IRA ROWELL, a prosperous and highly respected farmer of Danvers Township, has been for many years engaged in
agricultural pursuits on section 36, where he has met with success. He is a native of the Old Granite State, born
in Grafton County, May 20, 1831.
His parents were Jonathan B. and Cynthia (Abbott) Rowell, natives of the same State as their son. Jonathan Rowell engaged in farming pursuits the greater part of his life. He was born Feb. 3, 1800, and his wife, Cynthia, March 5, 1806. They were married Jan. 22, 1828, in New Hampshire, and resided there, with the exception of three years, until 1849. In July of that year they started for the West and located in Dry Grove Township, this county, where the father departed this life Sept. 28, 1850. The mother survived her husband fifteen years, dying in Danvers, Feb. 5, 1866.
Of the ten children of Jonathan and Cynthia Rowell, the record is as follows: Mary J. was born June 29, 1829, and died Sept. 8, 1848; Ira of our sketch was the second child; Jonathan H., born Feb. 10, 1833, is now Member of Congress from this district, and married Miss Marie Woods; Lucy M., born Jan. 27, 1835, died April 16, 1849; Charles C., born Dec. 11, 1836, married Miss Margaret Rabern; William L. was born Sept. 5, 1838, and married Miss Belle Dickinson; Milo, born Dec. 13, 1840, married Miss Lou Carver; George B., born Dec. 13, 1842, married Miss Dellia Warlow; Chester, born Oct. 7, 1844, married a Mrs. Rowell; Albert A., born May 30, 1846, married Miss Nellie Booth.
The mother was a member of the Congregational Church, and Jonathan Rowell, politically, was an uncompromising Democrat.
Ira Rowell received a good common-school education, remaining with his parents until eighteen years of age. He then started out for himself and engaged as a farm laborer at $10 per month. He was united in marriage with Miss Lavina Carlock Nov. 16, 1869, having already secured 130 acres of good land, and being able to offer a comfortable home to his bride. This first purchase constitutes his present homestead. He has industriously cultivated the land, and added improvements each year until he now has one of the good farms of this section. Besides general farming he is giving much attention to the raising of cattle and horses. He has beautified his homestead by the planting of handsome shade and fruit trees, and has sold from time to time numbers of evergreen and apple trees.
The wife of our subject is the daughter of Abraham W. and Mary (Goodpasture) Carlock. Mr. C. was born April 7, 1800, in Hampshire County, W. Va., and his wife, Jan. 24, 1804, in Overton County, Tenn., about fifteen miles from Livingston, the county seat. In the spring of 1827 he removed with his family to Dry Grove, and subsequently moved to White Oak Township. Mr. C. at one time was the owner of 1,000 acres of land, 200 of which he afterward disposed of.
Their twelve children were, John G., Madison P., Sarah, Mahala, Lavina, William B., Abraham H., Margery, Martha, Reuben, Nancy J., and Mary. The four last named are deceased. Mr. C. was a stanch Democrat politically. He died at the age of eighty-four years; his widow still survives.
After the death of his father, Ira Rowell took charge of the estate, straightened up the business of the old homestead, and took his mother and brothers into his own household. He has been the architect of his own fortune, and what he possesses is the result of his industry and economy. He keeps himself well posted upon matters of general interest. Formerly he was Democratic in politics but is now mostly independent, aiming to cast his vote for the man whom he deems best fitted for the various offices. He has been School Trustee and Road Supervisor since his twenty-first birthday, having thus early in life established himself in the good opinion of his townsmen.
The household circle of our subject and his wife has been completed by the birth of five children, as follows: Lillie was born Sept. 27, 1870; Laura B., Dec. 20, 1871; Lulu J., Nov. 21, 1875; Edith I., June 30, 1879; Ira H., Oct. 10, 1885.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 449. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.