Milton Eagle, May 22, 1924
The subject of this sketch was born in Maryland, October 20, 1842, and was taken by his father to Indiana in 1843. In company with his brother, who was at that time in poor health, he started by mule team with the great stream of emigrants to the far west. He suffered from an attack of mountain fever while on the way in Idaho. On October 12, 1864, he arrived at Walla Walla. Here his brother became ill and after a month of suffering passed away November 8th. Left thus alone with no relatives nearer than across the continent Mr. Bowlus was very lonely.
After this he spent two years in the mines at Idaho City, and did some freighting. Later in 1870, he settled about seven miles east of Milton and two miles north of the Walla Walla river. He kept this place forty-four years, and was a prosperous farmer, accumulating a good amount of wheat land and city property in both Milton and Walla Walla. In 1876 he was married to Miss Serena Osborn, who died four years ago.
The fruit of this union were the following children; Tilden, deceased, George, Archie, deceased, Mrs. Rilla Murray of Walla Walla. Mr. Bowlus possesses a good home of 400 acres at the forks of the Walla Walla river, and is comfortably fixed to close the evening of a well spent life. He uses his spare hours in gardening, and has one of the best on the river.
Mr. Bowlus is a natural optimist and always expects rain to save crops even in the driest years, and for some good to result even when the fruit is frosted to a large extent.
He reiterated the history of the great scourge of diphtheria from 1875 to 1878, when all of the children of some families were carried away. On Mississippi canyon in a stretch of three miles near his farm, three in one, two in another, three in another and two in another died. In the Willard family seven out of nine were taken. Doctors were scarce and run to the limit. In the neighborhood one woman did considerable practicing.
No brief story like this can delineate the life and good deeds of a man that has wrought so well but it may be briefed in the words of his fellow citizens who say, "Lew Bowlus is a good man."