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Fowler, Eliza Hawkins



  • Existence: December 1817 - May 20, 1902

Biographical Information

Eliza Hawkins was born to James and Susannah Hawkins in 1817 in Ohio. Together they moved to Indiana as one of the early settler families in 1829. Eliza married Moses Fowler in 1843, and together they had 5 children, two of whom died in infancy. The surviving children were Annis, Ophelia, and James. Together, Eliza and Moses platted the town of Fowler, Indiana in 1872, and officially incorporated it in 1875.

After Moses died in 1889, Eliza remained committed to various philanthropic efforts in the community and was a frequent donor to many of them, including Purdue University.

Eliza Hawkins Fowler was Purdue's first major woman benefactor. In 1901, she gave $70,000 in funding to the University for construction of the first assembly hall, the largest single gift to the University since John Purdue's contribution in 1869. Fowler Hall became a "campus showcase," used for orientations, convocations, lectures, and the first indoor commencement exercises. Although it was demolished in 1954 in order to make room for a campus conference center, the tradition of Fowler Hall lives on in the Stewart Center auditorium which bears Eliza Fowler's name, located in almost the same location as the original structure.

Eliza Hawkins Fowler died in 1902, before the building bearing her name was completed.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Fowler Hall records

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 54, Placement: 03
Identifier: UA 118
Scope and Contents The Fowler Hall records contain materials related to the dedication of Eliza Fowler Hall and its organ.
Dates: 1901 - 1923