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The Bower Will
by Don Fugler - Mainstreeter - Winter 1997

John Conrad Bower, a gentleman' of the Village of Ottawa East, wrote his will 100 years ago, in 1896. It cost him $1.80 to have it drawn up by lawyers. Mr. Bower eventually died in 1907. The will passed into the possession of Liz Fulton's father, another Ottawa East resident; and Liz thought that it would be interesting to share this historical document.

The house in which Bower lived had grounds that were "fronting on the Rideau River
...[and] lying on the east side of the Rideau Canal". The house is now known as 3 Bower. It had been built for Bower upon his retirement in 1867. According to a reproduction 1876 map provided by Robert Bourbeau, there were three houses clustered in an otherwise empty Ottawa East. These houses were 3 Bower, 555 Echo, and another dwelling down by the canal, where
Colonel By Drive now exists.

Bower's wife, Catherine, was to get the bulk of the estate including the house, personal property, and "all money in any Bank". The daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, was unmarried in 1896 and was to have "a reasonable share of the house say at three rooms", so she would have a home to live in if she remained unmarried. She also received her bedroom set, her bed, her bedding, and a quarter acre lot next to the"Macadamized Road" (which might have been Mutchmor). [Editor's Note: the Macadamized road was the name that Main St. had early on]

The sons of John Bower, named Ira Bower, Albert Bower, and, curiously, John Campbell, did not receive much of anything in this will. Albert had already received "his full share when and after he got married". If the female Bowers died, then Ira and John split the estate and each was to give to Albert the princely sum of $10. Presumably in 1896 this amounted to more than the price of a lunch.

Ira was to share the Bower house with his sister Sarah Elizabeth after their mother's death but only "as long as they can agree".

I would be interested in confirming where all these people lived. I tried to trace back the history of several older Ottawa East houses, in the expectation that the four Bower children would have settled locally, but my inquiries did not result in any other confirmed Bower residences. If any readers know more of local history, perhaps they could share it with us.

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