Aurelius Bowen

Aurelius Bowen, M.D. (b. 1817)

Attempting to bring his family to Kansas, he was stopped in Missouri and directed to Nebraska.
[Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska]

Aurelius Bowen was born in Reading,Vermont and educated in Bennington, Vermont. He graduated from the Castleton, Vermont Medical College. He settled in Rock River, Illinois before coming to Kansas in 1855. Elected as a delegate to the Big Spring meeting, he was alone in favoring immediate statehood in the committee report on that subject to the floor. James H. Lane carried the day, however, making a rousing speech for Bowen's position and a large majority of the Big Spring convention voted with Bowen.

In the spring of 1856 he attempted to bring his family to Kansas. He was stopped on the road west of Platte City, Missouri by "border ruffians" and ordered to turn back. Fearing for his wife and small children, he listened to the advise of army officer at the Liberty Arsenal and turned toward Nebraska. He established a successful practice in Otoe county, becoming president of both the county and state medical societies.

During the Civil he was Surgeon of the Second Nebraska Cavalry and was at the battle of White Stone Hills, in the 1863 Sioux War. He was Medical Director of the District of Nebraska and later United States Examining Surgeon for Pensions.

In 1873 Bowen was elected to the Nebraska State Senate. When he arrived in Lincoln, he found the twelve other senators divided into two groups of six, each with a slate of candidates for every office from top to bottom. Bowen selected the most capable from each slate and surprisingly satisfied both sides.. He introduced the first bill for an institute for the blind in Nebraska, and was one of the directors of the Deaf Mute Institute. As county superintendent of schools, he built the first high school building west of the Missouri River in 1864, in Nebraska City. and he is at present County Superintendent of Public Schools.

The Lincoln Journal described Bowen in the Nebraska Senate:

"The Doctor is a ready speaker, possesses considerable knowledge of law, as well as physics, and no question can be sprung in the Senate, that he does not know something about. He is quick of perception, and rarely fails to make his point in a discussion. In person, the Doctor is of medium size, complexion light, sharp gray eyes, and in politics a Liberal; though this is not strange, as he is said to be one of the most liberal men in Otoe county. That the Doctor will take good care of the interests of his constituents, there can be no question, and his record in the Senate will be good." [Andreas, Nebraska, Otoe County, Part 9]

Charles Clark