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Bower & Co. General Store & Family

Jim Drake recently contributed these wonderful photos and family histories of the Bower (Weber) family.

Eda Weber Bower and her spouse, Henry G. Bower owned and operated the Bower & Company General Store at 2643 North High St. The photo to the left shows the store’s delivery wagon and, at the right of the image, a section of the Bower family home at 26 East Duncan Street.

This photo is the 1901 wedding portrait of Eda Weber (1869-1951), of the historic Frederick Weber family, and Henry Bower (1856-1935). They were married on January 1, 1901.

This photo was taken of the Bowers in 1934. In addition to his civic activities, Henry Bower was a founder and principal stockholder in the Northern Savings Bank (which eventually became part of the Huntington Bank system).

John J. Bower, one of Henry Bower’s brothers, was initially a partner in the general store, but eventually opened a hardware store on the southeast corner of Duncan and High streets. The Bower brothers are shown in this photo (left to right): Ernest E. Bower, Henry G. Bower, Owen Bower (son of Ernest E.), John J. Bower, his son Everett Bower, and Charles Bower.

Although Henry Bower had hoped to have at least one son to inherit the general store, he fathered five daughters instead. After his first daughter, Anna, was born, he pre-selected a male name for each successive child, but in every instance he had to opt for a female form of the name.

Consequently, “Albert Bower” became “Alice Bower,” “George” became “Georgia” Bower, “Henry” became “Henrietta,” and “Wilbur” became “Wilda” Bower. In this 1960 snapshot, the five daughters are arranged in their birth order from left to right: Anna Bower Mylander, Alice Bower Jesson, Georgia Bower O’Brien, Henrietta Bower Kuntz, and Wilda Bower Drake.

Of the five Bower daughters, Alice (Mrs. Frederick) Jesson had a long and successful career as Director of Restaurants and Cafeterias of the F. & R. Lazarus Company.

(Photos and write-up courtesy of Jim Drake) Note: there is one more image of the Bowers’ cart here.

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One Response to “Bower & Co. General Store & Family”

  1. David Bower Gehle Says:

    I’m glad to find the webpage. I’m Anna Bower Mylander’s grandson. I have some misc stuff from the general store and wish to learn more. I have an OLD picture of an old farm on Olentangy road. Neat history.

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