August 30, 2011 . . . So many of our celebrities are still with us -- and that includes the owners of Bridget Gallagher's, Don and Maureen Call. They are moving to Ireland in the very near future and a going-away party is being held in their honor.
I, for one, will be there -- maybe not so much to bid them farewell, but to celebrate knowing them. They are a most unique and special couple. There is hardly a time you can get out the door of their store without a hug, and sometimes I think I stop by just for that very reason.
To honor and celebrate this wonderful couple, follow this link to see what is going on.
With the celebration upon us, a lot of interest is centered around Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fowler. The obituaries posted in The Fowlerville Review were filled with history so I've taken the following from my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles:
Following are the obituaries, in their entirety, for Ralph and Mary Fowler, both of whom passed away within five days of each other.
Hon. Ralph Fowler Dead, the Founder of Fowlerville has Passed Away. ~~After months of lingering sickness, the Hon. Ralph Fowler, the original founder of this village passed over the river at about eleven o’clock on Monday night, aged 79 years. He was born at Trenton, Oneida county, New York, October 8, 1808, and was married to Miss Martha Smith November 14, 1832, and continued to reside in that state until September, 1836, when in company with his brother, John B. Fowler, and others, he started for Michigan and arrived here in November. At Buffalo, he took the old steamer, “Commodore Perry,” and was three days and nights in reaching Detroit. He started on foot from Detroit and the third day reached the house of Amos Adams, in Howell, and after resting one day, came to look at his land in this township, and after spending a few days here, he made up his mind to make Michigan his home and returned to New York after his family. On the morning of October 17, 1836, he bade adieu to his friends and relatives in New York and, with his family, again started for Michigan, this time with a yoke of oxen and wagon, arriving in the township of Handy – then the township of Howell – on the 9th day of November and moved into his house which was built during his absence, and began life in earnest as a Michigan pioneer. He was full of energy and immediately after getting settled, turned his attention to public affairs. In 1838, he succeeded in getting an act through the Legislature setting off and organizing the township of Handy, with the first township meeting ‘to be held at the residence of Ralph Fowler in said township.’ On April 2, 1838, the legal voters of the township, numbering 14, met at his house in pursuance of the act, and he was elected the first supervisor of the township. He also served the township in that capacity in the years 1840 and 1847. In 1849, he was elected Justice of the Peace, also in 1844, 1854, 1860, and 1864. In 1844, he was elected to the Legislature and again in 1848, and was mainly instrumental in the location of the capitol at its present site at Lansing. The struggle being a long and a hard one but was finally crowned with success. In 1842, the state appropriated a small sum of money for the opening of the road between this place and Lansing, but as it was not used as a through-route, it soon grew up to brush and became practically useless. In the spring, Mr. Fowler determined to have the road reopened and finally succeeded in interesting Mr. O.B. Williams, of Williamston, with himself and in company they went over the present line of the road and solicited subscriptions for the reopening of the road west of this place. They succeeded in obtaining about $600 in money and goods and, with this small amount, they began anew the struggle against nature’s obstacles and the noisy opposition of those who were interested in the route north of this place which was already established. Bridges were built over the two Cedars and the streams west of the Meridian line. Mr. Williams then commenced at the Meridian line and Mr. Fowler began at this place, each working force consisting of three men and two yoke of oxen, and at the end of three weeks, the two working parties met at Williamston. Then, in order to get the main route changed from the Howell and Okemos road – which ran about two miles north of this place —to the present road, Messrs. Seymour of Lansing, O.B. Williams of Williamston, Ralph Fowler and Geo. Curtis of this place, and H. Gates of Howell, established a stage line and placed upon the new road a stage to run between Howell and Lansing. The stage consisted of a lumber wagon drawn by a span of horses. It made tri-weekly trips, or out one day and back the next, and they let no one walk for lack of money. This enterprise was continued for one year, at the end of which time the prime movers had succeeded in accomplishing their object, that of establishing post offices at Fowlerville and Williamston, and then sold out, Mr. Fowler having kept one man and team on the road during the year, losing one horse valued at $125, and owed the company $10 at the end of that time.
To this public spirited man, the village of Fowlerville owes its prosperity and to him was due the same success it has reached, being counted today as one of the most prosperous villages of its size in the state. He donated the site of six acres for a saw mill to Mr. Russell Fuller and boarded the workmen gratuitously, while the people of the township scored and hewed the timbers of the frame. He also donated the original sites for the M.E. and Baptist churches. He also built the first store building upon the site now occupied by Knapp, Parker & Co.
As the village grew in size, the subject of incorporation began to be considered and he was among the first to see the advantages to be gained and, as usual, headed the movement, the act being approved April 15, 1871. When the railroad project from Detroit to Lansing was first being agitated, he was one of the first to comprehend its benefits and, as a result, a meeting was held at his office September 9, 1865 by which the voters of the township voted almost unanimously to bond the township for a sum not to exceed five per cent of the valuation and as a result bonds were issued to the amount of $6,500. Thus it will be seen that he was a man of public spirit and was always at the head of any movement to advance the interests of the village which bears his name.
He was a democrat through and through and, in all his public life, no one ever accused him of treachery to his constituents or of appropriating public funds to any but honest use.
He was successful in his business career and succeeded in accumulating a large competency with which to secure to himself and family the necessaries and luxuries of life in his declining years.
His domestic relations were very pleasant, six children being born to him by his first wife who died early in 1846. December 10, 1846, he married Mary Fowler, who still survives him, although at present lying very ill, brought on in a measure, no doubt, by the care and anxiety attending the illness of her late husband.
During his last illness, he was tenderly cared for by his children and nurses and hardly any wish of his was uttered that was not granted, as it was known that he must soon pass away and nothing was left undone to make his last days pleasant. During the time he expressed himself as in the hands of God and he was awaiting his summons.
The funeral services were held at the house on Wednesday afternoon and were largely attended by his acquaintances and friends to bid a last farewell to one who has shared in the joys and griefs of the people of this vicinity for over 51 years and whose face and force they will meet no more upon this side of eternity.”
Mrs. Mary (Smith) Fowler, wife of the Hon. Ralph Fowler, died at her home in this village on Saturday afternoon at about four o’clock of typhoid fever, aged 77 years. Mrs. Fowler was born at Linden, Caledonia County, Vermont, July 9, 1810, and at 12 years of age she removed with her parents to New York State. In 1835, she married John B. Fowler and two years later removing with her husband to this county, being the fifth married white woman settling in the county. John B. Fowler died in 1842. On December 10, 1846, she was married to the late Hon. Ralph Fowler, surviving him not quite five days. She has been a resident of the county for 50 years and the place where she died is a part of the farm on which she has lived for forty years. She was the last of a family of eight children. Mrs. Fowler was a devoted Christian and has been a member of the M.E. church at this place for many years. During her last illness she expressed a clear consciousness of her acceptance with Christ, and was ready and waiting for the “pearly gates to open” that she might join the innumerable host upon the other side. Everything that kind friends and loving children could devise was done to make her last days pleasant. The funeral services were held at the house at two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, and the remains were interred in Greenwood cemetery. Rev. N. Norton Clark officiated.