Charles H. Rowland
Charles Hedding Rowland

December 20, 1860November 24, 1921 (60 years old)
Hometown: Philipsburg, PA
December 20, 1860November 24, 1921
(60 years old) | Philipsburg, PA


-The Philipsburg Daily Journal, Nov. 25, 1921-

One of Philipsburg’s greatest benefactors and most successful businessman died Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 1921.  He has been part of Philipsburg as much as it is possible for any citizen to be a part of his hometown.  Though not a native of the town or vicinity, and his residence here, measured in years, has been comparatively brief, his activities have been such that long ago he became one of the leaders of our community and business life.  He remained so up till the hour of his death.

Charles Hedding Rowland, son of John and Sarah E. (Hedding) Rowland, was born in Hancock, Maryland, on Dec. 20, 1860.  His parents were Pennsylvanians, his father, a farmer by occupation, being a native of Bedford County, and his mother’s birthplace being Landisburg, Perry County.  The Rowland family located to Huntingdon County in 1866, and eight years later took up their residence in Houtzdale where the father of the subject of this piece engaged in several different occupations.  He died in February of 1893.  Mrs. Rowland, who was a near relative of Bishop Hedding of the Methodist church, has also been dead for a number of years.  Charles H. is the first of the three children born to the couple to answer the call of death.  The other two sisters are Anna, wife of H.J. McClure, of Pittsburgh, and Mary, wife of Max J. Herman of Mt. Clements, Michigan.

After the family moved from Huntingdon to Houtzdale, Charles H. Rowland attended the public schools in the latter place, where he completed his education.  He began his life work as a clerk in a store.  Later he interested himself in the coal business, branching into other projects in later years.  His success was achieved after years of steady application, persistency and untiring industry.

For years Mr. Rowland has held large interests in Moshannon Coal and Mining Co., one of the biggest coal mining corporations in the Clearfield region.  He is one of the majority shareholders of the Pittsburgh & Susquehanna Railroad Company and at the time of his death was it’s President and General Manager.  He was the promoter and owner of the Rowland Theatre erected on the site of the old Pierce Opera House destroyed by fire.  It is said to be one of the most complete and convenient theatrical structures in inland Pennsylvania.  Mr. Rowland was an ardent promoter of The Philips and from the start has been the President of the organization owning this fine big hotel, the Philipsburg Hotel Corporation.  During the past year he has given much of his personal attention to the erection of tenement houses on land owned by him along the state highway wet of the Maple Street bridge and adjoining the site on which the new terminal and shops were erected for the Pittsburgh & Susquehanna Railroad.  He planned to build houses for not only the employees of the railroad shops, but for other families also, for he was first in the community to fully realize that the town could not grow or increase in business and industrial importance without additional homes for working people.  Mr. Rowland’s business activities were not confined to Philipsburg and the surrounding region.  He had large and diversified interests elsewhere in the state.  As a businessman he was a constructor and builder, and his instincts were on the creative side.  Never was he destructive.

In coming to Philipsburg in 1904 Mr. Rowland at once became an active participant in the town’s business and industrial life.  He became one of the heavy shareholders of several local utilities, notably the Centre & Clearfield Street Railway and the steam heating and electric lighting plants, finally taking them over entirely.  He spent considerable money in improving these public service utilities.  In 1912 he disposed of them along with subsidiary corporations to H.D. Walbridge & Co., of New York, who later formed Penn Public Service Corporation.

In 1914 Mr. Rowland, upon the solicitation of warm friends and admirers but with a good bit of reluctance, consented to accept the Republican nomination for Congress from the district if tendered to him.  He was nominated and elected and renominated reelected for the ensuing term, serving during the years of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918.  He was popular among his fellow Congressmen as well as among the Senators and Washington officials. His contact with other public men never for a moment made him anything else than the big-hearted man he had always been, loyal to his home town and old friends.  He was generous almost to a fault, giving liberally to every worthy institution and organization, as well as to individuals and families.

Mr. Rowland in 1885 was united in marriage to Miss Anna Cutshall, a native of Huntingdon County, who survives him.  To them were born five children, namely: Lulu Ellen, wife of John Hollenback, of Philipsburg; Howard H., of Philipsburg; Margaret wife of J.C. Meyer of Clearfield; John Edward of Philipsburg, and Charles H. Jr., at home. 

The Rowland residence on South Centre Street, is one of the prettiest, most convenient and most comfortable in town, where friends have been entertained in the hospitable manner characteristic of Mr. Rowland himself.  The Rowland family never regretted coming to Philipsburg to live and Mr. Rowland, so far as known, was never ambitious to locate in a larger or more pretentious town.  During the period he was serving as congressman he seemed pleased to be able to get back to Philipsburg among home folks and old friends.  Usually when he was not in Washington, he was at his home here.

Mr. Rowland belonged to Osceola Lodge No. 515, Free and Accepted Masons, Jaffa Temple of Altoona, and Mystic Shrine of Williamsport.  He was a thirty-second degree Mason.  The Osceola Lodge of Masons will have charge of the services at the Rowland residence at 2 o’clock.  Interment will follow in the local cemetery. 

Because he has been one of Philipsburg’s greatest benefactors and most worthy citizens, esteemed and respected by all classes of people, places of business generally will be closed during the hour of the funeral service.