ROWLEY, John Stewart

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ROWLEY, John Stewart (1866-1928) New York-born museum specialist and renowned taxidermist whose career included: chief of the department of taxidermy at the American Museum of Natural History, New York; curator of mammals and chief of exhibits at the California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (1909-1917); director of the Oakland Museum where (1917-1920); and chief of exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum (1920-1927) where he was hired to prepare African specimens of their major benefactor, Leslie Simson. Beset with internal problems, in 1927 a Grand Jury Investigation into the museum recommended Rowley be dismissed. Rowley was fired, and not long after, on January 21, 1928 he died of breathing complications.

Rowley authored The Art of Taxidermy (1898), and Taxidermy and Museum Exhibition (1925).

Directory of Members, Cooper Ornithological Club, May 1914:

  • John Rowley. 42 Plaza Drive, Berkeley, CA 1909.


Rowley is buried in San Gabriel Cemetery, Alhambra, California. He was survived by his wife, Rowena, and their three sons:

  • John Stewart Rowley, Jr. (1907-1968)
  • William P. Rowley (1908-1976)
  • Robert D. Rowley (1911-1969).


Rowley collected on:

  • Ano Nuevo Island (1906, 1907, 1908, 1909)
  • Farallon Islands (1911)
  • San Clemente Island (1905)
  • Santa Catalina Island (1903)
  • Santa Cruz Island (1908, 1911)


NOTE: J. S. Rowley, Jr. collected on:

  • Ano Nuevo Island (1924)
  • San Clemente Island (1929)
  • San Miguel Island (1928)



Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ June 26, 1907 MVZ-4113 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ June 30, 1907 MVZ-8821 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 2, 1907 MVZ-4112 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 2, 1907 MVZ-4117 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 2, 1907 MVZ-4118 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 2, 1907 MVZ-4964 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 2, 1907 MVZ-4967 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 3, 1907 MVZ-4121 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 4, 1907 MVZ-4119 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 5, 1907 MVZ-4120 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ April 30, 1908 MVZ-5867 Phoca vitulina richardii Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ April 30, 1908 MVZ-5869 Phoca vitulina richardii Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ April 30, 1908 MVZ-89936 Phoca vitulina richardii Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ April 30, 1908 MVZ-89937 Phoca vitulina richardii Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ June 20, 1908 MVZ-4115 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ June 20, 1908 MVZ-4116 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley MVZ June 20, 1908 MVZ-5871 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal
Ano Nuevo Island J. S. Rowley CAS June 30, 1909 CAS-6 Eumetopias jubatus Marine Mammal


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Farallon Islands J. S. Rowley CAS June 2, 1911 CAS-18012 Oceanodroma leucorhoa beali Birds
Farallon Islands J. S. Rowley CAS June 2, 1911 CAS-18013 Oceanodroma leucorhoa beali Birds
Farallon Islands J. S. Rowley CAS June 2, 1911 CAS-18014 Oceanodroma leucorhoa beali Birds


San Clemente Island

3/3/1905 WFVZ eggs (Pandion)



San Miguel Island (Prince Island) J. S. Rowley, Jr. WFVZ June 3, 1928 WFVZ-26121 Pelecanus occidentalis Eggs


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 4, 1903 FMNH-11022 Reithrodontomys megalotis catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 4, 1903 FMNH-11047 Reithrodontomys megalotis catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 4, 1903 FMNH-11023 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 4, 1903 FMNH-11024 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 4, 1903 FMNH-11025 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 4, 1903 FMNH-11026 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 4, 1903 FMNH-11027 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 5, 1903 FMNH-11018 Reithrodontomys megalotis catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 5, 1903 FMNH-11021 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 6, 1903 FMNH-11017 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 6, 1903 FMNH-11029 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 7, 1903 FMNH-11019 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 7, 1903 FMNH-11020 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 7, 1903 FMNH-11028 Peromyscus maniculatus catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 8, 1903 FMNH-11749 Urocyon littoralis catalinae Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 8, 1903 FMNH-11722 Spermophilus beecheyi nesioticus Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 8, 1903 FMNH-11723 Spermophilus beecheyi nesioticus Mammals
Santa Catalina Island J. S. Rowley FMNH February 8, 1903 FMNH-11724 Spermophilus beecheyi nesioticus Mammals


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Cruz Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 14, 1908 MVZ-3533 Peromyscus maniculatus santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 14, 1908 MVZ-3534 Peromyscus maniculatus santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 14, 1908 MVZ-3535 Peromyscus maniculatus santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 14, 1908 MVZ-3536 Peromyscus maniculatus santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 14, 1908 MVZ-3537 Peromyscus maniculatus santacruzae Mammals
Santa Cruz Island J. S. Rowley MVZ July 14, 1908 MVZ-3538 Peromyscus maniculatus santacruzae Mammals
~ trip ~
Santa Cruz Island J. S. Rowley CAS July 1, 1911 CAS-18169 Aphelocoma insularis insularis Birds



In the News~

September 8, 1908 [LAH]: “Santa Barbara, September 7… Captain William G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, one of the islands of the Santa Barbara group, is authority for the statement that if the ruthless slaughter of seals and the gathering of abalone shells by Chinese shall continue for four years more on the same scale as has prevailed in the past, both of these amphibian denizens will be exterminated. Professor Rowley of Stanford University, who recently visited the islands, is another champion of special legislation to protect the abalone and the seals...”


September 1, 1916 [OT]: “John Rowley, a taxidermist of wide experience and artistic ability, has been recommended by the Board of Library Trustees to the Civil Service Commission for appointment to the position of curator of the Oakland Public Museum. Should the choice be ratified by the commission, Rowley will assume his duties immediately upon appointment. Rowley won international distinction last year by his work in mounting the animal exhibits in the various buildings of the Panama-Pacific Exposition. He was awarded a gold medal for the excellence of his settings and perfect methods of preserving the natural appearance of specimens…”


September 28, 1927 [LAT]: “Radical changes in the management of the Los Angeles County Museum, including the discharge of two taxidermists, were recommended yesterday by the county grand jury in a report severely criticizing the conduct of affairs at the institution.


January 23, 1928 [LAT]: “Deaths. Rowley. At Alhambra, January 21. John Rowley, aged 61 years, a native of Hastings, N. Y., beloved husband of Rowena E. Rowley; father of John, William and Robert Rowley. Funeral notice later. Turner, Stevens & Turner, Alhambra, directors.”