Milo E. Rowell, Jr., a leading lawyer of Fresno and a worthy representative of one of the city’s oldest families, was born in San Francisco on July 25, 1903, while his parents were on a visit there. He is the son of Milo L. Rowell and Lillian (Laverty).
After completing his elementary and high school education in Fresno, Mr. Rowell entered Stanford University, where he graduated with the degree of A.B. in 1924; following this he spent one year at the law school of Harvard University and then returned to Stanford and graduated from the law school of that institution in 1926.
Mr. Rowell began the practice of law with George Cosgrave. In October, 1926, he joined the well-known law firm of Barbour and Kellas, which then become known as Barbour, Kellas and Rowell. He remained in this connection until September of 1929, when he was appointed assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles, and he creditably filled this important post until the spring of 1932, when he returned to Fresno and entered private practice on his own account.
Mr. Rowell’s distinguished military career commenced in July, 1943, when he was commissioned captain in the United States Army. He was first assigned to Fort Custer, Michigan, and he subsequently took courses in military government at the University of Chicago and the School of Military Government at the University of Virginia. In September, 1944, he was ordered to New Guinea, where he organized 30 Civil Affairs Units for service in the Philippines. Ultimately he became commanding officer of one of these units which assisted in the rehabilitation of civilian life in the Philippine Islands and coordinated civilian and military activities. His unit landed at Parang, Mindanao, and his jurisdiction covered the provinces of Lanao and Misamis Occidental, of which he practically took over the government. For these services he was awarded the Bronze Star medal and the Philippine Government awarded his the Military Merit medal.
After successfully fulfilling his duties in Mindanao, Major Rowell (promoted to major while in New Guinea) was assigned to General MacArthur’s staff in Manila to help plan the military government for Japan, and in October, 1945, he went to Japan, and became a member of the Government Section of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, his position being Chief of Judicial Affairs, the principal duties of which were: 1. Reform of political affairs in Japanese organizations. 2. Elimination of undesirable officials. 3. Advising General MacArthur as to reforms needed in the Japanese constitution. While in Japan he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit.
Retiring from the service in the spring of 1946, Mr. Rowell is now back in the practice of law in Fresno, his offices being in the Rowell Building.
Long active in many organizations, Mr. Rowell is a past president of the Optimist Club of Fresno, past director and commissioner of Boy Scouts of America, a past president of the University-Sequoia-Sunnyside Club, a director of Fresno Merchants Association, and he is a director of California Taxpayer Association.
He married Miss Agnes Edlund. Has two sons by a previous marriage; Milo David Rowell, who is a cadet at West Point, and Chester S. Rowell.
by Joyce Rugeroni.
Californians 1953, by Lee E. Johnson & C. W. Taylor. Pages 437-438, C. W. Taylor
Publ., Palo Alto, California, 1953.
© 2014 Joyce Rugeroni.