Statisticians tell us that ninety percent of business undertakings are failures, either partial or total. This is often due to the fact that the line of business chosen is not adapted to the particular ability of the man, or else he fails to recognize the fact that the present and not the future holds his opportunities. Many there are who, dazzled by alluring promises of the future, forget the duties of the moment, and the advantages that are accorded them are therefore lost. The greatest English poet that the world has ever known wrote : "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at its flood, leads on to fortune;" but few realize when this favorable moment has come. Warren O. Bowers, however, is one who entered upon a business especially adapted to his temperament and capability, and as a hotel man he is widely known on the Pacific coast, and his friends are found throughout the Union. He has so guided and directed his business interests that today he is numbered among the wealthy residents of the capital city, and if indolence and idleness were not so utterly foreign to his nature, it would be possible for him to put aside business cares and rest in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.
Mr. Bowers was born in New Hampshire, April 26, 1838, and is a son of Thomas and Betsey (Conery) Bowers. His father died in October, 1857, and his mother passed away in 1895. Their son Warren spent his boyhood in his native town of Nashua, New Hampshire, and to its public schools was indebted for his early educational privileges which he received. At the age of sixteen he went to Northfield, Vermont, and entered the railroad shops of the Vermont Central Railroad as an apprentice. On the completion of his term he removed to Wilmington, North Carolina, where he made his home during the war, engaged in railroading . When the strife between the north and south was ended, he was commissioned to go abroad, having in charge the supervision of steamboat work in Europe for over a year, returning to New York in 1867.
Mr. Bowers then came to the Pacific coast and entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and at a later date he engaged in steamboating, spending three years in that way. When that period had passed he returned to the Southern Pacific Company and continued with them until 1878, when he removed to Sacramento, and became the proprietor of the Union Hotel, on the corner of Second and K streets. His extensive acquaintance and his excellent business qualifications soon secured him a fair share of public patronage. He was also connected with other business interests, having become a half owner of the Capital Ale Vaults on J street, between Third and Fourth streets. For about four years he continued that enterprise, and then entered the hotel business. For five years he was the proprietor of the Union Hotel, after which he rented the Golden Eagle and for many years conducted there one of the finest hotels on the Pacific coast. It stands at the corner of Seventh and K streets, and since the founding of the city has been the site of one of Sacramento's hotels. In 1851 Dan Callahan erected there a lodging house, making an annex of canvas, and upon the flaps of the tent a man of jocular qualities, with a piece of charcoal, drew the figure of an eagle with outspread wings and serious mien, and dubbed the place the Golden Eagle Hotel, a name which has since been retained. It was Mr. Bowers, however, that brought the hotel up to a high standard of excellence. Progress and improvement are salient elements in his character and he is not content with stagnation in any business project with which he is connected. He began the task of improving the Golden Eagle, and soon it became the leading hotel of Sacramento. Although of extensive proportions it was found incapable of entertaining the guests who applied for admission. The business and social qualities of Mr. Bowers rendered him very popular with the traveling public, and he conducted the hotel with marked success until at length he determined to retire from business. As a man of leisure, however, he is not a success and after a period of idleness, which grew very burdensome to him, he leased the Capital Hotel, in August, 1899, and has since refitted it and has raised it to a high standard, even superior to that of the old Golden Eagle Hotel.
His name is known to the traveling public throughout this western section of the United States, and those who seek first-class entertainment always give their patronage to him on visiting Sacramento. Combined with sound judgment, indefatigable energy and resolute purpose, he displays charming social qualities and a sincere interest in the welfare and comfort of his guests, and to these qualities may be attributed his marked prosperity.
Source: “A Volume Of Memoirs And Genealogy of Representative Citizens Of Northern California” Standard Genealogical Publishing Co. Chicago. 1901. Page 156-158.
Submitted by: Betty Tartas.
© 2002 Betty Tartas.