Christopher L. Fowler

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Christopher L. Fowler
Fowler, C. L.JPG

Electoral District at-large

Biographical Information

Date of birth December 14, 1814
Date of death April 17, 1898 (aged 83)
Place of birth Charlottesville (town)
Place of death Charlottesville (city)
Spouse 2
Children 3, including W. E. Fowler
Residence First Ward
Religion Baptist

Christopher L. Fowler (known also as C. L. Fowler, December 14, 1814April 17, 1898) was once Mayor of the Town of Charlottesville during the Civil War, and for forty-four years held the office of Commissioner of Revenue.

A native of Charlottesville, he was born in a house within sight of Court Square. His father was David W. Fowler, who was at one time in charge of the Rivanna Navigation Company's warehouse at Pireus.[1] In 1848 he was captain of the Jefferson Guard.

During the Civil War, he was elected to the Board of Aldermen in the 1863 election and 1864 election. Fowler was elected mayor of the town of Charlottesville on February 25, 1865 and took office the same day. On March 3, 1865, mayor Fowler and other prominent citizens, including the chairman of the University of Virginia, met Sheridan’s army just west of the corporation and surrendered the town to General Custer. For three days, Union cavalry under the command of general Philip H. Sheridan occupied Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. Union troopers burned the Woolen Mills but, apart from widespread foraging and some looting, the town and college remained intact. To this act the Captain always attributed the immunity of the town and the University from the vandalism of the war.

After the war Fowler was elected mayor in the 1866 election and the 1867 election. In April of 1868, Mayor C. L. Fowler and the six member Board of Aldermen (A. P. Abell, E. S. H. Wise, W. A. Watson, R. F. Harris and J. W. Lipops) were removed from office by General J. M. Schofield, the military commander of the district of which Charlottesville was a part. On April 20, 1868, General J. M. Schofield appointed a new Town Council; mayor T. W. Savage and a four member Board of Aldermen.

April 16, 1870, the Board of Aldermen for the town of Charlottesville met this afternoon at 5 o’clock in the National Bank, present: N. H. Massie, Mayor; board members Dr. John Thornley, A.P. Abill, J. W. Lipop, T. F. Wingfield, W. C. N. Randolph and R. F. Harris. N. H. Massie offered his resigned as mayor, which was accepted. On motion, C. L. Fowler was then elected mayor.

Fowler was elected the first assessor (now known as commissioner of the revenue) of the city of Charlottesville, which office he held continuously until his death.

He was devoted to hunting and fishing and was a charter member of the Camp Armistead Hunting Club, and was a regular participant in their annual hunt.

Fowler was twice married – first to Miss Turner of King Williams, by who there were no issue, and next to Miss Staples, daughter of W. A. Staples of Stapleton, Amherst. Three sons: W. D, C. L. Jr. and W. E. Folwer who served on the City Council from the Third Ward in 1905.

Captain Christopher L. Fowler died about 7 o’clock in the afternoon of April 17, 1898 at His residence on West Main Street, after a week’s illness. His funeral took place from the Baptist church. Burial was a Maplewood Cemetery.

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  1. Web. CAPT. CHRISTOPHER L. FOWLER, Daily Progress, Monday April 18, 1898, retrieved 2 January 2023‎.

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