My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

Robert Rowden (deceased), ex-county treasurer of Maries County, was born in Roane County, Tenn., in 1819, and was a son of Asa and Margaret H. (Hannah) Rowden. Asa Rowden was born in Henry County, Va., in 1792. His parents were Abram and Rachel (Cheek) Rowden, natives of Henry County, Va., who were born, respectively, in 1752 and 1762. About 1797 Abram Rowden immigrated to Roane County, Tenn., where he died in 1822. He was a tiller of the soil, teaching school in winter, and nothing is known of his ancestry, save that the name and that of Lord Rowden, of Revolutionary fame, are identical. Asa Rowden served as a substitute for his brother, Nathaniel, in the Indian war of 1812, serving as ranger near Edwardsville, Ill. In 1837 he removed from Roane County, Tenn., to DeKalb County, Ala., and in April, 1842, to Osage (now Maries) County, Mo. Asa died in 1865, and his wife, who was born in Blount County, Tenn., in 1797, died in 1873. At the age of seventeen Robert Rowden went with his parents to Alabama, where his uncle, H. B. Rowden, was engaged in selling goods to the Cherokee Indians. He entered the employment of his uncle, and when, two years later, the Cherokees were removed west, he went to work in a saw-mill at $11 per month, which he continued two years, at the expiration of which time he returned home, in ill-health, with only $75 and his saddle and horse; hence Horace Greeley did not mean him, when he said, ‘‘any young man who had not $100 of his own earnings by the time he was 21 would carry a poor man’s head on his shoulders all the rest of his life.’’ In 1842 Robert Rowden went to Missouri, where he worked a year or two at $11 per month, and finally erected a primitive mill on Tavern creek for grinding corn. He subsequently engaged in teaching, and September 17, 1846, married Nancy A. Tyree, who was born in Hardin County, Ky., in 1826. Of the nine children born to this union, six grew to maturity, viz.: Sarah E. (deceased), who married Stephen Hellton; Saterwhite, now a law student at the State University; Cordelia, wife of John W. Breeden; Louis C, who died in April, 1888, at the age of thirty-two, at the time of his death serving as circuit clerk and ex-officio recorder of Maries County; Robert Lincoln, a graduate of the law department of the State University at Columbia, Mo., and Nina Ann. Mrs. Rowden died December 19, 1888. Mr. Rowden engaged in milling for a time after his marriage, and his earnings finally enabled him to engage in merchandising with $50 worth of goods, first in a corner of the mill, later to the more commodious smoke-house, and finally in a log cabin, with puncheon doors and dirt floor. In the meanwhile he added a second-hand horse-mill to his property, all of which he and his wife attended to. By 1860 he had accumulated $6,000, and was about to purchase his cousin’s mill and open a large business, when the war-cloud gathered, and before the contract was signed the owner was a refugee in Illinois. Not discouraged, Mr. Rowden “held the fort” until June, 1864, when he was deprived of all save his land, energy and good name, and was obliged to take refuge at Vienna, where he established himself with a stock of goods worth $300, and was again raided and robbed. Still not discouraged, he purchased another stock of goods on credit, and continued selling until 1876, at which time he had become the local banker and postmaster of Vienna. He was elected county treasurer in 1874, to which position he was three times reelected, serving in all eight years, with much credit and satisfaction to his constituents. He was justice of the peace twenty years, postmaster sixteen years, and judge of the county court six years, proving him self a most able and efficient officer in all of these trusted positions. Judge Rowden became one of the most prominent citizens of Maries County, and doing a large loaning business, he wronged no man and oppressed none. He was most highly esteemed, and at his death, which occurred February 14, 1889, the county was deprived of an active, enterprising business man, and one who took an active interest in all enterprises tending to promote the public good.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 37 biographies included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Maries County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Maries County, Missouri family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.