George Shufelt Rowley was the son of Alexander S. and Julia (Shufelt) Rowley. He was born 20 October 1850 at Hudson, Columbia County, New York. At age twenty-one, he took an examination to join the U.S. Signal Service. This was in August 1871, and he was to serve for five years. He took charge of a weather station in Galveston, Texas. In 1872, he was stationed at Punta Rassa (near Fort Myers, Florida, an important shipping point for cattle and supplies going to Cuba).
George married Anna Chapman Moore, 6 November 1872. She was also from Hudson, New York. Their first son, Julian Moore, was born in 1873 at Hudson. George’s next station was Dennison, Texas, where he moved his family. He helped install 1,200 miles of telegraph lines to connect all the army posts in Texas.
George and Anna had nine children in all, two of whom died young. After Julian came Francis Augustus (Frank), born 1876, Alexander Stewart, born 1882, Elizabeth A., born 1884, and Mary J., born 1885. The last two children, born in Florida, were Elinor, born 1887, and Sarah Gertrude, born 1890.
George quit the service and moved his family to Florida, arriving on 19 April 1886. That fall, he made a claim for a homestead in Northwood Hills, located north of present-day 45th Street in West Palm Beach. Before settling on the west side of the lake, they lived in Lake Worth Village, which was the name of the settlement at the north end of the lake.
In Hudson, New York, George had been a cub reporter for the Hudson Daily Star. He was a reporter and editor for several other papers even though he studied to be a civil engineer. In Florida, George became editor-in-chief of Th Tropical Sun, South Florida’s only newspaper at one time. In 1910-1911, he was editor of Palm Beach County, the newspaper which later became the Palm Beach Post. He kept this position for the rest of his life.
George Shufelt Rowley was one of the founders of the Lake Worth Pioneers’ Association and served as secretary and as treasurer for over twenty-five years. He was seventy-six years of age when he died in November 1925, and his eyesight was so excellent that he didn’t need glasses. Anna had died in February of 1925, and this devoted couple are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, West Palm Beach.
Julian Moore Rowley married Stella A. Merchant, and they had two children, Julian and Muriel, both teachers. When son Julian was attending Palm Beach Junior College, he drove a school bus for Palm Beach Public Schools. His father and grandfather had operated the school boat to take the children to the first school, located one mile north of the present-day Flagler Bridge.
Francis Augustus Rowley (Frank) married Rose Sanders, and they had one son, George Sanders Rowley, born and raised in West Palm Beach, who later moved to Port Orange, Florida.
Mary J. Rowley married W.T. Vass; Elinor Rowley married W.E. Albertson; Sarah Gertrude Rowley married L.W. Miller. The three sisters and their families were lifelong active members of the Lake Worth Pioneers’ Association.