Town of Fowler Historian

The Historian’s Office is located upstairs in the Fowler Town Hall. Historian Karen Simmons is in the office on Thursdays from 1-4PM or any time by appointment by calling (315)287-4753 or the Town Clerk at (315)287-0045.

If you are researching ancestors and/or working on your family genealogy, contact my office as I have some records on hand that may assist you in your search. 

Due to the Coronavirus, the Historian’s Office was closed from mid-March until mid-July.  I did work on a couple of genealogies during that time period. 

Since reopening the office in July, I have received several donations from local residents. 

I would like to thank Ivan Shampine and Richard Clement for the work they did at the Tri-County Marker on County Route 24.  Hopefully we will get the new sign placed up there this year.

I am still looking for names of veterans who are from Fowler who served in the Korean Conflict.

Fowler began in 1816, when it was formed from parts of the towns of Rossie and Russell, NY. It was named for Theodosius Fowler (1753–1841), a captain in the American Revolution and a local landowner. In 1827 part of Fowler was transferred to the Town of Edwards. Fowler lost more area to Pitcairn, New York in 1836. By 1870 the population of Fowler was 1,785.

The following passage is from Pages from the Sketch Book of a Town Historian: Fowler 1807-1957, compiled by Helen Scott Cunningham.

The early story of the Town of Fowler does not open solely with the usual pioneer picture of stern-faced men and nervous-eyed women with a few children and chickens, blankets and pots in a cumbersome wagon being dragged through trackless forests and unbridged streams to find a site where they could fell some trees and hew out a rude cabin.

Instead Fowler’s beginnings were marked by romance as well as adventure, wealth as well as a struggle for existence, a mansion alongside a shanty. The traditional ox-cart may have arrived too, as settlers from Vermont and the Mohawk valley trickled in seeking a home and livelihood in the abundant forests and from the rich soil of this newly opened land of Killarney.

This region, along with its neighboring towns, seems to have been a debatable ground between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Huron and Algonquian Nations of Canada and was probably never occupied for any considerable time by either. It was common hunting and fishing ground but extremely dangerous to either party for the two confederacies were ever at war with each other and bloody encounters were sure to follow should two rival hunting parties meet.

So when in the division of the Great Tract, so called, near the turn of the century, Killarney (or Township No. 7) fell to the share of Robert Gilchrist and Theodosius Fowler, the history of the Town of Fowler begins.