Before he even became a U.S. citizen, Robert served in the Civil War as a Private with Co. C, 50th Regiment, Mass. Volunteer Infantry from 1862-63. Family lore is that he came home from the war with a dog and a young boy. Here he is at age 80 no doubt quite proud that he could still fit into his uniform.
In 1868, Robert established his own printing business. Originally known as Robert Bower, Card and Job Printer, it was later renamed Robert Bower & Co. When his son Charles Robert Bower joined the business it was known as Robert Bower & Son.
At the age of 42, Robert was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1870-71. He was instrumental in enacting the 10-hour work day in the textile mills and is known to have lost his job in the mill on account of this activity. He is second from the left in the bottom row.
Here he is in the back yard of the Bower home, 20 Stafford St., Lawrence, MA.
Robert died August 21, 1912 and is buried in Bellevue Cemetery, Lawrence, MA, with his first wife, Phebe, and their two sons both named James; also, his second wife Jane Robinson Bower and step-daughter, Annie Robinson Bower.
"Tis over now and God has claimed his soul, To rest in peace, behind the Heavenly gate, Where many honest hearts have gone before, But none returned from yonder past that door."