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RG3924.AM:  Henry Richard Bowler, 1837-1911

Records, etc.:  1882-1900

Wheeler County, Neb.:  Merchant, Postmaster

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Henry Richard Bowler was born in England in May of 1832, the son of John and Eliza Bowler.  The family, consisting of John and Eliza, Henry R. and his daughter Edith A., and a Edwin or Edward P. Bowler (the relationship of the latter Bowler cannot be determined), came to the United States in the year 1869.  They stopped first in Chicago where John and Henry filed for citizenship.  They continued on to Seward County, Nebraska.

John filed for a homestead on the NE ¼, S18, T10N, R4E (cert. #8280).  He died in Seward County November 21, 1869.  Eliza, Edwin and Henry filed for homesteads in the same section May 18, 1870.  Henry did not complete his naturalization until 1885, in Boone County June 2, 1885.  Eliza filed for naturalization papers in Lancaster County District Court March 5, 1878, due to legal problems involving the homestead after John’s death.

Not much is known about the family in Seward County.  Henry and his daughter Edith moved to Valley pct. In Wheeler County in 1882 where he operated a general merchandise store.  The 1885 census cites Henry as a notary public, the 1886 Gazetteer as a justice of the peace at Cumminsville, Nebraska.  He was appointed Postmaster there in 1890.

In 1901 the Bowlers moved to Bartlett, Nebraska.  Bowler’s daughter taught school until 1910 when she was elected Wheeler County Superintendent of Schools which office she held until 1922.  Edith continued to live in the area until she died on May 31, 1948.  Edith Annie Bowler had been born in London January 21, 1865.  She was the daughter of Henry Bowler and Lavinia Holford.  She was a member of the Bartlett Methodist Church and president of the Bartlett Cemetery Association.  After her father died in 1911 Edith lived with Ruth and Edwin (Ted) Pibel in Bartlett.


This collection consists of the papers of Henry R. Bowler of Cumminsville, Nebraska, 1882-1900, arranged in four series:  1) Accounting Records, 1882-1900; 2) Cumminsville Post Office, 1888-1892; 3) Congregational Church of Christ in Cumminsville, 1884-1891; and 4) Miscellaneous, c.1888-1900.

Series 1 contains the financial records of a general merchandise store operated by H.R. Bowler, 1884-1900 and previously operated by C.J. Smith, 1882-1900.  The store was purchased by Bowler soon after his arrival at Cumminsville in 1882.

Series 2 contains a postal register for Cumminsville Post Office, Wheeler County, 1888-1892 and includes financial reports by W.S. Thompson, pm, 1888-1889 and H.R. Bowler, pm, 1889-1892.

Series 3 is a minute book for the Congregational Church of Christ in Cumminsville, Nebraska, 1884-1891.  Henry Bowler was clerk of this church.

Series 4, Miscellaneous, includes advertisements and correspondence mostly for medical supplies, c.1894-1900.  Also included is a warranty deed for property in Cumminsville purchased by Bowler in 1888.

Note:  A photo of Henry R. Bowler appears in Wheeler County History and a sketch of his daughter, Edith.


Series 1 – Accounting records, 1882-1900

Box 1

Volume 1:  Daybook – C.J. Smith, Cumminsville Commission Merchant, 1882-1883, June

Volume 2:  Accounts Ledger – C.J. Smith and H.R. Bowler, 1882, May-1884, Oct.

Volume 3:  Ledger – C.J. Smith, 1882, Dec.-1883, Dec.; H.R. Bowler, 1884, Apr.-1885, June

Volume 4:  Journal, Henry R. Bowler, September 1885–1894

Volume 5:  Ledger, 1895-1900

Series 2 – Cumminsville Post Office, 1888-1892

Volume 1:  Postal Register – Financial Reports; W.S. Thompson, pm, 3/31/1888-1889; H.R. Bowler, pm, 11/30/1889-February 1892 (including Cert. Of Appointment for Bowler)

Series 3 – Congregational Church of Christ in Cumminsville, 1884-1891

Volume 1:  Minute Book, H.R. Bowler, Clerk, May 25, 1884-September 28, 1891

Series 4 – Miscellaneous, 1888-1900

Folder 1:  Miscellaneous, including:

  • Advertisements and correspondence for medicine supplies, c.1894-1900

  • Warranty Deed for property in Cumminsville purchased by Bowler in 1888


Subject headings:

Bowler, Henry Richard, 1837-1911

Congregational Church in Nebraska

Cumminsville (Neb.) — Congregational Church of Christ

Cumminsville (Neb.) — History

Druggists — Wheeler County (Neb.) 

Merchants — Wheeler County (Neb.) 

Smith, C.J.

Wheeler County (Neb.) — Postal service


AIP/pjm                  04-24-1979

PMC                       10-13-1988