shoemaker. He died April 1, 1862. The mother of Mrs. Rowland was born in Franklin county, Pa., December 13, 1806, and died at the home of Isaac Rowland and wife, near Lanark, April 8, 1870. She was a devoted member of the Church of the Brethren and her husband, while never uniting with any religious body, still assisted in all moral movements and was a Christian man in works, if not in profession. The Stitzel family came originally from Germany and David Stitzel and family settled in Carroll county about 1846. To Isaac and Mary Ann Rowland the following children were born: David, Christian, who is now a resident of Sunnyside, Wash., married (first) Sarah Lichty and they had four children – Delta, Earl, Grace and Joy; and Loretta, who was born December 3, 1860, was married, October 7, 1880 to S. J. Harrison, now of Seattle, Wash., and they had two children, Homer, deceased, and Frank.

David Rowland attended the early district schools and well remembers the equipments of the school houses in his boyhood, the hard benches without backs, the primitive way of heating and lighting and even the teachers who had peculiar methods of discipline, Mr. Rowland recalling the peculiarity of one of these, it being that when a misdemeanor was committed the teacher took no chances of missing the culprit as he would use the birch on them all indiscriminately. The first high school was built in Lanark in 1869 and Mr. Rowland completed his education there as far as school books were concerned but he still further broadened his mind by reading good books and discussing public questions with others whose views he respects, and on every matter Mr. Rowland is well informed. He remained on the old home farm until he was twenty-six years of age, having virtually taken charge of the same when nineteen years old, in 1869 starting to work for his father on a salary of $200 per year, which, at that time seemed entirely sufficient. In 1872 his father bought 160 acres of land situated on section 35, Cherry Grove township, paying $45 per acre, and Mr. Rowland rented this land for about five years. After his marriage he began to improve his land and later added 160 more acres and now has 320 acres, all in one body. His improvements kept pace with the times and this property was developed into one of the beautiful home places in Carroll county. The residence is surrounded by shade and ornamental trees which were set out by Mr. and Mrs. Rowland and have responded to the care they have received. In 1880 Mr. Rowland turned his attention to breeding Shorthorn cattle and has been very successful. It has been his plan to raise a herd of perhaps 100 cattle and then make a sale and afterward begin over again and continued until he left the farm in 1902 and retired to Lanark. He still retains the property which is known as the Ridgeland Shorthorn Stock Farm.

In 1876 Mr. Rowland was married to Sarah J. Brennaman and they had the following children born to them while living on the farm above described: Minnie B., who was born February 28, 1878, married Leroy L. Todd, for many years a leading attorney of Seattle, Wash.; Etta May, who was born December 19, 1880, was married February 21, 1907 to Hewitt R. Taylor, in the insurance business at Los Angeles, Calif., and they have two children, Marjorie Loretta, born August 15, 1910, and Paul R., born January 8, 1913; Porter A., who was born February 14, 1882, lives at Los Angeles, married Hannah Moreland and they have one son, Harold Leroy; and Ralph E., who was born February 13, 1888, now lives on the farm in Cherry Grove township, and married Sibbie Stauffer, one son – David Oscar, who was born May 4, 1912. Mr. Rowland was elected in young manhood a member of the board of supervisors of Freedom township on the republican ticket, but has held no other public office.

In 1878 he united with the Church of the Brethren and in 1881 was elected a minister and in 1891, an elder, and now has supervision of the Shannon Church. In 1902, as mentioned, he came to Lanark and ever since has officiated in the church at Shannon as its minister, working with Christian zeal for the uplift of humanity and exhorting his people to still further efforts towards righteousness. While Lanark has remained his home he has frequently passed a part of the winter months with his daughter and son in Los Angeles, Calif. For seven years he was one of he trustees of Mt. Morris College, a Brethren institution of the Northern District of Illinois, and has been liberal in his donations to it. He has always been interested in educational matters and served some twenty-four years as a school director.

Mrs. Rowland’s grandmother Shelly was born September 10, 1811, and died at Shannon, Ill., December 21, 1896, aged eighty-five years. Her maiden name was Snively and she married Abraham Shelly. She was born November 8, 1829 and died in 1875. Mrs. Rowland’s parents were Joseph and Susan (Shelly) Brennaman, who were born in Pennsylvania near Martinsburg. The family came to Illinois and settled near Shannon. There were twelve children in the family, Mrs. Rowland being born January 21, 1856. There were three that died before the parents, who both passed away at Lanark, Ill. The children now living are: John Brennaman, of Dallas Center, Ia.; Abraham, William, Mrs. Ida Arnold, Harvey and Mrs. Elizabeth Sheller, the last five residing at Lanark.

Contributed by Carol Parrish
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County, Vol. II, Munsell Publishing Company, 1913, p. 880-881.

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