Schoolcraft County
Pioneer Families
Biographical Sketches
Dr. O. C. Bowen
Source: Memorial Record of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan; Chicago;  Lewis Publishing Company, 1895, p. 61-62
O. C. BOWEN, M. D., who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Manistique, Michigan, with marked success, has the honor of being a native of this State, his birth having occurred in Branch county on the 6th of July, 1840. His parents, Jesse and Lucy (Moorehouse) Bowen were both natives of Saratoga county, New York, and on leaving the Empire State in 1836 journeyed westward by way of the old canal and at last reached Branch county, where they made a permanent location.     The  father  was a farmer by occupation and took up a tract of Government land upon which he built a little shanty which was his home until better improvements could be made.   Not a furrow had been turned on his land, the place being still in its primitive condition, but with characteristic energy he began its development and as soon as the acres were cleared and plowed, he planted crops which in course of time yielded good harvests.    The once wild region was made to bloom and blossom as the rose and the Bowen farm was numbered among the best in the neighborhood.  Mr. Bowen was recognized as one of the leading and influential citizens of the community and was honored with several offices of public trust, serving for a number of years as Supervisor, while for one term he represented his district in the State legislature. He passed away in February, 1864, and the community mourned his loss for he had ever been devoted to the best interests of the community- His wife survived him for many years and was called to the home beyond in November, 1885. Their family numbered four children, three of whom are living, namely: the Doctor, Alfonso, and Hon. O. A. Bowen, who is now Treasurer of the State of Washington.
The early educational advantages of Dr. Bowen. acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by two terms' attendance in Hillsdale, Michigan. He aided in the labors of the home farm, working in the fields and giving his father the benefit of his services until he had passed the years of his minority, when he determined to devote his time and talents to some other pursuit than that to which he was reared. His tastes led him to take up the study of medicine and he entered upon a course of lectures at Ann Arbor, Michigan, completing his medical studies in the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Institute, at which he was graduated in the class of 1866. For two years thereafter he was located in the county of his nativity, then went west spending several years in practice in a number of States and Territories.
In the year 1882 Dr. Bowen arrived in Manistique and opened an office. At that time there were only about 600 inhabitants in the town. For thirteen years he has been in active practice here and has built up a lucrative business, which has grown with the growth of the town and takes in the best class of citizens. The physician controls human destiny more than any other man.  Through ignorance on his part he may end the life that he is called to prolong, and therefore a most thorough knowledge of his science should he have.   Dr. Bowen has spared neither labor nor expense in perfecting himself in his chosen profession, and his ability is now widely recognized in this neighborhood.
His home is the abode of an interesting family, numbering the Doctor, his estimable wife and daughter Bernice.  He has been twice married, his first union being with Miss Ella Pease and the wedding being celebrated on the 30th of June, 1886. The daughter graced this union. On the 29th of August, 1893, he led to the marriage altar Miss Hattie D. Pease, who is a member of the Presbyterian Church and has many friends in this community.
The political connections of the Doctor ally him with the Republican party, and in 1884 he was nominated and elected as Supervisor of Manistique, holding that office for one term. In 1894 he was elected President of the city and at the head of Manistique's government he labored earnestly and commendably for the interests of the town.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a public-spirited and progressive man and probably no citizen in the community has more friends or fewer enemies than Dr. Bowen.