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Chowen, William Streeter

House 1857-58 (District 4)

Party when first elected:  Not Available

Counties Served:  Hennepin


Date of Birth: 6/22/1826
Birth Place: Roxbury, New York
Birth County: Green
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 2/8/1912
Gender: Male
Religion: Unitarian
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Minnetonka
Occupation (when first elected): Farmer/Formerly in Lumbering



Postmaster: Minnetonka Township, Minnesota; 1??? to 1???
Municipal Board/Commission: Minnetonka Township, Minnesota (Town Board, Chair); 1??? to 1???
Military: Minnesota 11th Infantry, Company F (Nashville and Gallatin, Tennessee; Sergeant); 08/1864 to 06/26/1865


Spouse: Mary M. Frear (married on May 25, 1855 or May 25, 1865 in Monroe, Pennsylvania)
Children: Six children: Ida M., Betsy, and Celeste (daughters); Dana Freer, and Walter (sons); Loren
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:


"William S. Chowen, born in Green county, N. Y., June 22d, 1826. Moved to Wyoming county, Pennsylvania. At twenty years of age, he went to White Haven, and engaged in lumbering; followed it for eight years, and one year lumbering in Virginia. Came to Minnesota in 1858, and located the farm in Minnetonka on which he now lives. Helped build the first school house in the town. In 1857, was elected to the first Legislature of the state, and introduced the Agricultural School bill and a memorial to Congress for an agricultural land grant, for college purposes. Both bills were passed while he was in the House. Enlisted, August, 1864, in Co. F. Eleventh Minn. Inf., with the rank of Sergeant. Stationed at Nashville and Gallatin, Tennessee. Mustered out, 26th of June, 1865, at Fort Snelling. Has been several times chairman of town board. Married, May 25, 1865, to Mary M. Frear; have six children." (History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis, 1881)

He died in Minnetonka, Minnesota and is burried at Groveland Cemetery in Minnetonka.

Religion, occupation, family details, and death details were provided by his great-great granddaughter.

Total Days Served: 735


1st Legislative Session (1857-1858)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 04
Elected: 10/13/1857
Residence: Minnetonka
Term of Office: 12/2/1857 to 12/6/1859
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Farmer/Formerly in Lumbering
Party: Not Available
  • Mines and Minerals
Session Notes: He was sworn in on December 3, 1857. An 1858-59 session was not held due to the protracted session of 1857-58. (Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1872, p. 66) Thus, even though the first session was adjourned on August 12, 1858; the term end date for it is listed as the day before the second legislative session's start date.
William Streeter Chowen of Minnetonka, member of the First State Legislature (ca. 1858) From the Minnesota Historical Society's Visual Resources Database

Articles & Books About
Warner, George E. History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis [Minnesota], Minneapolis: North Star Publishing Company, 1881.