Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm. Scanned from a copy held by the State Library of Kansas.
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S.A. Nowels is one of the substantial farmers and stockman of the Solomon valley and one of the most esteemed citizens of that community. He is a native of Holmes county, Ohio, born in 1844. He is a son of David and Mary (Waddell) Nowels. His father was of Yankee origin, born in Connecticut in 1792, and died at the age of sixty-three years. Mr. Nowels' paternal grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier and removed to Ohio in the early settlement of that state and located near the present city of Sandusky.

Mr. Nowles served with distinction in the Civil war. He enlisted at the beginning of hostilities in Company B. Sixteenth Ohio Infantry, under Captain Ager, who was promoted colonel of another regiment and died before taking command. Their regiment was then placed under General DeCoursey. They took part in many engagements, among them the battles of Mill Springs, Cumberland Gap, Yazoo City, Arkansas Post, and Champion Hill, where the line was broken and they lost many men. In the siege of Vicksburg Mr. Nowels took a severe cold and this, coupled with lying under the firing of heavy artillery for six weeks, deafened him permanently to the extent of rendering it very difficult to converse with him. He was one of the volunteers that ran the battery at Vicksburg, and was one of the most daring men on the force. Not a shot was fired as they passed Vicksburg but at Warrensburg the Confederates fired into them to beat the mischief. From here he went into the Ninth Ohio Cavalry, under Captain Irving and Colonel Hamilton in command. He had served in the first company one year and nine months. He participated in the battle at Decatur, Alabama, and with Rosseau on his raid through Alabama and Mississippi, where they lost their horses and traveled five hundred miles on foot. At Big Shady forty-two of their men were killed. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and took part in the cavalry fight at Averysboro, where they had their last hard battle. This brigade also had a hard fight at Polecat Junction. They were scouting the greater part of the time in the Carolinas. Colonel Hamilton, who was promoted to brigadier-general, bestowed upon Mr. Nowels a badge for courage and bravery. It is a silver medal surmounted by an eagle perched on a banner. On the scroll is engraved the name of the recipient and the company of which he was a member. This was the only badge given in the company. Mr. Nowels was not commissioned but acted as sergeant most of the time during his service in the army. The hardest march his company underwent was to Cumberland Gap, a distance of two hundred and forty miles. They were reduced in rations, secured tin pans, pierced them with nails and with these improvised instruments grated corn for bread. Mr. Nowels had several narrow escapes. He received a wound on the leg between the knee and ankle at Yazoo City and was confined to the hospital two weeks. He was slightly wounded upon two other occasions, once in South Carolina, and again in Georgia. One ball tore his clothing and cut the buttons off his coat in close proximity to a vital part of his anatomy - the pit of his stomach. At one time, while stationed as guard, Mr. Nowels met a Confederate in the woods and a duel ensued, the rebel shooting five times. Mr. Nowels' carbine refused to fire and with his pistols he poured out one shot; the fellow in gray laid down, put spurs to his horse, and rode rapidly away.

Mr. Nowels was mustered out at Camp Chase, Ohio, October 2, 1865. He made a good record, never shirked duty nor joined the "condemned yank." After the war he returned to Ohio; a few months later he emigrated to Iowa and subsequently to Nebraska, where he worked on the first railroad bridge that spanned the Missouri river in that state and worked on the Union Pacific Railroad from Omaha to Ogden. He has traveled extensively over the United States and has visited every state in the union but three.

Mr. Nowels was married in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1871, to Alice Hill, who was formerly from Athens county, Ohio. She came with her parents to Kansas in 1868 and settled in Lawrence. Her father was a native of Wales. He settled in Ohio, where he lived until coming to Kansas. His residence is now in Lincoln county. Her mother died in 1887. Mrs. Nowels is one of eight children. One brother, George Hill, is living near Denver, Colorado; two brothers, Charlie and Ray, in Idaho; a brother, Ira, in Oregon, near The Dalles, and Frank, of Lincoln Center. The sister, Mrs. Phillips, resides in Lincoln county. By a second marriage there is one child, Pearl Hill.

To Mr. and Mrs. Nowels have been born three children, viz: Guy S., a farmer living near Glasco; he married Hattie Elliott and they are the parents of one child, an infant. George W. is interested with his father and brother in farming. Mary L. was for three seasons successfully engaged in the millinery business in Glasco. She with her two brothers attended the opening of the Oklahoma strip. They all registered, but none of them succeeded in drawing a claim.

The Nowels took up their residence in Cloud county in 1890 and bought the Clinkbeard homestead, where they have prospered. They own two hundred and forty acres of land; the sons own an eighty adjoining, and all farm together. Their residence is a comfortable six-room house. Mr. Nowels keeps a herd of about seventy head of native cattle and has been very successful in hog raising, shipping about two car loads per year. He has at all times supported the Republican party and is a strict partisan. He is a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows of Glasco and of the Grand Army of the Republic. George is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. Mrs. Nowels and daughter are members of the Rebekahs. Mr. Nowels supports any enterprise that has for its object the well being of the community. He has met with more than an average degree of success in life and is a worthy citizen.