LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN JOSHUA ROWAN J. P., D. L.
John Joshua Rowan J.P., D.L., the eldest son of the Reverend Robert Willson Rowan, J. P. of Mount Davys, just outside the village of Cullybackey was born on the 12th December 1838.
Born and bred on the land, he was closely connected with all the people and the surroundings and had all the best characteristics of a landlord and was popular with his tenants. He was of the old conservative type, a great supporter of Sir Edward Carson, and of the Ulster Unionist movement. A deputy-Lieutenant and a Justice of the Peace for the county, he was also senior Grand Juror, and for nearly sixty years served on the County Antrim Grand Jury.
He joined his regiment, the 4th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, and at the young age of seventeen saw action in the Crimea, and took part in the fall of Sebastopol. He went with his regiment to Canada, where he settle for a long time. For many winters he pursued the life of a trapper with one Indian attendant, and in one winter alone, after paying all expenses, he returned to civilisation with £300 in his pocket, the proceeds of the sales of furs taken by him. He wrote a book describing his adventures in Canada which was very favourably received and it brought him from the Allen Line Company the privilege of a free ticket to Canada whenever he wanted to use it. A widely read and well versed gentleman he took up journalistic work while in Canada and for a time was proprietor and editor of a newspaper.
In 1866 he married May Amelia Wright eldest daughter of George Wright, sometime colonial treasurer of Prince Edward Island she sadly died in 1879. His second wife was Ellen Augusta (Nellie) Vaughan, daughter of the Reverend Edward W. Vaughan, Rector of Llantwit Major, Glamorganshire who he married on 8th September 1881 at the Parish Church where her father was minister.
Returning home in the 1870’s he settled down as his father’s agent and on his father’s death in 1886 he succeeded him at Mount Davys. Aged eighty-two, this gentleman with his striking personality passed away at Portrush on 1st May 1921. He was survived by his wife and was laid to rest in Ahoghill Parish Churchyard.