Thomas J Rowley


THOMAS J. ROWLEY a merchant, doing business at North Vandergrift, Armstrong Co., Pa., is a member of one of the old and prominent families of his section. He was born NOV. 26, 1875, along Cherry run, in Plum Creek township, Armstrong county, son of John Rowley and a grandson of Jacob Rowley.

Jacob Rowley was one of the pioneers in what is now Plum Creek township, securing 600 acres of valuable land in early days, a part of which remains in the family. In old township records his name appears and he evidently was one of the leading men of his time in this part of the county. He died at the age of seventy-five years, while his wife, Polly Rowley, lived to be ninety years old. They were buried in the Rowley burial tract on their own land. They had five children: John, Jacob, Ellen, Nancy and Martha.

John Rowley, son of Jacob and father of Thomas J. Rowley, was born on his father's farm in Plum Creek township and became owner of 100 acres of the homestead. He devoted his life entirely, to agricultural pursuits. He was twice married, first to a member of the Rupert family of Armstrong county, and (second) to Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel George. She died in 1889. The children of the first union were: Aaron B., Mary and Josephine. Nine children were born to the second marriage, as follows: Sadie, who died when aged twenty-seven years; Samuel C., who owns the old family homestead in Plum Creek township; Susan, who died when aged twenty-one years; Thomas J.; Jemima, who married Joseph Dickey; Lottie, who married Harry Christy; Minnie, who married Harvey Rearick; and Alice and Edmund.

Thomas J. Rowley attended the public schools and remained at home assisting his father until he was twenty-five years of age, when he was employed by the Gosser Furniture Company at Apollo, Pa. In January, 1904, he removed from that place to North Vandergrift, where he conducts a general store and also handles flour, feed and grain, doing a large business and enjoying patronage from all the surrounding country. He has always voted the Democratic ticket and in 19O7 was elected a justice of the peace for Parks township, in which office he served until 1911, when he resigned, finding it necessary to give all his attention to his rapidly growing business.

Mr. Rowley married Annetta, daughter of Jacob Manges, of Indiana county, and they have four children: Velma, Leila, Paul and Gladys. Mr. and Mrs. Rowley are members of the Lutheran Church.

Source: Pages 763 - 764, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed February 1999 by Doris Rizza for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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