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Justin De Witt Bowersock

Politician. Republican. Born: September 19, 1842, Columbiana, Ohio. Died:  October 27, 1922, Lawrence, Kansas. Served in U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd District: March 4, 1899, to March 3, 1907.

J. D. Bowersock, who for many years greatly influenced the economic development of his adopted hometown and Kansas and served nearly a decade in the U.S. Congress, was born near Columbiana, Columbiana County, Ohio, on September 19, 1842. He removed first to Iowa City, Iowa, in 1860, where he engaged grain shipping and pursued other business opportunities, and then moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1877. Bowersock took up banking in Lawrence and engaged in the manufacture of flour, paper, and barbed wire. He built and maintained the dam across the Kansas River, which powered many of the city's manufactures, and he served as president of the Lawrence National Bank, the Lawrence Iron Works, Griffin Ice Company, and Lawrence Paper Manufacturing, among others business establishment. Politically, Bowersock was a Republican, and, like many prominent citizens of the era, held a number of elective offices: he was mayor of Lawrence 1881 and in 1885, and a member of the Kansas house of representatives in 1887 and the state senate in 1895; in 1898 Bowersock was elected to the first of four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from March 4, 1899, to March 3, 1907. He chose not to seek the party's nomination in 1906 and turned his full attention again to his banking and manufacturing interests in Lawrence, where he died on October 27, 1922.

Entry: Bowersock, Justin De Witt

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: May 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.