The following individuals are closely associated with the early settlement of the Bowen's Prairie area and are known to have specific links to the archaeological sites investigated during the project.
Hugh Bowen was purportedly the first Euro-American settler in Jones County, arriving in 1836 and living there through 1850. He was a veteran of the Black Hawk War and probably first came to the Dubuque area to work the lead mines. He was the first sheriff of Jones County from 1839-1844, County Assessor in 1840, and a large landowner. His early lands are identified on the General Land Office Survey maps of 1837-38 and on an 1839 map of the Military Road (see The Military Road).
Moses Collins, one of the founders of Bowen's Prairie and Jones County, is believed to have arrived in Iowa from Maryland, reportedly the same year as Hugh Bowen. The family farmstead (see 13JN196 Moses Collins Farmstead), however, was possibly occupied from as early as 1834 to 1853. The property was noted on the General Land Office Survey of 1837-38 and on the 1839 map of the Military Road (see The Military Road).
Otis and Harriet Whittemore
Otis Whittemore moved to Bowen's Prairie in 1843, following his older brother Barrett from New Hampshire. He had married Harriet M. Eaton in 1841 and together they platted the village of Bowen's Prairie in 1853. He built the first frame house in the settlement and afterward the first frame schoolhouse in the county. The Otis Whittemores donated land for and helped to establish the Congregational Church and donated land for the Methodist Episcopal Church, both established by 1858 (see 13JN152 Bowen's Prairie Townsite and 13JN169 Palmer Church Site). He was an active member of the first temperance society established in Jones County at Bowen's Prairie and was a state representative from 1862-1864.
The older brother of Otis Whittemore moved onto Bowen's Prairie in 1838. His first residence, a log cabin of 14 by 16 feet, may have been discovered in the archaeological excavations (see 13JN152 Bowen's Prairie Townsite). Barrett was a native of New Hampshire, a veteran of the Black Hawk War, associated with the lead mining in the Dubuque and Galena areas after this war, taught school in Dubuque, and later worked in a saw mill. After moving to Bowen's Prairie, an election was held in his cabin in order to select representatives to the Iowa legislature. In 1841 he opened the first school in Jones County, possibly near the location of site 13JN168 (see 13JN168 Palmer Cheese Factory/Oneida Factory Site); and in the same year, he served on the first petit jury in Edinburgh. He married Louisa Blodgett of New Hamshire in 1846, and he and his wife were among the first members of the Bowen's Prairie Congregational Church. In 1858 he was the first County Superintendent of Schools for Jones County.
Stephen A. Palmer
Stephen A. Palmer came to Jones County in 1856 with his parents. He was a farmer and a proprietor of the Oneida Cheese Factory by 1878 (see 13JN168 Palmer Cheese Factory/Oneida Factory Site).
Andreas Atlas originally published in 1875