..And young Sam Bowles’s son–
And young Sam Bowles is old Sam Bowles
When old Sam Bowles is done.”
This jingle, which appeared in “Time Magazine” on Oct 15, 1934 but which was said by the reporter to have been sung for decades by “the beery compositors of the venerable Springfield (Mass.) Republican,” refers to the three generations of “Sam Bowleses” who ran the Springfield Republican newspaper between 1824 and 1915, when the last editor named Sam Bowles died. The fifth Sam Bowles broke the pattern: he didn’t run the paper. Instead, his cousin Richard Hooker took over the paper as editor and publisher. Subsequently, Sam’s younger brother Sherman worked for the paper as business manager, and then in other capacities for what had become the Republican Company, comprised of several papers.*
That the first Samuel Bowles (1762-1813), the father of the Republican’s founder, was determined to have a son named after him is proven by his naming four infant sons Samuel until one lived long enough to make it stick:
The verse about the Bowles men was running through my head when I resealed a daguerreotype that I believe to be the youngest image extant of Sam Bowles III (1826-1878). The daguerreotype has excellent provenance: it came to us through direct descendants of Sam Bowles along with many other photographs and papers of the Bowles-Hoar family. Because the daguerreotype’s dirty original glass obscured the image, and because the sitter lacks the facial hair we’ve seen in so many other photos of the most famous Sam Bowles, it took a while to realize who the sitter was. But in resealing the image in July I was able to see that we had a view of a Sam Bowles taken around 1848, before he took over the paper from his father (1851), met the Dickinsons of Amherst (1858), or became a trustee of Amherst College (1866-1878). Here it is, shared with you and shown for the first time:
Let’s look at that verse again, then, taking the opportunity to illustrate with some of the images at Amherst College of the Samuels involved with the paper.
There’s old Sam Bowles:
And young Sam Bowles:
And young Sam Bowles’s son:
But young Sam Bowles:
Is old Sam Bowles:
When old Sam Bowles is done. In keeping with the verse, we should have another photograph of the founder, Samuel Bowles II. So far, only one photograph of him is known — the one five photos above — so we’ll end with his grandson again, Sam Bowles IV, and then another photograph of his sons Sherman (below, at left) and Samuel V:
It’s easy to confuse the Bowles men, especially given differences in counting the Sams (whether to start with the founder or, as the Bowles family did, with his father, who died a decade before the paper was founded), or in knowing which one was at the helm of one of the papers in a given year. We hope this post helps link names with faces and dates.
*The history of Springfield newspapers — dailies, weeklies, Sunday editions — is detailed in “The story of an independent newspaper, by Richard Hooker; one hundred years of the Springfield Republican, 1824-1924” and “The Passing of the Springfield Republican,” by John J. Scanlon (1950).