A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


Ralph P. Gorrell, proprietor of the Bowman Furniture Company of Pittsburg, Kansas, has had a most successful business career since coming to Pittsburg twenty years ago. He is a typical business man, devoting his best efforts to his affairs, and he has the satisfaction of knowing that he has the best establishment of the kind in southeastern Kansas. This success has been entirely of his own achieving, for he began as a clerk in the concern of which he afterward, by successive promotions, became sole owner.

Mr. Gorrell was born in Tyler county, West Virginia, in 1860, being a son of P. W. Gorrell. His father was born in West Virgina. His mother was Jamima Pritchard.

Mr. Gorrell came with the family to Hancock county, Ohio, when he was a child, and was reared and received most of his education in Findlay. He came west to Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1884, and has been connected with the furniture business practically ever since that time. At the time of his coming the town was just beginning its great boom, which has resulted in making it one of the most important cities of this section of the state. In 1888 he became an employe of H. S. Bowman. He learned every detail of the furniture business, including undertaking and embalming, and was made undertaker of the firm. In 1894 H. S. Bowman (now deceased) retired from the business, his place being taken by his father-in-law, F. A. Gaskell, although the concern still remained Bowman and Company. Mr. Gorrell remained as the real head of the business until 1899, in which year he bought the store of Mr. Gaskell, and has since conducted it with most flattering success. The location is 117-119 East Fourth street, where large and ample quarters are occupied. The business is still known under its old name of the Bowman Furniture Company, and it is the largest and best equipped furniture and undertaking establishment in southeastern Kansas, and with the largest volume of trade transacted.

Mr. Gorrell was married in Pittsburg, in 1894, to Miss Mollie Crowell, a sister of the well known Pittsburg druggist, T. J. Crowell, whose biography appears elsewhere in this work. One daughter has been born of this marriage, Christine.