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W.C. Fowler, Jr.


W.C. Fowler, Jr. was the first Scout Executive in Chattanooga in 1914 and early 1915.  He was recruited from Chicago and returned to Chicago approximately 4 months after he started the job.

In November 1914, the Interchurch Federation, under the direction of W.H. Sears, invited W.C. Fowler of Chicago of the National Organization of Boy Scouts of America to come to Chattanooga to supervise the organization of Scout troops.  At the time, it was reported that Chattanooga was the only city of its size and importance not to have a Boy Scout organization.  The committee that served with Mr. Sears was composed of W.L. Frierson, Lavens Thomas, C.E. Houston, E.H. Rolston, and H.D. Huffier. (Source: 11/19/1914 Newspaper.)

Fowler was served as Scout Executive when the Council was incorporated on December 8, 1914.  Fowler was in Chattanooga for only four months before resigning and returning to his home in Chicago.

Fowler gave the following farewell address to the local Scouts:

Four months ago I arrived in the beautiful city of Chattanooga not with the idea of starting the Scouts but on a visit to my aunt. I might say in connection with my visit that she is the one to whom the Scout work here in Chattanooga is dedicated.  Mrs. J.W. Moore is the one who started the Scouts in this town.

In leaving your town I know that I have [left] behind me an organization of which the city can well feel proud, and I ask the ones who will come after me to keep the good work going, and have an organization which will make itself felt all over the country.

I have made many friends while here and some few enemies, but to those I hope after my departure will throw themselves into the harness and pull for the good of the cause.

I want to say for the boys, that in all my connection in the Scout work at home and other parts of the country that the boys of Chattanooga, taken as a whole, are the best of any that I have met, and it will be with a feeling of regret that I will have to leave them. I[n] leaving them I want to leave them with this article by the vice president of the Boy Scouts, the Hon. Theodore Roosevelt:

From the information presented above (W.C. Fowler, Jr. had an aunt named Mrs. J.W. Moore), it is possible to discern the likely conclusion that the Scout Executive was William Childs Fowler, Jr. (born 1891, died May 15, 1931).  His mother was Lucy Fowler (nee Tucker), who had several sisters, one of whom was Mrs. J.W. Moore (see 1908 obituary below).If all you fellows will live up to these principles you will never get into trouble and if I ever come back to Chattanooga, which I will someday have the pleasure of doing, I hope to see the same fellows that I helped to enlist into the Scouts holding the positions of trust so that they will be a credit to their God and to their country.

"To the Boy Scouts of America.

Of course what we have a right to expect from the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man. Now the chances are strong that he won’t be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a boy. He must not be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk or a prig. He must work hard and play hard. He must be clean minded. And clean lived and able to hold his own under all circumstances and against all comers. It is only on these conditions that he will grow into the kind of a man of whom America can be proud. As in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: hit the line hard: don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard."

W.C. Fowler married Ethel Mae Pinney in 1917, and they divorced two years later in 1919.

W.C. Fowler's obituary reveals that he continued his work with the Boy Scouts up until his death in 1931.

February 20, 1915 - Scoutmaster Resigns

March 9, 1915 - W.C. Fowler in Farewell

June 25, 1929 - W.C. Fowler takes Scouts on Road Trip (with photo of W.C. Fowler)

December 28, 1929 - W.C. Fowler leaves California for Arizona

1931 - W.C. Fowler Obituary

1906 - Moore and Fowler visit sister

1908 - Charles Tucker obituary

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