Septimus J. Bowler was born in London, England, on February 11, 1868. There is no record of his education or work experience until he came to Minneapolis in 1884. At about the age of 16 he began his career as a carpenter under master builder Barclay Cooper and then, around 1888, established an architectural practice. He managed a busy practice until the early 1930s, designing buildings in various styles that include; residences, hotels, commercial buildings, and religious structures. In 1895 Bowler was one of forty architects from around the country and one of the seven finalists from Minneapolis to be included in the competition to design the Minnesota State Capitol building. In reading historic newspaper articles from the Minneapolis Tribune and the Improvement Bulletin, one can see that Bowler was named along other prominent local architects such as Cass Gilbert, Downs & Eads, Joseph and Ernest Haley, Clarence H. Johnston, Harry Wild Jones, William Kenyon, Lowell A. Lamoreaux, Freemont D. Orff, and William Channing Whitney. By the accounts of these records, it is clear that he was a contemporary of these prominent historical figures.
Updated: September 2015